Are You Putting Your Trust in the Wrong Places? : Natural Asthma Treatments

Are You Putting Your Trust in the Wrong Places? : Natural Asthma Treatments

Posted on August 15, 2012 by Barbara Cybart in Introductory Topics

The Asthma Society of Canada issued this disclaimer about natural asthma treatments in their Asthma Basics Booklet Series:

“There is no evidence of any benefit from the unconventional therapies

for asthma, such as acupuncture, chiropractic, homeopathy, naturopathy,

osteopathy and herbal remedies. If you decide to use unconventional

therapies, tell your doctor and keep taking your asthma medications[1].”

The Canadian Lung Association, The World Health Organization, and The World Lung Foundation only support allopathic[2] asthma treatments; controller (preventer) and rescue medicines such as corticosteroids and salbutamol respectively and do not endorse any natural asthma treatments.

Taking that in mind, there are many websites who offer guidance on how to manage your asthma by avoiding triggers and are simply misnamed as “Natural Asthma Treatments” or “Asthma Home Remedies”, since the Merriam-Webster definition of a remedy is ‘a medicine, application, or treatment that relieves or cures a disease[3]’ and the definition of a treatment is ‘the action or manner of treating a patient medically or surgically[4]’.

Let us take for example the article, 25 Home Remedies for Asthma. It claims to offer 25 natural asthma treatments however, in reality it suggests methods for avoiding triggers, such as animal dander, dust mites (their feces and corpses), mold, pollen, tobacco smoke (whether first hand or second hand), certain chemicals, weather, certain foods, health problems, certain drugs and stress. It does not recommend any herbal remedies or natural asthma treatments. Alongside the trigger reduction methods, the article offers tips on how to lead a healthier life while living with asthma through proper breathing techniques, exercise, weight management, maintaining a positive attitude. The article includes several foods that help with asthma management such as coffee, onions, chilli peppers, orange juice, salmon, yogurt, peppermint extract vaporizers, a vegan diet and minimizing salt intake. They also suggest putting a cheese cloth over air vents to minimize the amount of dust in the air.  Furthermore, the article is accompanied by a disclaimer, disavowing natural asthma treatments:

“This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider[5].”

Therefore, there is no doubt that this article does not offer natural asthma treatments or asthma home remedies, unapproved by allopathic medicine, but good advice on how to manage asthma symptoms and minimize asthma attacks.

The enforcement of such natural asthma management techniques not, natural asthma treatments, would undoubtedly improve an asthmatics health, but only when used in cohesion with conventional allotropic medicines. However, when making health oriented decisions consulting a medical professional is highly recommended to minimize any potential adverse effects.

[1] Medications, Asthma Basics #3, Use as prescribed. Asthma Society of Canada. July 2012.

[2] Allopathic: relating to or being a system of medicine that aims to combat disease by using remedies (as drugs or surgery) which produce effects that are different from or incompatible with those of the disease being treated

[3] Merrian-Webster Online Dictionary. Accessed August 1, 2012.

[4] Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. Accessed August 1, 2012.

[5] 25 Home Remedies for Asthma. Ediotrs of the Consumer Guide. Accessed August 1, 2012.