Asthma & How to Control It.
Asthma is a very painful condition that affects many children today. It can continue up to adulthood and be a life long problem. Many chemical medicines and inhalers are now available but these offer only temporary relief and these harmful medicines only increase in dosage and you have to continue for a lifetime. With time the asthma aggravates as the patient gets weaker and weaker. Many doctors are tempted to use steroids that have their own dangers.
What is asthma? It is more than the breathing difficulty that is obvious at the surface. It is a mixture of nervous spasms and the narrowing down of the respiratory channels due to swelling and the accumulation of phlegm which makes it difficult for the patient to breathe, both in and out. Sometimes it may have an effect on the heart, commonly known as cardiac asthma. If inherited, asthma can be difficult to cure.
In asthma we see an affection of the emotions, nervous system as well as the allergy part, the patient being sensitive to food or other substances. Doctors have seen associated symptoms like the formation of gas in the stomach. Asthma patients show high levels of stress, anxiety and irritation adding the psycosomatic dimension. Asthma can be brought on by grief, shock and even laughter.
How can we cure such a difficult condition? I recommend a combination of yoga, ayurveda, naturopathy and homeopathy.
But before that we need to discuss certain important points.
1. Asthma patients may also suffer from eczema.
2. Vaccines have been known to cause allergies and subsequently asthma..
In fact, prior to vaccines, asthma was mostly hereditory and was seen along with eczema. A research into prevalence of asthma and other respiratory disorders before the small pox vaccine was given en masse will bring out the role of vaccines in the asthma/chronic cold/pneumonia/ other respiratory disorders epidemic that is seen in children and adoloscents today. The role of pesticides and other harmful chemicals behind asthma and its complications is slowly being recognised.
In cases where eczema and asthma coexist there should be no effort to suppress the eczema with modern medicines and ointments, it will only aggravate the condition.
Children are better off not being vaccinated as asthma risk is very small amongst the unvaccinated. Moreover colds in children are best treated homeopathically so that they do not progress to pneumonia, bronchitis and subsequently asthma.
Yoga is a very good option. It strengthens the chest and stomach muscles that help the patient breathe easy. It also reduces stress and improves both the nervous and the digestive system. It strengthens the immune system thus doing away with the allergy. Often when the body gets strong with the yogic exercises, the eczema suppressed earlier may show itself. As I have said earlier this should be treated as a good sign and not be interefered with. Pranayama is also reported to be good for controlling asthma.
Naturopathy will stabilise the digestion system and strengthen immunity. It helps with detoxification too. It has been observed that a proper vegetarian diet, alkaline food, proper evacuation of bowels, and Vit C rich food immensely helps patients.
For patients of chronic asthma a daily intake of Vit C 1500 mg daily (3 doses of 500mg) is highly recommended in case of adults. This may bring on a diarrhoea as a part of detoxification. The dose may be reduced to 1000mg if the diarrhoea persists. At a time the body can only absord 500mg, hence the need to spread the dose over the day. Children can be given amla juice as per the advice of an ayurved/naturopath.
Ayurvedic preparations for asthma have to be chosen according to the body type of the patient. A good doctor should be able to do this. Medicines have to be taken for a long time and start showing results after around three to six months. Triphala is a very good preparation in ayurveda that takes care of both the cold as well as the digestion problems. Chawanaprash contains clarified butter and must be taken with caution by those with a weak digestive system. I personally took a preparation called Pankajkasturi for a long time.
Making tea of Ocimum (Tulsi) leaves, Zingiber (adrak), and golmorich (pepper) and taking it every hour helps during an attack by loosening the mucous. Chamomille leaves can be added to have a soothing effect.
Homeopathy has a wide range of medicines to treat asthma. There are different remedies for controlling the acute attacks and then curing the chronic tendency. Homeopathically asthma is a combination of the miasms Psora, Sycosis and Tuberculosis. The nightly aggravation indicates a Syphillitic miasm as well. This complex scenario requires very careful prescription.
Psoric patients are irritable and snap when talked to. Sycotic patients keep their feelings to themselves and may not even communicate the symptoms, being secretive in nature. The Tubercular are very difficult to treat as they have the habit of travelling from one doctor to another and trying out whatever remedies they hear of. Syphilitic patients have low levels of intelligence, salivate a lot and have nightly aggravations. Sycotic patients suffer more during the monsoon and Tubercular patients during the winter.
For the acute symptoms remedies like Antim Tart, Ipecac, Carbo Veg, Blatta Orientalis, Kali Bi, Aconite, Belladona, Aralia, Eriodyctyon etc offer relief from the spasms and the cold. Remedies for the chronic condition can be Tuberculinum, Medorrhinum, Thuja (asthma following vaccines) etc. As these are very deep acting remedies and require extensive case taking, the intervention and supervision of a good and experienced doctor is a must.
Antim Tart helps if the patient has wheezing in the chest but is unable to cough up the mucous. Ipecac helps with the spasms. Carbo Veg helps in oxygen intake by the cells and relieves flatulence, Kali Bi is good for patients who have stringy mucous coming out of the nose, Aralia for dry cough, choking sensation, attack after first sleep, worse lying down. The remedy has to be chosen considering the symptoms present. For acute conditions 30C is usually the potency used.
Biochemically the important salts are Kali Phos, Magnesia Phos, Natrum Phos, Natrum Mur, Kali Mur, Natrum Sulph and Calcarea Phos. Biocombination 2 contains most of these and can be taken regularly. Biochemic remedies are very safe and patients can make good use of them.
Asthmatic patients must take very simple, plain food which is preferably vegan. Taking even a glass of milk at night may create flatulence and make the condition worse. If at all milk can be taken two hours before bedtime mixed with turmeric (haldi). A glass of lukewarm water at bed time and sipping lukewarm water during attack helps.
A combination of Kali Phos 6x (two to four tablets) with Magnesium Phos 6x (two to four tablets) taken with a spoonful of warm water every 15 minutes will cut short an acute attack and induce sleep. If symptoms of acute cold, bodyache etc are present one can try the same thing with 4 tablets of Biocomibination 2.
For the associated cough and cold the use of the combination Justicia Q + Occimum Sanctum Q + Zingiber Q works wonders. This can be taken early on in the season when the patient experiences the attack to reduce the severety of symptoms if and when the attacks begin. Regular intake of 4-5 fresh Ocimum (Tulsi) leaves every morning helps strengthen resistance against colds.
The patients must take food very early in the evening, at least two hours before sleep, and maybe even before sunset. They should not watch movies or serials that can induce stress. Cold inducing fruits and food should not be taken, specially at night.
Aconite and Belladona are the common anti-allergic remedies in homeopathy and if taken soon enough will abort an attack. Some knowledge of homeopathy is necessary to know whether the symptoms of these remedies are present.
For cardiac asthma a mixture of Rawolfia Serpentina Q + Cratageous Q + Passiflora Q will help reduce the palpitations, strain on the heart, the anxiet and induce sleep.
The attention should be on strengthening the mind,nervous system, digestive system, the muscular system and the immune system. Echinacea is a immune boosting herb. Vit C helps the digestive system, produces immunity against cold and also reduces stress. Amla, a herb very rich in Vit C, and a part of the Triphala preparation should be an important part of the diet of an asthmatic patient.
Prayer and interest in simplifying ones mind and habits to alleviate stress will have a soothing habit on the body in the long run. All bad habits including smoking, drinking, or other addictions must be stopped. It will also be easy for the holistic doctor to treat patients who know and realise the importance of practicing ethics and morality in life to avoid and treat disease.
Asthma can be cured provided the doctor and patient form a symbiotic relationship with the doctor learning from the patient and the latter having faith upon the efforts of the doctor. The patient should try to know as much about the disease and take a proactive stance to heal him/herself.
NB: I am not a doctor. I speak from experience. Readers may kindly enrich the discussion with their own experience and knowledge. This article was originally written to help close friends suffering from the condition.