by Dr. Leo Rebello
Asthma is a disease characterized by spasmodic contraction of the bronchial tubes and is one of the most distressing ailments of our times. There is difficult breathing, the individual gasps for breath, the cough is dry or hacking, the voice is hoarse, the eyes are prominent or sunken, the pulse is rapid, articulation is difficult, and the breathing becomes noisy, wheezy and belaboured. There is great excitement of the nervous system. Attacks may last only a few minutes, or they may last for hours or days.
There are two known causes of Childhood Asthma (a) Stomach and intestinal toxins, parasites. (b) Psychosomatic causes or stress related to that could be added three more. (c) Heredity. (d) Environmental factors - like pollution, dust, paints, scents, climatic conditions, etc. (e) Latrogenic, that is doctor or drug induced.
Let us deal with the above causes one by one, briefly. Stomach and intestinal toxins could be due to junk food, meats, pastries, coffee, cocoa, pepsi, coke, chocolates, fried, indigestible or refrigerated foods. Then there may be worms.
Psychosomatic causes or stress - the child may be afraid his parents, elder sibbling, the teachers or the big bully in the school. Or he may be reacting to certain situations, like mother and father fighting constantly (leading to divorce which is so frequent in western societies), neglect, going to school early, incapacity to cope with studies or home work, the crowd and noise or other factors leading to child abuse.
Heredity factor need not be explained as it is a much taunted word or factor. Anything that cannot be explained rationally, blame it on heredity, conveniently!
Environmental factors like pollution, dust,paints, scents, climatic conditions, fumes, pollen, animals, are never considered by the medical experts.
The iatrogenic factor : The so-called asthma specialists, instead of simply cleaning the stomach and intestines of toxins and parasites or attending to the stress, or taking into consideration the environmental factors, etc. blindly prescribe steroids or asthelene pump,which makes asthma permanent and the overall system weak.
Holistic Treatment : For affections of this kind, holistic treatment is one that will purify the blood and build up the nervous and muscular systems to a healthy standard. Meat, pastries, coffee, cocoa, aerated waters, alcohols, chocolates, fried, stale, refrigerated, indigestible foods must be avoided. An abundance of green vegetables and fresh fruits should be used to supply all the constitutent parts of the blood and tissues. Constipation must be remedied.
Cure for asthma meansfreedom from drugs, too. Instead of drugs, yoga cleansing techniques should be used. Backward bending asanas help to unclog the blocked nasal compartment. Followed by yoga breathing techniques, they will, if practiced regularly for some time, bring permanent relief from asthma.
Every emotion we have, in some way affects the body. The best insurance for good health is a calm and quiet mind. For asthmatics, the need for peace of mind and the ability to relax are most important. So, how about playing some soothing music and doing aerobics or yoga under a trained teacher?
Following are the few asanas which will benefit asthmatic patients the most : Surya Namaskar, Bhujangasan, Sarvangasan, Paschimottanasan, Dhanurasan, Yoga Mudra and Shavasana.
Hot and cold baths to improve the circulation and increase the vitality should be given. During an attack, however, the cold bath must be avoided. In securing relief from a severe paroxsym, hot packs to the chest, shoulders and back will prove beneficial. The drinking of hot water and the inhalation of ginger steam will be an excellent remedy. If one is not too weak or emaciated, a few days of fasting followed by an exclusive milk diet (fresh cow's milk) is a splendid method for purifying the blood and building up a better conditon of strength and vitality. Likewise, massage of the spine, shoulders and neck or acupuncture can do wonders.
In homoeopathy we have some very good remedies for children's asthma : In children with history of worms - Cina 10M weekly, three doses. In children with spasm, secretion of mucous and infection (as an intercurrent remedy) - Bacillinum 1M, fortnightly, six doses.
During acute attack when there is anxiety, fear and dyspnoea Aconite Q and Ipecac Q, 5 drops alternate, every half an hour.
There are several other remedies, which your Homoeopath should be able to prescribe after taking proper case history. But, Kali Phos, Mag Phos, Nat Mur, Nat Sulph, which are tissue salts, in 3D potency, in combination, offers sure cure of Asthma.
Similarly, homoeopathic Histamine and Eosinophilinum 200 or IM potencies are also very useful when eosinophil count is high. In full scale attack, homoeopathic Adrenalin 200 one dose to be repeated every hour, till Asthma attack subsides or Amyl Nitricum 3 potency liquid -spread few drops on your hanky and smell.
Finally, my mother (may her soul rest in peace) treated me with onion and sugar syrup and neem juice and castor oil to deworm me. And touch wood, I am free of Asthma for the last 40 years.