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Chinese Nutritional Therapies For The Different Types Of Asthma

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A condition involving a diffused inflammation of the upper respiratory tract, asthma can be initiated by a variety of stimuli, leading to reversible partial or total constriction of the bronchi. Signs and symptoms include wheezing, dyspepsia, coughing, and chest tightness. Asthma diagnosis is established based on the patient’s pulmonary function examinations, physical examination, and medical history. Treatment includes avoiding the triggering factors and drugs, usually with the use of inhaled corticosteroids and nasal β2-adrenergic receptor agonists.

Asthma affects between four to seven percent of the world population. In the US, over 20 million people suffer from it. Over 6 million American children have asthma making it one of the most common chronic childhood diseases in this country.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), asthma is caused by deficiencies of three major organs that are either inherited and/or due to a poor lifestyle that has a damaging effect on the kidneys, spleen, and lungs along with infiltration of outside pathogens. Asthma occurring at a very young age due to a family history of asthma can sometimes be exacerbated and triggered by weakness of the kidney organ.

In certain instances, children with asthma may suffer from a digestion system problem, upper respiratory infection, and a high susceptibility of ear infections. Along with asthma, these children are also likely to have lung and spleen deficiencies. The objective of Chinese nutritional therapy differs from patient to patient. For patients with a family history of asthma, treatment involves the strengthening of the kidney organs after asthma relief and a prioritization of vigorous preventative measures. Depending on the frequency and magnitude of asthma attacks, Chinese nutritional therapy, combined with herbal medicine and acupuncture in Cleveland, is one of the best treatment plans during the remission period.

In diagnostic patterns of TCM, asthma has four different patterns. They include a kidney deficiency type, spleen and lung qi deficiency type, hot type, and cold type.

Along with using a viable treatment plan, TCM practitioners should identify if the asthma is a hot or cold type for patients suffering from an asthma attack. Only after the identification of the type of asthma will a correct nutritional therapy be determined in order to promote the healing process.

A patient in remission should talk to a TCM practitioner to know what organ has a deficiency, and to treat the patient, the practitioner uses preventive therapies such as Chinese nutritional therapy among others.

The following is an outline of the different types of asthma and their corresponding nutritional therapies:

I. Asthma with Kidney Deficiency

Asthma sufferers with a deficient kidney qi are inclined to also suffer from inhalation difficulties (aside from shortness of breath) worsened by movement, a feeling of coldness, pale complexion, tinnitus, and weakness in the lower back and both knees. Some patients might experience sweating, anxiety with a warm sensation, and red cheeks.

Walnut Duck Soup:

Ingredients: One whole duck, cooking wine, salt, ginger, 150 grams water chestnut cut into tiny pieces, 200 grams walnut.

All ingredients are cooked together until the meat is well-done. Serve.

II. Asthma with Deficient Spleen and Lung Qi

The food recipes for these patterns of disharmony are designed to strengthen and harmonize the organs during the period of asthma remission. This Chinese nutritional food therapy can be used with or without the need for herbal remedies.

Eight Treasure Chicken:

Ingredients: 500 grams old hen chicken, 60 grams sweet rice (soaked in water until soft), 20 grams lotus seed (soaked in water until soft), 75 grams chicken pea (soaked in water until soft), 30 grams cox seed (soaked in water until soft), 20 grams Shitake mushroom (soaked in water until soft) then sliced into small pieces, ginger, spices, salt, and 30 grams of minced ham

All ingredients are placed in the stomach of the chicken. Stomach is sewed up. Chickened is steamed or boiled in water till fully cooked. Serve.

Walnut Duck:

Ingredients: One whole fresh duck, 120 grams walnuts, 120 grams honey, 120 grams white rock sugar, 120 grams white sugar.

All ingredients are placed into the stomach of the duck. Duck is boiled in water until entirely cooked. Serve. For one course of treatment two ducks can be consumed.

Walnut Apricot Soup (single serving)

Ingredients: Five grams walnut, 5 grams, apricot kernel, and 30 grams honey

Place all ingredients in a bowl and steam till the nuts are well-cooked. Take out the bowl from the steamer than add 20 drops of fresh ginger juice into the bowl. Eat first the nuts and then drink the soup.

Eat one bowl every other day.

White Fungus Mushroom Soup

Ingredients: white fungus mushroom soaked in warm water for half an hour then cut into small pieces, 60 grams rock sugar, egg white of one chicken egg.

First, cook sugar and mushroom in water together until the mushroom is soft, then, while the soup is boiling, filter the mushroom out. Add the white of the egg into the soup slowly, while you stir the soup. Serve.

III. Hot Type of Asthma

Symptoms of hot type asthma include a feeling of thirst, dry mouth, bitter taste in the mouth, reddish face, sweating, anxiety, dry thick yellow mucus difficult to expectorate, rasping breath, and wheezing.

When asthma attacks, people with hot type asthma should seek medical attention. Nutritional therapy along with other treatments can facilitate quicker healing and recovery.

Tofu Turnip Juice

Ingredients: 500 grams tofu (soft and fresh) sliced into small cuts, 500 grams of fresh turnip juice, 100 grams of light molasses.

Juice the fresh turnip is juiced, then added with molasses and tofu. The juice is boiled the served. Drink juice two times a day.

Green Tea Egg

Ingredients: fifteen grams green tea and 2 chicken eggs

The eggs and green tea leaves are cooked in water. When the eggs are done, their shells are removed and the eggs are placed back into the tea for cooking until the water has almost dried up. Eat the eggs.

Sang Ye Peanuts

Ingredients: 45 grams of fresh mulberry leaves, sang ye, 15 grams of raw peanuts without the shells, and 15 grams of white rock sugar.

Boil everything in water, until the peanuts are cooked. Only eat the peanuts.

Herbal tea

Ingredients: one teaspoon kuan down ye or kuan dong hua.

Boil in a cup of water for half an hour. Add honey for taste.

Cyathula Officinalis (Niu hsin cao) – Boil a cup of water with one teaspoon of this herb. Add honey and drink as tea.

I. Cold Type of Asthma

Signs and symptoms of cold type asthma include a sensation of fullness in the chest, a dusty face, an urge to drink but with no feeling of thirst, pus-like discharge without blood, watery or thin mucus, and shortness of breath.

Ginger Rice Soup:

Ingredients: Nine grams of Fresh ginger sliced into small bits, 6 pieces apricot kernel, and 50 grams sweet rice

Cook apricot kernels and sweet together in water at low temperature; soup is done when rice is very soft. Before serving add ginger to the soup. Eat during breakfast and dinner.

Green Onion Rice Soup:

Ingredients: Fifteen pieces fresh green onion all cut three centimeters long (only use white part of the onion), 50 grams spring rice, 10 grams black colored fermented soy bean, a pinch of salt.

To make soup, cook rice with water; the soup is done when the rice becomes very soft. Then add the salt, fermented soy beans, and green onion and cook for an additional 25 minutes. Serve during dinner.

Soothing Asthma Powder

Ingredients: 500 grams octopus bone (bone is washed and baked until dry, and then grounded into powder) and 1 kg organic brown sugar.

Mix the brown sugar and octopus powder together.

For adults take 20 gm with warm water, for two weeks thrice a day. For young children, take one half to one third the dosage of adults.

Written by Valerie

November 7th, 2017 at 4:49 pm

Asthma Acupuncture Has Been Around Since Ancient Times

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Acupuncture for the treatment of asthma has been around for thousands of years, with its roots in the culture of China. Modern Western medicine may provide you with treatments that effectively address the symptoms of asthma; it however, does not have any cure for asthma itself.

The reason for this is that beyond the asthmatic symptoms of breathing problems, sneezing, coughing,, and wheezing, asthma has more to do with your overall health particularly your immune system, that can neutralize the allergies that trigger asthma.

Used traditionally as a way to improve general wellness, acupuncture can also enhance the strength of your body in order for the body to repel the everyday effects of pollution. Acupuncture’s roots come from the millennia-old Chinese ancient healing art known as TCM or traditional Chinese medicine. TCM has a theory that states that a person’s entire body is electrically interconnected. According to TCM, asthma and other human health conditions is the result of an abnormal flow of vital energy the Chinese refer to as Chi. Chi, like blood, flows throughout the body via energy channels known as meridians. When a meridian develops a blockage, Chi flow starts to slow down. An acupuncturist is then called to determine the part of the body where the blockage has arisen. The imbalanced flow of Chi causes the rise of diseases.

An acupuncture procedure involves the use of filiform needles inserted carefully just right under the skin at certain points in the body known as acupoints. This helps restore balance in the body and enables Chi to flow unabated once more to all parts of the body. A balanced Chi flow makes the body strong and healthy, prerequisites that are much needed to overcome asthma and other diseases.

A lot of people will start to notice positive outcomes almost instantaneously after a number of sessions of acupuncture treatments. But if you desire really longstanding results, you should go for regular treatments at least until your asthma has been entirely cured. The cure for asthma is best achieved with regular asthma treatments all under the strict supervision of your medical physician.

TCM believes that a good balance of energy and proper Chi flow does not only pertain to the health of the body. It can also be related to environment concerns. This means, for example, if an office or a home has “bad Chi,” the workers and the home occupants may experience bad health such as asthma, eventually.

Vickery Health & Wellness
18455 Burbank Blvd #306
Tarzana, CA 91356
(818) 578-6730

Written by Valerie

May 12th, 2015 at 4:33 am

Posted in Acupuncture

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Acupuncture for Asthma

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There are about 20 million US citizens who suffer from asthma every year. Conventional treatment choices for asthma are limited to bronchodilators and steroid inhalers. These drugs are useful in treating the symptoms of asthma; however, they have side effects when used in the long-term and those side effects can be extreme. Natural treatments for asthma abound especially for chronic asthma that can provide effective remedy without the side effects that asthma drugs give.

Listed below is a list of herbal formulas and nutritional supplements to treat asthma:

For supplements

Quercetin – Quercetin is a flavonoid that is rich in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant ingredients. It is known to help control allergies by stabilizing mast cells. If an allergic reaction is the cause of the asthma, quercetin is an ideal supplement to address it.

Grape Seed extract – This extract has very potent antioxidant properties that are very effective in treating the chronic pattern of allergy-induced asthma and in lessening inflammation.

Cod liver oil – Cod liver oil is very rich in essential fatty acids and these fatty acids aid in strengthening the immune system, improving blood circulation and lessening inflammation.

MSM – Methylsulfonyl-methane or MSM for short is a naturally-occurring compound, organic sulfur-containing nutrient present in the human body. The cells in our body need sulfur for their structure. Sulfur is also essential for antioxidants, antibodies, enzymes and hormones. Since sulfur is continually used by the body and is exhausted it on a daily basis, it needs to be constantly refurbished for good health and nutrition. MSM also contains anti-inflammatory attributes, is useful for treating allergies and strengthens body immunity.

Chinese herbs

Gecko and ginseng – One Chinese herb called ren shen ge jie san is know to clear phlegm and heat from the lungs as well as tonify spleen and lung Chi

Jade Windscreen – This is an oriental herb (yu ping feng san) that has the same properties as gecko and ginseng that boosts lung function and reinforces the immune system

Ding chuan tang – This Chinese plant is the most widely used herb for treating all kinds of asthma. Ding chuan tang is especially effective in the type of asthma that is aggravated by colds.


Acupuncture has been used all over Asia for more than 2,500 years. It has enjoyed a long and fruitful history of addressing a wide range of internal medical problems. Acupuncture is a potent treatment for asthma. It aids in minimizing inflammation and helps balance the energy of the major organs that may be causing the asthma symptoms. Traditional Chinese medicine believes that asthma is brought about by a number of factors including constitutional weakness, candida infection, allergies, diet and stress. All of these factors can be associated to different internal organs that may experience imbalance that cause the lungs to tighten up. Acupuncture treatment is done by understanding the patient’s symptoms tongue and pulse diagnosis to provide the acupuncturist with a clear picture of the inner workings of the patient’s body.  Points in the body called acupuncture points are treated with reed-thin needles on predetermined energy pathways called meridians to help restore balance of the functional and energetic disharmonies. Complementary therapies also aid in the treatment of asthma. These therapies include gua sha and cupping.

Written by Valerie

May 9th, 2014 at 7:15 am

Posted in Acupuncture

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Asthma Treatments and Drugs

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Unfortunately asthma has no known cure and is a chronic type of disease. The aim of asthma therapy, therefore, is to control the symptoms and their frequency. Asthma treatment should:

  • Block bouts of asthma which may necessitate hospitalization
  • Enable you to live a normal life and help you sleep well at night
  • Enable you to enjoy healthy lung function
  • Lessen your need for instant relief medications
  • Hinder discomforting and chronic symptoms like shortness of breath and coughing

There are two kinds of asthma medications: one is instant relief drugs and the other is drugs for long-term asthma management. Instant relief drugs are used during asthma exacerbations while long-term control drugs help block asthma symptoms and address airway inflammation.

The first asthma treatment you will receive will be based on the seriousness of your symptoms. Followup therapy will be based on the rate of success of your treatment plan and will involve the prevention of future exacerbations and the management of symptoms.

Your ability to control your asthma can fluctuate over time and can be affected by situations in your work place, school or home. These situations may change your exposure to the things that aggravate your asthma.

The doctor usually increases the dosage of your medications or even adds more medicines you need to take if your present medicines are not enough to control your asthma. And if your symptoms are well controlled after many months, the physician can then lessen your medicine intake.

You can map out with your physician an asthma treatment plan. This can entail your daily treatments like medications to use and when to use them. Going to the emergency room or calling the doctor when needed should also be part of the plan.

People who take care of your asthmatic child like camp workers, schools, daycare centers and babysitters should be aware and properly follow your child’s asthma treatment plan.

Long-Term Control Medicines

These medicines are used to better manage and prevent symptoms. Drugs that address airway inflammation are considered good long-term meds. These types of drugs; however, are not effective in providing instant relief from symptoms.

Inhaled corticosteroids – These are the long term medications usually prescribed by doctors for long-term asthma management. They address swelling and inflammation of airways that are quite sensitive to specific inhaled materials. In hindering inflammation, the series of reactions that eventually lead to symptoms can be stopped.

As long as they’re used as prescribed, inhaled corticosteroids are quite safe to use. They, nevertheless, do have side effects although not as bad as the symptoms they effectively prevent. One side effect of these meds is thrush. You can prevent this side effect by attaching a holding chamber or a using a spacer on your inhaler to prevent the corticosteroid from going to the back of your throat or staying in your mouth. You can also just rinse your mouth with water to wash out the inhaled corticosteroid to minimize the risk of thrush.

Other medications used for long-term asthma control include:

  • Theophylline – Used to widen the airways
  • Leukotriene modifier – Taken orally and prevents the sequences of events that aggravates airways inflammation
  • Inhaled long-acting beta2-agonists –These widen the airways
  • Omalizumab (anti-IgE) – Administered by injection once or twice a month. Inhibits the body’s reaction to asthma triggers like dust and pollen.
  • Cromolyn – Medication taken through a nebulizer. Cromolyn suppresses inflammation of the airways

Long-term medications should only be discontinued if the doctor says so. If you stop taking them without doctor’s orders your symptoms will only get worse or return.

Quick-Relief Drugs

Short-acting beta2-agonists – During exacerbations or flare ups, these drugs immediately loosen the tight muscles in your airways to allow enough air to flow to and from your lungs.

Always bring along quick relief meds wherever you go. Confer with your physician if you’ve been using these drugs for at least two days a week. The doctor may do some modifications to your asthma action plan. For your asthmatic child, be sure that people caring for him have your child’s quick-relief meds. They should be well instructed in the proper administration of these meds to your child.

Using a Peak Flow Meter

A peak flow meter is a gadget to gauge the lungs ability to move air in and out of the body. The person blows into this gadget and it indicates a peak flow number. The number will signify how well your lungs function during the test. Based on your peak flow score, the doctor will instruct you on how to take your medications. This device can warn you beforehand of an impeding asthma attack, even if your symptoms haven’t yet showed up. If your peak flow number indicates worsening breathing, you need to take your quick-relief medications as indicated in your asthma action plan. After a while, you can again measure your peak flow number to see how effective your meds have been.

Alternative Therapies

  • Natural dietary supplements and herbs – A lot of supplements, plants and herbs have been effective for asthma. Using supplements and herbs rich is vitamins C and E, omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants are particularly potent in treating asthma and asthma attacks
  • Yoga and other breathing techniques – Because stress is a major factor for asthma attacks, breathing exercises like yoga, Papworth method or Buteyko breathing technique have shown to help certain asthmatic people to relieve stress.
  • Diet – If you are allergic to certain types of food, you obviously need to avoid them which can also help you avoid getting asthma attacks if your asthma is caused by allergy.
  • Tarzana Acupuncture – This is an ancient Chinese medical technique that uses very thin needles inserted at specific parts in the body. Acupuncture is totally safe and despite the insertion of needles in the body is quite painless.  More and more asthmatic people have benefited from this treatment helping them to greatly lessen asthma attacks and vastly improving their breathing function.
  • Biofeedback

Written by Valerie

December 16th, 2013 at 6:50 am

Posted in Acupuncture

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Asthma – Preparing for your Appointment

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When you begin suffering from more severe attacks of asthma, the best thing to do is to consult your general practitioner or family doctor.  After assessing your condition, your GP or physician may refer you to either a pulmonologist or an allergist. Time limitations to your appointment may require you to be well prepared to get the most information possible for your condition. Listed below are relevant information to make you well prepared as well as the things that you can expect from your physician.

To be properly prepared and make the most out of your appointment time you can:

  • List down all questions to ask your doctor
  • Bring a friend or a member of your family to your appointment. The saying two heads are better than one applies here and a close companion can help you remember all the information you may have missed giving your doctor and to remember all the information the doctor has given during the appointment.
  • List down all the supplements, vitamins and medications you are presently taking
  • List down all relevant information in your personal life especially the recent changes in your life and the things that you consider are major stress factors in your life
  • List down the time of day when symptoms are at their worst. You may also write down the seasons when your asthma worsens or what factors or allergens trigger your asthma attacks
  • Jot down all the symptoms related and even unrelated to your asthma particularly the symptoms that compelled you to go to your doctor in the first place.

If you’ve printed these lists or have good or easily readable penmanship you can submit them to do your doctor. If you have questions you can ask your doctor and have written them down, you can submit these to your doctor for him to read or read them yourself in front of him during your appointment. Some practical questions you can ask your doctor can include:

  • Will I still be able to indulge in my favorite or regular activities with my asthma?
  • What do you think is the best treatment plan for my asthma?
  • Can my asthma be cured?
  • Will my asthma get better or get worse as I get older? Will I ever outgrow?
  • What are the long-term consequences of my asthma?
  • Will my treatment plan help get rid of my more serious symptoms?
  • Can I be treated without medications?
  • What medication do I need? How does it work?
  • How frequent and long should I need to use the medication?
  • What are the medication’s side effects? What are the most severe side effects of taking this medication? What side effects will require me to stop taking it?
  • What risks are involved if I don’t follow directions in taking or forget taking my medication?
  • Is this drug habit-forming?
  • Is it safe to take it on an empty stomach?
  • Will this drug interact with the other drugs medication I’m presently using?
  • Should I avoid herbal supplements, other drugs, vitamins, alcohol and other drinks and specific foods when taking this medication?
  • Will this medication aggravate my other health conditions?
  • Can you recommend any alternative or complementary therapies I can try?
  • Is acupuncture a great alternative treatment for my asthma?
  • Are massage therapies or chiropractic good therapies for my asthma?
  • Can you suggest certain natural supplements and herbs for my asthma?
  • What changes in my lifestyle can help reduce the risks of asthma attacks?
  • What kinds of food can I eat that will help prevent my asthma attacks?
  • Can I exercise when I have asthma?
  • Can you recommend any websites, magazines or books that can help me gain more information about asthma?

What to expect from your doctor

Before performing a physical exam and certain diagnostic tests, the doctor will ask certain questions about you and your asthma problem. Some questions may force you to think about the answer for some time. Take your time and try to answer all the doctor’s questions as truthfully as possible. Some of the questions your doctor may ask can include:

  • What are your symptoms?
  • When was the first time you noticed these symptoms?
  • What symptoms are the most severe to you?
  • Do you often have difficulty in breathing or only during certain circumstances or at specific times of day and night?
  • What allergies do you have? Do you have hay fever or atopic dermatitis (among others)
  • Are there things that exacerbate your asthma symptoms?
  • Are there things that help improve your asthma?
  • Does you family have a history of asthma or allergy?
  • Are you suffering from any chronic medical condition?

Amy-SuiQun Lui, L.Ac. is a Board Certified and Licensed Acupuncturist in Cleveland, OH.

Written by Valerie

October 18th, 2013 at 2:09 am

Posted in Acupuncture

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