Herbal Supplements
Asthma and Herbal Remedies

General 

Asthma is a chronic disease of the respiratory system. It is characterized by the condition in which the airway occasionally gets constricted and becomes inflamed. Often in response to one or more triggers (cold air, exercise or exertion, emotional stress) it becomes lined with excessive amounts of mucus.

Symptoms 

The most common asthma symptoms are caused by airway narrowing. Wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and coughing are all reveal of the body’s natural respond to that. These symptoms are episodic and do not bother patients suffering from asthma during long periods of time, though many people experience slight problem feeling out of breath between the episodes. The symptoms of asthma range from mild to life threatening. Signs of an asthmatic episode include wheezing, rapid breathing (tachypnea), prolonged expiration, a rapid heart rate (tachycardia), rhonchous lung sounds (audible through a stethoscope), and over-inflation of the chest. During very severe asthma attacks a person can experience tachycardia (a rapid heart rate), rapid breathing, and turn blue from lack of oxygen and, chest pain and even loose consciousness.

Causes

The medicine has not defined the exact reasons of why asthma develops. The theory of pathogenesis states that asthma is a disease of hygiene. Except hereditary aspects, the environmental factors bring on the asthma symptoms and lead to asthma attacks. Those are allergens (animal dander, pollen from trees and grass, house dust and mold), irritants (cigarette smoke, changes in the weather, strong odors, air pollution, stress) and others, such as infections, the action of some medicines and dysfunction of immune system.

Traditional Approaches

Asthma is not curable condition. But the symptoms can be successfully controlled and the patients may continue living active lives. The two main types of medicines for asthma are quick-relief medicines and long-term control medications. The former are represented by the short-acting inhaled beta-agonists that act quickly to relax tensed muscles around the airways, while the latter are aimed at the reduction of airwaves swelling that provokes asthma attacks.


Alternative Approaches

Traditional Chinese medicine treats asthma with the help of various herbal remedies.

Ma huang (or Ephedra sinica) has been used for asthma since about 3000 BC.

Ephedrine and other substances of this herb produce beneficial effects for warding off the allergies, mild asthma. But these actions lessen within time if ephedra is taken over the long period. This fact is explained by the weakening of the adrenal glands under the ephedrine’s influence. To offset this effect the use of ephedra is recommended to be supported with the licorice and ginseng, vitamins C and B6, zinc and magnesium which stimulate adrenal function.

Licorice root also possesses allergies-calming properties, and is used to reduce inflammation and restore normal breathing. Moreover, licorice acts against side effects of cortisone, the widely prescribed medicine for asthma.

Cayenne pepper (or Capsicum) has also been favored in asthma treating for its stimulant, antispasmodic and antiseptic actions. It strengthens the heart, releases muscle tension and clears the arteries.

One more herbal remedy for asthma is ginkgo biloba which is good in fighting allergies, inflammation and tension in the lungs. It is usually taken as either a tea, a tincture or in capsule form.

Testimonials
misslyn
2010-01-05 09:23:45
i have COPD i need something to take for it so i can get off my inhalers,
researcher
2009-07-14 06:20:24
may i know some common elements on these given plants that made them prevent or lessen the attack of asthma?anything that are common on them that can also be found on some common plants around?i just want to research on some herbal medicines about asthma,any comments,suggestions?please.i need some help as soon as possible.
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