Emphysema is a condition in which there is persistent enlargement of the air spaces (alveoli) in the lungs which results in the breakdown of the airspace walls, which in turn results in a decrease in respiratory function.
The lungs loose elasticity and are unable to expand and contract efficiently.
Symptoms of emphysema can include breathlessness, a chronic cough and at times wheezing when under exertion, or dizziness due to lack of oxygen.
Although the lung damage in cases of emphysema is irreversible, I have in the past seen good results while treating emphysemic conditions with herbs, in the reduction of the frequent use of antibiotics and in the reduction of the number of hospital admissions necessary throughout the winter.
Basically the treatment is aimed at improving the immune status and therefore the likely hood of infection and improving the functional capacity of the lungs.
The herb I have in the past found most useful was Lobelia, which unfortunately is now difficult to source and if procured should only be used in very small (or Homeopathic) doses. Grindelia and/or Euphorbia can be useful alternatives.
Other useful herbs are Eucalyptus, Elecampane and Horseradish as expectorants, Marshmallow and Fenugreek to soothe.
Garlic, Thyme, Oregano, Eucalyptus, Olive leaf and Golden seal are known to have an anti-biotic type of action. These herbs are also wonderful for improving the immune system,
often with the addition of Echinacea, Astragalus, and Reishi mushroom.
All can be used in the long term with the exception of Golden Seal. This herb is better
used in the short term as it is very astringent and can if used for too long impair mineral absorption.
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As always increasing mineral intake via the use of Colloidal minerals will also greatly help improve the immune status and help prevent the incidence of infection.
At times I have also found that the use of supplements containing Quercetin help greatly as it can reduce inflammation and help prevent further infection.
Breathing exercises can also make a marked difference. Try getting into Yoga.
The slow gentle stretching combined with breathing exercise is excellent for emphysema
sufferers as it can help improve the functional capacity of the lungs.