Asthma is a respiratory disorder that causes difficulty in breathing, coughing and tightness in the chest. The very word from which it derives, ásthma, is of Greek origin and means “ painful, tiring breathing ”. During an asthma attack, a spasm, or contracture, of the bronchial walls occurs, resulting in an obstacle to the free flow of air from the pulmonary alveoli. Let’s find out better.
> Symptoms of asthma
> Treatments for asthma
Difference between normal respiratory tract and respiratory tract in case of asthma
Symptoms of asthma
The affected person feels a sense of suffocation accompanied by cough and, sometimes, expectoration. The predisposition to this disorder is due to heredity, infections or exposure to secondhand smoke.
Most children develop asthma symptoms in the first 6 years of age, and a fifth of these continue to have asthma in adulthood. There are cases of bronchial asthma not attributable to allergenic causes, but, generally, asthma has an allergic genesis . The factors that most frequently turn out to be responsible for asthmatic phenomena in predisposed subjects are: foods (milk, eggs, dried fruit, starchy foods, peas, tomatoes, cod, crustaceans, strawberries); chemical substances; epidermal derivatives of domestic animals; plant pollen; medications; industrial and household dusts, especially those in which the parasite Dermatophagoides pterinyssimus is present , a mite that proliferates in temperate climates and lives in mattresses.
In adulthood it must be borne in mind that the symptoms may also be blurred due to their subjectivity and that thoracic objectivity can be negative especially in the initial stages of the disease.
Bronchial asthma can be allergic in nature or infectious in nature .
In the first case, asthma is triggered by external agents, such as irritants, pollutants and various allergens (dust, animal hair, some foods or pollen).
In the second case, however, asthma can be generated by various viruses that can infect the respiratory tract.
There are also circumstances in which some medicines , such as aspirin and other non-steroidal drugs, can cause the onset of asthma; or the cold and physical exertion can trigger acute asthma attacks.
When wheezing, coughing and respiratory distress persist, the diagnosis is as easy as that of an asthmatic state. The anamnesis implies the evaluation of the modality of the onset of these symptoms (example: seasonal repetition, in the presence of rhinoconjunctivitis, during exercise, after a cold that is difficult to heal, in association with symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux , in association with symptoms of sinusitis) and the detection of objective signs ( wheezing ).
TREATMENTS AGAINST ASTHMA
Asthma is a predominantly allergic disorder.
It is important to follow a natural diet that excludes the presence of packaged products, food additives, pesticides and heavy metals.
Foods containing allergenic substances such as: milk and dairy products, eggs, nuts, shellfish, meats, alcohol, chocolate and some types of fruits such as strawberries and kiwis should be avoided.
It is important that the liver does not become overloaded because in allergic-based disorders the elimination of toxins from the body is essential. For this reason , excess animal proteins and foods from the Solanaceae family (tomatoes, potatoes, aubergines, peppers and chilli) should also be reduced .
An organic diet rich in whole grains , legumes, blue fish, oil seeds, extra virgin olive oil, vegetables and fruit is important.
In fact, many studies show a significant improvement in asthma in subjects who prefer a healthy and organic diet that tends to be vegetarian, taking care not to overload the body with dairy products and derivatives but by choosing other protein sources such as legumes, seitan and based products. of soy. Avoid, especially in case of allergic asthma, chocolate, nuts, eggs, meat, milk and dairy products, which could trigger breathing difficulties. Useful in case of asthma, however, are the radish sprouts which are expectorants and in fact stimulate the elimination of mucus. A recent Finnish study of 1300 four-year-olds and published in the British Journal of Nutrition he highlighted how having breakfast with porridge, a typical English meal, stems breathing difficulties; oats and milk would therefore be excellent allies against asthma.
The benefits and properties of propolis, one of the natural remedies for asthma
Herbal remedies for asthma
Factors that can lead to the onset of asthma include allergies, genetic predisposition, infections, heart failure, smoking, stress. Therefore the officinal plants used in the therapy of asthma have an anti-inflammatory action for the mucous membranes; fluidifiers and expectorants for the phlegm they produce.
Helichrysum : ( Helichrysum italicum ) the flowering tops are used in the treatment of allergies, which affect the airways and skin tissues. The plant has antihistamine, anti-inflammatory, expectorant and antibacterial properties and is therefore both allergic and infectious respiratory diseases. In herbal tea or mother tincture it promotes the elimination of bronchial catarrh, reduces the excessive spasms of asthma and allergic inflammations of the nasal mucosa.
Among the remedies used by phytotherapy for this disorder we find the bud extracts of:
- Black currant : ( Ribes nigrum ) is the elective remedy for all acute and inflammatory allergic syndromes at the level of the internal mucous membranes, as it behaves like a cortisone-like, stimulating the adrenal cortex in the production of cortisol; for this reason it is used in case of chronic bronchitis and allergic asthma. Black currant can have some side effects , such as allergies and high blood pressure. Always consult a doctor before taking it.
- Lantana : ( Viburnum lantana ) indicated for allergic, episodic, intermittent, periodic or continuous bronchial asthma associated with allergic soil infection, chronic bronchitis with asthma, dyspnoea (difficulty breathing), chest tightness and pertussis.
- Black alder ( Alnus glutinosa ) used for allergic asthmatic forms because it is a stimulator of the adrenal cortex like ribes nigrum. Its use is also useful in inflammatory states that tend to become chronic both in the acute phases of the mucous membranes, in pleurisy and pneumonia.
Bach flowers for asthma
When an asthma attack occurs (independent of serious pathologies affecting the bronchi and lungs), on a psychosomatic level the individual is expressing rejection for a situation, experienced or perceived as a ” constriction “, and which manifests itself through one respiratory spasm. In this way we inevitably touch on the theme of freedom and limitation .
When asthma is of allergic origin , we experience a real defensive strategy on the part of the immune system, against external substances, experienced as dangerous. On an emotional level, this reaction can be interpreted as an unconscious fear of the subject of coming into contact with something that he does not accept and that awakens a traumatic emotionality . Often the individuals who present this discomfort are habitual , tend to be rigid and not very tolerant . They express a modality of somatization for an ever more ” compressed life”“between stress and a dull, suffocated and rationalized emotionality on the other.
The flowers used to counter this disorder will help to free oneself from situations that are experienced as constricting and to get out of existential conditions that are difficult, oppressive , suffocating . Each individual faces personal experiences and experiences in a subjective way, so the personalized blends will intervene on emotional states and physical symptoms, such as asthma, with respect to individual perception. However, the most widely used Bach flowers in the vibrational treatment of asthma are.
- Agrimony : remedy for asthma due to anxiety neurosis with distress and tightness in the chest. The individual suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorders with repetitive thoughts of violence, of doubt that cause respiratory disorders and asthma attacks, because it hides worries, bitterness and inner torment, behind the outward appearance of serenity. He constantly seeks escape to face trials with joy, but in reality he lives gripped by restlessness, anxiety, torment and inner torture, especially at night. The remedy makes us regain the courage to be ourselves; to face others and the situations that oppress us, without fear of the consequences or without the fear of not being accepted, giving us serenity, optimism.
- Rock water : it is indicated in case of paroxysmal cough and excessive control asthma . The individual is rigid with himself and with others, self-depressive, self-demanding, he denies himself joys and pleasures to achieve his goals He has a too rigid and controlled conception of life, of which he rejects the playful side, to live, and, strict with himself, he imposes self-punishing rules. He has an excessive dedication to work to the exclusion of pleasure and joy, which he rejects for fear that they may interfere with his business. He feels indifference to good food, sex, fun. The remedy promotes mental flexibility, openness, elasticity of character, stimulating the person to discover the pleasant sides of life, with abandonment.
- Star of Bethlehem : it is indicated for throat tension, swallowing disorders , psychosomatic diseases due to past or recent traumas still active in the psyche. Useful in case of paroxysmal dyspnea, dysphonia and asthma crisis caused by stressful conditions. physical, mental, emotional pain not yet disposed of. The subject’s attitude appears dull, unhappy, sad. The individual lives in a state of forced anesthesia on an emotional and sentimental level. The remedy moves blocked energy, helps the flow of emotions and pushes you to face pain without repressing it. It restarts the ability to self-heal, to cope with any bad situation, to overcome the painful and traumatizing experiences that can happen in life.
In addition to Bach flowers, Australian flower essences can also be useful in case of asthma. In particular, Gray Spider Flower is used as an adjunct in asthma attacks as it fights the fear of suffocating and dying .
Traditional Chinese Medicine
Asthma in traditional Chinese medicine is due to an abnormal production of phlegm . The stimulations will therefore act on the Lung, together with the work on the Spleen and Kidney meridians. Some important points are:
• FEI SHUI (shu point of the back of the Lung, 1.5 cun to the side of the spinous process of the 2nd thoracic vertebra) which tones and regulates the flow of the Lung;
• DA ZHUI (large vertebra, located under C7) which tones the qi of the Spleen;
• PI SHU (shu point of the back of the Spleen, 1.5 cun to the side of the spinous process of the XI thoracic vertebra), mobilizes the qi of the Spleen, regulates the flow of blood and dissolves moisture.
Few are the essential oils used in case of asthma, especially if of allergic origin; while if this disorder is the consequence of an inflammation or an infection of the respiratory tract, the balsamic essences are the most used due to the fluidifying and expectorant properties of the phlegm. They can be used to make fumenti (5 drops in a saucepan of boiling water), for environmental diffusion (1 drop per square meter) or they can be taken 2 drops in a teaspoon of honey, 2-3 times a day.
- Essential oil of hyssop : it is a relief during asthma attacks. expectorant for the respiratory tract, its fields of application are related to typical winter ailments, such as cough, flu, cold, sore throat. In particular, hyssop essential oil is a mucolytic, that is, it has a decongestant action on the bronchi and lungs. Therefore it is indicated in all forms of cough, when it is oily, and when it is dry: in the first case it helps to eliminate phlegm, while in the second it helps to thin it, allowing its expulsion.
- Myrtle essential oil : its scent frees the breath, opens the chest and has a positive effect on the soul stressed by everyday thoughts. Well tolerated even by children, it has a mucolytic, expectorant and fluidifying effect on phlegm. It helps to decongest the inflamed respiratory tract, in case of colds, bronchitis, cough of smokers and in all chronic diseases of the respiratory system.
- Niaouly essential oil : it is a decongestant useful in all catarrhal forms. Helps to thin and eliminate phlegm in case of colds, sinusitis and cough. It is also indicated for treating diseases of the respiratory system of children as it is very delicate.
Homeopathic remedies for asthma
The homeopathic remedies indicated for the treatment of asthma are:
- Aralia racemosa 5 CH (5 granules at 6 pm), if asthma occurs when you go to bed;
- Arsenicum album 15 CH (5 granules before going to bed and every half hour during the crisis);
- Ipeca 5 CH (5 granules, several times a day);
- Antimonium tartaricum (5 CH favors secretions, while 30 CH inhibits them).
EIA is exercise induced asthma ; it is a delicate issue because it can happen that overprotective parents trigger, even involuntarily, a counterproductive mechanism, orienting their children towards a sedentary lifestyle and the consequent reduction of physical efficiency.
In the Anglo-Saxon scientific literature the acronym is EIB ( Exercise-Induced Bronchospasm) or bronchospasm (or broncho-obstruction) due to physical exercise. It is a form of bronchial hyper-reactivity which, in fact, is the substrate of the pathology.
There is a classification of classic motor disciplines in ascending order of asthmogenicity: swimming, water polo, rowing, cross-country skiing, volleyball, martial arts, free dance, walking, baseball, 5-a-side football, basketball, tennis, athletics (fast running, jumps ), football, cycling, free running (middle distance, cross country). Lung parameter should be considered based on forced vital capacity or its relationship with total vital capacity ( CVF1 / CV ). In short, if the reduction of forced vital capacity CVF1 exceeds 10-15%, we are faced with cases of exertional asthma.
An important precaution in this regard: avoid engaging in intense physical activity in cold and dry environments.
Some yogic practices involve the use of ice on the back in case of allergic asthma and, in general, the constant practice of yoga positions , pranayama and meditation help reduce the severity of respiratory attacks. In fact, in many asanas extension movements are performed which in the long term help to better react to the effects of asthma attacks. From a yogic perspective, asthma is considered an alteration of a psychosomatic nature that affects the heart chakra .
Tai chi chuan is also great for relieving breathing difficulties. One of the last in-depth case studies dates back to 2008 and was presented in Philadelphia on the occasion of CHEST, the annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians. If your asthma is allergic , it is a good idea to reduce outdoor activity in the pollen season. If allergens are found inside the home, use house cleaning as an opportunity to move (preferably with good music): dust with a damp cloth and, if necessary, protect yourself with a mask.