Focus on Asthma
Asthma is a condition which affects the bronchial tubes leading to the lungs, resulting in wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath. It can be triggered by sensitivity to atmospheric pollutants such as house mites, traffic fumes, cigarette smoke, particles of dust, pollen, air pollution, animal fur as well as by stress, poor diet, drugs and emotional exhaustion. Over-exercising can also sometimes trigger asthma attacks.
Asthma can start at any age and the severity of attacks varies. Severe attacks, characterised by racing pulse, sweating, and breathlessness, are very frightening and can be dangerous if untreated.
More than 200 million people around the world suffer from the Asthma and it is becoming more common.
Tip: the breathing techniques that form part of yoga therapy and breathing therapy have been shown to dramatically improve lung function in asthmatics.
It is important to always deal with an asthma attack seriously and to seek professional advice immediately
Diet and Nutrition
Eat plenty of the following:
- Green leafy vegetables, fresh fruits and honey - all rich in Magnesium which aids breathing
- Beans, lentils, garlic and onions
- Eat oily fish x 3 a week. This contains Omega 3 fatty acids which are anti-inflammatory
- Use olive and sunflower oils in cooking and salad dressings, and eat plenty of pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds
Avoid the following foods:
- Salt, dairy products, meat, eggs, dried fruits, salty and cured meats and snacks, fizzy drinks such as cola, convenience and packaged foods.
Supplements - take the following:
- Good quality multi-vitamin and mineral daily
- A strong anti-oxidant nutrient daily containing Vitamins A,C,E, Selenium and Zinc
- Additional Vitamin C - 500mg -2 grams daily
- A Vitamin B complex supplement (yeast-free)
In between asthma attacks drink an infusion (tea) of the following regularly:
- Camomile, Lavender and Eyebright - this helps to relax the airways, tone up mucous membranes, and reduces inflammation in the bronchial tubes
- The herb Ginko Biloba improves circulation and decreases Asthma symptoms. Take 3-4 ml of tincture daily.
- The bronchial dilating herbs Euphorbia and Grindelia help open up the bronchial tubes. Take 15 drops of each herb x 3 a day.
Use the following only in the short-term:
- Aconite - at the earliest sign of breathing problems
- Arsenicum - when symptoms are worse after midnight, feeling restless and exhausted
- Ipecacuanha - for wheezing, with a persistent, "rattly" cough with a feeling of nausea
- Blatta Orientalis - can be taken during an attack when catarrh is present.
NB. You should always visit a qualified Homeopath for a thorough examination who will treat you professionally for Asthma.
Look in the CHC Practitioner Directory to find a qualified Homeopath in your area.
During an attack, you can sniff the aroma of the following essential oils on a tissue:
- Lavender, Bergamot, Frankincense, Camomile
In between attacks, massage the above oils, diluted in a carrier oil such as grapeseed oil, into the chest to prevent spasms, and the build up of thick mucus.
Other Remedies and Advice
Breathing and relaxation exercises
It has been shown that learning proper breathing techniques is very useful for asthmatics. Consult a trained therapist or purchase an audio-tape.
Look in the CHC Practitioner Directory to find a qualified practitioner.
Using ionisers in all the rooms you use, reduces the amount of dust and pollen in the air you have to inhale.
Contact the Air Improvement Centre to purchase products on: 0207 834 2834, and at 23 Denbigh Street, London, SW1V 2HF
Yoga, T'ai Chi, Swimming
Can reduce the tress associated with Asthma and help to relieve symptoms, by improving breathing performance
The Buteyko Method
This therapy has been shown to be helpful in treating breathing problems and Asthma
Look in the Practitioner Directory to find a Buteyko practitioner in your area.
Have regular full body massages using Camomile and Lavender oils.
The National Asthma Campaign
To find out more about this national organisation go to CHC Support
To find a qualified health practitioner in your are look in the CHC Practitioner Directory
To find out more about Asthma and other health conditions go to CHC Ailments
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