HOMEOPATHY FOR ASTHMATamara Der-Ohanian November 18, 2015
Healing Inflammatory Diseases of the Airways
Winter is approaching and it can be a dreary season for asthma sufferers, a great many of whom find that their symptoms get worse during the colder months. Attacks of asthma can also be triggered by substances such as cleaning and laundry products, perfumes, pet dander, pollen, mould, and dust mites. The more imponderable triggers include physical exertion, sudden changes in temperature, and emotional upsets.
Asthma is simply defined as ‘chronic inflammatory disease of the airways’. The inflammation results in a temporary narrowing of the airways that carry oxygen to the lungs. This narrowing gives rise to the symptoms of asthma which include wheezing, difficulty breathing, feeling of tightness in the chest, and chronic cough.
While all of these symptoms are quite common to most asthma sufferers, the specific activating factors for this condition – as well as its manifestations – can be as diverse as the people affected by them.
Individualized treatment is where homeopathy shines. This natural system of medicine is based on treatment that utilizes highly diluted substances that augment the body’s own healing mechanism.
Homeopathy recognizes that illness affects the whole person – mind, body, and spirit combined. As such, the remedies must correspond with the unique symptoms, general nature, and experiences of each individual, rather than with the disease label.
A Case of Asthma with Cough
Intermittent episodes of coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath were Peyton’s main complaints. She reported having experienced more colds in the past two years, with persistent coughing that sometimes escalated to wheezing and shortness of breath. On occasion, the dry cough woke her up at night, but mostly it was triggered by cold and damp weather. Stepping outside in the winter months triggered fits of coughing that lingered for hours.
As is customary in homeopathic case-taking, I gathered all of Peyton’s symptoms pertaining to her cough and asthma. Specifics such as what triggers the cough, the time of day in which the symptoms appear better or worse, and in what bodily position the cough gets aggravated or ameliorated, are all crucial in pinpointing the correct homeopathic remedy. However, the case-taking does not end there.
When consulting a classical homeopath for a chronic ailment, be prepared for a thorough examination of your physical nature. In the course of case-taking, I learned that Peyton had experienced mild wheezing and allergy symptoms in childhood, and that she also had a history of eczema on her buttocks. Now, at the age of 38, she had chronic hip pain and rheumatoid arthritis in her hands. Peyton craved spicy and sour foods, found it difficult to fall asleep before 5:00 am, was a nail biter, and was prone to urinary tract infections.
Next, we delved into Peyton’s emotional nature. She described herself as a sociable and passionate person, and she felt that everything was either “black or white”. Peyton was easily bored and always looking for attention, or for something exciting to conquer. Very impatient, Peyton feared the dark and, when walking home late at night, sometimes had an eerie feeling that someone was behind her.
The remedy Medorrhinum was a good match for the sum of Peyton’s physical and emotional symptoms.
Within weeks of taking this remedy, Peyton’s cough and asthma symptoms subsided significantly. With continued treatment, Peyton reported feeling calmer, and she was able to fall asleep at a reasonable time. Her arthritic pains disappeared and she stopped biting her nails!
A Case of Exercise-Induced Asthma
Michaela, an eight-year-old girl, was brought in by her mother for help with her wheezing and coughing. The symptoms had appeared during Michaela’s recent karate lesson. Over a few weeks, it became apparent that the episodes of wheezing and coughing typically happened following vigorous exertion such as running, dancing, or climbing several flights of stairs.
The very first occurrence of shortness of breath dated back several years to shortly after the birth of Michaela’s younger brother. It began with a chronic cough that escalated to the point of vomiting.
Michaela’s behaviour also changed at that time from happy and outgoing to shy, clingy, and weepy. Her weepiness was significant and unusual. She cried after each asthma attack.
Michaela’s doctor had prescribed two common inhalers – an anti-inflammatory corticosteroid and a bronchodilator – for the acute episodes. Michaela’s asthma had disappeared after a few months of using the medications. However, she developed eczema on her arms and legs – a common side-effect of suppressed asthma.
After gathering a complete picture of Michaela’s symptoms and coming to understand her nature and personality, I prescribed the remedy Pulsatilla.
Michaela’s symptoms completely disappeared within a few months of treatment. She was once again able to engage in physical activity without coughing or wheezing. According to her mother, Michaela was her happy and outgoing self again.
Our bodies are pure energy, and come equipped with an innate healing intelligence.
Homeopathic remedies are highly diluted natural substances in energetic or vibrational form; they work with the body’s own healing intelligence. Homeopathy is based on the important fact that the human organism is always trying to maintain homeostasis and balance itself.
For example, the body creates fever, pain, inflammation, or discharge in order to heal itself. While these symptoms represent the body’s best efforts to heal, it is not always successful. This is where homeopathy comes to the rescue. Homeopathic remedies augment the body’s own healing power in order to complete the curative process that has been set in motion.
Modern medicine treats the symptoms themselves, assuming that, once the symptoms are gone (usually only suppressed), the person is healthy again. In contrast, homeopathy is based on the understanding that symptoms are important manifestations of the illness, and evidence of the body’s struggle to restore balance and health. Thus homeopaths see the symptoms as critical guideposts to what is going on in the body, and not as the problem itself.
Eliminating triggers is one way of avoiding an asthma attack. Using homeopathy can help you restore your health. With homeopathic treatment, asthma sufferers can once again enjoy long walks, exercise, winter weather, and quality time with their favourite pets.
Tamara Der-Ohanian, DSHomMed, HOM, was a registered homeopath practising in North York, Ont. She also taught at the Canadian College of Homeopathic Medicine. Tamara passed away in 2019. For those who are seeking homeopathic approaches to illness, Kerry Walker is a colleague of Tamara's and a graduate of The Canadian College of Homeopathic Medicine. She can be reached at 647-781-4861 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org