Herbal medicine is one of an array of natural therapies that are used to alleviate a range of conditions, including asthma. This follows the trend to more complementary treatments, with fewer side effects, which are increasingly used in conjunction with traditional medicine and drugs.
Asthma is a condition where the tubes and passageways of the lungs temporarily constrict, and may be accompanied by mucous production. This leads to symptoms that include a cough, shortness of breath, fatigue and wheezing. There is no conventional explanation for the condition though it is thought genetic factors may be partly to blame. Other factors, or triggers, can include a range of environmental conditions such as air quality and the presence of pollen or dust in the atmosphere. In the home pet hair or fur and dust or dust mites can also trigger the condition. It is believed that children whose mothers smoke during pregnancy are also more susceptible to asthma. Conventional medicinal treatments include vapour pumps which deliver the drug directly to the lungs.
Herbal medicine, or botanical medicine, uses plants and plant derivatives to heal a wide range of conditions, including asthma. This is a tradition that goes back many centuries and is common to many cultures including the Roman and Greek era as well as African, Asian and Western cultures. Plants and herbal remedies derived from plants can be used to treat a range of conditions, including the common cold, allergies, obesity, digestive tract disorders, anxiety and stress, heart and respiratory problems; as well as diabetes. Herbal medicine makes use of plant remedies with much of the plant utilised, including the stem, leaves, seeds, bark and roots. The value of herbal remedies can be seen in the growing trend for modern pharmaceutical companies to base their drugs on plant constituents. This is often based on the chemical compounds of the plant, which have a direct effect on the ailment and condition experienced.
A herbalist is likely to prescribe a remedy that acts as a bronchodilator. This is because the main effect of the condition is the constriction and sensitivity of the lungs and bronchial passages. Other remedies may also be used to relax an asthma sufferer, with the intention of maintaining a normal rate of breathing.
Find out about other effective natural asthma treatments.