Asthma and Homeopathy
As we head into fall we enter the Lung Phase of our body’s seasonal cycle. Seasonal lung problems in conventional medicine are defined as allergies, asthma, frequent colds and flus. These are the most commonly expressed lung ailments and can sometimes lead to deeper lung pathologies such as COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), bronchitis and sinus infections. While some catch a series of light colds and flus in quick succession, others develop colds that deeply affect their bodily functions.
In this article we will focus on types of asthma and acute remedies for asthma.The word “asthma” is derived from Greek and roughly translated means “panting” or “laboured breathing”. Asthma is now known as a chronic lung disease which causes episodes of difficult breathing. These episodes are caused by constriction, tightening of the muscles surrounding the airways, inflammation, soreness, swelling and irritation of the airways in the lungs. There are several different forms of asthma, and understanding the difference between each can lead to the most effective treatment.
1. Child Onset Asthma: begins during childhood and varies widely between individuals. The airway cells are sensitive to particular materials such as animal proteins, fungi, pollen, house dust-mites or other forms of dust and thus create an asthmatic response if the child is exposed to certain amounts that allergen.
Known alternatively as Allergic Asthma, Extrinsic Asthma occurs when an “allergen” or “antigen” enters the body. These foreign particles which are often harmless, yet trigger a response from the immune system, which forms “antibodies” normally used to attack viruses and bacteria. Extrinsic Asthma is caused by the immune system’s over-reaction to inhaled allergens such as pollen, animal dander or dust-mite particles. Allergies sometimes manifest themselves as immediate skin reactions such as swelling or redness. Reactions of this nature are known as “Atopic”. Other reactions to allergens may include hay fever, rhinitis, skin rashes, hives and eczema.
Intrinsic asthma is not allergy-related and may be caused by inhalation of chemicals such as cigarette smoke or cleaning detergents, taking aspirin, chest infections, stress, laughter, exercise, cold air and food preservatives among many other factors. Unlike Extrinsic Asthma, Intrinsic asthma is not caused by the immune system, but is instead the result of highly sensitive or “hyper-reactive” airways. When stimulated, these airways become constricted, inflamed and produce excessive mucus.
Mixed Asthma: is a mixture of Intrinsic and Extrinsic Asthma and can be triggered by allergic and non-allergic stimulus.
Nocturnal Asthma: is a form of Intrinsic asthma that is most severe during the night typically between 2:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m. Patients suffering from Nocturnal Asthma often fall asleep quickly due to physical exhaustion only to wake up some three or four hours later gasping for air. As a result, these patients are often very fatigued during the day and need catnaps in order to keep functioning at an adequate level. Nocturnal Asthma should be taken seriously as it can ultimately lead to respiratory arrest and death.
Exercise Induced Asthma: is a form of Intrinsic Asthma noticed during or shortly after exercise. Patients suffering from Exercise Induced Asthma feel light-headed and short of breath. Exercising in the winter is particularly damaging to these patients.
Treating Asthma with Homeopathy:
Homeopathy is a branch of alternative medicine and one of the most effective ways to cure Asthma. Homeopathy recognizes disease as a holistic disturbance and believes in totality and an individualistic approach where physical symptoms manifested in the body correlate to one’s mental and emotional state. Therefore, Homeopathy does not aim to treat specific organs, but the body in its entirety. Many factors affect a person’s life, such as environment or inherent diseases. Consequently, each experiences and manifests the same disease in different ways and thus must be treated individually. Unlike conventional medicine, Homeopathy does not merely offer a palliative or symptomatic relief for asthma, but aims to permanently cure and rid the body of the disease.
A 32-year-old woman came to my office on May 25th with the chief complaint of Seasonal Asthma triggered by extreme heat and cold. Her asthma was so severe that during the summer and winter months, she used her puffer daily. Because she worked in pharmaceutical company, she was aware of the chemicals and side effects of puffers and wanted a permanent cure to her disease. When taking her case, I discovered that her asthma began eight years ago when she was in university. Her father lost his job at the time, leaving her responsible for her family’s income. Under the stress of two jobs and school, she collapsed one day and was prescribed an inhaler ever since.
Remedy Prescribed: Calc-c 1M
Third Follow-up: She hasn’t used her inhaler at all in the last month. Her digestion is completely regular and she feels calmer at work. She feels she is handling situations in a more logical way and is more open-minded towards possible solutions. She hasn’t had any back-pain episodes in the last month and despite becoming very emotional immediately after taking the remedy, she is calm and collected now.
Asthma is a chronic condition that affects over 300 million people worldwide, one in 10 of whom are children. This makes Asthma the most common chronic childhood disease in the world. Unfortunately, conventional medicine has no way of curing this potentially life-threatening disease and can only offer a temporary relief. Homeopathy on the other hand is not limited to the symptoms of asthma and aims to cure the whole being and restore balance. As a result, Homeopathy solves the core issues at the heart of the disease and eliminates it permanently. Whether these core issues stem from emotional, genetic or physiological trauma, Homeopathy can resolve them and in addition to curing the disease, have a highly positive and harmonious effect on the body. By balancing the entire system, Homeopathy not only treats the symptoms of asthma, but also achieves equilibrium within the individual and thus does not suppress symptoms, but truly heals.
Homeopathic Remedies for Asthma
Please keep in mind that these remedies won’t necessarily cure Asthma unless the remedy appropriately matches the individual’s personality.
Aconite – excellent remedy during acute attacks of asthma that will ease the breathing and cough. Symptoms are often accompanied by marked anxiety, fear and restlessness.
Ars- alb – Asthma with great anxiety and restlessness, often worse around midnight and lying down, better by sitting up and warm drinks.
Anti- tart - is a good asthma remedy for children and the elderly especially useful when the asthma has been caused by an infection. The cough will have coarse rattling in the chest on both inspiration and expiration. The patient will be worse lying down and at night generally. They may be irritable and want to be left alone.
Ipecac –Asthma patients who suffer from coughing spasms resulting in vomiting or retching. It’s also greatest for asthma that comes with mucus or phlegm within the breathing tubes.
Carbo- veg - Severe acute attacks of wheezing with significant belching and flatus. Patient feels very weak and may collapse.
Kali -carb – this remedy often indicated in asthma, especially when the attack comes at night, after midnight, from 2 to 4 am.
Bell – this remedy works when there are violent spasms of asthmatic breathing attended by constriction of chest with redness of face.
Aspidosperma – an effective remedy in asthma with difficult respiration. It is often used as palliative.
Blatta orientalis –remedy for asthma with or without bronchitis. It is often used as palliative.
Lycopodium – asthma due to excitement by anger or emotion with fanlike motion.
Pulsatilla - Cough with green discharge. The patient must sit up during the asthma crisis and is better for fresh air. Even fanning may help them feel better.
Sulphur – this asthma remedy acts well when asthma is due to suppression of eruptions.
Natrum- Sulph – attacks during wet weather or in rainy season. This asthma remedy acts well when the patient gets attacks every change of season.
2. Adult Onset Asthma: is developed after the patient reaches 20 years of age and affects women more often than men. This form of asthma is less common than Child Onset Asthma.
Exercise Induced Asthma
Cough Variant Asthma
Bronchial Asthma: is a form of Extrinsic Asthma that causes difficulty breathing. When triggered, the smooth muscles wrapped around the airways spasm and cause the airways to narrow. Mucus is then released as response to the irritation. Most attacks are caused by hyper-sensitivity or allergies to airborne particles or food items.
Seasonal Asthma: is a form of Intrinsic Asthma that becomes more severe in a particular season. For some patients of this asthma the summer heat complicates breathing while for others the increased pollen in springtime triggers a reaction.
Silent Asthma: is a form of Intrinsic Asthma that gives almost no indication or warning of an impending attack. Unlike most forms of asthma, Silent Asthma results in very little wheezing and triggers attacks that are severe and often life-threatening.
Variant Asthma: is a form of Intrinsic Asthma displayed through a persistent and irritating cough.
Steroid-Resistant Asthma: is a severe form of Intrinsic Asthma which refers to an inflammation and constriction of the airways that does not respond to treatment with steroids. Some of it’s most prominent symptoms include:
Tightness of chest
Tightness of breath
Constriction of airways
Remedy Prescribed: Calc-c 200k
First Follow-up: the remedy brought up a lot of suppressed emotion, and she cried for a few days to let it out. Her constipation was gone and she had a bowel movement every day. During the last three weeks she has only used her inhaler two or three times.
Remedy Prescribed: Calc-c 200k
Second Follow-up: She has been feeling very calm since the second dosage of the remedy and can now handle her parents without feeling sad or angry. During the last four weeks, despite the intense heat, she has had no problem breathing and hasn’t even used her inhaler once. She only has occasional back pain and sometimes cries when overwhelmed with emotion.