A short history of asthma

A short history of asthma

The effect of breath on health and the effect of health on the breath were noted as early as the 3rd Century BC in the Corpus Hippocraticum written by the Greek doctor Hippocrates.
The actual term asthma is a Greek word that is derived from the verb ‘aazein’, meaning to exhale with open mouth, or to pant/over-breathe (1).

Practitioners of Chinese medicine looked to the stomach and digestion as a means of treating asthma using teas such as the bitter, astringent Ma Huang, a plant that contains a mild bronchodilator.

Indian Ayurvedic doctors also used bitter, astringent herbs and plants with a digestion-based approach with turmeric, long pepper (piper longum) and ginger as key ingredients. Known as an adjunct to bronchodilator therapy in the management of asthma we know these ingredients as a form of ‘cough syrup’.

The studies made by Weston A. Price during the early 1900’s of aboriginal and indigenous cultures were based on the premise that the rapid deterioration of health in indigenous cultures (including bronchial troubles) were brought about by their rapid uptake of refined foods and sugars brought by settlers. Price was able to study, assess and record the differences between those who had not participated in the settlers nutritional habits and those who had. The results of his studies and the resemblances in facial, nasal and jaw structure in modern asthmatics can be helpful indications when determining underlying asthma causes.
His final conclusion was that refined foods and sugars led to a narrower physical formation of the nose and jaw, leading to long-term mouth-breathing and respiratory troubles (2).

Since the 1960’s asthma has been treated with anti-inflammatory and dilating medications. The fast advances in anti-inflammatory drugs have opened new areas of research and gene research has been attempting to isolate the gene/s responsible for a predisposition to asthma.

The desire to find a one-off cause and treatment for Asthma is a well-trodden path with few conclusive and definitive results that last a lifetime.

82 Breathing Analysis & Coaching programs help and asthmatic become aware of the triggers and effects that cause asthma, then coach them with breathing exercises that release oxygen to the lungs and vital organs; in effect oxygenating the body thoroughly. This has proven to be effective for long-term asthma resistance in children, adults and families.

1. Marketos SG, Ballas CN, Bronchial asthma in the medical literature of Greek antiquity. J Asthma. 1982;19(4):263-9.
2. Nutrition and Physical Degeneration – A Comparison of Primitive and Modern Diets and Their Effects. Weston A. Price, MS., D.D.S., F.A.G.D.