Asthma is s a chronic inflammatory disease of airways that is characterized by increased sensitiveness of the tracheo-bronchial tree to a multiplicity of stimuli. It is manifested by a widespread narrowing of the air passages, causing paroxysms of breathlessness, cough, and wheezing. Asthma is an episodic disease, with acute exacerbations interspersed with symptom-free periods. Typically, most attacks are short-lived, lasting minutes to hours, and clinically the patient seems to recover completely after an attack.
Asthma is very common; it is estimated that 4 to 5% of the population is affected. Bronchial asthma occurs at all ages but predominantly in early life. About one-half of cases develop before age 10, and another third occur before age 40.
The stimuli that interact with airway responsiveness and incite acute episodes of asthma can be grouped into seven major categories: allergenic, pharmacologic, environmental, occupational, infectious, exercise-related, and emotional.
A homeopathic physician has to treat asthma as a chronic disease. The chronic management of asthma requires the use of constitutional homeopathic medicines. These constitutional medicines are prescribed for the patient as a whole, and not for his parts that are ‘diseased’. A constitutional drug is prescribed on the basis of the mental and physical make up of the person. A lot of factors like the emotional state, the general physical state- the reaction to heat and cold, the sleep pattern, the food cravings (and aversions), appetite, thirst, perspiration, bowel habits and menstrual symptoms (in females) are considered to find out the constitutional remedy that is most similar to the patient’s constitution. Some of the constitutional drugs that are useful in asthma are Kali carb, Arsenicum album, Silicea, Pulsatilla and Calc carb.
However, the aim is to also give relief during the acute attack. Some of the acute remedies that may be required are:
Ipececuanha This is a drug that is very useful, especially in fat children and adults who catch cold easily in a warm and moist weather. The breathlessness and spasmodic cough are associated with severe and constant nausea and retching. Vomiting does not relieve this nausea. The child may go red and often blue in the face while coughing- which can be violent and incessant. The tongue is usually clean and the patient will be thirstless.
Antim tart This is a drug that often follows Ipecac. When the attack of asthma is severe and the patient seems to be going towards respiratory distress and failure, this drug will be required. Typically, the attacks are worse in the early morning, around 3 am. This is associated with a blueness of the skin indicating hypoxia. The patient becomes drowsy and irritable and one can hear the respiratory secretions rattling in the chest with every breath or every cough. In fact the lungs are filled with secretions and the patient seems to be drowning in them. However, he cannot expectorate the secretions. Like Ipecac, the patient is thirstless and has severe nausea. However the nausea is better after vomiting or lying on the right side. Also there is a thick white coating of the tongue. Think of this drug when the patient seems to be in his last stages.
Carbo vegetabilis Imperfect oxidation is the underlying cause of the symptoms of this drug. It is a drug for asthma of the aged with a blue skin. There is a cough with burning in the chest. At the same time there is a cold breath and a cold skin. The patient feels cold to touch all over the body and esp. from knees down. The patient desires to be fanned. The respiratory symptoms are attended with a bloating of the abdomen and the patient has a heavy full feeling, which is relieved by eructations. At the peak of the attack, the patient seems to be almost lifeless with coldness of the body; the breath is cold, the pulse is imperceptible and the respiration is oppressed and quickened.
Nux vomica This drug is useful in irritable, hypersensitive and over-impressionable persons. It produces spasms of the muscle fibers and hence is useful in the treatment of broncho-constriction. There is asthma with fullness in the stomach, in the morning or after eating. There is a constant but ineffectual desire to pass stools during the attack. The tongue is coated yellow at the back.
Natrum sulph This is a drug that is useful for asthma in damp weather. These patients are so sensitive to dampness and moisture that they cannot eat plants that grow near water, or fruits that have a lot of water content and even fish. The asthma is worse in the morning around 4 or 5 am. The patient must hold the chest when coughing, and there is a thick, greenish, ropy expectoration
And that is the reason we have so many patents of allergies and asthma under our care. Visit our web site to read some of our cases that highlight the homeopathic treatment of bronchial asthma.
Disclaimer: A detailed history followed by constitutional treatment by a good and qualified homeopathic practitioner is necessary to treat the complaints that appear due to any disease. The homeopathic remedies mentioned in this post are for informational purposes only. The information contained on this site is general in nature and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other health care professional. None of the statements on this site are an endorsement of any particular product, or a recommendation as to how to treat any particular disease or health-related condition. It is not advisable to resort to self-medication for any disease.