Molly Gordon wrote:I also suffer from asthma. Don't think people who don't have it realize how incredibly scary and life-threatening it can be when you suddenly can't breathe Was diagnosed with it a couple of years ago after it would progressed annually in the winter into pneumonia and things would go downhill from there. I would be making several trips to the ER because I simply couldn't breathe. Their solution was to tell me to always carry and use one of those nasty asthma inhalers. One whiff and many heart palpitations later, decided I would never ever use that again.
Tried many homemade and purchased herbal remedies. Nothing really worked or solved the issue--for my body. And I think that is key. I personally believe everyone is different. And a blanket approach, whether traditional or homeopathic, is not always the answer and can be so incredibly frustrating because "this is supposed to work--you as the patient must be doing something wrong." Always lurking in the back of my mind was fear from the unsettling words from an ER doc. He said eventually--in whatever form of illness I had--pneumonia would be my death knell.
Fast forward a few years and my homeopathic practitioner has come up with the perfect combination for me. That gnawing fear every time I even slightly struggle to breathe is gone.
Here's My lifesaving, and fear routing routine:
I moved from California to the East Coast. Much colder. I Always wear a mask (which doesn't look weird now!) when breathing Any cold air. No cold air going down your windpipes, far less asthma. Ditto with even a not so cold rainy, foggy day. You would think would be the other way around. Nope. Even taking one step out the door and breathing one, single breath of really cold air can put me into an immediate asthma attack. Put on a mask, protect myself from windy blasts, job done, normal life.
When I do get asthma, absolutely nothing works better than Peppermint Oil to immediately open the lungs. Obviously get a good brand, organic, US made, full strength, no other oils, scents or additives. (amazon: Naturenics) Kind of a funny way to do this, but here's how. Wash your hands. Dry with a clean towel. Shake TWO drops of Peppermint onto the back of your hand, then lick it. No, I'm not kidding. The oil will give you a rush of peppermint that will immediately open your lungs. Know that icy cold feeling if you sucked on a Wintergreen lozenge? Same kind of feeling. I have done three drops, but only in an emergency. Usually if the asthma is bad, I'll do two drops and then follow up a few minutes later with another two. The oil won't hurt you, but more than two drops will give you a cold, wintery burning blast. (Peppermint Oil does double duty when you have an upset tummy. A couple of drops in a few tablespoons of water will settle your stomach.) At first I was using this wonderful tool only when the asthma got really bad. Then I learned to use it at the first sign to stop asthma in its tracks. It comes in a 1 oz bottle so THAT is what I carry with me at all times. The first time I tried this on my practitioner's advice, I thought it was silly and wouldn't work. Did it just to humor him. Wow. Instantly being able to take a full breath, plus the empowering feeling that the product is safe, inexpensive, so easy to purchase, use, and carry has made me a Peppermint Oil convert.
Bupleurum & Cinnamon Formula Herbal Supplement: As a preventative and after a sudden, unexpected asthma attack. Besides cold or wet air, dust or spores from your garden soil or compost pile, chemical smells, etc. could be the cause. And yes, do use a Netti pot all year round. The Chinese name of the supplement is Chai Hu Gui Zhi Tang. It has a long lineup of ingredients, including Dan Shen, but the main one is Bupleurum Chinese Root. Made in Taiwan, available through Golden Flower Chinese Herbs, Albuquerque, NM, USA. I noticed an immediate improvement with 2 days of using. I use sporadically or preventively now as needed if my lungs are acting up or the temperature really drops.
LacticPlus Oral Drops. This one's a little harder to get as you need a medical doctor or homeopathic practitioner to order for you from BioResource in Cotati, CA, USA. It's made in Germany and I believe they are still the only US supplier. It's only ingredient, in various percentages, is Acidum Sarcolacticum. The weird thing is it's a "neck bone connected to the back bone" kinda concept. Uhhh...how can I translate that abroad...I think it's a meridian concept. "Lactic" obviously refers to the lactic acid in your stomach. And it is marketed as "For relief of overly acidic stomach". But it also works for your lungs...because all our organs have inner connectivity, if I've lost you on body meridians. Anyway, this trio has brought my annual asthma/pneumonia occurrences and ensuing fear down from about 10 - 12 per winter incidences to about 1-2.
BOOST Oxygen. This last one is my absolute last resort. After a trip to a big city that had something going on that just smacked my lungs and cut off my breathing capacity to the barest minimum, I never travel far from home without this. Could have been the high EMF's from cell phone towers, radio towers, new pollen, smog that I'm not used to. Whatever it was, we got about a half hour from this city and were in the middle of Nowhere and suddenly I could barely breathe. My husband was driving as fast as he could over curvy mountainous roads and I was literally pounding my own lungs because that seemed to help me breathe. After that scare, my day trip "go bag" contains all of the above and this breathing oxygen. (amazon, US made. Get it plain, not scented. Because WHY scented???) Comes in a tall metal can that looks like that old-fashioned, metal hair spray bottle your grandmother used. Plus a green plastic mouthpiece at the top. There is a slight learning curve to inhaling it, but once you get the hang of it, it's all good and it saves me from an ER trip if things get really bad. Not very expensive and allays my very last fear about asthma, so priceless. It's "10 liters of 95% pure aviators, natural breathing oxygen". Recommended to me by my homeopathic doc. He initially wanted me to have my own oxygen tank at home but couldn't order it for me as we are in different states. Plus, a big tank of oxygen was intimidating and scary to me and the concept just added to the fear I would have to permanently be on oxygen one day. You can't stick this in your luggage, obviously. as it might explode! It's called aviator oxygen because it's the level of oxygen maintained when you fly in an airplane. As opposed to pure, medical grade oxygen you would get in an ER setting or if it is prescribed for you. But, it is a good blast of oxygen that makes your lungs stand up and take notice. So, it's safe for personal use, but it will give you a sore throat if you overuse. I take no more than 2-3 whiffs at a time and then do that no more than 2-3 times a day. Again, this is my last resort, and I don't use it without careful consideration. I know it's used in sports for aerobic performance and my brother says his rock and mountain climbing buddies use it for high altitude issues. But still, I think it should be used carefully. If nothing else, overuse and it will give you a headache.
I really can't begin to tell you how using the above combination has resulted in a healthier, and physically (and mentally) stronger me. Besides the immediate help, I can tell the short-term healthy lung situation has resulted in long-term healthy lungs as they aren't constantly being assaulted. The other thing that people and all the articles you research about asthma never seem to talk about is the after effects of an asthma attack. Once you are breathing normally again, you (at least I) have one to two weeks of lung congestion that's not fun until it clears out.
And, honestly, whether it is homeopathic or traditional (which I rarely to never use) medicine, if it works, I use it. Because I have learned to be my own powerful healthcare advocate and no one knows better than I what is working for me.