Poor immunity is an important factor in the susceptibility to recurrent infections and a common finding in children and adults with asthma and obstructive bronchitis.
Immune and Anti-inflammatory Options
Compared to orthodox medicine, this is an area that natural medicine has always excelled in being able to boost an individual’s natural immunity.
Albizzia lebek is a herb with anti-allergic properties, traditionally for respiratory diseases, including asthma and allergic rhinitis (hay fever).
Perilla frutescens is an anti-allergy herb that supports a healthy immune system.
Astragalus membranaceaus is an immune stimulating herb traditionally used for centuries in China, having antiviral activity. It helps to reduce the severity of asthma and is beneficial in times of stress.
A specific combination of three herbs, Rosemary, Olive leaf and Hops has been scientifically shown to have an anti-inflammatory effect, decreasing the activity of immune cells that cause airway swelling.
Vitamin C acts as a anti-histamine and stabilises mast cells, thus helping to reduce the allergic response. Low vitamin C has been associated with lung dysfunction. Asthmatics have low vitamin C levels in the fluid of their lung. Prophylactic administration of ascorbic acid for exercise induced asthma produces beneficial effects. Children, who eat fruits high in vitamin C, like kiwi fruit and citrus fruits, have a lower incidence of asthma.
Magnesium and calcium act as antagonists in bronchial smooth muscle contraction. Magnesium acts as a muscle relaxant in the airways. A British study found that low dietary magnesium was linked to a five-fold risk of asthma. Magnesium deficiency increases the potential for bronchial spasms and constriction. Prolonged physical or emotional stress can cause magnesium deficiency by increasing the excretion of magnesium in urine.
British and NZ studies have linked higher dietary selenium to a lower frequency of asthma. Children with lower blood selenium levels were more likely to have asthma than those with normal selenium levels.
Bromelain, an extract of pineapple reduces inflammation associated with asthma.
Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oils are anti-inflammatory. EPA and DHA found in fish oils are responsible for the anti-inflammatory effects.
Asthma can be eased effectively long term by recognising that poor digestion, poor immunity, diet, stress and weak mucous membranes are strong contributors to the symptoms and severity of asthma.
The sooner asthma is treated by a trained practitioner the easier it is to decrease and eliminate the reliance on orthodox medications and their potential long-term side effects.