Keywords: Bronchial Asthma, dyspnoea, wheezing, hypersensitivity, lesser known Homoeopathic remedies.
Introduction: Bronchial Asthma is characterised by an increased responsiveness of the tracheobronchial tree to a variety of stimuli.1,2 It is manifested as paroxysms of dyspnoea, cough and wheezing, resulting from narrowing of the airways by a combination of muscle spasm, mucosal oedema and viscid bronchial secretion.1
- Inflammation of air passages: The leukotrines released from eosinophils and mast cells during inflammation causes bronchospasm.3
- Hypersensitivity to allergens like house dust, pollens, animal danders, moulds etc. and occupational asthma stimulated by fumes, gases, organic and chemical dusts.2
- Pulmonary edema and congestion of lungs caused by left ventricular failure: The asthma developed due to this condition is called cardiac asthma.3
Types: Based on the stimuli initiating bronchial asthma , two broad etiologic types are described: extrinsic (allergic, atopic) and intrinsic (idiosyncratic, non-atopic) asthma.2
1) Extrinsic Asthma
|Age of onset||In childhood|
|Personal/Family history||Commonly present|
|Preceding allergic illness||Present(e.g. rhinitis, urticaria, eczema)|
|Allergens||Present (dust, pollens, danders etc)|
|Serum IgE levels||Elevated|
|Associated chronic bronchitis, nasal polyps||Absent|
2) Intrinsic Asthma:
|Age of onset||In adult|
|Preceding allergic illness||Absent|
|Drug hypersensitivity||Present (usually to aspirin)|
|Serum IgE levels||Normal|
|Associated chronic bronchitis, nasal polyps||Present|
3) Mixed type: Those patients who develop asthma in early life and have strong allergic component, while those who develop the disease late tend to be non-allergic. This type of asthma can be precipitated by cold, exercise and emotional stress. 2
1) Episodic asthma: Wheezing and dyspnea episodes may be spontaneous in onset or triggered by allergens, exercise or viral infections. It lasts for hours, days or weeks.1
2) Acute asthma: Severe air ways obstruction, dyspnoea and unproductive cough. 1
3) Chronic asthma: Chest tightness, wheeze and breathlessness occur on exertion. Episodes of spontaneous cough and wheeze occur during the night. Chronic cough with mucoid sputum. 1
Alumina silicate: Difficult breathing from coughing, asthmatic breathing with rattling in chest.4 Catarrh of chest, pain, raw feeling.5
Aspidosperma: Asthma with difficult respiration.4 Cardiac asthma. 5
Caladium: Asthma alternate with itch rash.4 Catarrhal asthma; mucus not
readily raised. Breathing impeded. 5
Carboneum sulphuratum: Asthma with difficult or fast breathing Broken down constittion by abuse of alcohol.4
Chloralum: Asthma with wheezing respiration; inspiration though the nose and expiration blown from the lips in lying position.4 Extreme dyspnoea, with sensation of weight and constriction of chest. 5
Chromico kali sulphuricum: Asthma with great oppression and thick
expectoration, difficult to detach. 4
Grindelia: Abnormal accumulation of mucus, breathing stops when asleep.4,5 Asthma in old persons suffering from bronchitis which causes partial paralysis of pneumogastric nerve. 4 Cheyne-stokes respiration.5
Hydrocyanic acid : Severe attack of nervous asthma with intense constriction of chest.4 Noisy and agitated breathing. Asthma with contraction of throat. Paralysis of lungs. Cyanosis; venously congested lungs 5
Mephites: Asthma in drunkards. Violent hacking cough as if would die with each attack. 4 Few paroxysms in day time, but many at night with vomiting after eating. 5 Asthma , as from inhaling vapour of sulphur.6
Moschus : In asthma of nervous origin occurring mostly in hysterical women, or in children from exposure to cold; sense of spasmodic constriction in the upper part of the windpipe with paroxysms of suffocating feeling as if caused by inhalation of sulphur vapour. Asthma with anxiety, fear and smothering sensation.5
Pothos foetidus: Asthma worse from inhalation of dust and relieved by stool.4,5
Pulmo vulpis: With enormous whistling and rattling and dropsy of the lungs.4
Wolf’s lung. 5
Senega: Asthma with loud coarse rales of mucus, tough and ropy which cannot be raised; gasping and coughing with dry throat. Chronic bronchitis. Covers catarrhal condition of respiratory organs.4 Cough often ends in a sneeze. Rattling in chest 5
Yerba santa: Wheezing ; asthma , with coryza and mucous secretions. Dull pain in right lung. Burning in fauces. Chronic bronchitis, bronchial tuberculosis, with profuse, easily raised bronchial secretion, giving relief 4,5 Asthma relieved by expectoration. 4
Zinziber: Asthma of gastric origin; breathing difficult. Stitches in chest worse towards morning.4,5
Discussion and conclusion: Bronchial Asthma is disorder that expresses through symptoms like wheezing, dyspnea and cough. Some of the lesser known homoeopathic remedies which are mentioned above can be useful therapeutically to improve quality of life for the patient.
- Praveen A, Mathew G. Medicine. 3rd ed. New Delhi: Elsevier A division of Reed Elsevier India Private Limited; 2010.
- Mohan H. Textbook Of Pathology. 6th ed. New Delhi: Jaypee Brothers Medical Publisher (p) Ltd; 2010.
- Sembulingum K. Essential of Medical Physiology. 4th ed. New Delhi: Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) Ltd; 2006.
- Bishambar Das R. Select your remedy. 16th ed. New Delhi, India.: Bishambar Free Homoeo Dispensary; 1994.
- Boericke D. Pocket manual of homoeopathic materia medica. New Delhi: B. Jain publisher (P) Ltd; 2008.
- Gupta VK. CCRH quarterly bulletin Volume 8 (1-4), 1986. Indian Res Homoeopathy 2013;7(4): 181-83.