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Asthma - Conventional and Natural Treatments


Have you recently been diagnosed with asthma?  Or perhaps your child has just developed the respiratory disorder? 


Despite that fact that it’s a chronic disease, you’ll soon discover there area variety of conventional treatments that help keep the health concern under control.


When you visit your health care practitioner for treatment, he’ll probably offer you a combination of both long-term treatments and short-term relief.  Of course, the exact nature of your treatment depends on your individual circumstances and your symptoms; the following is just some general information on what you may expect from these visits. He’ll probably have at his disposable three types of 

medications.  These will provide you with long-term control over asthma, quick relief when needed and perhaps drugs that are specifically created for the most common of asthma – the allergy induced variety.


Long-term medications that you might find yourself taking every day – whether or not any of the symptoms surface that day – may include inhaled corticosteroids.  These are anti-inflammatory drugs.  Many health-care professionals consider these to be the most effective asthma treatment possible.  Corticosteroids reduce the inflammation and swelling of your airways.  They also help to prevent leakage of fluid in your blood vessels.  Many times your vessels may leak into the tissues of your airways.


Corticosteroids don’t come without some side effects though.  Some individuals say they develop a hoarseness in their voice, others complain of laryngitis.  Taking this medication may also make you more susceptible to oral yeast infections, commonly called thrush.  You may also develop a chronic cough.


In addition to theses side effects, continued use of corticosteroids has been known to cause osteoporosis and cataracts in some.  In children, inhaled corticosteroids have been associated with a slower rate of growth.


If you’re not comfortable with these potential side effects, tell your personal health care practitioner.  There are also several other classes of drugs he may be able to substitute.


For the quick relief of asthma that treats the acute symptoms, your health care practitioner may recommend a short-acting beta-2 agonist.  This is a bronchodilator.  It begins to work within minutes of your using it.  Its effects last for up to six hours. 


If you have allergy-induced asthma, you health care practitioner may suggest that you undergo something called immunotherapy.  Though it sounds pretty scary, immunotherapy is nothing more than a series of allergy-desensitization shots. 


You’ll be given a series of skin tests to determine your exact allergies.  This will then be followed by a series of therapeutic injections which contain small doses of those allergens.


These shots continue about once a week for several months.  Then, soon you’ll find that the frequency of these injections will fall to only once a month.  While this may continue for up to five years, you’ll eventually lose your sensitivity to the allergens.


The treatment isn’t without its drawbacks.  First, it can only be administered once your asthma has been diagnosed as being allergy induced.  But when you undergo this process, you also risk developing an allergic reaction to the series of shots itself.  In some cases – and this is an extremely rare occurrence – life-threatening reactions have been observed.


Natural Treatments


You may want to take matters into your own hands.  Why not try some herbal remedies for your asthma?


Of course, before you do that, you need to talk with your natural health practitioner to ensure that any herbs you choose don’t interfere with any prescription medications you may be taking.


You may also benefit from speaking with a professional herbalist before making your final choices.  She’ll be able to guide to the specific herbs – and the best methods to use them – for your specific circumstances.


Consider first, the little-known herb, lobelia.  It’s legendary for its ability of being an effective expectorant.  This means that it helps to clear mucus from your respiratory tract.  Some herbalists just automatically incorporate this herb into a comprehensive therapy plan for all their clients with asthma.


This, though, is a great example of the potential side effects that some plants carry.  Lobelia, especially when used alone, can be toxic.  So be sure to consult with an herbalist before you take this.


Another good herb for asthma is feverfew.  Rich in vitamins A and C as well as niacin and iron, you can find this herb as a supplement in tablet form.  You may also want to give consideration to using it in its fresh version.


You might want to consider some of these herbs as well.  These all act as antihistamines.  They’ll open your air passages and relieve that asthma-related wheezing.  They include anise, ginger, peppermint and chamomile.


Chamomile may have the additional benefit, according to recent studies performed in Germany, of slowing the body’s reaction to allergens, especially those that trigger asthma attacks.  Chamomile does this by increasing the adrenal glands’ production of cortisone.  This reduces anxiety and in the process the chance of getting an attack.


One herbalist has hit upon a wonderful natural remedy for her clients.  It’s a lavender-chamomile chest rub, using the essential oils of these herbs.  Before going to bed at night just apply this.  It works on two levels.  First, it works wonders as a muscle relaxant and that means it helps to keep your chest muscles and bronchial passage from constricting.


But the chamomile also helps to relax your mind, so it reduces the stress that might contribute to  an attack.  Just take 8 drops of the essential oil of lavender, 2 drops of chamomile essential oil and mix this with a quarter cup of olive oil.  Then you simply rub it in on your chest.  It’s especially useful right before bedtime.


A variation of this rub increases the amount of chamomile by two drops, decrease the lavender by two.  This increased amount of chamomile is the perfect amount for it to work as an antihistamine, which will help open your air passages.




Note: Some statements in this article may not be approved by the FDA. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as professional medical advice.

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