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| Acute Bronchial Asthma |
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Carol
Posted on: May 23, 2005
I have very bad asthma right now. The coughing and wheezing are awful. I can’t sleep at night or during the day. I have even tried sleeping sitting but to no avail. Every bone and muscle hurt in my body. I have 2 puffers that I am using but they only last for so long. I cant seem to get any relief. I just bought some Eucalyptus Oil that I have been inhaling in hot water. That helps however its not long lasting. Can you help me?
Check with your doctor that the inhalers that you are using are the most effective, with the least systemic action (that is, the lowest absorption of steroids into your body system).
Acupuncture is effective in stopping acute asthma attacks such as you are now experiencing.
Because the most effective herbs for acute asthma are dangerous if used improperly, I recommend that you consult with a medical or clinical herbalist or a naturopath for a complete assessment and recommendations.
Lobelia is a relaxing antispasmodic herb that dilates the bronchial tubes. Lobelia must be used with caution. It is contraindicated in cases of weak pulse, paralysis, pregnancy and shock. It can be used in small doses. Large doses cause vomiting. The normal dose is one dropperful of tincture, three times daily while you are experiencing an acute attack. Dried ephedra, Ephedra sinica, is an alternative for relief in acute attacks. It dilates the bronchial tubes. Using whole ephedra as a tea, 2 – 4 cups a day, is unlikely to cause the side effects caused by the drug ephedrine. It is stimulating, so overuse will cause restlessness and insomnia. Ephedra is contraindicated in high blood pressure, thrombosis, hyperthyroid, glaucoma and should not be used with anti-depressant drugs.
Relaxing the mind is important in asthma, especially during acute attacks. One way of relaxing the mind is to focus on your breath, just paying attention to the inbreath and the outbreath. When thoughts arise, just acknowledge that there is a thought, and return your focus to the breath.
An effective tea can be made by combining equal parts of cleavers, lemon balm, calendula, linden flower, raspberry leaf, garden thyme and licorice root. Steep one teaspoon of this mixture in a cup of boiling water in a covered ceramic teapot or cup for 15 minutes. Drink 5 – 6 cups daily in the acute stage, and one cup a day at other times when you feel as though you are getting a cold. Licorice should not be taken long term.
A eucalyptus steam inhalation can promote relief of bronchial spasms. The steam inhalation method is: boil 2 liters of water; allow the water to cool for 3 minutes; drop 3-5 drops of eucalyptus oil onto the water; cover your head and the pan with a towel, and breath in the vapours for 5 – 10 minutes. This can be done 3 times a day.
It is important to eliminate all dairy, in all foods, from your diet, and drink lots of water to keep respiratory secretions fluid, avoiding congestion. For more information on diet and herbs to manage chronic asthma, please see our website at www.richters.com. Choose "Q&A" from the main menu, then enter the word "asthma" for the search.