Kas (Cough) word is derived from “Kasri Kushabde” which refers to an abnormal sound produced while coughing.
Normal sound is produced due to the involvement of Pran Vayu & Udan Vayu (Doshas) and Chest & Throat (Body parts). Both Udan and Pran vayu are known to reside in the chest and throat.
Production of voice (Speech) is the function of Udan vayu and throat plays special role.
Kas is produced whenever Pran vayu combines with Udan vayu and comes out suddenly from the mouth.
Causes of Kas
- Inhalation of Irritant gases e.g. Dust, pollution, smoke.
- Excess of exercise.
- Intake of dry food that has dry effect on the body e.g. popcorns, puffed rice
- Accidental entry of food in respiratory passages.
- Due to holding back of natural urges like to pass stool (Faeces) and to sneeze.
Excess of exercise, excess intake of dry food, suppression of urges all these cause Vata imbalance.
Kas is a symptom of various disorders. However, if Kas is severe, it is considered as a disease. Whether Kas is considered as a symptom or a disease, the factors responsible for production of kas (Cough) are present.
There are five types of Kas, namely:
- Vataj Kas – as in Whooping cough, Tropical pulmonary eosinophilia.
- Pittaj Kas – as in acute infections like in Acute bronchitis.
- Kaphaj Kas – as in Chronic bronchitis.
- Kshataj Kas – as in Emphysema
- Kshayaj Kas – as in Tuberculosis.
They are in the order of increasing severity. Vataj kas changes to pittaj and pittaj kas changes to kaphaj kas eventually, if not treated in time.
- Vataj kas is dry in nature and is caused due to irritation in the respiratory passage.
- When there is acute inflammation it is Pittaj kas.
- When there is exudation and edema, it is Kaphaj kas.
- If not properly treated, all types of Kas eventually change to Kshayaj kas characterized by wasting.