Do Alternative Cures Work for Respiratory Diseases? (Part 1)

Part 1 of 2

by Sreeja V., Feb 10, 2020

Listen to the Stories

Seasonal Allergies
Juicing for Respiratory Ailments
Restrictive Airways Disease

Breathing Easy Has Never Been So Difficult

We live in a world that is constantly at the cusp of change and innovation. Every day a new technology unfolds, a new drug is launched, a genetic code cracked, a planet explored and so on. Yet, the answers to several ailments that continue to affect the quality of lives of millions in the world elude us. A classic example is lung disease. A report by the Forum of International Respiratory Societies entitled, “Respiratory Disease in the World: Realities of Today—Opportunities for Tomorrow,” pegs the  number of people dying from respiratory diseases every year at four million1. The report lists five conditions including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, acute respiratory infections, tuberculosis, and lung cancer that constitute a major chunk of respiratory disorders contributing to this global affliction.

So, why would lung-related issues continue to be on the rise, in spite of medical advancements? Ironically, development seems to be the answer. The uncontrolled, frenzied pace at which the world has embraced development has come at a price. Air quality levels have been deteriorating at an alarming pace in both developed and underdeveloped countries alike. The threat is real and damaging. 

The 19th annual national air quality report states that more than four in ten Americans were living in areas exposed to ozone or particulate pollution, placing them at high risk for respiratory and cardiovascular disorders2. This also means that we are no longer just battling outdoor pollution, it's indoors as well. Common pollutants range from pollen, mold, soot, carbon dioxide, radon, formaldehyde, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and asbestos3.

Our Children Pay the Price

Children are by far the most affected by pollutants. Their lungs are not fully developed until adolescence and make them vulnerable and susceptible to respiratory diseases. Even as their tiny lungs begin to take form with the proliferation of pulmonary alveoli and capillaries until age 2 and alveolar expansion between the ages of 5 and 84, they simply can't cope with the harmful effects brought on by the toxic air they breathe, day-in and day-out. Pneumonia has emerged as the biggest problem causing mortality in children with a child dying of the disease every 39 seconds5. None of the advances the world has made in science and technology seem to be mitigating the problem.

Nature Leads the Way

Many have turned to alternative therapy and natural fixes in the hope that they will contribute to a stronger immune system in children and adults alike, helping them brave respiratory diseases that come from living in an inconducive environment. One of our storytellers recalls his battle with seasonal allergies when he lived in Fresno, California, ranking among the top most polluted American cities6. He would take five to six Sudafed pills a day to keep his nostrils from clogging up. That was until he read an article in a men's health magazine on juice fasting and its benefits for those suffering from allergies. He decided to try it and hasn’t looked back since. He would use oranges, his favorite fruit, as his base during his fasts. He recommends experimenting until you figure out what works best for you. 

Juicing also worked for a mom of two, who during their brief stay in Hong Kong, had a tough time with both her kids falling sick repeatedly with long bouts of coughing. She began to be worried when they started taking antibiotics regularly. A juicing expert suggested they focus on improving the immunity of the kids by giving them fresh juice made of a mix of fruits and vegetables in the morning. Not only did her kids get used to eating fresh fruits and vegetables, they stopped having coughing bouts for a long time after that. 

Cold-EEZE zinc lozenges proved to work wonders for a little boy suffering from restrictive airway disease, a precursor to asthma. His mom remembers those times when her son would be around other babies who had a snotty nose, and he would fall sick the very next day. On occasion, he would even need to be rushed to the ER. He would then be put on nebulizers with all kinds of steroids to help him breathe normally, but they caused terrible after effects. When someone told her about trying zinc to alleviate the problem, she did. At the first sign of a cold, she gives him zinc lozenges and his cold does not descend into his chest. Zinc has turned out to be a reliable alternative.

Sometimes, respiratory issues seem to not only clog the lungs, but also the mind. Among our storytellers is a mom of a girl who seemed to have lost her groove when she was all but three years old. Read about how she got her groove back in our next post.