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Alternative Medicine for Asthma

Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

Imagine having great difficulty breathing all of a sudden. That's what people who have asthma attacks feel. Luckily there are numerous therapies available for asthma, including alternative ones covered in this lesson.

Asthma

Do you have a straw handy? If you do, try breathing through it. Just make sure to hold your nose closed while you do this. Hard to breathe through that straw, isn't it? This is what an asthma attack feels like because a person's airways become narrow, like straws. Asthma is respiratory disorder that involves the inflammation and narrowing of the airways.

This lesson is going to go over some of the alternative therapies some people believe might help people with asthma. Just bear in mind that because most do not have any significant evidence for their effectiveness, you should consult with a doctor prior to trying any of them out.

Dietary Therapies

Food

Andy has asthma. He knows that asthma involves inflammation. So it makes sense that Andy would eat food that is believed to help minimize inflammation. These foods include yellow, orange and dark green vegetables (such as carrots and spinach). Other foods that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects include garlic, onions, and flaxseeds.

One thing Andy wish he'd known is that there is some evidence that children who eat fish on a regular basis might be able to decrease their risk of ever developing asthma in the first place. Something to keep in mind for when Andy has a child of his own.

What to eat is as important for Andy as the foods to avoid. See, Andy wants to minimize the amount of mucus that plugs up his airways. To do so, he avoids dairy products, fried foods, junk food like chips, overly-processed foods like white bread and sugary things.

Supplements

On top of a healthy diet, Andy also takes numerous supplements for his asthma. They include:

  • Pycnogenol, a supplement derived from the bark of a tree. Some believe that pycnogenol helps to clamp down on inflammation that occurs within the respiratory system.
  • Lycopene, a kind of plant chemical that might help people with asthma brought upon by exercise.
  • Magnesium, a mineral that might help relax the muscles of the airway. This will help dilate (expand) the airways as a result.
  • Astragalus, a traditional Chinese medicine from a root that might help strengthen the lungs.

Similarly, Andy also relies on homeopathic remedies to try and control his asthma. These include the likes of:

  • Aconitum Napellus, derived from a plant, which might be helpful for asthma attacks brought upon by cold air.
  • Arsenicum Album, partly made from the metal-like chemical element called arsenic. This might be helpful for people with asthma, especially when used between midnight and 2 AM.
  • Kali Carbonicum may help asthma that worsens between 2 AM and 4 AM.

Non-Dietary Therapies

Of course, Andy doesn't rely solely on things he can eat or drink (or avoid) in order to improve his asthma. He also uses acupressure to help. He massages the following points:

  • Conception Vessel 17 to get rid of that feeling of tension in his chest.
  • Lung 1, 7 and 9 in order to help minimize any coughing or congestion associated with asthma.

He is also very lucky to have a partner who gives him a nightly back massage. Such a massage may help relax the muscles of his airways, thus expanding the airways in the process.

After the massage, Andy then takes a hot bath or visits a local sauna to help detoxify his body as some believe many toxins can leave the body via sweating.

Once finished with the hot bath, Andy then uses numerous oils for his nightly aromatherapy session. He uses eucalyptus to loosen up any congestion. He also uses lavender to help him breathe a bit easier.

Once in a while, Andy will also depend on the following alternative therapies for his asthma:

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