Asthma Care

Horsetail (Shavegrass) Tea

The tea mixture that I make is very plain and bland but I mostly use it for asthma and bronchitis so you don’t need much of it or do I advice that you use much as any herb can have side effects and a little is better when trying a new herb. Also note that I was taught to use horsetail for external bleeding wounds, you moisten the horsetail or steep a concentrated mixture and apply to the wound and it stops bleeding. Note these are the things I was taught by my people the things I now have never been proven scientifically to me or what I have been taught by my father and grandfather. The name of shave grass/horsetail in my language is: “KEZIBSKOL” it’s translation is Hissing Plant, Scouring Bushes, Horsetail.

I boil approximately 1/4 ounce of horsetail in one quart of water and then steep for 10-minutes. You can add other things to better the taste I suppose what ever you might want, but keep in mind that I only recommend 1 tbl. to try it to see if you have any bad reactions to it and if not then I drink one cup a day while having respiratory problems.

I hope this helps.
Love & Happiness

Disclamer: I am no way recommending anyone take any of my advice or even follow my recipe for the tea or wound healer. I am not a doctor, I am Native American and am just saying how I use “KEZIBSKOL” for my own use what I was taught by my people the Penobscots.


Asthma Information

Since we were talking about Asthma I thought you might like to peruse the following


Nutritional supplements that may be helpful: Vitamin B6 deficiency is common in asthmatics. This deficiency may relate to the asthma itself or to certain asthma drugs (such as theophylline and aminophylline) that deplete vitamin B6. In a double blind study of asthmatic children, 200 mg per day of vitamin B6 for two months reduced the severity of their illness and reduced the amount of asthma medication needed. In another study, asthmatic adults experienced a dramatic decrease in the frequency and severity of asthma attacks while taking 50 mg of vitamin B6 twice a day. Nonetheless, the research remains somewhat inconsistent, and at least one double blind study did not find high levels of B6 to help asthmatics who require the use of steroid drugs.

Magnesium levels are frequently low in asthmatics. Magnesium supplements might help prevent asthma attacks because magnesium can prevent spasms of the bronchial passages. Intravenous injection of magnesium has been reported to stop acute asthma attacks within minutes in double blind research. Although the effect of oral magnesium has not been appropriately studied, many doctors recommend magnesium supplements for their asthma patients. The usual amount of magnesium taken by an adult is 200 400 mg per day (children take proportionately less based on their body weight).

Supplementation with 1 gram of vitamin C per day reduces the tendency of the bronchial passages to go into spasm, an action that has been confirmed in double blind research. Some individuals with asthma have shown improvement after taking 1 2 grams of vitamin C per day. A buffered form of vitamin C (such as sodium ascorbate or calcium ascorbate) may work better for some asthmatics than regular vitamin C (ascorbic acid).

Very high amounts of vitamin B12 supplements (1,500 mcg per day) have been found to reduce the tendency for asthmatics to react to sulfites. The trace mineral molybdenum also helps the body detoxify sulfite, though the ability of supplemental molybdenum to help asthma patients remains mostly unexplored. A nutritionally oriented physician should be involved in any evaluation and treatment of sulfite sensitivity.

People with low levels of selenium have a high risk of asthma. Asthma involves free radical damage that selenium might protect against. A double blind trial gave 45 mcg of selenium to twelve people with asthma. Half showed clear clinical improvement even though lung function tests did not change. Most doctors of natural medicine recommend 200 mcg per day for adults (and proportionately less for children) a much higher, though still safe level.

Double blind research shows that fish oil partially reduces reactions to allergens that can trigger attacks in some asthmatics. Although a few researchers report small but significant improvements when asthmatics supplement fish oil, a review of the research shows that most fish oil studies with asthmatics come up empty handed. Nonetheless, there is evidence that children who eat oily fish may have a much lower risk of getting asthma. Therefore, even though evidence supporting the use of fish oils remains weak, eating more fish may still be worth considering.

Stomach levels of hydrochloric acid were reported to be low in asthmatic children many years ago. Supplementation with betaine HCl in combination with avoidance of known food allergens led to clinical improvement.

Quercetin, a flavonoid found in most plants, has an inhibiting action on lipoxygenase, an enzyme that contributes to problems with asthma. No human studies have confirmed whether quercetin decreases asthma symptoms. Some nutritionally oriented doctors are currently experimenting with 400 1,000 mg of quercetin three times per day.

Bromelain reduces the thickness of mucus, which may be beneficial for those with asthma, though clinical actions in asthmatics remain unproven.

Are there any side effects or interactions? Refer to the individual supplement for information about any side effects or interactions.

Herbs that may be helpful: Ephedrine, an alkaloid extracted from ephedra, is an approved over-the-counter treatment for bronchial tightness associated with asthma. Over-the-counter drugs containing ephedrine can be safely used by adults in the amount of 12.5 25 mg every four hours. Adults should take a total dose of no more than 150 mg every twenty-four hours. They should refer to labels for children s dosages. Ephedrine has largely been replaced by other bronchodilating drugs, such as alupent and albuterol. Ephedra sinica, also known as ma huang, continues to be a component of traditional
herbal preparations for asthma, often in amounts of 1 2 grams of the herb per day.

Traditionally, herbs that have a soothing action on bronchioles are also used for asthma. These would include marshmallow, mullein, and licorice.

Ginkgo extracts have been considered a potential therapy for asthma for some time. This is because the extracts block the action of platelet-activating factor (PAF), a compound the body produces that in part causes asthma symptoms. A study using isolated ginkgolides from ginkgo (not the whole extract) found they reduced asthma symptoms. A controlled study used a highly concentrated tincture of ginkgo leaf and found this helped decrease asthma symptoms. For asthma, 120 240 mg of standardized extract or 3 4 ml of regular tincture three times daily can be used.

Eclectic physicians doctors at the turn of the century in North America who used herbs as their main medicine considered lobelia to be one of the most important plant medicines. Traditionally, it was used by Eclectics to treat coughs and spasms in the lungs from all sorts of causes.

Checklist for Asthma

* Selenium
* Vitamin B6
* Ephedra
* Other Betaine HCl
* Bromelain
* Fish Oil (EPA)
* Magnesium
* Molybdenum
* Quercetin
* Vitamin B12
* Vitamin C
* Elecampane
* Ginkgo Biloba
* Licorice
* Lobelia
* Marshmallow
* Mullein

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16. Zuskin E et al. Byssinosis and airway responses due to exposure to textile dust.
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28. Thien FCK, Woods RK, Waters EH. Oily fish and asthma a fishy story? Med J Austral
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31. Welton AF, Tobias LD, Fiedler-Nagy C, et al. Effect of flavonoids on arachidonic
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34. Guinot P, Brambilla Dunchier J, et al. Effect of BN 52063, a specific PAF-ascether
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Copyright ) 1999 Healthnotes, Inc. 1505 SE Gideon St., Suite 200, Portland, OR 97202 Authors of the best-selling book The Natural Pharmacy

The information presented in Healthnotes Online is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over-the-counter medication is also available. Consult your physician, nutritionally oriented healthcare practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications.


Reviewed: 01-Jul-1999


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