Asthma is a chronic condition that affects millions of people all over the world. Studies show that 1 in 7 children, and 1 in 12 adults, suffer from asthma. Thought the severity of the attacks can vary – it can be mild and easily treated, or lead to weeks of hospitalization – anyone who suffices from the condition can testify to how it can impair their quality of life.
In an asthma attack, our ability to breathe in air is hampered, due to the tightening of muscles in the air passage, swelling, and thick mucus. The attacks are triggered by pollen, smoke, even food allergies (each person has its own set of asthma triggers) and are characterized by wheezing, coughing and tightness in the chest.
Many asthma sufferers have found relief in herbs and other homeopathic treatments. For example, khella (also called Bishop's Weed) helps prevent the tightening of the air passages, and there are cases of it actually opening the airways. However, dosages have to be controlled by a homeopathic expert, especially for children. The herb is best used over a short period of time, since overextended intake can lead to loss of appetite, headaches, and difficulty sleeping.
Another asthma treatment makes use of the ancient Chinese herb, Ma Huang (also called Desert Herb). While not recommended for those who have heart disease and high blood pressure, it has been known to reduce the bronchospasms that cause difficulty in breathing. Because of the risks associated with his herb, it should be taken only with the directions of a homeopathic expert, and the approval and co-management of your regular physician or respiratory specialist. This is because Ma Huang has some contraindications, and interactions with other prescribed drugs can be dangerous. However, with the proper monitoring and in the right doses, it can help with the most severe forms of asthma attacks.
Like with many asthma medications, people who take Ma Huang can experience side effects like palpitations and restlessness, or mild nausea to actual vomiting. This is, unfortunately, a function of how medicines (whether traditional antibiotic or herbal) must contain some amount of ephedrine or a similar drug that can counter or protect the body's loss of oxygen.
Another herb that can control asthma is the Pleurisy root, a liquid extract of the plant Asclepias Tuberosa. It is an expectorant and can help decongest the patient and ease the difficulty in breathing. Doses must be closely monitored, however, because it can lead to vomiting if not properly prescribed. It is also not recommended for those who have heart problems.
Homeopathic experts can also help asthma sufferers examine diet and lifestyle for any asthma triggers, or sometimes they will prescribe vitamins and herbs, or recommend a particular diet, that can help strengthen the lungs. In other words, their approach is holistic, and does not only cure the symptoms but results the attacks from occurring. Many asthma sufferers can lead perfectly normal lives as long as they can create a lifestyle or routine that minimizes their risks for attacks.