With thick smog blankets engulfing the air across most of the country, times can be especially hard for people with asthma or other respiratory issues. While many turn to mainstream medicine, homeopathic advice and treatments help as well…writes Siddhi Jain.
According to Dr Kushal Banerjee, a Delhi-based Consultant Homeopath, there’s substantial evidence linking air pollution and respiratory illnesses including bronchial asthma, other chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD) and a long list of conditions. Exposure to outdoor air pollution can cause lung cancer. Children affected by air pollution may also suffer from abnormal development of their lungs, putting them at a high risk for many respiratory conditions.
“Air pollution, particularly small particulate matter can penetrate deep into lung tissue and trigger repeated inflammatory reactions and a cascade of other changes leading to lung injury. Prolonged exposure to air pollution can permanently affect the lungs ability to expand, efficiently exchange gases and push oxygenated blood to the heart. Structural changes in the tissues can open up abnormal cellular mechanisms which can lead to cancers and other conditions,” he says.
Suggesting that homeopathy can address most respiratory issues arising from air pollution, he adds: “In addition to providing relief in the short term for acute episodes of bronchial asthma, bronchitis, rhinitis and various other issues, homeopathy is very well suited at addressing the tendency and preventing these episodes from occurring. Patients are often surprised at how quickly homeopathic medicines are able to control asthmatic episodes and bad bouts of cough. Prolonged homeopathic treatment can bring the frequency and intensity of these illnesses. In many cases, even homeopathic medicines are withdrawn when the patients report no recurrence of episodes of their problem.”
As per Dr Jawahar Shah, Managing Director, Speciality Clinic, homeopathy has 423 different medicines for treatment of Bronchial Asthma which work on very precised indications, improves the immunity and decreases the sensitivity to allergens. Discussing some key practical behavioural changes to incorporate in lifestyle, he suggests regular pranayam, not going for walks on the roads, inhaling steam, and gargling with salt-turmeric-water. He advises that if symptoms do not seem to ease within 6-8 hours, one should contact their family physician.
Dr Banerjee adds:
The last eight months or so have inculcated in us, the habit of wearing masks. Many of these masks, particular those categorised as N95 are known to protect the wearer from inhaling most particulate matter which make up the pollutants in the air. Avoiding the outdoors during days of extremely low air quality and avoiding vigorous exertion (particularly outdoors) during increased air pollution is helpful.
Lead a healthy and disciplined life. This includes consuming a well-balanced nutritious diet consisting of ample portions of green vegetables and fruits. Fixing mealtimes and going to bed early is also important. These activities keep your body relaxed and running smoothly.
As a result, the immune system is not stressed and primed to effectively protect you against irritants to the body.
Most importantly, try to reduce your own contribution to air pollution. Walk where you can, do not allow or condone burning of trash or leaves near you, celebrate festivals responsibly, plant trees and avoid cutting them. There so many more common sense options which can go a long way in curbing air pollution.