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Old 09-13-2009, 10:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Asthma before modern medicine

Does anyone know how asthma was treated before the development of modern prescription drugs? Was it all just bloodletting and prayer, or did they actually find ways to deal with it?

The reason I ask is because in January of this year the US government made all CFC inhalers illegal due to pollutant issues, but the replacements seem not to be anywhere near as effective. I've discussed this with my doctor, who has me on pills, but pills don't always prevent attacks and the CFC replacement emergency inhalers simply aren't as effective.

Obviously I'm going to take any advice with a grain of salt, but I'd like to explore the history of asthma and don't want to turn to yahoo answers.

---------- Post added at 11:11 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:50 PM ----------

After a bit of googling, I found the Buteyko breathing method. It doesn't exactly predate modern medicine as it's only about 50 years old, but it seems promising.
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Old 09-14-2009, 03:33 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Interesting stuff. Some granules.

There have been four types of drug treatment of asthma that have been used over the past 100 years. Belladonna alkaloids, derived from the thorn-apple plant were used in 1905, and chemically synthesized entities in this class are still in use today. Western medicine began to use adrenergic stimulants approximately 100 years ago, but they were likely used in Asian medicine long before that. Systemic treatment with corticosteroids was introduced into the treatment of asthma in the mid-20th century; inhaled corticosteroids have been in use for over 35 years.

Asthma: One Hundred Years of Treatment and Onward -- Chu and Drazen 171 (11): 1202 -- American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine

When taken internally, the large concentrations of caffeine in some species of Cola, can expand air passages in humans. This makes kola nut effective at treating breathing disorders like asthma. Prior to the advent of stronger drugs, kola nut was utilized to treat various maladies and medical conditions ...

Kola Nut (Cola spp.) Information
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Old 09-14-2009, 10:02 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Awesome, thanks!
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Old 09-14-2009, 12:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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My pleasure.
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Old 09-14-2009, 01:21 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I don't like the new inhalers.

I just use a portable nebulizer when I need treatments that require more than 1 puff. It is much more effective.

I use something like this. Dr. approved it and it was covered under insurance with zero copay.

Amazon.com: Omron Micro-Air Electronic Nebulizer with V.M.T. (Vibrating Mesh Technology): Health & Personal Care Amazon.com: Omron Micro-Air Electronic Nebulizer with V.M.T. (Vibrating Mesh Technology): Health & Personal Care
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Old 09-30-2009, 12:41 PM   #6 (permalink)
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change of weather, humidity, etc makes a huge difference for us.
I know back in the day settlers moving west often moved to relieve migraine headaches, maybe they tried to relocate as much as possible.
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Old 09-30-2009, 01:18 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I think before the 1900s, you mostly just died if you couldn't breathe without inflammation.
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