Dr Shiv Dua
We get many patients of asthma. They are fed up with conventional inhalers. We have been helping them with out medicines but there is no homoeopathic inhaler that can give instant relief. This is the reason we allow them to continue with their allopathic inhalers and take our medicines as well. You must have noticed that such patients wish to discontinue the allopathic medicines and switch over to homoeopathic medicines. But they do not wish to discontinue the use of allopathic inhalers. Many patients are questioning as to why there are no homoeopathic inhalers. It must have struck many of us that we should have homoeopathic inhalers. No one in the fraternity is coming forward to think over making one. Nothing is impossible. The flight of imagination only becomes a reality. Inhalers have become very urgent tool for quick relief. Let us first understand its function.
MDI inhaler is Pressurized metered dose inhaler. It contains a pressurized inactive gas that propels a dose of drug in each ‘puff’. Each dose is released by pressing the top of the inhaler. This type of inhaler is quick to use, small, and convenient to carry. It needs good co-ordination to press the canister, and breathe in fully at the same time. Inhaler is a device holding a medicine that one can inhale and it is used for bringing relief in asthma. There are different types of inhalers. Each inhaler has a drug inside that goes to the airways when we breathe in. Some part of gets into the rest of body via bloodstream. There are almost no side effects of inhalers, as the doctor’s claim. The drug has a generic name. For asthma, the drugs inside inhalers can be grouped into relievers (short-acting bronchodilators), preventers (steroid inhalers) and long-acting bronchodilators. Bronchodilators have two main drugs, salbutamol and terbutaline. These drugs are called bronchodilators as they dilate (widen) the bronchi (airways).
- When breathing- difficulty is less and use is infrequent, short acting bronchodilators serves the purpose.
- When need for inhaler is for more than three times in a week, a preventer (steroid drug) is prescribed.
This is under strict vigil of the conventional doctor. We find that the medicines are inducted direct to lungs through inhalers and it is the air that forces medicine into the lungs. Without the media of air, no medicine can be inducted into lungs. This air is in the form of Aerosol. Aerosol is the solid or liquid particles of a substance suspended in the air. They are very minute and small, less than a micron (1/1000 mm) in size. Aerosol inhalers are put in use with medicines like salbutamol and corticosteroids. Please note that we are not talking of Nebulisers which are used in hospitals. Nebulisers contain liquid form of medicine which turns in to fine mist like an aerosol. In severe attacks of asthma, it is useful.
So far we have no homoeopathic inhalers in the market. The reason is that homoeopathy deals in individual -suited treatment according to individual-symptoms. Inhaler fitting symptoms of individuals can not be made. It is the simplest excuse for the drug companies. See the irony. Drug manufacturing companies are providing us all types of medicines, dilutions, mother tinctures, and biochemics with tons of literature but we are still to see homoeopathic inhalers in our clinics. Even if individual inhales can not be made, why not try mixtures of medicines as they are using in making patents. We know that use of aerosol inhaler is effective as preventive and not curative. Inhaler with mixed medicines will also serve the purpose of preventive, if made. Drug companies have two options:
- Making inhalers with one medicine, which may not be for all. This could be used with particular symptoms of the body.
- Making inhalers with mixed medicines which could be used by all.
Making inhalers with single medicine
We have many medicines at our disposal from which we can find out the symptoms. See the medicines below:
- Aconite has asthma after emotions and fear, suppression of acute rash and feeling of a band around the chest. Antim Tart has threatening suffocation, wheezing, rattling and cyanosis.
- Aralia that has trouble during inspiration and one cannot lie down day or night.
- Arsenic, worse after midnight, must sit up and from cold changes of temperature. Patients want everything hot.
- Acid Benzoic for asthma with rheumatism.
- Bromium for asthma better at sea.
- Cannabis sativa for mucus rales and great dyspnoea.
- Carbo veg for old debilitated persons with flatulence and blueness of skin.
- Conium also for old people having suffocative attacks on lying down.
- Then we have China, china ars, china sulf if the attacks are at the same hour of each day.
- Cuprum met for spasmodic asthma with intense dyspnoea, blueness of face, constriction at throat, retching and vomiting.
- Graphite is there for spasmodic attacks, which awaken us from sleep and is better from eating.
- Grindelia rob .for spasmodic asthma better expectoration, in cardiac asthma with fear of going to sleep due to loss of breath that awakens us.
- Ipecac and Moschus for spasmodic asthma.
- Kali carb when the attack is at 3 to 4 AM and worse sudden cold changes.
- Lachesis prevents sleep and better expectoration with intolerance of the least pressure about neck or chest.
- Lobelia for great oppression of chest as if it is was full of blood, which seems to stagnate and better when moving about.
- Naja is for asthma with hay fever and patient must sit up in order to breathe.
- Natrum sulph has aggravation at night and from cold damp weather.
- Nux vomica has morning aggravation and worse from eating heartily.
- Pulsatilla for children asthma.
- Rumex is for asthma worse at 2 AM.
- Sambucus is for spasmodic attacks worse after midnight and rousing from sleep.
- Sulpher is for chronic conditions with suffocative fits in the forepart of night with burning in chest and desire for fresh air.
- *Among mother tinctures we have and Grindelia and Blata, which are good when patient cannot breathe properly while lying in bed. Similarly for want of breath on least motion, Aspidosperma is good. Action of mother tinctures is considered quicker in acute cases.
We have to keep mother tinctures out of the inhalers as they cannot be utilized till taken orally. Their vaporized form may not work. (My opinion)
Practically, it is not possible to make such a large number of inhalers separately for separate individual as per above symptoms.
Let us make the list short and think about Possible Separate inhalers as follows:
- Acid Benzoic inhaler for patients having asthma with rheumatism.
- Bromium inhaler for asthma better at sea.
- Cannabis sativa inhaler for mucus rales and great dyspnoea.
- Carbo veg inhaler for old persons with flatulence and blueness of skin.
- Conium inhaler for old persons having suffocative attacks and vertigo on lying down.
- China inhaler for attacks at the same hour of each day.
- Natrum sulph inhaler for asthma in children and asthma from cold damp weather.
Homeopathic manufacturers can think of making at least the above seven inhalers in the first instance. This can be done only after lot of experiments and the method by which the drugs can be dissolved and converted into vaporized form.
In my opinion, following medicines may not be suitable for making inhalers:
1. Cuprum met, Graphite, Grindelia rob, Ipecac, Moschus, Kali carb, Lachesis, Lobelia, Pulsatilla and Naja. They are having vague symptoms of spasmodic asthma and make a general category in symptoms.
2. Use of Mother Tinctures like Grindelia and Blata or Aspidosperma in inhalers would need special technique to induct heavy dose which is not possible. In potentized form, they can be used while making mixed medicine inhalers. This possibility is left to the noble scholars of the companies.
- Certain drugs have affinity for certain organs or parts of the body. For example, Podophyllum is a liver remedy. Canthris elects the urinary, Strychnia is for spinal cord, Tellurium is for Tympanum, Ergot for the uterus etc. We can call elective affinity of drugs as tissue proclivity also. Keeping affinity in view, we have selected seven medicines from above list that have specific symptoms of two related symptoms. Initially these seven inhalers could be made for trials.
- Such inhalers used with homoeopathic medicines may give better results. Medicine used in inhalers should coincide with oral medicine or at least should be complementary to the related medicine in inhalers.
- A research on homoeopathic dilators like Beriberi vulgaris and mucus-absorbers like Natrums needs to be taken into account. Such dilators may give immediate relief to the patients as does Salbutamol.
- The research can also be made on Isopathy- basis i.e. administering Salbutamol, cromoglycate or Cortisone in an attenuated form. Homoeopathy is the administering of similar wholly foreign agents to diseased condition whereas Isopathy is administering the same thing in an attenuated form.
Either of the two options of manufacturing universal inhalers (mixed medicines or dilators like beriberi vulgaris) and seven separate inhalers for use of persons with particular symptoms explained above, can be thought over by companies. To examine the possibility of manufacturing homoeopathic inhalers, companies must consult senior homoeopaths without whom this dream can not be fulfilled.
Our professors supported by lecturers and students can also play a vital part in innovating the homoeopathic inhalers. The initiative has to start by the scholars of homoeopathy in colleges, doctors of drug companies and CCRH.
Invention of homoeopathic inhalers will revolutionize homoeopathy. It is my belief.
Bibliography: Boericke Materia Medica- B.Jain Publishers.