HealingJunction.com of Chicago: Chinese herbal medicine, acupuncture, and other alternative medical interventions treating
arthritis, Asthma, Chronic Fatique, Crohn's Disease, Diabetes, Headache, Hepatitis, Irritable Bowel, PMS and Sinusitis.
 

 

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Natural Healing Tips

Asthma is a serious condition and must be actively managed and monitored. At Asthma Junction, we hope to complement, not replace, your current approach. Below we suggest general dietary, supplemental, and lifestyle approaches that can help you keep your asthma under control.

Note: The recommendations listed here are not a substitute for conventional care. To determine which herbs, vitamins, and supplements are optimal for your specific condition, you should speak with one of our licensed practitioners. Click here for a free, confidential phone consultation.

Herbs
Vitamins and Supplements
Dietary Principles
Lifestyle Guidelines
Body Movement and Exercise
Mind-Body Connection

Herbs

Chinese herbs address asthma with formulas that have stood the test of time, thousands of years in fact. These herbs have consistently been found effective in improving the symptoms of asthma sufferers.

However, which combination of herbs is right for you depends on the specific nature of your asthma. Please sign up for a free, confidential phone consultation with one of our licensed practitioners to determine which herbs and other approaches are best for you.
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Vitamins and Supplements

Here are some well-recognized aids in supporting the lungs and immune system. To determine which are best suited to you and in what amounts, again, please sign up for a phone consultation.

Omega III Essential Fatty Acids: Several clinical studies have shown that omega III fatty acids offer significant benefits in treating asthma. In particular, improvements in airway response to allergens have been noted.

Antioxidants: Asthma appears to be an inflammatory and allergic disease process that is greatly influenced by antioxidants. Asthma rates have climbed in the U.S. as we have lowered our intake of antioxidants in our diet. Antioxidants include vitamins A, C, and E, as well as beta-carotene and the minerals zinc, selenium, and copper. Antioxidants are thought to provide important defense for the lungs because free radicals and other agents can stimulate bronchial constriction.

Vitamin C: Especially important to the health of the lungs, as it is a major antioxidant in the lining of the lungs. Vitamin C exerts a number of beneficial effects to counter the allergic response. In particular, it prevents the creation of histamine by white blood cells.

Beta-carotenes: Powerful antioxidants that may strengthen the lining of the lungs.

Vitamin E: An antioxidant and an inhibitor of leukotriene, which suggests that vitamin E supplementation may be helpful in combating asthma.

Selenium: Low selenium levels have been found in many asthma patients.

Magnesium: Controls smooth bronchial muscles. Intravenous magnesium is now a well-proven and clinically accepted measure to halt an acute asthma attack. Oral magnesium impacts lung function and asthma severity.

Quercetin: A flavanoid that has been shown to inhibit histamine release from the mast cells. It also neutralizes unstable oxygen molecules that can cause bronchial inflammation.

Vitamin B6: People with asthma are often deficient in vitamin B6.

Vitamin B12: One clinical trial using weekly injections of B12 produced measurable improvement in asthma patients.

Multi-vitamin and mineral formula: A good way to get many of the above supplements in one pill.
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Dietary Principles

To best combat asthma, your diet should be high in protein and low in carbohydrates. Sugar can aggravate asthma, and intake should be reduced as much as possible.

Things to Do:

  • Try to increase consumption of foods containing flavonoids and carotenes, such as fresh fruits, yellow vegetables, leafy vegetables, brown rice, whole grains, and oatmeal.
  • Eat foods high in essential fatty acids such as flax oil, canola oil, walnuts, cold water fish, herring, sardines, and salmon.
  • Eat garlic, onions, and grape skins. These foods contain quercetin, which reduces inflammation of the mast cells lining the lung walls.
  • You might consider a cleansing diet or juice fast (3-7 days), followed by a vegetarian diet with emphasis on alkaline-forming foods, such as: avocados, corn, dates, fruits, vegetables, honey, raisins, and soy products.
  • Drink only steam distilled or non-chlorinated water.

Things to Avoid:

  • Avoid consumption of foods that create phlegm or aggravate the asthma.
      This can include dairy products, cold beverages, white flour, eggs, processed foods, red meat, sugar, bananas, and peanuts. (See our food allergy/elimination suggestions below).
  • Avoid excessive calcium intake.
  • Avoid sulfites, a preservative found in processed foods, fruit, and wine.
  • Avoid excessive fat, high proteins, low fiber, and fried foods.
  • Avoid alcohol, drugs, and tobacco.

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Lifestyle Guidelines

Consider these general guidelines to help support your lungs and immune system:

  • Eliminate environmental allergies.
  • Eliminate rugs, wall hangings, feather pillows.
  • Avoid exposure to cats.
  • Clean your air filters for heating and cooling systems at regular intervals.
  • Use environmentally balanced cleaning solutions.
  • Mop walls, floor, ceilings, and other areas where mold is likely to grow.
  • Avoid toxic chemicals such as paint, pesticides, herbicides, fuels or solvents.
  • Use a high-quality vacuum.
  • Check your home and job for exposure to potentially toxic substances, such as gas leaks or harmful chemicals.

Also:

  • Have adequate and balanced nutrition (see Dietary Principles).
  • Take the appropriate vitamins and minerals.
  • Get plenty of rest, generally at least 7 hours per day.
  • Reduce stress levels.
  • If stress is part of your life, find simple ways to defuse it. Take a walk in nature, meditate, help someone with his or her problems, work in a garden or just take deep, cleansing breaths. Explore and find what works for you.

Finally:

  • Consider having your thyroid function checked.
  • Check for Candida overgrowth and Bowel Toxicity.

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Body Movement and Exercise

Life is movement. Without it we atrophy. Sometimes exercise is difficult to do if we can't breathe or are in pain or any number of reasons. Yet we need to move to stay well.

Historically in Chinese medicine, exercise is one of the branches studied and offered in approaches to disease. Yoga and Tai Chi are well known aspects of this application. These are wonderful techniques that can help improve our stamina, increase flexibility, and boost the immune system. They also have been shown to help calm the mind and reduce stress. There are many books and tapes on Yoga and Tai Chi that can help get you started.

Our suggestion is that you find some way to bring movement into your life. If it is currently difficult to do any exercise, start very slowly. Even if it is only five minutes a day. If you find any of your symptoms increasing, do less, but do something.

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Mind-Body Connection

Transformation

The famous Chinese physician, Huang Ti (2500 BC) wrote in the The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine, which some consider the oldest medical text, "If you truly want to heal the body you must heal the spirit first." This means that we must look in our hearts if we want to make our transformation complete.

If you do not have severe symptoms, you are lucky. But this could be an obstacle, too. Because you don't necessarily feel badly, there might not be much motivation to treat your condition seriously. That would be a mistake.

Whether you have a severe condition or no symptoms at all, you have an opportunity to change the course of your illness. There is no "magic bullet", no herb, no drug or anything that can completely cure it. Many of us have been taught that our bodies are machines that can be fixed with the incision of a knife or the ingestion of a pill, using a mechanistic approach that usually ignores the mind-body connection. Western medicine has come up with miraculous interventions that have helped many. But, as you know, it has not come up with a satisfactory treatment for every condition.

Spirituality and healing

A positive mental attitude can only aid the healing process. It might mean going to church and praying or taking a walk in the woods or helping another person. What is it that makes you feel connected?

We all struggle to obtain things even if it is as basic as paying the rent or putting food on the table. Developing a spiritual life is as important as exercise or diet. If we go through life angry, fearful, jealous, or bitter it will affect us physically. If we already have a condition that is life threatening, we are doing even more damage.

Creating harmony is essential in healing. So how do we develop spirituality? It's not easy. It takes commitment to work on the negative patterns that have been part of our lives.

We must try to embrace love and reject fear. Most of our lives are built around fear. The fear of losing what we have, our homes, our jobs, our lives. Our fear ends up controlling us, blocking out the love we have for others and ourselves. If we find methods that help us lose that fear, we only stand to gain.

Since this fear is borne of our mind, calming practices such as prayer, Yoga, meditation, or Tai Chi can help us tame the habitual patterns that control us. Most of us have an inner dialogue that we carry on with ourselves, often worrying about things that we can't even control.

What we are trying to do with these calming practices is turn that dialogue down and in time gain some control over it. For you, it might be gardening or cooking, but whatever it is, the idea is to truly relax and curtail the negative patterns that stress us out and actually make us sick.

Explore. Look for the things that you know relax you and give you peace. Help others who are suffering. Go out in nature, when possible given your condition. Remember, life is short.

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  HealingJunction.com of Chicago: Chinese herbal medicine, acupuncture, and other alternative medical interventions treating
arthritis, Asthma, Chronic Fatique, Crohn's Disease, Diabetes, Headache, Hepatitis, Irritable Bowel, PMS and Sinusitis.
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