I’ve seen two children suffering from asthma in the past month in my clinics, and someone else also wrote to me asking if I could give them any advice on this condition. I did publish this article about ten months ago, but in case you missed it, here it is again!
Asthma can be inherited, and is usually caused by an unknown allergy. It can be aggravated by infections such as colds, and by anxiety. During an asthma attack, the lung airways (or bronchi) contract, and a build-up of mucus in the tubes occurs. The patient experiences tightness in the chest, accompanied by breathlessness and wheezing. In acute phases it can be frightening, and in the case of a severe serious attack, medical help should be sought immediately.
Asthma is more common with boys, typically starting from 3 years as opposed to 8 years with girls. If allergies such as hay fever run in your family, then your child is more at risk. Babies who have recurrent colds, catarrh or eczema are more likely to develop asthma as they grow older. For a complete cure, a constitutional treatment by a qualified homeopath is essential, although this can take time.
Asthma attacks can be triggered by straightforward allergies – for example to cat hair – but they can also be caused by emotional upsets and stressful situations. The asthmatic child can be highly-strung, nervous and sensitive. Coughing and wheezing can also be caused by viral infections such as colds and bronchitis, and by genetic lung diseases such as cystic fibrosis. Depending on the symptoms, I find the homeopathic remedies Aconite, Arsenicum, Chamomilla, Ipecac, Nat Sulph and Pulsatilla can be useful.
There are many triggers for asthma, including as cigarette smoke, pollen and aerosol products, so it makes sense to such causes as far as possible. Other practical tips for minimising asthma attacks are as follows:
- Keep the child’s bedroom as clean as possible: regularly dust with a damp cloth.
- Drink plenty of pure, filtered water. Water helps to keep mucus secretions thin and loose, preventing them from becoming dry, sticky and difficult to clear from the lungs.
- A diet low in magnesium is associated with wheezing, so eat good sources of magnesium such as wholegrains, soya beans, shrimp and green, leafy vegetables.
- Fish oils from fatty fish such as mackerel, salmon, sardines and tuna are good for combating asthma: you can also take fish oil supplements.
- Onions, asparagus, turnips, cabbage and brussel sprouts appear to be beneficial for all kinds of respiratory disorders, including asthma.
- Try the following fresh juice blend: 4 oz/120g of raspberries, 4 oz/120g of strawberries and 1 orange. Take 120ml / day.
- Sunflower seeds are beneficial for asthmatics. Sprinkle ground-up seeds over natural yoghurt and honey, and into breakfast cereal.
- Emotional stress releasing massage once a week using 10 drops of lavender and roman chamomile essential oils in 10mls carrier oil.
- Yoga breathing methods strengthen the lungs and diaphragm. Get your child to place his hands on his abdomen and breath in slowly, feeling his stomach pushing out. Ask the child to hold this for a moment, then breath out slowly.
- Plunging the feet into a hot footbath can help to ease an attack.
- Reflexology point: try massaging the reflex area between the big toe and second toe on both feet.