Plenty of herbal plants and herbal supplements are known to alleviate asthma symptoms. Natural remedies for asthma may include minerals, vitamins and herbs to reduce symptoms and prevent asthma attacks from recurring. Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease that affects all ages and today, it is one of the most common childhood ailments. There is no definite cure for asthma as of today, yet its attacks can be controlled and prevented. Natural treatments such as Pau d’Arco for asthma are not meant to replace an existing medication but can complement it in promoting overall respiratory health. Keep in mind that Pau d’Arco can be as potent as synthetic drugs so a person planning to use Pau d’Arco should consult a health care professional before using it as an asthma herbal remedy: it may interact with your existing medications.
Asthma is a form of chronic respiratory disease that greatly affects the airways. The airways carry the air in and out of the lungs. In the case of asthma, the tissue linings of the airways become swollen and inflamed. It makes the airways highly sensitive to allergens or other irritating factors. When the airways react, they get narrower and inflamed, causing airflow obstruction and bringing less air to the lungs. Common symptoms are coughing, wheezing, difficulty of breathing and chest tightness, particularly during early morning or at night. When the asthma symptoms worsen, it is then called an asthma attack. The common signs include labored breathing with the use of accessory muscles for respiration, paradoxical pulse and over-inflation of the chest. Asthma is a life-threatening condition, especially in severe attacks.
Asthma treatment comprises two forms of medicines – the instant-relief medicine to alleviate asthma symptoms and the long-term medicines to prevent future attacks. More and more people try alternative forms of asthma treatment, which include herbal remedies such as Pau d’Arco for asthma. Many people claim that Pau d’Arco helps in reducing the inflammation of airways in asthma.
As we all know, asthma is a type of autoimmune response characterized by over-sensitive immune cells that are set off, often triggered by environmental allergens. In addition, at the onset of asthma, mediators of inflammation such as prostaglandins and leukotrienes are released, which may cause further bronchoconstriction. Studies on Pau d’arco bark showed that lapachol, the active component of Pau d’arco, has an anti-inflammatory action that may inhibit these overactive immune cells as well as other inflammation mediators in the body. An experiment on rats in Brazil found that lapachol has a potent anti-inflammatory action, greater than phenylbutazone, inhibiting both the formation of abscess and swelling due to inflammation.
When taking Pau d’Arco for asthma treatment, drink 1 ½ liter of Pau d’Arco tea for a 4 to 6 week treatment course. In severe forms of symptoms, take Pau d’Arco capsules as an additional supplement. It is because the capsule form has the concentrated active ingredient equivalent to one liter of tea. Depending on individual needs, one may take one to two capsules, two to four times daily. However, when the above symptoms worsen, consult a physician for an accurate therapy plan.