Homeopathy for Asthma

When a person has an asthma attack, the inflammation in the respiratory system makes breathing difficult. Homeopathic treatments usually involve giving the body a miniscule amount of the substance causing the reaction to help the body learn how to cope. Once a homeopath finds the right treatment, patients can find relief. Because treatments are extremely individualized, clinical research in homeopathy is difficult; the same remedy is not the correct remedy for every case of a disease. Homeopathic treatment, however, can be taken in conjunction with prescribed drugs, providing a safe, alternative method for people to cope with asthma.

How Does Homeopathy for Asthma Work?

The goal of homeopathic treatment for asthma is to identify the root cause for the attacks, and then to use the bodies own healing processes to transform the triggers into remedies. Asthma is viewed differently in each person, because each person is afflicted in a different way. Factors considered by the homeopath include frequency of attacks, possible allergens and other symptoms. The health of the whole body, not just the respiratory system, is addressed. Ultimately, homeopathy might create a cure for the asthma by strengthening and balancing the immune system.

What Homeopathic Treatments Work for Asthma?

When treating an asthmatic patient with homeopathic remedies, great care must be taken to record the exact symptoms experienced during an attack to properly identify the correct remedy.

Popular homeopathic remedies for asthma include:

  • Ipecac works well if symptoms are spasmodic; the patient feels a lot of weight and anxiety about the chest; there is sudden wheezing, difficulty breathing, and a feeling of suffocation, which is made worse if the patient moves or is warmed; and the cough creates retching and vomiting. Ipecac might be called for when the cough is continuous and the chest seems full of phlegm, yet nothing is coughed up. The extremities are covered with cold sweat.
  • Arsenicum is similar to Ipecac, and is especially useful if the disease is chronic, the patient is older and the labored breathing is habitual and dry. It is used when the attacks occur between midnight and 2 a.m. The patient’s dry wheezing may progress to a cough that brings up frothy, whitish fluid. He or she feels exhausted yet experiences a lot of anguish and restlessness, fearing suffocation if he or she lies down. There is a general sweat, and the person can be thirsty, taking frequent, tiny sips. If the patient falls asleep again, he or she is awakened with soreness and burning pain in the chest and heat in the head. Warmth often brings improvement. Arsenicum follows Ipecac well, and is especially useful in those who are anemic.
  • Nux vomica (Nux.v) is helpful when symptoms include a tense, constricted feeling in the lower part of the chest, with pressure in the stomach. The patient finds some relief by belching, and the patient must loosen his or her clothing. Problems are often worse in the morning. It might be useful when gastric disturbances bring on the asthmatic attacks, and during simple spasmodic asthmas. Both mental exertion and physical effort can make symptoms worse, while warmth and sleep often bring relief. Overindulgence in sweets, spicy food, stimulants and alcohol are common. If there is a lot of abdominal irritation and much flatulence, Nux vomica might be combined with Lycopodium and Carbo vegetabilis.
  • Kali bichromicum (Kali.bi) might help patients who experience attacks at about 3 or 4 a.m., with a feeling as if there were no air in the chest. The patient feels compelled to sit up to breathe, and bending forward while sitting brings some relief. The patient coughs up stringy yellow mucus.
  • Natrum sulphuricum (Nat.s) treats general symptoms including a worsening of asthma when exposed to mold and dampness; attacks occur at about 4 to 5 a.m.; and the patient sits up and holds the chest with the hands while coughing. Wheezing and breathing difficulties are aggravated by exertion. The patient usually also has loose bowels after each attack.
  • Antimonium tartaricum (Ant.t), a remedy used by conventional medicine for asthma, can also be used as a homoeopathic treatment for certain symptoms. The keynote for using this option is the presence of fine rattling or crackling sounds in the chest. The chest also seems full of phlegm that the patient cannot cough up. The patient must sit up at about 3 a.m., has great difficulty breathing, and feels suffocated. Antimonium tartaricum is especially suited to young children and the elderly.
  • Moschus (Mosch) can assist when the patient experiences intense anxiety and fear combined with a smothering sensation. It suits those of a highly organized, nervous, sensitive temperament.
  • Spongia tosta is strongly indicated by a barking cough during an asthma attack. Labored breathing has a sawing sound and little mucus is produced. The person may feel best when leaning forward or when sitting up and tilting the head back. Warm drinks may be helpful. The problems usually begin before midnight while the person is asleep.
  • Carbo vegetabilis may be indicated when a person has a hollow sensation in the chest and feels weak or faint. Excessive coughing can lead to gagging. The person may have very cold hands and feet, yet desire moving air. Sitting up and belching offers some relief, as digestive upset and gas are likely. Other indicators are feeling worse from talking, eating or lying down, as well as feeling worse in the evening.
  • Chamomilla can be used when the patient has a hard, dry, irritating cough that starts after becoming overexcited and angry or being exposed to moving air. The cough is often worse around 9 p.m. and may continue into the night. The person may be highly irritable and agitated, and acts hypersensitive.
  • Pulsatilla is indicated if wheezing starts after a person eats rich food or gets too warm. Tightness in the chest tends to become worse during the evening and at night, and is relieved by fresh, cool air. Coughing with gagging and choking brings up yellow-colored mucus. A person who benefits from this remedy is likely to be emotional and changeable, desiring comfort and attention.

Some other common homeopathic medicines for treating asthma include lachesis, sulphur, ignatia, hepar-sulph and tuberculinum.

What Happens During a Meeting with a Homeopath

A homeopath records the symptoms of the disease and studies the physical and psychological characteristics of a person along with the medical and family history. This helps the homeopath isolate the root cause, precipitating factors and hereditary tendencies.

A homeopath will be especially interested in a history of skin disease. Children with asthma often had eczema earlier in life. If such a disease occurred and was suppressed through skin creams, then the disease might have shifted inward, away from the body’s periphery toward the vital organs. Next, the homeopath tries to find a remedy that matches the symptoms and general characteristics of the person.

Additional Resources

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, Inc.

Allergy and Asthma Foundation of American

Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics

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