Asthma is one of the most distressing diseases, to suffer or to witness. In allopathic circles avowedly a difficult one with which to deal. One authority says “genuine asthma is but rarely completely got rid off”. The asthma I am referring to is the true bronchial or spasmodic variety. If the disease is established in middle life, structural changes of a permanent character ensue. On the other hand, in homoeopathy asthma is one of the most satisfactory diseases to treat in contrast to allopathic treatment. As the cases readily respond to the homoeopathic remedy, it affords a most marked contrast of the efficacy of the two modes of treatment. Since the symptoms of the disease are so distressing and so pronounced, one knows at once, if one has prescribed the correct remedy, so that one need not wait long.
Another reason that I think asthma is so satisfactory to treat homeopathically might not perhaps appeal to every one that is, it exemplifies more than most diseases. The truth of the principle of homoeopathy, that each case of diseases must be treated on its merits and the medicine must not be given because the disease is asthma, in other words, one must in asthma pre eminently treat the patient and not the disease. I have found that nearly every case of this disease needs a different remedy. Each case of asthma is worked out on the basis of generals, mental and peculiar symptoms. It is rarely in my experience that one will have to go beyond the polycrests for a cure , I have practically never had to use any of the more or less “specific” remedies that are associated with this disease e.g. Sambucus ,Lobelia, Quebracho .No doubt these remedies will come in once in a while ,when the better known remedies fail .Even the allopaths recognize the importance of treating each case of asthma on its own individual merits ,but being with out a law to guide ,they have to try each remedy for asthma ,in turn until per chance they hit on the correct one. Thus the following extracts from allopathic text books will show their attitude towards, the treatment of asthma .The physician must find out what is most suitable to the case: one form of medicine benefits one patient ,another form another patient.
In the use of Antispasmodics, we must avoid judging the effects of one from the failure of another of the same class; but in difficult cases we must try each in succession for it often happens that the successful remedy is arrived at only after repeated trials. So much for treatment based on chance as compared to that based on law .As is the case in most diseases, the medicines that the allopaths have come to regard as specifics for asthma have some thing of homoeopathicity about them Potassium iodide ,which is given in most text books as one of the first drugs to try has these symptoms as recorded in “Herrings guiding symptoms are” –no air enters the lungs face livid ;oppression of breathing.
Patient awaking in the morning hours ;asthma in young people .Arsenic another allopathic standby ,has of course homeopathically many asthmatic symptoms .All asthmatic patients have at some time or other sought relief in some of the many “asthma cures” which are in the form of cigarettes or a powder or paper to burn. These usually contain nitrate or chlorate of potash and are often very efficacious in relieving the asthmatic spasm. Kalichlor ,I do not think has been proved homoeopathically ,but “kali-nit” has undoubtedly symptoms resembling asthma in its provings ; distressing dysponea can not lie with head low ; wants to be fanned to keep from suffocating so that where one of these “asthma cures” containing potassium nitrate is of real and lasting benefit ,it may quite well be due to its homoeopathic action .While one of the subject of these “asthma cures” I should like to ask the opinion of other members as to whether in their experience the use of these palliatives by patients under going homoeopathic treatment for their asthma at all interferes with successful result? One can hardly forbid absolutely the patients seeking relief till we are able to effect a cure it is even a question whether the exhaustion caused by these palliative measures is not more prejudicial to the patient’s power of response to homoeopathic medicine than if he is allowed to seek the relief that he knows he can get from these patent remedies .Asthma is one of the most difficult conditions to treat even homoeopathically ,as evidenced by the numerous research projects initiated in various homoeopathic institutions .But so far no concrete guidelines which could benefit the profession ,have emerged from these studies .Homoeopathic trials are a completely different trials conducted in London some years ego like Rhus tox in arthritis .These are valueless Dr.Kumta discusses this bane of homoeopathic research .
Certainly two groups can be made – 1.control group and 2.treated group (as this will us the % age of cases which improve) but here the similarity ends.
Each treated case needs to be evaluated with attention to the evolutionary aspect is illustrated well in Dr.Kishore Mehta’s case. Dr. Lata Jaggar emphasizes the importance of the underlying miasmatic condition in selection of the remedy .
Asthma is of 2 types extrinsic (which a family history).unlike extrinsic asthma, cure in intrinsic asthma may not be easy but control of symptoms by homoeopathy is definitely much better than in any other system of medicine, as homoeopathy lays greater emphasis on mental symptoms we know the mental make up is largely dependent on one’s genes and heredity .The personality of the typical asthmatic is hyper sensitive and obsessive with strong dependent traits.
Bronchial asthma commonly affects children and here the danger is that parents, in trying to protect the child and in dealing with their own .anxieties may;
1. Impair the mature personality development of the child –“baryta carb” calcarea.
2. Give over attention which can restrict or retard their natural freedom –“staphysagria”
3. Convey to them their own worst fears and accede to their every request .this may teach the child to use breathlessness for his own gain and remedies like “Ignatia”and Moschus may come in or
4. Parents can transfer their own frustrations on the child ….as in Meena Mankani’s excellent case of “Cicuta”
Homoeopathy due to asthma ,our thanks ,then to asthma who gave him to our science ,whether acute attacks need to be treated with acute remedies
fortunately her case came to her in a moderate attack and the administration of the constitutional allowed no further severe attacks to emerge .but caution must be exercised in using constitutional remedies in very severe acute attacks.
Breathing is not only essential for our body but is also a pleasant exercise .difficulty in breathing makes life miserable .bronchial asthma is one such culprit for such difficulty .bronchial asthma may intrinsic .in both types the mucous membrane and muscle layers of the bronchi become thickened and the mucus glands enlarge .This also happens during status asthmatics .The lungs become hyper inflated and there is severe and in rare cases death can occur ,
1, Hyper sensitivity to foreign protein or particles .ex;-pollen grains, dust mites animal danger ,fungi ,etc,,
2. A history of infantile eczema or food allergies is another common cause.
3. use of drugs like aspirin ,cortico steroids ,penicillin are also responsible in some cases of dyspnoea .
4. exertion ,emotions and infections are other causes of attack ,disease is one of the biggest enemies of mankind for which people resort to drugs and subsequently face its side effects ,thus the process goes on without interruption to overcome these problems .homoeopathy plays a very important role .
Emotion may modify the immunological or allergic mechanism responsible for some cases of asthma .emotional phenomena may also be related to the development of asthma by means of central nervous system control of bronchiolar junction. A combination of both of these processes in varying proportions occurs in most cases. A number of studies have suggested a relationship between asthma and a cyclothymic or hysterical personality .a number of specific conflicts have been reported as leading to bronchial asthma .much of the emphasis on the psychological genesis of asthma has been concerned with the view that the significant psychodynamic process in asthma is the unconscious fear of loss of the mother or mother figure .sexual temptations competitive feelings, narcissistic desires and
Hostile impulses may precede asthmatic attacks .behavior of fantasies with such themes become sources of tension to the asthmatic because they stimulate fears of retaliatory withdrawal or estrangement from a parental figure .The dependency observed in asthmatics may be secondary to the disease process.
The asthmatic attack itself could give rise to an acute need to cling to a mother figure and may there fore tend to reinforce the helpless dependency seen in these patients’ .worse damp weather &worse change of weather.
As to the homoeopathic treatment of asthma how are we to find the remedy if the patient has no marked general or mental symptoms .the time of the paroxysm is nearly always regular and definite and the time modality is one of the most important modalities we can have .the time of occurrence of paroxysm will generally bring two or three remedies to one’s mind immediately .for instance there is the aggravation just after midnight of “arsenic”the 3am of “kali carb” the 4 am of “nux vom’ etc. then we must notice the other modalities ,pertaining to the paroxysms e.g, whether eating relieves or aggravates ;the effect of heat and cold etc,only do not attach any importance to modalities peculiar to the disease eg relief from sitting up in bed .such have no value at all in finding the remedy then notice the accompaniments of the paroxysm eg intense anxiety .fear of death but do not lay stress on such a symptom as this unless it is very well marked ,as anxiety is a normal feature of the asthmatic seizure .finally take note of any other rare and peculiar symptoms .if necessary ,examine the past history and family history of the patient ,enquiring about suppressed eruptions or sweats and bad vaccination, arms and asking if there is phthsis in the family .when the remedy is found give it in single dose and don’t be in a hurry to repeat .i will now give a few illustrative cases showing the need for different remedies
CASES TREATED ;-CASE NO. 1.
Mrs.Suguna aged 72 yrs. Could obtain very few symptoms from her .asthma was worse in the early morning ,about 3or 4 am worse after food .worse from the least draught ,though the dysponea continued day and night .patient herself was very sensitive to the cold. These symptoms, though few are definite “nux vom –200” every three hours till next day she had a very bad night ,so received no more medicine .next day she said that she felt better in 3 days than she usually did in 6 weeks after such an attack .she continued to improve for a fortnight ,when the NUX was repeated ( it is not a long acting remedy” and she was soon enabled to be about again .
miss J aged 40 yrs. Has had much treatment for nasal polypi and antrum disease ,woke with cough and between 1-4 am was a chilly patient .worked out by Tyler’s repertory –cards ,ARS,LYCO, PHOS, and PULS, came out. As she had many symptoms right sided and what I took to be other symptoms of LYCO,I gave that remedy –with very little result .looking over the case again obtained a few more symptoms .worse especially from 12-1 am worse talking ,worse eating ,relieved by warm drinks ,.
ARSENIC ALB;-she began to improve at once ARS. ofcourse is right sided remedy as well as LYCO,but may say here that I have since learned not lay too much stress on the side of the body affected .ARS.in higher and higher potencies kept this patient improving the last dose being a 50M since which I have nit heard from her ,so conclude (perhaps egoistically ) that she continues improved ,in another case presenting the typical generals and mentals of LYCOPODIUM ,this remedy proved to be the correct one and going up the potencies –the last being the 10M –she remains free from asthma .
Mrs. Gowri aged 32 yrs.asthma and bronchitis for years .worse in the night or early morning (no definite time ) worse in damp or hot weather better in cold (east wind suits her well) patient is worse from heat ,tough she feels the cold more now than formerly .takes cold very easily ,worse in spring and autumn.
SEPIA;–she looked like sepia and was worse from consolation but I was wrong ,going more on the aggravation from heat and on the indefinite time of the attacks and in fact on the paucity of any definite deciding symptoms .
SULPHUR 200 ;–I gave sulphur 200 she began to improve at once and continues so under the same remedy in ascending potencies –receiving the last time 1000M ,she is improving in general health –taking cold less often
I may say here that in asthma the first indicated remedy appears to continue to act longer –with out needing to be changed –than in most diseases.
One can raise the potency until the highest is reached, then begin again at the bottom of the series .