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Asthma is a frightening condition. It is a hypersensitivity reaction causing
bronchiospasm, swelling of the mucous membranes and increased bronchial mucous secretion
leading to respiratory distress. Asthma is a reversible inflammatory airway disease.
Treatment of asthma MUST include agents or methods that not only cause bronchiodilation,
but also reduce inflammation. Beta-agonists, typically given in conventional therapy (such
as Albuterol, Prednisone, etc.) notoriously do not significantly reduce inflammation,
although they are effective bronchiodilators.
What Kind of Physical Medicine Can Help Asthma?
One of the fundamental philosophical tenets of Yoga, an ancient east Indian meditative
exercise technique, which means "union" (of body and spirit), is that the most
important part of our bodily function to control is the breath. The Sanskrit word for
breath is "prana" which also means life force, or spirit. What this is leading
up to is that control of the breath is crucial for optimal health and well being, and a
good place to start when life or health is out of balance. Breathing exercises are
extremely helpful for asthmatics, because they:
strengthen respiratory muscles
eliminate inefficient use of accessory muscles of respiration (such as abdominal or
replace forceful breathing, which compresses airways, with relaxed breathing
can reduce hyperventilation by increasing expiration
can reduce the sensation of breathlessness by increasing the functioning of the
can enhance clearing of airways
can give you the confidence to withstand breathlessness
To help control an acute attack, sit leaning forward with your head on arms, arms resting
on a table. Or, try lying semiprone, with arms and legs slightly bent and relaxed, body
and limbs well supported by pillows.
One of the frustrating aspects of asthma is that it can be induced by exercise. Therefore,
if you are prone to asthmatic attacks mild aerobic exercise, such as swimming, is best for
you. However, some asthmatics are allergic to chlorine, which means swimming in a public
pool is out.
Another useful Physical Medicine technique is that of Hydrotherapy, discussed at length in
the Introduction to Modalities section. Placing a hot, wrung out towel over the chest can
relax the breathing muscles and restore normal breathing. For an acute asthma attack try a
steam inhalation (draping a towel over your head and a bowl of hot water) with a few drops
of eucalyptus oil in the water. Be careful that the water is not so hot that the steam
burns your face. Some doctors recommend taking baths with a cup or so of 3% hydrogen
peroxide in the water to bring extra oxygen to the entire surface of the skin, thus making
the lungs somewhat less oxygen hungry. This method can be performed preventively. Another
technique for an acute attack is to drink some hot water with the juice of one clove of
It may be useful to assess the alignment of your spine. Often the upper thoracic vertebrae
will be out of alignment after an asthma attack, which will ultimately put pressure on the
lungs and possibly precipitate another attack. Getting regular maintenance soft-tissue
work (massage), specifically between the shoulder blades, followed by a Chiropractic
adjustment to the thoracic vertebrae, can reduce the frequency of attacks in chronic
asthma, and the severity of attacks in acute asthma.
Can the Way I Eat Help Control Asthma?
Yes, absolutely. In general, the eating principles for reducing the number of asthma
attacks are a diet which is:
moderately low fat
high complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains and starchy vegetables
making protein, preferably vegetable protein, only 12-15% of the diet, and decreasing
foods high in arachidonic acid (red meats and dairy products). Animal protein tends to be
vegan cleansing diet or alkaline juice fasts (3-7 days), followed by a vegetarian diet
with emphasis on alkaline forming foods, such as fruits and vegetables.
Specific therapeutic foods for controlling asthma are:
From a Chinese medicine perspective, you want to eat foods that enhance the moisture
(or Yin aspect) of the Lung. These are juicy, pungent foods such as garlic, onions, leeks,
turnips, grapes, pineapple, green leafy vegetables, apricots, apricot kernels, almonds,
walnuts, carrots, pumpkin, sunflower seeds, figs, daikon, lychee, tangerines, loquats,
honey, molasses, mustard greens, and sesame seeds.
Other good foods to reduce inflammation as well as for dilating the bronchi are collard
greens, cauliflower, garlic, onions, turnips, endive, apricots, cherries, elderberries,
green vegetables, raw nuts and seeds, sprouted seeds and grains.
Increase omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids: vegetable, nut, seed oils, salmon, herring,
mackerel, sardines, walnuts, flax seed oil, evening primrose oil, black currant oil. Take
at least 1 Tbsp of one of the raw oils daily to minimize bronchial inflammation.
foods high in flavonoids and carotenoids such as dark green leafy vegetables and deep
yellow and orange vegetables.
For those of you into juicing fresh vegetables and fruits, the following drinks,
preferably taken on an empty stomach each morning, will help prevent asthma attacks:
celery and papaya
celery, endive, and carrot
spinach and carrot
lime, horseradish, and garlic
Some more specific food remedies:
for shortness of breath: l lb. salmon, 2 oz. garlic, 1/4 oz. fresh ginger, salt and
tamari. Place seasonings over salmon and steam. Divide and eat three times daily to reduce
eat mango fruit and the skin three times daily.
take 120 g of dried lychee, discard skin and stones, steam in a covered pot then mash
and serve (Yin-fang and Cheng-jun, p. 57)
for asthma of elderly, cough with thick phlegm: take 2 dried persimmons and 30g candied
honey. Add water, steam in a covered pot, mash and eat twice daily.
take a fresh lemon and add 1-2 tbsp. honey. Steam in water, with the skin, until soft,
mash and eat twice daily.
take 3 fresh peaches, peel and simmer with 30g honey in a covered pot. Discard the
stones and eat daily.
take 30g of walnut kernels, 15g honey and 6g turnip seed. Steam for 30 minutes and eat
take 60g of walnut kernels and 3g red ginseng. Cover with water and simmer into a soup.
Serve twice daily for 3 days.
take 60g of fresh chestnuts and 4 pieces Chinese date plus a small amount lean pork.
Add water and simmer until cooked, eat once daily.
Foods to strictly avoid are the mucus forming ones, such as:
cow's milk and other dairy products
refined foods and processed foods
sugar and sweets
Asthma attacks may be brought on by allergenic foods. The most common ones are milk,
chocolate, wheat, cheese, bananas, peanuts, citrus, and food colorings (tartrazine). If
possible, eliminate the use of aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, such as
Sometimes diet alone is not enough to help an illness. Specific vitamin and mineral
supplementation to consider with asthma is as follows:
Vitamin B12 1000 mg injected intramuscularly, daily for 7 days.
Vitamin B6 50 mg twice daily
EPA (found in fish oils) 3g daily
flax oil 1-2 Tbsp. daily
bioflavonoids, especially quercetin or hesperidin, 400 mg 15-30 minutes before meals
Beta carotene 100,000 I.U. daily
Selenium 250 - 400 mg daily
Vitamin E 800 I.U. daily
Vitamin C 1-2g daily
Magnesium 400 mg daily
digestive enzymes can help reduce mucus formation and prevent undigested food from
"leaking" into the blood stream, which would cause a systemic inflammatory
N-acetyl cysteine (an amino acid that works well to digest mucus) 500 mg twice daily.
pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) 500 mg morning or afternoon
What Herbal Medicine Therapies Are Helpful for Asthma?
A vast array of plant medicines can help to heal asthma. Be sure to consult with a
qualified herbalist or naturopathic physician to find the herbs that are local, readily
available to you, or processed by a conscientious herbal supplier. Your local herbalist
will help you determine the best form and dose for the therapy. The following herbal
medicines are particularly useful for asthma.
Ammi visnaga, an East Indian plant
Brassica spp. (mustard): use in a warm chest compress or as a foot bath for asthma
accompanying bronchitis or as foot bath
Commiphora myrrha: (Myrhh) works well for asthma with profuse secretion which is
expelled with difficulty.
Convallaria majalis (Lily of the Valley - beware this can be toxic in relatively low
doses) is indicated for cardiac asthma, and combines well with Leonurus cardiaca
Datura stramonium (Thorn apple, toxic!) for chronic asthma
Ephedra vulgaris: (Ephedra, the herbal Pseudofed) relieves bronchial spasm. Combines
well with Lobelia inflata and Grindelia robusta
Euphorbia hirta: works well for bronchitic asthma, especially combined with Grindelia
Grindelia robusta: is given for asthma with a dry cough, sense of soreness, rawness.
May be best as fresh plant preparation.
Lobelia inflata (toxic) for spasmodic asthma with secondary bronchitis. Combines well
with Capsicum frutescens, (Cayenne pepper), Grindelia robusta, Drosera rotundifolia,
Euphorbia hirta, Ephedra vulgaris
Marrubium vulgare (White Horehound) for asthma with moist expectoration, loss of the
voice and difficulty breathing.
Polygala senega (Milkwort) is for bronchitic asthma; combines well with Euphorbia hirta
and Grindelia robusta.
Sanguinaria canadensis (Bloodroot, beware, it's toxic) reduces bronchial spasms and
combines well with Lobelia inflata.
Selenicereus grandiflorus (toxic) for asthma with cardiac symptoms.
Symplocarpus foetidus: (Skunk cabbage) is a traditional anti-asthma remedy because it
reduces bronchial spasms and relieves cough.
Thymus vulgaris: (the culinary herb, Thyme) breaks up mucus secretions in the bronchi.
Verbascum thapsus: (Mullein) is very soothing when inhaled from a steaming broth.
Viburnum opulus: (Cramp bark) reduces spasms all over the body, including the lungs.
Some traditional asthma remedies using a combination of herbs include:
for paroxysmal cough and dry mucous membrane use Eriodictyon californicum plus
for a severe attack, when you feel pressed for breath and are wheezing use Gelsemium
sempervirens (Yellow jasmine, toxic) plus Ferula sumbul .
Verbascum thapsus plus Grindelia robusta
Two more old-fashioned, highly effective herbal remedies worth mentioning are:
For an acute attack:
Cramp bark 7.5 mL of tincture
Ephedra 5 mL
Skunk cabbage 5 mL
Thorn apple 3-5 mL
Lobelia 7.5 mL
Cayenne pepper 5 mL
Mix these ingredients together and take 2-3 dropper fulls every 20-30 minutes until the
For chronic asthma, mix equal parts of Cramp bark, Mullein, Grindelia, Plantain,
Elecampagne, Hyssop and Horsetail tinctures and take 3-5 dropper fulls daily.
How Can Traditional Chinese Medicine Help My Asthma?
One important aspect of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) is the vast field of Chinese
medicinal herbs, which are brewed together in individualized combinations to form a thick
tea, or "soup." Asthma is not a single diagnosis in TCM. There are many
"patterns" of disharmony which could produce the symptom of wheezing, shortness
of breath, or other manifestations of what we call asthma. Your licensed or certified
(through the NCCA) acupuncturist or Oriental Medical doctor (OMD) will first determine
your TCM diagnosis, then choose herbs or acupoints accordingly. Some patterns of lung
dysfunction to be considered are Lung Deficiency, Kidney Deficiency, Phlegm Heat; Liver
Fire Insulting Lung; Wind and Cold in the Lung; Lung Invaded by Wind-Heat; Lung Qi
Stagnation; Lung Obstructed by Damp-Phlegm with Spleen Yang Deficiency; dysfunction of the
Conception Vessel; Excess of the Yin Linking Vessel. If you really want to understand
these diagnostic terms more fully, please consult with a good medical library, or consider
enrolling in acupuncture school! TCM is an extremely comprehensive field of medical
knowledge, and it would be impossible to give explain it in this essay. After your
acupuncturist figures out your diagnosis by asking questions, observing you, looking at
your tongue and feeling your pulse, herbal and/or needle therapy would be offered. Chinese
herbal formulae which would be considered by your local acupuncturist or Chinese herbalist
Ma Huang and Apricot Seed C. (Ma Xing Shi Gan Tang): Lung Invaded by Wind-Heat:
wheezing, coughing, labored breathing, nasal flaring and pain, yellow tongue coat
Licorice and Ma Huang C.: If Ma Huang and Apricot Seed C. is not effective after one or
Minor Blue Dragon C. (Xiao Qing Long Tang): Wind-Cold; helps prevent asthma during
change of seasons; add apricot seed (xing ren) and poria (fu ling) for chronic asthma with
Ma Huang C. (Ma Huang Tang); Ping Chuan Wan (patent): Wind-Cold.
Cinnamon C. (Gui Zhi Tang) plus magnolia bark (hou po) and apricot seed (xing ren):
Wind-Cold:weak constitution, spontaneous sweating.
Ophiopogon C. (Mai Men Dong Tang); Ma Xing Zhi Ke Pian (patent): Wind-Heat.
Hoelen and Schizandra C. (Ling Gan Wu Wei Jiang Xin Tang): Lung Obstructed by
Damp-Phlegm with Spleen Yang Xu (Deficiency): Delicate constitution, including the
elderly; COPD; coughing with profuse sputum that is thin, watery and white with feeling of
discomfort in the chest
Citrus and Pinellia C. (Er Chen Tang); Su Zi Jiang Qi Wan (patent); Chuan Bei JIng Pian
(Fritillaria Essence Tablet) (patent); Pinellia 16 (patent): Lung Obstructed by
Damp-Phlegm with Spleen Qi Xu (Deficiency): coughing with copious, white sputum that is
easily expectorated,palpitations, nausea or vomiting, dizziness.
Minor Bupleurum F. (Xiao Chai Hu Tang) plus Pinellia and Magnolia C. (Ban Xia Hou Po
Tang); Chuan Bei Jing Pian (patent): Liver Invading Spleen with Liver Qi Stagnation:
pediatric cough/asthma; to improve general condition and prevent recurrence in strong
constitution: use for at least one year
Ma Huang and Magnolia C. (Shen Mi Tang): Liver Qi Stagnation: dyspnea, wheezing,
unproductive cough with uncomfortable sensation in chest, difficult breathing especially
when lying down; pediatric asthma
Xing Shi Gan Tang); Chuan Bei Jing Pian (patent): Lung Heat: Asthmatic cough with mucus
in strong patient, thirst, wheezing, coughing, labored breathing, yellow tongue coat
Six Major Herbs (Liu Jun Zi Tang): Spleen Qi Deficiency with Phlegm: poor appetite,
bloated abdomen, loose stools, asthma after overeating or after rich food, gurgling with
breathing during asthma attack
Sheng Mai San; Li Fei (patent): Lung Qi Xu (Deficiency): chronic cough with sparse
sputum that is difficult to expectorate, shortness of breath, spontaneous sweating, dry
Ma Huang and Gingko C. (Ding Chuan Tang) (available as patent): Lung Obstructed by
Phlegm-Heat: coughing and wheezing with copious thick yellow sputum, labored breathing
Phellodendron C.; Li Fei (patent): Lung Yin Xu (Deficiency)
Rehmannia Eight F. (Jin Gui Shen Qi Wan) plus Shen Jie San: long-term asthma, more
trouble inhaling, skinny, spontaneous sweating, feels cold
Rehmannia and Schizandra C. (Du Qi Wan); Qi Guan Yan Ke Sou Tan Chuan Wan (patent):
Kidney Yin Xu (Deficiency)
Perilla Fruit C. (Su Zi Jiang Qi Tang): Lung Obstructed by Damp-Phlegm with Kidney
Failing to Grasp Qi: coughing and wheezing with watery, copious sputum; shortness of
breath with labored inhalation and smooth exhalation, white greasy tongue coat
Ma Huang and Morus C. (Hua Gai San): Lung Invaded by Wind-Cold: long term treatment, in
children; poor appetite, GI distress.
Bi Min Gan Wan (patent); Pinellia 16 (patent) plus Xanthium 12 (patent): Asthma due to
Pinellia 16 (patent): Phlegm; plus Gecko A (patent) for Kidney Xu (Deficiency); plus
Xanthium 12 (patent) for allergic asthma; plus Cyperus 18 (patent) for anxiety; plus
Ginseng 6 (patent) for dryness
The word "patent" as it appears above refers to the prepared Chinese herbal
formulations which are available in pill or tablet form. If there is a
"Chinatown" or international district near where you live, you may well be able
to find these patent medicines, as well as loose herbs to make into your "soup"
Another aspect of TCM is the insertion of ultra fine needles into specific acupoints, to
stimulate the vital force (called Qi -- pronounced chee) to flow smoothly and restore
balance and optimal functioning to the internal organs, emotions and musculo-skeletal
structures. Some of the most important points in controlling asthma lie, naturally, along
the Lung meridian, which flows from just under the lateral collarbone, down the arm, and
ending on the edge of the thumb nail. The Kidneys are also crucial in lung functioning,
according to TCM, because the Kidneys draw down the Qi of the Lung and convert the inhaled
air into physical nutrients. Your acupuncturist will likely choose points from the Kidney
meridian also. These points run from the bottom of the foot, up the inner leg, across the
abdomen and end under the collar bone, just medial to where the Lung merdian begins. Other
points may include:
Kidney-3 (at the inner ankle) and Lung-5 (in the crease of the elbow) for asthma with
Spleen-4 (along the inner arch of the foot) and Lung-5 for asthma with difficult
Bladder-13 , Bladder-20 (along the spine) and Stomach-36 (a very important poitn just
below the knee on the outer leg) for prevention of asthma before seasonal occurence
Kidney-27, Kidney-26, Kidney-25 and Kidney-24 (about one inch apart between the ribs
near the center line at the top of the chest, below the collarbones) relieve acute
respiratory distress; relieve constriction in chest; resolve Phlegm (the TCM term for
mucus); and stimulate Kidney's function of reception of the Lung Qi
ding chuan (a special asthma point on the upper back, right next to the protrusion of
the 7th cervical vertebra), Conception Vessel-22, CV-21 and CV-17 (along the spine, also
on the upper back) for bronchial asthma; also consider Stomach-40 (on the foot), Large
Intestine-4 (one of the most needled points, in the web of the thumb), Conception Vessel-4
(along the spine near the base) and Stomach-36
How Can Homeopathy Help Asthma?
Like with Traditional Chinese Medicine, each individual is analyzed for their specific
symptoms and an appropriate therapy is chosen, not for the disease, but for the person
displaying signs of health out of balance. This is a very important distinction, and, very
generally speaking, one of the main differences between conventional and
"complementary" approaches to health care. Please refer to the essay on
Homeopathy in the Introduction to Modalities section.
After the homeopath, naturopath or medical doctor trained in homeopathy (they should have
the title "Diplomat of Homeopathy" after their other credentials) listen
carefully to your story, one of the following remedies are likely to be prescribed.
Aconitum napellus and Ipecacuanha are to be given alternately during attack; they will
lessen the symptoms, will ease breathing, reduce cough.
Alumina silicata is for breathing arrested by coughing with rattling in chest;
difficult breathing from coughing.
Ambra grisea is given in old people and children; dyspnea (difficulty breathing) with
Ambrosiais given to patients with fever due to ragweed pollen.
Ammonium carbonicum for painful breathing; the patient is worse in warm room until
suffocation is imminent; coughs from 2 to 5 a.m.
Antimonium tartaricum for difficult breathing with suffocating cough, anxious
oppression front chest from excessive phlegm; aged people, children; respiration is rapid,
Aralia racemosa for patients with lots of nasal discharge, with loud wheezing, or a
whistling respiration which comes on lying down or at midnight; this patient may get
asthma attacks after short sleep; the sputum is warm and salty; they cough because of a
tickling in the throat and constriction of chest; the patient has to sit up to avoid
Arsenicum album is useful in acute and chronic cases with labored breathing, extreme
agitation, moaning, restless, great exhaustion and anguish as if dying; the patient has a
cold perspiration; breathing is worse when walking, going uphill of up stairs; asthma
attacks occur at bedtime or during the first part of night; midnight aggravation
associated with emphysema, hay asthma, or after trying to suppress an attack, for example
with conventional drugs.
Belladonna is the remedy given to patients with violent spasms of asthmatic breathing
attended by constriction of the chest and a sense of constriction of throat; the patient
feel as if he would suffocate; this is an antispasmodic remedy.
Blatta ori is the remedy for painful breathing and thick purulent mucus
Bryonia is for an obstruction of the breathing at night or toward morning, with
frequent cough, pain under short ribs; the patient feel better lying on their back but
feels worse when talking or making even the slightest movement; there may also be tracheal
or bronchial irritation
Chloralum is for wheezing respiration; when lying down the patient must inhale through
their nose and exhale by blowing air out through pursed lips.
Colocynthis is for asthma accompanied by indigestion and flatulence; the patient feels
worse at the sea side; feels cold even in hot weather
Dulcamara is for asthma brought on by wet weather or by living on wet basements
Graphites for any kind of skin eruptions alternating with or coexisting with asthma
Grindelia is the remedy for an abnormal accumulation of mucus, breathing stops when the
patient is asleep; emphysema with dilated heart; asthma of old people suffering from
bronchitis which causes paralysis of digestive function. This is a good remedy to bring
back the appetite, and to reduce heart palpitations associated with breathing
Hypericum is for asthma which is worse in foggy weather; for when the attacks are
relieved by copious expectoration (hawking up of mucus), and profuse perspiration.
Ignatia is usually a female remedy, and for asthma aggravated by emotions, by cares and
Ipecacuanha is for a spasmodic form of asthma which presents with the sensation of
having a great weight on the chest with anxiety, wheezing, shortness of breath, feeling of
suffocation which is worse with movement; this patient has a constant cough causing
vomiting; the chest full of phlegm, there is a cold sweat on the hands and feet; for
asthma associated with skin diseases.
Kali bichromicum is for asthma attacks caused by or following sexual intercourse,
especially in the early morning; there is often a characteristic thick, green, ropy nasal
or pulmonary discharge.
Kali carbonicum is for when the attack comes after midnight; it compels patient to sit
giving better relief; this patient is sensitive to changes of temperature and to cold
drafts; the patient is irritable, full of fears and imaginations.
Kali nitricum is for excessively difficult or painful breathing, and asthma with
faintness, nausea with dull stitches, or a burning pain in the chest.
Kali phosphoricum is for asthma caused by nerves or anxiety.
Kali sulphuricum is given to asthmatics with yellow expectoration, much rattling in
chest, labored breathing which makes talking almost impossible.
NOTE: The above remedies which begin with "Kali" are all characterized by
weakness in the patient. Kali means the element Potassium. All the Kali remedies are
"cell salts" which means they occur naturally in the body at various
Lachesis is for asthmatics who are waken up at night from a coughing, wheezing spell;
they cough up a thin, watery phlegm, which relieves them. In general Lachesis is a
left-sided remedy in which the symptoms are worse during and after sleep.
Lobelia inflata is given for tightness of the chest, tickling of the trachea, laborious
breathing where the patient needs to keep the mouth open to breathe; there's a tickling
under the breast bone on taking a big breath; no cough or expectoration; this patient is
worse in the cold; the smell of tobacco fumes is unbearable to this patient.
Lycopodium is given for asthma induced by excitement, anger or violent emotion . The
patient will flare their nostrils in and out in an attempt to breathe more easily.
Medorrhinum may be given in difficult to pinpoint cases; the patient has a choking
cough, can't catch their breath. They are better lying flat on their face; they want to be
fanned; they claim to feel cold yet throw their covers off; heat, a wet damp draft,
thunder storms, daylight makes them worse. They feel better in the evening; their asthma
alternates or co-exists with rheumatism.
Mephites is for asthma which comes on with drunkenness.
Natrum arsenicum for asthma alternating with hives or produced by inhaling coal dust.
Natrum sulphuricum for asthma which comes on during wet weather, rainy seasons; the
patient gets attacks every change of season, in the early morning; the cough is loose,
humid, copious,viscid, with greenish-yellow phlegm; rattling noises can be heard in the
chest, they expectorate thick, ropy white mucus; they hold their chest with their hand
which relieves the cough; for asthma with bronchitis, or a deformity of the chest;
associated with or alternating with rheumatism.
Nux vomica for asthma of digestive origin; nocturnal attacks preceded by disagreeable,
anxious dreams; the patient is better lying on their back or changing sides or sitting up;
they fart and have a swollen belly.
Opium for asthma association with blood congestion or pulmonary spasms with deep
rattling breathing; anguish, suffocation during sleep, nightmare, bluish redness of face.
Phosphorus for asthma brought on in humid conditions; the patient has a great thirst
for cold water, which is vomited as soon as it get hot in stomach; the urine is scanty and
high in protein.
Psorinum is a remedy for asthma which is relieved by lying down with the arms spread
wide apart; for asthma worse in winter and cold seasons; the secretions are sticky and
smell offensive; for asthma in old men.
Pulsatilla for asthma in timid, irritable children or young adults with changeable
moods who laugh or cry easily. These patients loath of fat (especially butter), fear the
dark, are suspicious and dream of cats.
Sabadilla is for hay asthma with oppressive sneezing and a watery nasal discharge.
Sanguinaria is for asthma worsened by odors; the cough is hoarse, harsh and dry.
Silica for asthma in chilly patients; with lots of catarrh in their chest, with
characteristic asthmatic wheezing, inability to move; given in asthma which comes on after
Syphilinum for asthma which returns every summer.
Thuja occidentalis for asthma which comes on following vaccination; for the patient who
also has chronic warts and has a dry cough in the afternoon; for infantile asthma with a
dry or loose cough.
Yerba Santa is for asthma relieved by coughing up phlegm.
Please consult with a qualified homeopathic practitioner for the correct dose of your
remedy, and to get the list of precautions to prevent antidoting the remedy.
What Kind of Subtle Energy Techniques Are Useful for Asthma?
Some folks like to work with flower essences. Some of the more popular ones to help with
Other people find it useful to work with color, either by using thin plastic filters over
light sources in their home or office environment, or by wearing clothes of specific
colors. The following serves as a guide to experiment with color therapy to help asthma.
During an asthma attack try:
purple (raises the threshold of pain and is soporific; is a vasodilator; slows heart
rate) on face, throat and chest
scarlet (acts as a stimulant to the kidney and adrenals) on kidneys
orange (an antispasmodic) on throat and chest
indigo or violet on throat, chest and upper back for 15 minutes
After an attack try:
lemon (helps to dissolve blood clots) on front of body
orange (supports the lung and enhances respiration; acts as a decongestant) on throat
magenta (helps to balance emotions and enhance energy; helps to build up and balance
the functional activity of the heart, kidneys, adrenals, and the reproductive system; a
cardiotonic) on chest and kidneys
Another method of gathering up subtle healing energy is to work with gems and minerals.
They may be worn as jewelry, or placed around the home in special places. For asthma, the
following are helpful:
Sapphire and Ruby (for severe asthma)
Sapphire and Pearl
Ruby, Coral or Pearl
after attack, use Pearl
if acute, use Sapphire
What About Psychological Approaches, Such as Visualization or Meditation Techniques, To
Attacks may be more frequent from 1 AM to 3 AM due to normal circadian rhythms. In
Chinese Medicine, this is the Lung time of day. Each of the 12 meridians is associated
with a 2 hour time period.
Maybe associated to dependency issues, particularly related to struggles for
independence from maternal influence. Asthma is thought to be a manifestation of choking,
either from emotional or psychological constriction.
Severity of asthma attack is directly related to the amount of fear and anxiety felt by
the patient. Anxiety causes further bronchoconstriction. Therapy should be directed to
Childhood asthma may have an important role in maintaining the power balance within the
family. Since recovery of the child could endanger the family's habitual security,
intrafamilial forces are inhibiting the child's recovery and play a role in the
precipitation of the asthmatic attacks. Furthermore, many emotional conflicts between the
parents and siblings often get avoided or diffused due to everyone's overriding concern
over the asthma situation. The patient may serve as a "conflict avoidance tool"
and a protection for other family members and their submerged problems of functioning well
as a unit.
Mothers of asthmatics suffered more depressive illness than controls.
Fear of estrangement from the mother and inhibition of crying may play causative roles
in the initiation of asthma in children.
Asthmatics are often highly sensitive to the loss of love and appreciation from
meaningful figures. This hypersensitivity is generally associated with strong feelings of
dependency and compliance, which may alternate with unregulated expression of anger or
A 15 item MMPI (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory) scale has been developed
that relates to the reported frequency of panic-fear symptoms on the Asthma Symptom
Checklist (ASC). High scales scores describe fearful, emotionally labilie individuals who
profess to be more sensitive than others, and are unable or disinclined to persist in the
face of difficulty.
Child's repressed aggressiveness within the family and pathological fixation on mother
can seed a life long pattern of asthma attacks.
Repression of the feelings of longing for more affection, fear of losing the mother,
and anger at the deprivation experienced can also cause asthma.
Asthma may simply be a crying out for the mother's love.
Bronchospasm in children may be brought on by crying.
There is some "the chicken or the egg" controversy on emotional aspects of
asthma; some say pathologic emotions are a cause, while others say they are secondary to
Fear of life; not wanting to be here.
Fear of maternal separation.
Generalized fear, anger, and anxiety.
Personality traits of the chronic asthmatic have been noted as: marked egocentricity,
impulsive behavior, impatience, domineering attitude, inflexibility, stubbornness, huge
need for love and affection, jealousy, and people who are "late bloomers."
Asthma patients feel unloved, left out, or ignored.
Asthma may be precipitated by the arrival of a new family member, or during the first
few years of a marriage.
Asthmatics have excessive dependency on the mother and later in life may show sexual
disturbance. They have considerable anxiety, irrational fears, guilt feelings, and
insecurity. When high goals were set, they were unable to achieve them.
Among the psychic factors, introversion in particular is probably important in the
combination of factors affecting the inception of asthma.
Poor psychosocial adaptation, obsessive neurosis, immature personality, and alcohol
problems are associated with static or deteriorating trends in asthma. The patients who
were the most extroverted and/or lacked psychic symptoms almost always have more favorable
The asthmatic individual feels left out, unloved or ignored, and wants to screen out
another individual competing for attention with them, and not have anything to do with
Children with asthma who also wet their beds appear to be at high risk for lower levels
of self-esteem, poor quality of life and parents who prefer their siblings.
If any of the above rings true for you, you want want to consider psychotherapy to
begin to change these old, dysfunctional thoughts and behaviors. Some techniques include:
systematic desensitization: after relaxing, describes to your therapist their fears
about all the disturbing aspects of the disease ranging from mild asthma to death from
status asthmaticus, until you no longer reacts with anxiety. Since anxiety exasperates the
asthmatic condition, desensitization helps reduce attacks and their severity.
Biofeedback: Training both for facial muscle relaxation and for reducing respiratory
resistance improves short term pulmonary function. Biofeedback is also useful for deep
muscle relaxation and can be learned in such as way as to be accessed anywhere, with or
without a machine.
Your therapist can show you how to do diaphragmatic breathing where you place your hand
on the abdomen. (Many asthmatics inhale with the diaphragm raised rather than relaxed.)
The therapist can also instruct you to "notice the feelings as the tubes open
up." Then you can reproduce these feelings, and their effects, on your own.
Yoga: The integral yoga approach to asthma includes correction of distorted posture and
faulty breathing habits, methods for the expectoration of mucous, teaching a system of
general muscle relaxation, techniques for the release of suppressed emotion and for
reducing anxiety and self conscious awareness. The Yoga Research Institute in India states
that the purpose of functional breathing exercises is to learn to engage both the
abdominal muscles and the diaphragm in breathing. The duration of exhalation should be
double that of inhalation. Resistance must be made to the free passage of air when
breathing in and out, by contracting the larynx or pursing the lips. The patient must let
her mind follow the process of exhalation, and allow that to automatically become a form
of progressive relaxation.
Muscular relaxation therapy alone appears to have no effect. Certain relaxation
techniques, such as autogenic training, transcendental meditation, systematic
desensitization, and biofeedback-assisted relaxation can produce improvement.
Creative visualization concepts which may help you understand the roots of your asthma are
a form of self-education. You can also seek guidance from a therapist. The idea is to
understand what the bronchi look like, and recognize that an attack can be made worse by
seeing bronchi tighten. With this image, you discover you have some control over whether
the symptoms get worse or better. Imagine that your chest is a treasure chest, with your
heart being the prize. Imagine yourself in a leaf, being the breathing process of the
leaf. Imagine that you are a sleek, glossy train, and your voice is a cheerful steam
whistle. Hold the following affirmations in your mind, and repeat them to yourself out
loud looking in the mirror:
It is safe for me to take charge of my own life.
I choose to be free.