Asthma is a chronic condition that can make the airways of the lungs swell and narrow. This makes it difficult for the person to breathe. Asthma can cause symptoms that include shortness of breath, coughing and wheezing.
To date, no study shows that homeopathic remedies work for asthma. However, it may be safe to try homeopathy in combination with traditional asthma treatment if approved by a health care provider.
People should not use homeopathic remedies to treat asthma attacks. There is no evidence that they work, and this could lead to a life-threatening situation.
In this article, we analyze the types of homeopathy that people use for asthma, its effectiveness and possible risks.
The American Lung Association says that more than 26 million people in the United States have asthma, including more than 6 million children.
While there is no cure for asthma, traditional treatment is effective in controlling symptoms when a person is under the care of a qualified health professional.
However, some people are interested in natural remedies, such as homeopathic medicine, to help control and treat their asthma symptoms.
Homeopathy, also called homeopathic medicine, is a holistic or natural treatment that people use for a variety of diseases and conditions.
The active ingredients in homeopathic remedies are usually natural substances, such as flowers, herbs or minerals.
Homeopathy uses the concept of "similar cures", which means that the remedy consists of a diluted substance that, when taken in a higher dose, can cause symptoms similar to the person's condition or other symptoms.
The amount of active ingredient in a homeopathic remedy is very small.
Homeopathic remedies are made by diluting the amount of active ingredient several times until it is tiny or undetectable. The homeopathic principles establish that a greater dilution makes the remedy more powerful.
In homeopathic treatment for asthma, a person takes a minimum amount of a substance that causes asthma-like symptoms.
Many studies have analyzed the effectiveness of homeopathy for asthma symptoms, and the results are varied.
In a Cochrane review of homeopathy and asthma research conducted in 2004, the researchers concluded that "there is insufficient evidence to reliably assess the possible role of homeopathy in asthma."
However, individual studies have suggested that homeopathy may have some benefits.
A double-blind study of 2018 in 140 adults with bronchial asthma found that adding homeopathic remedies to the usual treatment of asthma was more effective than usual treatment with a placebo.
In a review of studies conducted by researchers in India, participants used one or more of the following homeopathic remedies or plant extracts:
Other research shows unclear or inconclusive results about whether homeopathy can help with asthma.
A 2019 review found that studies on homeopathic treatment for asthma had bias, incomplete reports, and small sample sizes.
However, a 2015 review said that homeopathy seemed to help reduce the frequency and intensity of asthma attacks, but the authors could not draw firm conclusions.
The authors stated that these results did not come from randomized controlled trials, but from observational studies that analyzed the symptoms of the subjects.
Many medical experts believe that homeopathy is not effective. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) states that there is little evidence to support homeopathic remedies as effective treatments for health problems.
However, people use homeopathic remedies, and 2.1% of the population of the United States reports the use of homeopathy in a national survey in 2012. Respiratory conditions, such as asthma, were one of the most common diseases for women. which people used homeopathic remedies.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned people "not to rely on asthma products labeled as over-the-counter (OTC) homeopathics." This is because the FDA has not evaluated these products for their safety and efficacy.
According to the NCCIH, many products labeled as homeopathic are very diluted, but others may contain large amounts of active ingredients. Some of these ingredients may cause side effects or interact with the medications a person is taking for medical conditions.
For these reasons, people should always talk to a doctor before taking any homeopathic medicine.
Traditional asthma treatment may involve taking certain medications and avoiding the triggers of asthma. A person and his or her health professional can decide which treatments work best.
It is possible that a person should follow the symptoms and triggers of asthma by using a diary. Discovering what causes asthma flare-ups is an important part of the treatment.
Common triggers of asthma include:
Some people with asthma may need to take medications that can help keep asthma under control and prevent asthma attacks. A person should take these medications regularly, even if they do not have asthma symptoms. These are known as long-term control medications.
Another part of asthma treatment consists of rescue medications, also known as quick relief medications. A person uses quick relief medications during an asthma attack. Usually, these are in the form of an inhaler or nebulized solution.
Sometimes, a person may also need therapy with oral or injectable corticosteroids or other medications to treat an asthma attack. If it is serious, hospitalization may be required.
If a person can not quickly control their asthma attack, they should seek emergency medical attention. During an asthma attack, quick-relief medications should allow them to breathe freely again in 15 minutes or less.
If the person does not have a quick relief medication and is having an asthma attack, they should call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. It is also an emergency when the person:
In addition, the American Lung Association says that a person should call their health care provider if:
People who have asthma should see a doctor regularly and at least once a year to make sure their symptoms are under control. They should not try to use homeopathic remedies or other treatments on their own without the care of a doctor.
People who have frequent asthma attacks, for example, may need to try a different regimen of long-term control medications with guidance from their doctor. They may also need to see the triggers and determine if they have new ones or should take different measures to avoid them.
Many people with asthma lead a healthy life with the proper management of their asthma. Following a doctor's plan with medications and avoiding triggers means that people with asthma can continue their normal daily activities.
Most activities, including sports and exercise, are possible for people who have asthma. In fact, the American Lung Association recommends exercise for people with asthma, as long as they work with a doctor to keep their condition well controlled. Exercise improves the overall health and well-being of the lungs, which benefits people with this condition.
If a person wishes to try homeopathic remedies or other natural treatments, he should discuss it with a doctor.
Although the evidence is limited, homeopathy can be safe to try in combination with traditional asthma treatment for some people. It should not replace traditional medicines tested or the advice of a health professional.