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Natural Treatments for Asthma and COPD

Published on September 9, 2016

In traditional Chinese medicine, emotions and physical health are intimately connected. Sadness, nervous tension and anger, worry, fear, and overwork are each associated with a particular organ in the body. For example, irritability and inappropriate anger can affect the liver and result in menstrual pain, headache, redness of the face and eyes, dizziness and dry mouth.

The exact cause of asthma is not known but it can be triggered by allergies, air pollution, respiratory infections, emotions, weather conditions, sulfites in food and certain medications. Common symptoms include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and chest tightness.

Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the air passages that carry air from the nasal area and mouth to lungs and vice versa. When a person suffers from asthma, he/she finds it difficult to breathe in outside air and thus, feel suffocated and congested. One does not have to have asthma as an official diagnosis to have and feel difficulty with one`s breathing. Our breathing is the most consistent barometer of our wellbeing telling us how we are feeling on a moment to moment basis. Our breathing tracks heart rate variability (HRV) with both being perfect mirrors of stress.

Asthma can occur in people of all age groups, from a 2-year old kid to a 50-year old man.  Since, airways become swollen during asthma, muscles around them get tightened, which causes less air to flow to lungs. Asthma is a disease that does not have a permanent cure if one follows the western pharmaceutical paradigm. Symptoms and adversity can be suppressed with drug treatments and procedures, but can flare up at any point and any day no matter how many medicines are taken. Thus for cures to be found a person has to go deep into themselves and their emotions as well as other habits of life (like breathing) to reach a level where inflammation and crisis in the airways becomes rare or non-existent.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a type of obstructive lung disease characterized by long-term poor airflow instead of the crisis then back to normalization patterns that happens with asthmatics. The main symptoms include shortness of breath and cough with sputum production. COPD typically worsens over time. Eventually walking upstairs or carrying things will be difficult. Chronic bronchitis and emphysema are older terms used for different types of COPD.

Dealing with Grief, Sadness and Loss

Grief and sadness are the two main emotions that affect the lungs and this is a big problem for many asthma sufferers who usually have an emotional component to their medical situation.  Chinese physician Emma Suttie wrote, I have been dealing with a lot of grief lately. This is usually the way it goes. A patient comes in who is suffering with loss. Perhaps it is the breakup of a relationship, the loss of a pet or the death of a loved one. There is nothing more devastating to us than loss. It hurts the heart, and leaves us with an emptiness that is difficult to fill. It is something that everyone on the planet will have to deal with many times in their lives, so I thought that I would talk about some of the ways that it can be made a little easier, less painful, and with minimal suffering in the context of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

The lungs main task is respiration. There is the physical component of breathing and an energetic function, which forms energy from air, and helps to distribute it throughout the body. The lungs also work with the kidney to regulate water metabolism. The lungs are also important in the immune system and resistance to viruses and bacteria.

Symptoms of lung imbalances in Chinese medicine include: Shortness of breath and shallow breathing, sweating, fatigue, cough, frequent cold and flu, allergies, asthma, and other lung conditions. Dry skin. Depression and crying.

Setting Boundaries and Dividing the Line between Oxygen and CO2

The Lung’s task is that of making a boundary between the inner and the outer world. The lungs are actually an extension of the skin. The skin is like an outer lung and the pores are seen as the ‘doors of Qi’. The skin also breathes and exchanges substances with the outer environment. It’s healthy functioning is seen as an aspect of Lung function.

The immediate cause of an asthmatic attack is tightening of the muscular bands that regulate the size of the bronchial tubes. These muscles are controlled by nerves, but what triggers the nerves to make airways constrict inappropriately is not clear. The triggers for asthma can be primarily allergic or primarily emotional or induced by exercise or respiratory infection, or it can occur with no obvious causes. It is now being considered an inflammatory disorder. (For all of these reasons taking sodium bicarbonate with lemon (which turns it into CO2) is a fantastic and prime treatment for asthma as it relaxes the blood vessels, decreases inflammation and calms the nerves through pH regulation.)

Breathing Problems

The most vital and obvious material that the Lung takes in and controls is oxygen; but it also has everything to do with carbon dioxide levels in the blood, which is controlled by our breathing rate. Across the boundary of the lungs oxygen is taken in and carbon dioxide is excreted. Of course the faster we breathe the more CO2 we throw off the less oxygen our cells receive in the end.

The faster we breathe the more inflammation we will have in general and along the air channels. The lower our CO2 levels go (faster we breathe) the more constricted the blood vessels will be (the higher our blood pressure will be) the closer we become to the possibility of our next Asthma attack. THE MAIN TREATMENT FOR ASTHMA IS BREATHING RETRAINING.

The lungs are nourished by breathing. The best way to amplify Lung energy is to take plenty of fresh air, develop the physical capacity of the lungs through exercise such as swimming, and to consciously bring awareness into the breath. A few minutes each day of relaxed breathing, learning to breathe with the diaphragm and relaxing the muscles of the chest and shoulders, can be very effective at building the power of the Lung.

That said using and training with a simple breathing device called the Breathslim will take one miles further and even then we are just touching the surface of how we can breathe our way back to health. When it comes to breathing we can create any miracle we want if we are truly serious and ready to be miraculous in our discipline. Asthma and COPD patients will know their asthma is changing when they affect changes in their breathing.

Simplest diagnosis is to count how many times a minute you are breathing. This is not so simple to do for you will notice the second you start paying attention to the breath it changes so try not to change too much when you count and count several times and at different times. For an Asthmatic not to be conscious of their breathing is dangerous and could lead to their death. What stands between life and death at every moment of life is the next breath. Quick rule of thumb… Twelve breaths or over and you are in unhealthy territory, and as you approach twenty you are approaching cancer. Training and breathing at eight breaths a minute and below brings you to a new land of lung physiology—meaning it brings an asthmatic to healing and health.

Sunshine Heals

One way doctors create asthmatics, besides with their vaccines, is to keep people out of the sun. Asthmatic children with low blood vitamin D levels may have a greater risk of suffering severe asthma attacks. A study followed more than 1,000 children with asthma for four years, and found those with vitamin-D insufficiency at the outset were more likely to have an asthma attack that required a trip to the hospital. Another research team found that 86 percent of the children in the study with asthma had insufficient levels of vitamin D, while only 19 percent of non-asthmatics had these low levels.

Drink Plenty of Water

Dehydration of course causes inflammation the last thing asthmatic patients want. The Water Cure is a simple free method works for everyone to a point but that point is important for every patient. We just cannot afford to allow ourselves to be dehydrated and yet so many people are.   


Nothing works as well for asthmatics as acupuncture. When crisis hits having needles around and knowing how to use them is more than helpful. Same goes for acupressure and Shiatsu, knowing where to touch or massage helps enormously in crisis situations as it does as a long-term treatment approach. One of the main reasons acupuncture works so well for Asthma is that it addresses both the physical and energetic levels simultaneously and instantly. 

Negative response to emotional stress can cause an asthma attack. Some natural relaxation remedies like deep abdominal breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery, and biofeedback can help relieve stress.


With nebulization medicines get sprayed directly onto the lung tissues where they can most easily be absorbed locally by the lung and brachial cells. Most of the published research about nebulization is on standard usages like asthma but this delivery system can be used to treat lung cancer, pneumonia, tuberculosis, as well as the influenza, chemical poisoning, and actually any syndrome requiring the administration of a medicinal.

Anyone with a lung ailment will do better when taking drugs by nebulization as opposed to orally, because then the embattled system doesn’t need to go through breaking down the medications in the stomach and then delivering them to the lungs through the blood stream. With nebulization medicines get sprayed directly onto the lung tissues where they can most easily be absorbed locally by the lung and brachial cells.

Dr. Shallenberger says, “A nebulizer is able to convert a liquid into tiny bubbles that are so tiny that they can only be seen under a microscope. When these bubbles come out of the nebulizer, they are so small that they look just like smoke. And that’s the magic of a nebulizer. The bubbles are so small that they can be inhaled deep down into the deepest regions of the lungs without any discomfort or irritation. It’s a great way for asthmatics to get the medication they need to open up their lungs.”

The great strength of nebulizers though is their capability of delivering medications and moisture directly to the tracheobronchial tree. Contrary to other treatment options, higher concentrations in respiratory secretions can be achieved with aerosol therapy. With the use of this localized delivery system effective antimicrobials can have a direct effect on surface organisms in the bronchial system.

1) Nebulization thins secretions & mucus making it easier to expel pulmonary secretions

2) Nebulization makes coughing easier while lessening the need to cough

3) Nebulization keeps your windpipe & trachea lining and stoma moist & healthy

4) Nebulization moistens the air that goes into your lungs

5) Nebulization hydrates & moisturizes your nasal passages, mouth and throat


On my Treatment and Product page you will see a link to a product called Reduced L-Glutathione Plus. This is what I highly recommend for nebulization for asthma. Dissolve 1/2 capsule of the glutathione in 10 milliliters of distilled water for the first treatment. This product already has sodium bicarbonate in it so you don’t need to add more. If you feel fine with the first application then increase the dosage for 1 capsule of glutathione for 10 milliliters of water and build it up to a maximum of 2 capsules. Please notice that this is a reasonably new treatment and dosages for each patient should be found by sensitive application and starting with minimum dosages and building quickly, especially if the situation is urgent. Be sensitive to the recipient’s feelings and reactions (if any) during and after each application. Dosages should be adjusted downward obviously for young children and infants. Suggested are 2 or 3 treatments a day.

Some research has found that inhaling glutathione in mildly asthmatic people may cause bronchospasm due to sulfite formation. The connection to good glutathione levels is crucial in asthma, but needs to be weighed against the risk of bronchospasm when inhaled. Caution must be used at all times and glutathione levels may be more safely raised in asthmatic people by oral or other means. Proper medical supervision is advised at all times when asthma is a risk so as not to cause undue stress on this very sensitive bronchial tissue.

Nebulized Bicarbonate

The bronchial secretions during attack of bronchial asthma are acidic and the acidity imparts stickiness to the secretions and moreover there is high level of neuraminic acid, which possibly correlates with the stickiness. Thus sodium bicarbonate is an excellent choice for nebulization offering it’s powerful and instant pH changing effects. Dr. Tullio Simoncini recommends aerosol use of bicarbonate for lung and bronchial adenocarcinoma. He recommends putting 1 soupspoon sodium bicarbonate in ½ liter water and inhaling it with a fast inhaler in half an hour. Six days on six days off when in IV break phases.

Dr. Lewis Nelson, a specialist in emergency medicine says, “Nebulized sodium bicarbonate has been shown to provide symptomatic relief in patients exposed to chlorine, and it is probably useful with all irritant gases that liberate acid. Through a neutralization reaction, the damaging effects of the acids are limited. Nebulized sodium bicarbonate should be used in concentrations of less than 2% (which generally means about a 4:1 dilution of standard 8% sodium bicarbonate).”

Nebulized Iodine

In some countries nebulizers are given to people by prescription only because they give a person direct access to the bloodstream and this is an indication that this is serious medicine we are dealing with, so caution is advised. With nebulizers we in part get the same effect as with injections, medications quickly diffuse directly into the blood stream. Thus a nebulizer holds the capacity to save lives.

When it comes to using iodine in a nebulizer special caution is needed. The choice of iodine is important because putting in potassium, which is found in Lugol’s, is dangerous. Potassium chloride, another salt of potassium, is used for lethal injection so I recommend only Nascent Iodine. Nebulization with iodine offers an extremely strong therapy which can clear the lungs quite rapidly of infections. Therapeutic concentrations can be increased for desired effect but it is recommended that dosages start at the low end unless there is an emergency situation. I would start my first iodine treatment with a weak solution, 1 – 3 drops and slowly increase to five or even ten closely monitoring the experience.

As long as the patient displays no discomfort or side effects concentration can be increased especially when in a life threatening situation. One should expect much quicker and more dramatic results with iodine then with H2O2. The reason for the extra caution is that nebulizing iodine has a shotgun effect because the iodine vaporizes almost instantly giving all the medicine at once.

Nebulizing Magnesium

Very pure magnesium chloride oil should be nebulized as an isotonic solution – delivering 7.5g magnesium chloride per 100ml of distilled water – closely equal to 3.5 tsp of magnesium oil per 100ml. Nebulization of magnesium is a primary treatment for patients with pulmonary infections, for those undergoing bronchoscopy, for asthmatics and any other lung disease.

Magnesium nebulized directly into the lungs offers all the same positive therapeutic effects that other types of administration methods do but concentrates the effects in the lung and bronchial tissues. Nebulized magnesium in the treatment of an acute asthma exacerbation, appears to have benefits with respect to improved pulmonary function in patients with severe asthma.

Magnesium has been associated with cellular homeostasis and frequently acts as a cofactor in enzymatic reactions. It has also been suggested that magnesium acts as a smooth muscle relaxant by interfering with calcium uptake. Research also suggests that magnesium may have a counteracting effect against bronchoconstriction agents such as sodium metabisulfite, methacholine, and histamine.

A randomized, double-blind, controlled clinical study compared nebulized magnesium sulfate with nebulized albuterol in 33 patients with asthma (ages 12–60 years). The study concluded that the serial doses of nebulized magnesium sulfate had bronchodilatory effects similar to those noted with nebulized albuterol.

Common Natural Remedies

There are plenty of sites that list the most common natural remedies. In general, it is a good idea to minimize contact with respiratory irritants, such as smoke, dust, molds, and volatile chemicals. Remove sources of offending materials from your home, install a good air filtration system, or consider moving if the air is generally bad where you live.

Experiment with living in other locations: in high mountains, the desert, or near the seacoast. Asthma may improve greatly with a change of climate. One way to change the climate artificially is to use infrared mattress, which adds light and heat inside the body while one sleeps. They are already the best when used in the tropics but when one moves to colder climates these Biomats truly offer heaven on earth for people with cold and deficient circulation and deficient immune syndromes.

Most people notice improvements in their symptoms when they reduce the amount of wheat consumed. When one sharply reduces the amount of bread, pasta, pizza, pastries, and even whole-wheat products their breathing tends to improve. Low sugar is also an excellent idea especially because too much of it brings on cancer.  

Dr. Mark Sircus AC., OMD, DM (P)

Professor of Natural Oncology, Da Vinci Institute of Holistic Medicine
Doctor of Oriental and Pastoral Medicine
Founder of Natural Allopathic Medicine

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