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Jan De Vries, with herbs for Asthma and Bronchitis

Monday, 2 March 2009

Common complaints regularly seen by Jan in his clinics are bronchitis and asthma. Today we'll be getting herbal remedies for these from Jan.

Asthma (470,000 people with Asthma in Ireland source: Asthma Society of Ireland)

Asthma is a partial reversible obstruction of the major and minor airways of the lungs due to inflammation and contraction of the muscles in their walls. There are several kinds of asthma, but a bronchial asthma can be very nasty indeed. It is a condition that manifests itself by recurrent paroxysms of dyspnoea of the wheezing type caused by narrowing of the smaller bronchi and bronchioles.

There are many diverse causes for asthma. Underlying anxiety can manifest itself in nervous asthma where a victim may experience shortage of breath and gulp for air. Such an attack can last several hours.

The development of asthma can be influenced by the environment, the weather or any kind of allergy - for example to one or more food items, pets, washing powders or perfume. To my mind there can be no doubt that factors such as atmospheric conditions, air pollution, acid rain and above all, a less effective immune system are taking their toll. Allergic tendencies, congestion, and even anxiety and tension can all influence asthmatic conditions.

As well as using a number of herbal and homœopathic remedies, diet is very important if you wish to control asthma. Breathing exercises can also help to strengthen and improve lung function, as well as promote a sensation of relaxation and well-being.

Dietary advice
Nutrition is always important, not only because of the effects of deficiencies in vitamins, minerals or trace elements, but also in view of the allergic reactions that can be caused by poor dietary habits or an excess of food.

A diet consisting of fresh fruit and fresh juices, including salads, honey, nuts, herbal teas and only limited meat, is ideal.

No dairy products whatsoever should be taken, except yogurt, which has the correct acid content, or milk whey obtained from either cow's or sheep's milk. Also avoid any kind of pork, oranges, eggs, red wine, excessive tea, coffee and fatty foods. Avoid common salt.

Herbal Remedies - (Jan can also demo breathing exercises)
Ivy Thyme Complex - €10.50
Echinaforce - €10.50
Galeoposis - €10.50
Hawthorn Garlic €16.90
Po Ho Oil (As an inhalation) - €6.95

All the above herbs can be used with other remedies / inhalers


Bronchitis is one of the most prevalent major lung diseases nowadays. Through poor breathing or smoking, along with other detrimental influences, we use our very tender bronchi to the extent that the approximately 750 million lung blisters become over-extended. Acute bronchitis can easily develop into chronic bronchitis, which is a long-standing condition of the trachea-bronchial tree characterised by chronic inflammation and fybrotic inflammation in the mucous membranes and deeper bronchial structures and is usually related to emphysema and other chronic conditions. Chronic bronchitis is the cause of excessive mucus production and coughing, especially during the night, which will make the patient restless and nervous, further aggravating the problem.

Dietary advice
Good dietary management is essential for this condition.

Avoid all dairy products. Milk and cheese are among the most detrimental foods in the diet for sufferers. Although cow's milk is rich in calcium, it is badly lacking in magnesium and iron. Supplement your diet with substitutes such as soya milk or goat's milk.

Adopt a well-balanced diet rich in vitamins A and C, making good use of honey, onions and garlic. It is important to pay close attention to the kidneys as in cases of acute bronchitis, the kidneys will not be functioning at their best. Therefore, plenty of herbal teas should be drunk. Garlic is useful, as is peppermint too. Reduce your intake of bread, cooked wheat-flour products, coffee, and smoked, pickled and convenience food.

Herbal Remedies
Ivy Thyme Complex - €10.50
Drosinula - €5.20
Santasapina - €5.20