Bronchial Asthma

Bronchial asthma, a chronic inflammatory disorder of the airways, often presents symptoms such as wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and coughing. While modern medical treatments mainly rely on anti-inflammatory drugs and bronchodilators, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) provides alternative strategies for managing bronchial asthma. This article will delve into several TCM approaches to treat bronchial asthma.

  1. Cold Sputum Obstructing the Lungs: This pattern is characterized by symptoms such as cold limbs, a congested chest with a choking sensation, thin and watery sputum, and preference for hot drinks. The treatment principle is to warm the lungs and expel cold and sputum. The recommended TCM formula for this pattern is She-Gan-Ma-Huang-Tang, with dietary additions of fresh ginger, leaf or brown mustard, black and white pepper, and white or yellow mustard seed.

  2. Sputum-Heat Accumulated in the Lungs: Common symptoms include acute respiration, coughing out yellowish or sticky sputum, and thirst for cold drinks. The TCM principle here is to expand the lungs, clear heat, transform sputum, and push down lung energy. The suggested formula is Ma-Xing-Shi-Gan-Tang, coupled with foods such as apple peel, common button mushroom, grapefruit peel, radish, and pear.

  3. Lungs-Dampness: This pattern presents with congested chest, copious sticky sputum, coughing, insomnia, nausea, palpitations, poor appetite, vomiting, and underweight. The TCM treatment principle is to push down lung energy, transform sputum, promote energy circulation, and alleviate panting and cough. San-Zi-Tang with Er-Chen Tang is often prescribed. Dietary recommendations include cheese, Job's-tears, adzuki bean, ambergris, barley, bamboo shoot, common carp, cucumber, mung bean, seaweed, shepherds purse, and star fruit.

  4. Lungs Unable to Push Down Energy: Patients with this pattern often cough, discharge copious whitish and sticky sputum, dislike cold, have a dry throat but without thirst, and wheeze persistently. The recommended treatment is Shen-Zhe-Zhen-Qi-Tang to push down upsurging lung energy, transform sputum, and relieve panting. Foods to include in the diet are adzuki bean, ambergris, barley, bamboo shoot, seaweed, black soybean, almond, areca nut, buckwheat, common carp, cashew nut, coriander, grapefruit peel, loquat, malt, nutmeg, pea, black and white pepper, radish, rice bran, sword bean, and clove.

  5. Lungs Energy Deficiency: Symptoms include breathing difficulty, common cold, copious clear and watery sputum, excessive perspiration, fatigue, fear of cold and wind, light wheezing, low and weak voice, and shortness of breath. The treatment strategy is to strengthen lung energy, solidify the superficial region, and relieve panting and cough. Bu-Fei-Tang is usually prescribed. Recommended foods include cheese, Job's-tears, yam grape, longan nut, maltose, mandarin fish, Irish potato, sweet rice, apple cucumber, bog bean, gold carp, carrot, chestnut, ham, horse bean, hyacinth bean, royal jelly, string bean, whitefish, yam, red and black date, mutton, squash, and rock sugar.

  6. Loss of the Kidneys Capacity for Absorbing Inspiration: Common symptoms include breathing difficulty, cold limbs, fear of cold, frequent urination, more inhaling than exhaling, panting, and shortness of breath. The treatment principle is to tone and warm the kidneys. Shen-Qi-Wan is often prescribed, with dietary additions like abalone, asparagus, chicken egg, cuttlefish, duck, duck egg, white fungus, milk, lobster, oyster, pork, royal jelly, chestnut, chicken liver, pork kidneys, sardine, shrimp, sparrow, clove, dill seed, fennel, pistachio nut, sparrow egg, crab apple, raspberry, and walnut.

In conclusion, Traditional Chinese Medicine offers a variety of strategies for the management of bronchial asthma, identifying distinct patterns of symptoms and offering treatments designed to bring the body back into balance. It's important to remember that each person's body is unique, and the effective treatment may vary from one individual to another. Always consult with a qualified TCM practitioner to receive the most effective treatment for your condition.