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Shortness of breath, also called dyspnea, refers to a feeling of suffocation or an inability or difficulty in breathing. Most commonly, breathing difficulties are reported at high altitudes, but depending on the physical and physiological condition of an individual, it may also occur while climbing stairs, walking, running and, in severe cases, standing for a long time. It can happen suddenly or develop gradually over weeks to months. Shortness of breath primarily occurs due to problems related to the heart or lungs. These organs are responsible for supplying the body with oxygen and removing carbon dioxide from tissues and blood. Any imbalance in the levels of oxygen, carbon dioxide and haemoglobin directly impact the normal functioning of body. Common conditions that cause shortness of breath are asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, allergic reactions, low blood pressure, anaemia, enlarged heart, coronary heart disease, and choking.

Homeopathic texts describe several remedies for treating conditions that lead to shortness of breath. Medicines such as blatta orientalis, ipecacuanha, lobelia inflata and antimonium tartaricum, are carefully matched with symptoms and personality of the individual and then prescribed to achieve an overall improvement in health. 

  1. Homeopathic medicines for shortness of breath
  2. Dietary and lifestyle changes for shortness of breath patient as per homeopathy
  3. How effective are homoeopathic medicines and treatments for shortness of breath
  4. Side effects and risks of homeopathic medicine and treatments for shortness of breath
  5. Takeaway
Doctors for Homeopathic medicine, treatment and remedies for Shortness of Breath

The following remedies help in treating the conditions which can lead to shortness of breath:

  • Arsenicum Album
    Common name:
    Arsenious acid
    Symptoms: This remedy suits anxious people who are perfectionists and keep finding faults. It also works well in individuals who feel that it is not worth taking medicines as they are not going to get better. People who benefit from this remedy experience some of the following symptoms:
    • Weakness
    • Difficulty in breathing when lying down
    • A feeling of suffocation at midnight
    • Exhaustion
    • Fear and worry about health
    • Localised burning sensations in the body that are relieved by heat
    • Restlessness due to shortness of breath, but an inability to move without being exhausted or breathless
    • Constricted air passages
  • Blatta Orientalis
    Common name: 
    Indian cockroach
    Symptoms: This remedy is well suited to obese individuals and it is effective in treating the following symptoms:
    • Shortness of breath due to allergies
    • Breathlessness worsened by exertion and in damp places
    • Difficulty climbing stairs due to shortness of breath
    • Cough leading to breathlessness
    • Coughing up mucus with pus
  • Ipecacuanha
    Common name:
    Ipecac-root
    Symptoms: Ipecac-root works well in individuals of all ages and genders but is especially useful for treating older individuals who suffer from emphysema (a lung condition). People who benefit from this remedy report some of the following symptoms:
    • Shortness of breath associated with nausea and vomiting
    • Breathlessness that is relieved by sitting in a room with open windows
    • Severe anxiety
    • Sensation of weight on chest
    • Bluish discolouration of face in children
    • Feeling of suffocation
    • Continuous cough
    • Occasional nose bleeds
    • Symptoms that worsen in warm and humid weather and increase with rising heat. Ipecac-root also works as an expectorant and helps in the removal of the accumulated phlegm from the airways. 
  • Lobelia Inflata
    Common name: Indian tobacco
    Symptoms: People who benefit from this remedy have some of the following symptoms:
    • A sensation of constriction in chest
    • A lump-like feeling in the chest
    • A sensation of heavy pressure on chest that is relieved by walking briskly
    • Shortness of breath along with stomach problems
    • Persistent nausea and vomiting
    • Persistent cough
    • Symptoms worsened in cold or damp weather
    • Breathlessness worsened by draught
    • Symptoms that are better in the evening and with warmth
  • Antimonium Tartaricum
    Common name: Tartar emetic
    Symptoms: This remedy is especially suited to children and older adults. People who benefit from this remedy experience some of the following symptoms:
    • Shortness of breath associated with respiratory infection and excessive mucus production
    • Irritability and a preference to be alone
    • Shortness of breath that worsens on lying down
    • Symptoms that increase in hot weather and improve when fanned or in open air
    • Pallor or bluish discolouration of face
    • Drowsiness
  • Natrum Sulphuricum
    Common name: Sulphate of sodium
    Symptoms: People who benefit from this remedy have some of the following symptoms:
    • Asthmatic attacks with every episode of cold
    • Breathlessness that worsens before menstruation in women
    • Pain and soreness in chest (especially in the lower left side) with cough
    • Loose cough
    • Cough and shortness of breath that compels the person to sit upright
    • Chest pain, which is relieved by putting pressure on the chest
    • Symptoms worsen in damp or cold places and between 4 and 5 am
  • Carbo Vegetabilis
    Common name: Vegetable charcoal
    Symptoms: People who benefit from this remedy experience some of the following symptoms:
    • Shortness of breath which leads to cyanosis (blueness of skin)
    • Severe cough
    • Hoarseness of voice
    • Burning in the chest
    • Loose cough and shortness of breath with the slightest exertion
    • Wheezing and rattling of mucus in the chest
    • Symptoms worsened in the evening, in open air, after eating and talking
    • Reduced vitality due to loss of vital fluids
  • Pulsatilla Pratensis
    Common name: Windflower
    Symptoms: This remedy is used predominantly for women. People who benefit from this remedy have some of the following symptoms:
    • Suffocation and anxiety due to shortness of breath
    • Shortness of breath due to suppressed periods or the slightest change in weather
    • Dry cough mostly in the evening and night
    • Cough that compels the person to sit up for breathing
    • Excessive pressure and heaviness in the chest
    • Leakage of urine while coughing
    • Shortness of breath that worsens when lying on the left side
    • A smothered sensation on lying down
    • Symptoms improve in open air
    • Shortness of breath relieved by expectoration (expelling phlegm)
  • Calcarea Arsenicosa
    Common name: Arsenite of lime
    Symptoms: Arsenite of lime is well suited to obese women or females who are about to enter menopause. However, it is given to people of all ages and genders. People who benefit from this remedy have some of the following symptoms and experience:
    • Suffocation and breathlessness due to heart conditions
    • Palpitations with the slightest emotion
    • Throbbing
    • Constricted feeling in the heart region which affects blood circulation
    • Anxiety
  • Kali Carbonicum
    Common name: Carbonate of potassium
    Symptoms: The following symptoms respond well to kali carb:
    • Constant and excessive weakness
    • Depression
    • Stitching, sharp or cutting pains in the chest
    • Pain improves on moving around
    • Sweating, pain and weakness
    • Bronchitis with cough and breathlessness, which is worse from 2 am to 3 am
    • Wheezing and shortness of breath, which is relieved by sitting and bending forwards
    • Severe anxiety as well as palpitations along with breathlessness
    • Excessive burning sensations in the body
    • Back pain with severe weakness and stiffness
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Do’s

  • Exercises and manual work should be done regularly so as to keep physically fit and mentally relaxed.
  • Take a healthy and balanced diet.
  • In case of a chronic condition, it is necessary to note all the signs and symptoms properly and describe them accurately to the doctor.
  • In acute conditions, one must take adequate rest.
  • Things that the patient craves during acute illness should be provided by the caregiver, as these are the things which give some relief to the suffering individual.

Don’ts                                                

  • Keep homeopathic medicines away from sunlight and strong-smelling substances as they may reduce the potency of these medicines.
  • Avoid dietary and lifestyle habits that may interfere with or reduce the effect of homeopathic remedies. This includes:
    • Strong-smelling foods and drinks like coffee, herbal teas, fine liquors prepared with medicinal spices and spiced chocolate
    • Highly seasoned foods and sauces
    • Frozen foods like ice creams
    • Raw and medicinal herbs and spices
  • One must not lead a sedentary lifestyle. 

Homeopathic treatment for shortness of breath aims at alleviating the underlying disease responsible for this condition.

A study conducted to assess the efficacy of homeopathic medicines in patients with allergic disorders including asthma demonstrated substantial symptomatic improvement and a drastic reduction in the dosage of conventional medicine upon regular use of these remedies.

Many remedies like arsenicum album, lobelia inflata, carbo vegetabilis and blatta orientalis have been found to exhibit beneficial effects in allergies, asthma and even heart conditions.

A research study conducted with the remedy blatta orientalis on patients with nasal congestion indicated a marked reduction in the eosinophil count (a type of white blood cell which increases in people suffering from nasal congestion and allergies). Clinical studies also suggest that homeopathy, when given as adjuvant therapy to conventional treatment, improves the severity of asthma. 

Homeopathic remedies like arsenicum album, nux vomica, pulsatilla pratensis, gelsemium, sarsaparilla, silicea and natrum muriaticum have been found to be very useful in treating hay fever, while remedies like arsenicum iodatum, lachesis, calcarea arsenica, carbo vegetabilis and silicea are suggested to be effective against asthma.

Homeopathic medicines are given in very minute doses and hence there has been no documentation of any side effects after taking these medicines. However, self-medication should be avoided at all costs and it is advisable that you refer a homeopathic doctor to know the right remedy and dosage as per your individual miasm and disease symptom.

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Shortness of breath is a symptom which is associated wih a number of diseases, mainly involving lungs or heart. It is, therefore, necessary to identify and treat the cause of shortness of breath to alleviate his condition completely. Various homeopathic remedies like blatta orientalis, natrum sulphuricum and lobelia inflata are indicated for shortness of breath. These remedies are prescribed on the basis of the totality of the disease symptoms and constitution of the person. A well-chosen remedy, given at the right time, and in the right dose, can help treat shortness of breath easily and effectively. 

Dr. Rashmi Singh

Dr. Rashmi Singh

Homeopathy
18 Years of Experience

Dr. Monika Bhardwaj

Dr. Monika Bhardwaj

Homeopathy
5 Years of Experience

Dr. Shailvi Singh

Dr. Shailvi Singh

Homeopathy
4 Years of Experience

Dr Mukesh Nigam

Dr Mukesh Nigam

Homeopathy
10 Years of Experience

References

  1. American College of Chest Physicians. [Internet]. U.S. Internal Revenue Service. Learn About Shortness of Breath.
  2. American Lung Association. [Internet]. Chicago, Illinois, United States. Breathe Easy.
  3. Gründling C, Schimetta W, Frass M. Real-life effect of classical homeopathy in the treatment of allergies: A multicenter prospective observational study.. Wien Klin Wochenschr. 2012 Jan;124(1-2):11-7. PMID: 22138796
  4. National Center for Homeopathy. [Internet]. Mount Laurel NJ. Find a Remedy.
  5. Nimgulkar CC, Patil SD, Chauk DS. Evaluation of Blatta orientalis (Q) nasal gel formulation in milk aspiration induced eosinophilia.. Pharm Dev Technol. 2009;14(4):435-41. PMID: 19552565
  6. Shafei HF, AbdelDayem SM, Mohamed NH. Individualized homeopathy in a group of Egyptian asthmatic children.. Homeopathy. 2012 Oct;101(4):224-30. PMID: 23089218
  7. Van Wassenhoven M. Clinical verification in homeopathy and allergic conditions.. Homeopathy. 2013 Jan;102(1):54-8. PMID: 23290880
  8. E. B. Nash. Leaders In Homoeopathic Therapeutics. B. Jain Publishers. Médi-T, 2000.
  9. British Homeopathic Association. [Internet]. United Kingdom. Asthma.
  10. Wiliam Boericke. Homeopathic Materia Medica. 9th edition, blatta orientalis;
  11. Wenda Brewster O’really. Organon of the Medical art. Dr Samuel Hahnemann, 1st edition 2010 , 3rd impression 2017, pg 227, 228 and 229, aphorisms 259, 261 and 263.
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