Modem medical system has not been able to find a cure for this crippling disease. Drugs and vaccines have only limited value in alleviating the symptoms. Most of these are habit forming and the dose has to be increased from time to time to give the same amount of relief. The frequent introduction of drugs in the system, while giving only temporary relief, tends to make asthma chronic and incurable. Allergy, which is the immediate cause of asthma, itself is an indication of lowered resistance and internal disharmony caused by faulty eating and bad habits. This is the root cause and the real cure lies in a return to nature.
The natural way to treat asthma consists of stimulating the functioning of slack excretory organs, adopting appropriate diet patterns to eliminate morbid matter and reconstruct the body, and practising yogasanas, yogic kriyas and pranayamas to permit proper assimilation of food and to strengthen the lungs, digestive system and circulatory organs.
The patient should be given an enema to clean the colon and prevent auto-intoxication. Mud-packs applied to the abdomen will relieve the fermentation caused by undigested food and will promote intestinal peristalsis. Wet packs should be applied to the chest to relieve the congestion of the lungs and strengthen them. The patient should be made to perspire through steam bath, hot foot bath, hot hip bath and sun bath. This will stimulate the skin and relieve congested lungs.
The patient should fast for a few days on lemon juice with honey and thereafter resort to a fruit juice diet to nourish the system and eliminate the toxins. Solid foods can be included gradually. The patient should, however, avoid the common die tic errors. Ideally, his diet should contain a limited quantity of carbohydrates, fats and proteins which are acid-forming foods, and a liberal quantity of alkaline foods consisting of fresh fruits, green vegetables and germinated gram. Foods which tend to produce phlegm such as rice, sugar, lentils and curds as also fried and other difficult-to-digest foods should be avoided.
Asthmatics should always eat less than their capacity. They should eat slowly, chewing their food properly. They should drink eight to 10 glasses of water a day, but should avoid taking water or any liquid with meals. Spices, chillies and pickles, too much tea and coffee should also be avoided.
Asthma, particularly when the attack is severe, tends to destroy the appetite. In such cases, do not force the patient to eat. He should be kept on fast till the attack is over. He should, however, take a cup of warm water every two hours. An enema taken at that time will be very beneficial.
Eating the right foods may alleviate or prevent asthmatic attack by helping control underlying inflammation of air passages, dilating air passages, thinning down mucus in the lungs and preventing food allergy reactions that trigger asthma attacks.
Eating onion regularly is one of the most effective remedies for asthma. A prominent researcher in the field, Dr. Walter Dorsch of Johannes-Guttenberg University in Mainz, Germany, has discovered strong anti-inflammatory activity in both onion juice and specific onion compounds. In one such test, an onion chemical diphenylthiosulphinate displayed higher anti-inflammatory activity than the popular anti inflammatory drug prednisolone. Dr. Dorsch has found that onions do have direct anti-asthmatic effects. He credits thiosulphinates in onions as the major active anti-inflammatory agents. However, onions are the richest of all foods in another powerful anti-inflammatory compound, quercetin, which also can relieve allergies.
Eating hot pungent foods can give immediate relief from asthma. According to Dr. Irwin Ziment, a pulmonary disease expert, hot chilli pepper, spicy mustard, garlic and onions can all make breathing easier for asthmatics by opening up air passage. He explains that such foods have mucus moving activity that thins out the viscous mucus which otherwise would plug up the small airways, making breathing difficult for asthmatics. Dr. Ziment believes that fiery foods stimulate nerve endings in the digestive tract which releases waterly fluids in the mouth, throat and lungs. These secretions help thin down the mucus, so it does not clog airways and can be expelled, allowing normal breathing.
Honey is considered beneficial in the treatment of asthma. It is said that if a jug of honey is held under the nose of an asthma patient and he inhales the air that comes into contact with the honey, he starts breathing easier and deeper. The effect lasts for about an hour or so. This is because honey contains a mixture of 'higher' alcohols and ethereal oils and the vapours given off by them are soothing and beneficial to the asthma patients. Honey usually brings relief whether the air flowing over it is inhaled or whether it is eaten or taken either in milk or water. It thins out accumulated mucus and helps its elimination from the respiratory passages. It also tones up the pulmonary parenchyma and thereby prevents the production of mucus in future.
Another effective remedy for asthma is garlic. The patient should be given daily garlic cloves boiled in 30 gms. milk as a cure for early stages of asthma. Steaming ginger tea with minced garlic cloves in it can also help to keep the problem under control and should be taken both in the morning and evening. Turmeric is also regarded as an effective remedy for bronchial asthma. The patient should be given a teaspoon of turmeric powder with a glass of milk two or three times daily. It acts best when taken on an empty stomach.
During the attack, mustard oil mixed with little camphor should be massaged over the back of the chest. This will loosen up phelgm and ease breathing. The patient should also inhale steam from the boiling water mixed with caraway seeds. It will dilate the bronchial passage. The patient should also follow the other laws of Nature. Air, sun and water are great healing agents. Regular fasting once a week, an occasional enema, breathing exercises, fresh air, dry climate, light exercises and correct posture go a long way in treating the disease.