Asthma can have deadly consequences and in extreme cases should obviously be dealt with as a medical emergency. However, in the majority of instances where symptoms may be treated by other means, homeopathy frequently provides excellent results. Constitutional treatment aimed at prescribing on the totality of the symptoms is always preferable, but a number of authors 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 have found consistently useful outcomes provided by the following remedies. For those who fail to respond to the remedy in a reasonable period of time, the services of a competent professional, preferably a homeopath, should be sought.
|Antimonium tart||Commonly indicated in children, asthma appears suddenly at night with a suffocating cough and palpitations and the sufferer feels the need to sit upright. Worse from warm weather or being warm, better for motion, belching or lying on the right side|
|Arsenicum alb||The sufferer has periodic attacks of asthma with a burning sensation in the chest, restlessness, anxiety, extreme fatigue and cold sweats. Attacks may be associated with hayfever or emphysema. Symptoms are worse immediately on lying down, from walking or exertion and better for warmth and warm food.|
|Arsenicum iod||Occasional bouts of asthma that force the sufferer to sit up to breathe, with exhaustion and a burning in the chest. Worse for dry, cold weather or exertion, better for open air.|
|Bromine||Asthma with a sensation of exhaustion and weakness in the chest with difficulty getting air into the lungs. Worse at or near the seashore, warmth or drafts, better for motion or exercise.|
|Carbo veg||Frequently useful in the elderly, this remedy may be indicated where there is an association with gas in the stomach. The sufferer experiences cyanosis, a coldness to the skin and extreme dyspnoea. Worse for sitting or lying down, better for eructation and walking.|
|Cuprum metallicum||Characterised by suddenly occurring spasmodic attacks often arising from emotional disturbances or fright, with facial cyanosis. Hiccoughs often occur before asthma attacks. Worse from motion, menses, touch and pressure, better for drinking cold water.|
|Ipecac||Spasmodic asthma with wheezing, loose cough, a feeling of tightness in the chest, nausea, anxiety, perspiration and restlessness. Worse from motion or warm, humid air, better for open air, rest and pressure.|
|Kali carb||May be indicated by the appearance of wheezing asthmatic attacks frequently occurring just after midnight or around 3 a.m. Worse from walking, cold air or change of weather, better for leaning forward, warm weather and motion.|
|Lachesis||Asthma attacks usually occur on falling asleep or when wrapped too tightly around the throat. Symptoms improve on coughing up phlegm. Worse during and after sleep, hot drinks and during menopause and better for open air and cold drinks.|
|Lobelia inflata||Asthma with often brought on by exercise and preceded with a feeling of prickling over the skin, with nausea and profuse salivation. Worse from exertion, warm food, exposure to cold, better for rapid walking.|
|Natrum sulph||Asthma that often has a familial basis, and may be associated with a rheumatic complaint and occurs during wet weather. It is accompanied by a loose cough producing thick white or greenish mucus. Diarrhoea often arises during or after each attack. Worse for damp weather and lying on the left side, better for open air and lying on the back.|
|Nux vom||Asthma often arises from gastric disturbances, the sufferer is frequently nauseous, flatulent, irritable and constipated and has a yellow-coated tongue. Symptoms are worse after midnight or early morning, and worse for cold or exertion. Better after belching, damp, wet weather, lying on the back, changing sides or sitting up.|
|Sulphur||Asthma often associated with skin disease, or suppression of skin diseases, it occurs from a recurrent cough and produces an expectoration of thick offensive sputum. Worse for bathing and overheating, better for standing and dry, warm weather.|
1. Dooley, T.R, Asthma on the rise- Homeopathy can help, Homeopathy Today, 2002, November, 6-7.
2. Hunton, M, Asthma- What homoeopathy can offer, Health and Homoeopathy, Summer, 1994, 9-11.
3. Rai Bahadur Bishambur Das Select Your Remedy, 14th ed, may 1992, B Jain, New Delhi, India
4. Clarke Dr JH, A Clinical Repertory to the Dictionary of the Materia Medica, Health Sciences Press, England, 1979 ISBN 0 85032 061 5.
5. Dewey Dr WA, Practical Homoeopathic Therapeutics, 2nd Edition, B Jain, New Delhi, 1991 . 8. Bouko Levy MD Dr Michael M. Homeopathic and Drainage Repertory, Editions Similia, France, 1992, ISBN-2-904928-70-7.
6. Raue MD, CG, 4th Edition, Special Pathology and Diagnostics with Therapeutic Hints, 1896 (B Jain, New Delhi).
7. Kalvin B Knerr, Repertory of Hering’s Guiding Symptoms of our Materia Medica. (1997, B Jain, New Delhi).
8. Samuel Lilienthal, Homoeopathic Therapeutics, 3rd edition, 1890, Indian Books and Periodicals.