The basic approach in Homeopathy is to evaluate the disease of asthma in its whole extent, that is giving consideration and value to all the symptoms which might be inter related to one another and characterizing a case as an individual. Whereby a lot of emphasis is given to the patient as a whole besides minutely studying various aspects of asthma.
The homeopathic approach is to boost up the defense mechanism which fights off the allergens making the body to restore health. There is no single specific remedy for all the cases of asthma, therefore it becomes important to individualize each and every case. If the patient is already on corticosteroid, it should never be stopped abruptly as it may worsen the situation. It is best to start off with homeopathic treatment and then gradually taper off the corticosteroid.
The Homeopathic Remedies should be taken under the supervision of a qualified Homeopathic Consultant as self-treatment might complicate the case.
Homeopathic medicines for asthma can be selected by a Homeopathic doctor depending upon :
Onset of Asthma
Variability is one of the chief feature of asthma, hence the onset may be sudden or gradual. The intensity of the symptoms at the beginning of the attack may be so mild that the patient will hardly feel anything or it may be so severe that it becomes a life threatening situation. The duration of the attack may vary from a few minutes to few days or even up to a few weeks, if timely treatment is not taken.
Beginning of the Asthma attack can be of Insidious (gradual) or Sudden in nature.
I. Insidious : The duration of the episode is gradual (slow) and it may have well developed or less marked symptoms.
Insidious onset with less marked symptoms : During early stages where the onset is very slow and symptoms take a long time to develop, remedies like Bryonia, Dulcamara, Gelsemium, Rhus Tox may help, according to the symptoms of the individual. But a family history or a past personal history may help in finding a definite fundamental (miasmatic) cause in which case anti-miasmatic remedies may help like:
Tuberculinum, Psorinum, Medorrhinum, Syphilinum, Sulphur
These remedies help:
- To bring out developing symptoms thereby giving a complete symptom picture for selection of similimum (according to homeopathic principle, a disease produced in an individual is removed by a medicine having similar signs and symptom as that of the disease).
- To arrest the progress of the disease and gives some relief to the patient.
- To bring out the problems suppressed long ago.
Insidious onset with marked symptoms
The patient presents with difficulty in breathing, cough, with or without expectoration. The symptoms might settle to the chest producing cough and congestion, leading to typical chest spasm which is described as “Wheeze“. The breathlessness when intense, gives panting, weakness and exhaustion due to inadequate oxygenation. Coughing may be a constant accompanied symptom which may either be spasmodic (constricting), barking, hacking or violent. As the symptoms are well developed (i.e. have the modality) one must try to find out the individualizing feature and prescribe according to characteristic totality (set of unique symptoms which individualizes the patient).
II. Sudden : Duration of episode in such cases varies from a few hours to few days. Cases with sudden onset are of two categories.
Sudden onset with a definite precipitating cause :Cause can be physical or emotional. These causes must be taken into account while prescribing homeopathic medicine.
- Physical causes : This may include drinking cold water, exposure to cold air, smoking, mechanical injury to spine etc. Remedies like Aconite, Belladonna, Arsenic may help. Some remedies that may help in removing bad effects of smoking are:
|Ignatia, Tabacum, Caladium, Nux Vom|
- Emotional Causes : Anger, depression, joy, excitement, bad news etc. Remedies like Nux Vomica, Chamomilla in cases where anger is the exciting cause.
Sudden onset without a definite precipitating cause :In these cases, along with the symptoms the following factors are given due consideration:
- Weather or Season : Any change in the weather or any particular weather may act as the exciting cause which may become important from the prescription point of view. Some seasons / weather which may be helpful in the selection of a homeopathic remedy.
- Posture of the patient during an attack : Since mostly in a acute attack common symptoms are present, the posture of the patient is very important. By just looking at the patient or by asking about the postures in which the patient feels worse or better, one can select the remedy. For Example, If a patient feels better lying on back then the remedy is Cactus, but if the posture is nearly the same and the patient lies with arms out stretched then the remedy is Psorinum. Thus the posture of a person during an asthmatic attack may help the homeopathic physician in selecting the most appropriate remedy.
Different kinds of Postures :-
- Complaints alternating with Asthma : Any complaint alternating with Asthma should be given due importance in the selection of the remedy. For Example, when :
|With diarrhea||Kali Carb|
|With vomiting||Cuprum Metallicum|
|With eruptions||Caladium, Croton-tig., Lachesis, Mezereum, Rhus-tox., Sulphur|
|With headache||Glonoine, Kali-bromatum|
|With gout||Benzoic-acid, Lycopodium|
- Time of Attack : When no other precipitating factor is found out, time of attack becomes the deciding factor for remedy selection.
- Complaints with Asthma : Any complaint occurring before the onset of asthma or along with asthma may be considered for prescription. For example, for asthma with vertigo (giddiness), Kali Carb can help.
Classification of Asthma
I. Atopic Asthma with Rhinitis
Many Homeopathic remedies have this feature and can be used in such cases. Selection of the remedy depends upon the sequence of symptoms which is characteristic in each individual case. Remedies like:
Aconite, Ammonium Carbonicum, Ammonium Muriaticum, Bryonia, Ipecacuanha, Naja tripudians, Natrum Arsenicum, Silphium, Sticta Pulmonale, Wyethia
II. Atopic Asthma with Laryngo-tracheo-bronchitis
Homeopathy has many remedies for such cases like:
Arsenic Album, Argentum Metallicum, Argentum Nitricum, Bryonia, Causticum, Calcarea Carbonicum, Dulcamara, Phosphorus, Oxalic Acid
III. Atopic Asthma with Dermato-respiratory Syndrome
- Asthma after Suppression of Skin Complaints : For asthma after suppression of eruptions Pulsatilla and Apis are the main remedies. Other remedies include:
Arsenicum Album, Carbo Veg, Dulcamara, Ferrum metallicum, Ipecacuanha, Psorinum, Sulphur
- Asthma with Skin Complaints : Ipecac is well indicated for Asthma with skin disease and for asthma with itching one must think of:
Caladium, Cistus and Sabadilla
- Asthma alternating with Skin Complaints : When asthma alternates with skin complaints, remedies like Hepar Sulph, Kalmia, Sulphur may help. Other remedies include:
Caladium, Croton tig, Lachesis, Mezereum, Rhus Tox
IV. Atopic Asthma with Gastro-respiratory Syndrome
Here, the remedy can be selected on the basis of the Food causing allergy. For example :
When egg causes asthmatic symptoms, depending upon the symptoms of the individual patients the homeopathic doctor may prescribe the following medicines: China-arsenicum, Colchicum, Ferrum Metallicum, Ferrum Muraticum. Some other food allergies which are helpful in selection of the remedy.
V. Non-Atopic Asthma from Mechanical Obstruction
In most of these cases, where there is mechanical obstruction the object causing obstruction has to be removed and after that one can take homeopathic remedy according to symptoms of the case.
|For Millar’s Asthma, following remedies can be helpful|
|Sambucus, Chloralum, Belladonna, Chelidonium, Lachesis, Mephites, Oleum animalis, Moschus|
VI. Non-Atopic Asthma associated with Infection
Whenever we get a history of repeated upper respiratory infection, following remedies may help:
Bacillinum, Blatta orientalis, Eriodictyon, Hepar Sulph, Silicea, Tuberculinum
In the treatment of Asthma, it is very important to have a detailed family history. Sometimes we find that the remedy which is prescribed in asthma is able to control the attack but has no effect on the intensity and frequency of the subsequent attacks. In such cases, we require constitutional remedy. Therefore, we can say that the acute similar remedy was correct one. To remove the basic tendency of asthma or to carry out further progress towards the cure of patient, we require another remedy (i.e. Constitutional Remedy):
I. Family History of Cancer : If an asthmatic gives a history that his or her mother had cancer while the patient was in womb, then Carcinosin can be taken as Intercurrent Remedy.
II. Family History of Tuberculosis : If the patient shows positive family history of tuberculosis, then Tuberculinum can be given as Intercurrent Remedy.
III. Family History of Diabetes Mellitus : In a positive family history of diabetes, Thuja can be taken as an Intercurrent Remedy.
IV. Family History of Asthma and Allergies
- When the family history towards allergies is positive, one can take remedies like Sulphur, Lycopodium, and Calcarea Carb.
- For family history of asthma, remedies like Sulphur, Natrum Sulph, Medorrhinum, Tuberculinum, etc can be taken. The symptom picture of the patient is the guide for the selection of these remedies.
Psychosomatic Aspect of Asthma
Most of the times psychogenic causes are overlooked by the attendants of the patients and by the doctor but they are very important in the selection of the remedy. There are many remedies for such patients. These remedies have a peculiar mental state which corresponds to the psychology of the patient.
|According to General Symptoms|
|Acute Asthma||Aconite, Aralia Racemosa, Aspidosperma, Blatta Orientalis, Cassia Sophera, Eriodictyon, Grindelia, Ipecacuanha, Justicia, Kali Nitricum, Lobelia Inflata, Luffa Operculata, Ocimum Sanctum, Sambucus Nigra, Senega|
|Chronic Asthma||Argentum Nitricum, Arsenic Album, Cocculus, Kali Hydriodum, Nux Vomica, Plumbum Metallicum, Sulphur|