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 Naturopathic Medicine: Asthma 

Sometimes diet alone is not enough to help an illness. Specific vitamin and mineral supplementation to consider with asthma is as follows:

  • Vitamin B12 1000 mg injected intramuscularly, daily for 7 days.
  • Vitamin B6 50 mg twice daily
  • EPA (found in fish oils) 3g daily
  • flax oil 1-2 Tbsp. daily
  • bioflavonoids, especially quercetin or hesperidin, 400 mg 15-30 minutes before meals
  • Beta carotene 100,000 I.U. daily
  • Selenium 250 - 400 mg daily
  • Vitamin E 800 I.U. daily
  • Vitamin C 1-2g daily
  • Magnesium 400 mg daily
  • digestive enzymes can help reduce mucus formation and prevent undigested food from "leaking" into the blood stream, which would cause a systemic inflammatory reaction.
  • N-acetyl cysteine (an amino acid that works well to digest mucus) 500 mg twice daily.
  • pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) 500 mg morning or afternoon

What Herbal Medicine Therapies Are Helpful for Asthma?
A vast array of plant medicines can help to heal asthma. Be sure to consult with a qualified herbalist or naturopathic physician to find the herbs that are local, readily available to you, or processed by a conscientious herbal supplier. Your local herbalist will help you determine the best form and dose for the therapy. The following herbal medicines are particularly useful for asthma.
  • Ammi visnaga, an East Indian plant

  • Brassica spp. (mustard): use in a warm chest compress or as a foot bath for asthma accompanying bronchitis or as foot bath

  • Commiphora myrrha: (Myrhh) works well for asthma with profuse secretion which is expelled with difficulty.

  • Convallaria majalis (Lily of the Valley - beware this can be toxic in relatively low doses) is indicated for cardiac asthma, and combines well with Leonurus cardiaca (Motherwort).

  • Datura stramonium (Thorn apple, toxic!) for chronic asthma

  • Ephedra vulgaris: (Ephedra, the herbal Pseudofed) relieves bronchial spasm. Combines well with Lobelia inflata and Grindelia robusta

  • Euphorbia hirta: works well for bronchitic asthma, especially combined with Grindelia robusta

  • Grindelia robusta: is given for asthma with a dry cough, sense of soreness, rawness. May be best as fresh plant preparation.

  • Lobelia inflata (toxic) for spasmodic asthma with secondary bronchitis. Combines well with Capsicum frutescens, (Cayenne pepper), Grindelia robusta, Drosera rotundifolia, Euphorbia hirta, Ephedra vulgaris

  • Marrubium vulgare (White Horehound) for asthma with moist expectoration, loss of the voice and difficulty breathing.

  • Polygala senega (Milkwort) is for bronchitic asthma; combines well with Euphorbia hirta and Grindelia robusta.

  • Sanguinaria canadensis (Bloodroot, beware, it's toxic) reduces bronchial spasms and combines well with Lobelia inflata.

  • Selenicereus grandiflorus (toxic) for asthma with cardiac symptoms.

  • Symplocarpus foetidus: (Skunk cabbage) is a traditional anti-asthma remedy because it reduces bronchial spasms and relieves cough.

  • Thymus vulgaris: (the culinary herb, Thyme) breaks up mucus secretions in the bronchi.

  • Verbascum thapsus: (Mullein) is very soothing when inhaled from a steaming broth.

  • Viburnum opulus: (Cramp bark) reduces spasms all over the body, including the lungs.

Some traditional asthma remedies using a combination of herbs include:
  • for paroxysmal cough and dry mucous membrane use Eriodictyon californicum plus Grindelia robusta.
  • for a severe attack, when you feel pressed for breath and are wheezing use Gelsemium sempervirens (Yellow jasmine, toxic) plus Ferula sumbul .
  • Verbascum thapsus plus Grindelia robusta

Two more old-fashioned, highly effective herbal remedies worth mentioning are:
For an acute attack:
  • Cramp bark 7.5 mL of tincture
  • Ephedra 5 mL
  • Skunk cabbage 5 mL
  • Thorn apple 3-5 mL
  • Lobelia 7.5 mL
  • Cayenne pepper 5 mL

Mix these ingredients together and take 2-3 dropper fulls every 20-30 minutes until the attack subsides.
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 About The Author
Emily Kane NDA graduate of Bastyr University in Seattle, she completed both the Naturopathic and Acupuncture/Oriental Medicine programs. Her preceptor work (similar to residencies) took place in Seattle, West Virginia and China,......more
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