(Natural News) The person who coined the expression “stop and smell the roses” for enjoying life’s little things clearly hadn’t met a person suffering from asthma. This chronic condition, marked by the narrowing of the lungs and the production of excess mucus, can make breathing difficult and often trigger wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath.
Most conventional asthma therapies are limited to alleviation and monitoring of symptoms. A study in the Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine looked at herbal remedies used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for treating, and even preventing, certain types of asthma.
Asthma, a condition present in 8.3 percent of American adults, manifests itself differently for each sufferer. For some, it can be either infrequent or cause a minor nuisance; however, for others, it can be persistent or even life-threatening. Some situations that can cause asthma include exercise, work-related exposure, or exposure to airborne substances. Allergic asthma, which is caused by inhaling airborne substances, is the most common form of the condition, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Some allergens that can trigger allergic asthma include dust mites, pet dander, mold, and pollen.
In the study, the researchers wrote that allergic asthma – while it is caused by an imbalance of immune regulation – can be treated using certain immunomodulatory components and traditional Chinese herbal formulas. The latter, in particular, has been used in TCM for thousands of years, but few studies have explored this benefit. Using a systematic review of published scientific literature on evidence-based therapies using Chinese medicine for allergic asthma, the researchers found over 20 spices and more than 30 herb derivatives that exhibited anti-asthmatic properties. The review also identified 12 herbal formulas in TCM which caused reductions in pro-allergic asthma biomarkers. Both the formulas and the herb derivatives possessed anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, and anti-asthma properties.
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The researchers concluded that with more studies to explore the potency of TCM in addressing allergic asthma, it could be used to usher in a “new era” in the development of natural treatments for the condition.
More TCM therapies for relief from allergic asthma
Herbal formulas aren’t the only treatment that TCM has when it comes to allergic asthma. Multiple studies have also shown that acupuncture can also be used to attenuate symptoms of allergic asthma. In a study in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, researchers subjected asthmatic patients to acupuncture treatments over a three-month period and found significant reductions in asthma symptoms. In addition, the patients reported an improvement in their general quality of life after the treatment period. Another study, this time from the Clinical Journal of Chinese Medicine, highlighted that acupuncture is a safe and effective complementary treatment for people with asthma. The two-week study, which compared the effectiveness of using both drug therapy and acupuncture, revealed that acupuncture can greatly improve treatment outcomes for asthma. This meant that acupuncture can be added to a patient’s usual care regimen – often with promising results.
Another promising treatment for allergic asthma is gua sha, a procedure that uses a tool to lightly scrape the skin. The treatment is known to free up clogged meridians, improve blood circulation, and dispel toxins from the body. Aside from acute chronic diseases, gua sha can also be used to treat asthma. For people who are hesitant about gua sha therapy, especially those who believe that it can cause injury, the “bruises” that appear following treatment is caused by red blood cells gathering at the surface tissue.
In fact, Natural News has previously covered how moxibustion, another form of TCM, can reduce the frequency and duration of hospital stays in children with asthma, especially when used with acupuncture.
Asthma isn’t the only condition that TCM treats. Head over to ChineseMedicine.news to learn more.