Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways of the lungs, in which, the airways become narrow and produce a large amount of mucus. This narrowing of airways with excessive mucus production can result in breathing difficulty with cough and a whistling sound (wheezing) while breathing.
According to WHO reports, around 339 million people worldwide are affected by asthma with a death rate of 250,000 people per year. Asthma is more common in developed countries than in developing countries, but 80% of asthma-related deaths occur in developing countries. Women have a higher rate of asthma than men and it’s more common in young people than in old.
Causes of Asthma:
A combination of environmental and genetic factors can be the probable cause of asthma.
Triggering factors of asthma:
- Certain allergens:
Allergens are those substances that cause allergy in some individuals. It is observed that allergens can trigger signs and symptoms of asthma as well. The following are the common allergens that trigger asthma.
- Dust mites
- Pet’s dander
- Cockroach waste
- Respiratory infections such as colds: Mild colds can trigger asthma in asthmatic people.
- Physical activity: Physical exertion can cause the narrowing of the airways in the lungs, thereby triggering asthmatic attacks.
- Weather changes: Sudden weather changes can trigger asthma. Asthma gets worse in some people during the rainy season. Cold air is a common asthma trigger in many people.
- Air pollutants and irritants: Airborne particles that are found in haze, smoke, and airborne dust can trigger asthma.
- Certain medications: Certain medicines can trigger asthma such as:
- Strong emotions and stress: Stress and anxiety can cause shortness of breath in people making asthma symptoms worse for them. Also, during stress, a lot of stress hormones are released in our body that can cause inflammation within the airways, thereby triggering asthma.
- Certain preservatives added to food: Additives that are commonly used in packages and prepared foods can trigger asthma. The common additives used for triggering asthma are
- Sodium bisulfite
- Potassium bisulfite
- Sodium metabisulfite
- Sodium sulfite
- Foods triggering asthma: Certain foods can cause allergies and trigger asthmatic attacks. The common foods that cause allergies in certain people are:
- Cow’s milk
- GERD: People with GERD suffer from acid reflux. So, when there is reflux of acid from the stomach, the airways to the lungs are damaged and can cause breathing difficulties. Another reason is the acid that leaks back into the esophagus irritates the nerve endings there and generates signals to the brain. Subsequently, the brain sends impulses to the lungs causing constriction of airways and increased mucus production. All these factors can trigger asthma.
- Chemicals and fragrances: For some people, strong fragrances can trigger asthmatic attacks. Those include:
- Paint smell
- Room freshener’s fragrance
- Perfume’s fragrance
For some, chemicals can be the triggering factors such as:
- Hydrochloric acid
- Sulfur dioxide
These chemicals are commonly found in petroleum or chemical industries.
- Hormonal fluctuations: The fluctuation of a female hormone called estrogen can trigger asthma in ladies. The tendency of asthma attacks may occur in women during pregnancy, the menstrual cycle, and menopause.
- Tobacco smoke: The irritating substance in tobacco can settle in the airways triggering asthma. Moreover, it can damage the airways and result in increased mucus production in the airways, thereby triggering asthmatic attacks.
People who are at risk of developing asthma include:
- People with a strong family history of asthma
- People with atopic dermatitis
- Obese people
- People working in the petroleum and chemical industries
- People are constantly exposed to air pollutants and dust
Symptoms of asthma:
Common signs and symptoms of asthma include:
- Wheezing: A whistling sound is heard while breathing out.
- Breathing difficulty or shortness of breath that turns worse due to exertion and at night.
- Cough worsens at night or early morning which may be dry or with phlegm.
- Tightness or pain in the chest
- Difficulty in talking
- An increased anxiety
Diet Recommended for People with Asthma:
|Foods to Eat
|Foods to Avoid
salmon, trout, and sardines
whole wheat, whole grains cereals, porridge,e and oats
White rice, whole refined flour, and its products, and sugar
Apple, pear, mango, sugarcane, papaya, and banana
Apricots, peaches, grapes, berries, dried fruits, cherries, pineapple, and citrus fruits
Cauliflower, radish, carrot, peas, broccoli, bottle guard, round gourd, garlic, ginger, and pumpkin
Ladyfinger, brinjal, beans, potato, mushroom, cabbage, onions, and dried and canned vegetables
Flax seeds and sunflower seeds
Walnuts and almonds
Cashew nuts, Brazil nuts, peanuts, pistachios, and raisins
Cow ghee, sunflower oil, canola oil, olive oil, and mustard oil
Unsaturated fats, cream, palm oil, coconut oil, butter, and hydrogenated oil
Turmeric, cumin, coriander, fenugreek, fennel, pepper, and garlic
Green chili, red chili, and cloves
Homeopathic Medicines for Asthma:
Homeopathy is the best choice for the treatment of asthma. Homeopathy ensures the safe and long-lasting or permanent healing of asthma patients. Homeopathy can keep you away from the use of inhalers. Inhalers can only give a temporary solution to your problem by dilating the airways and making it easier to breathe. Homeopathy can also keep you away from the side effects of allopathic medicines that are used in the treatment of asthma.
In homeopathy, we try to address and correct the root cause of the disease, thereby giving a permanent solution to your problem.
In homeopathic treatment, constitutional medicines are given to the patient. Constitutional medicines are selected after taking a detailed case history of the patient. A detailed case history includes both mental and physical make-up of the patient including his unique characteristic symptoms. Thus, constitutional medicine that is selected for two individuals suffering from the same complaint of asthma will be different based on their unique symptom presentation as well as physical and mental makeup.
There are some specific medicines for asthma that can be given along with constitutional medicines.
The following are some of the specific medicines that can be very effective in controlling acute attacks of asthma.
- Antimonium tartaricum (for the excessive rattling of mucus):
The signs that indicate Antimonium tartaricum are:
- Asthma with an excessive rattling of mucus in the chest
- Cough with a sensation as if there is an enormous collection of mucus in the chest but nothing comes out
- Thick white coating of the tongue associated with all the complaints.
- Arsenicum album (top-grade medicine for asthma)
The following are the indications of Ars alb:
- Asthma that is worse after midnight (particularly between 1 am to 2 am)
- Asthma worse from lying down and better by sitting and bending forward
- Asthma associated with extreme weakness
- Asthma with great anxiety and fear of death
- The best medicine for asthma with hay fever.
- Bromium (sailor’s asthma):
The following are the indications of Bromium:
- Sailors who suffer from asthma on the shore
- Breathing difficulty, feels as if breathing through a sponge
- Deep inspiration is very difficult; sensation as if the airways are filled with smoke
- Asthma with cough and sensation of suffocation due to mucus in the larynx
- Carbo vegetabilis (for asthma in the elderly):
The following are the indications of Carbo veg:
- Asthma in the elderly people
- Asthma with excessive eructation/belching
- The relief from complaints is better from eructation
- Craving for fanning or open air during asthmatic attacks
- Hepar sulph (asthma better by bending head back):
The following are the indications of Hepar sulph:
- Asthma worsens due to the cold air or cold climate
- Asthma with short, deep breathing and with the rattling of mucus causing suffocation
- Asthma better by sitting up and bending the head backward
- Ipecac (asthma associated with nausea and vomiting)
The following are the indications of Ipecac:
- Asthma with excessive nausea
- Asthma with cough and mucus rales in the chest
- Cough with vomiting of the mucus
- Breathing difficulty worsens from the least exertion
- Tongue is clean and moist with excessive salivation
- Kali Carb (asthma better by rocking movement)
The following are the indications of Kali carb:
- Asthma worse from 2 am to 4 am
- The relief from asthma is better by sitting up and bending forward or rocking
- Natrum sulph (asthma in the damp weather):
The following are the indications of Natrum sulph:
- Asthma that is worse during the rainy season or damp weather
- Asthma that gets worse from 4 am to 5 am
- Excessive greenish color sputa come out while coughing
- It’s the best medicine for asthma in children
- Psorinum (asthma worse in the cold):
The following are the indications of Psorinum:
- The patient is extremely sensitive to the cold weather
- Asthma that worsens in the cold open air and while sitting
- The relief from asthma is better while lying down and keeping the arms stretched far apart
- Asthma with a history of skin complaints
- Asthma with hay fever
- Cough with green, yellow, salty pus-like mucus.
- Pulsatilla (asthma better in the open air):
The following are the indications of pulsatilla:
- Asthma is better in the open air
- Asthma in children
- Asthma worsens in the evening
- Asthma characterized by suppressed skin eruptions or with skin rash
- Asthma from eating fatty food
- Asthma with thirstlessness
- Sambucus (asthma in children):
The following are the indications of Sambucus:
- Mainly given for asthmatic attacks affecting children at night
- Suffocative attacks at night and the child wakes up from his sleep and sits up in bed gasping for breath
- Expiration difficult than inspiration
- Spongia Tosta (asthma with a dry cough):
The following are the indications of Spongia:
- Breathing difficulty with a sensation as if breathing through a sponge
- Asthma with a dry barking cough
- Wheezing more while inspiration
- Medorrhinum (asthma better by lying on the face and protruding the tongue):
The following are the indications of Medorrhinum:
- The relief from asthma gets better by lying on the face and protruding the tongue
- Asthma resulting due to the weakness or the spasm of the epiglottis.
- Inspiration is easy but difficult to breathe out
Some important mother tinctures that are given to asthma patients include:
- Blatta – Asthma associated with bronchitis.
- Lobelia – Asthma with weakness felt in the pit of the stomach
- AraliaQ – Asthma that worsens from lying down at night
- PothosQ – Asthma that worsens due to the dust
- AspidospermaQ – Asthma that worsens after exertion
- Senega Q – Asthma in the elderly people
Asthma in Children and Its Homeopathic Management:
Children have smaller airways than adults which makes asthma more serious for them. Childhood asthma becomes bothersome when it starts interfering with daily activities such as playing, going to school, sleeping, etc. There is no long-lasting or permanent results-offering solution or treatment for childhood asthma other than homeopathy.
Here are some of the best homeopathic medicines for childhood asthma.
- Antimonium tartaricum (asthma with an excessive rattling of mucus)
- Arsenicum album [asthma worse after midnight(1am-2am)]
- Chamomilla (asthma with marked irritability in children)
- Ipecac (asthma with persistent nausea and rattling of the mucus)
- Natrum sulph (top-grade medicine for asthma in children that worsens particularly during damp weather)
- Pulsatilla (asthma better in the open air)
- Sambucus (asthma with suffocative attacks at night)
- Tuberculinum (asthma in highly active children who catch a cold easily)
- Spongia (asthma with a dry cough)
- Hepar sulph (asthma that worsens in the cold air)
It is always advisable to take consultation of a homeopathic doctor instead of going for self-medication.
So, if you or any of your loved ones are suffering from asthma, seek homeopathic treatment without a second thought to heal and obtain relief naturally. Homeopathy promotes healing from within safely without any side effects and offers you lasting relief.
- Written by Dr. Poornima, Associate doctor to Dr. Rajesh Shah