Avoid Overconsumption of Cold Water in SummerDuring hot summer days, some people feel thirsty and drink excessive amounts of ice-cold water or even pour cold water over their heads to cool down, which can feel refreshing. However, this practice can be risky because it can induce symptoms of asthma.
Over thirty years ago, a mother brought her child to me for treatment. The child had severe asthma, struggling to breathe, shoulders rising with each inhale, and using considerable effort to push up the abdomen during inhalation.
At the time, I had just become a doctor and didn't know much about these symptoms. So, I turned to medical books and found a passage in the Treatise on Cold Damage that stated, "After sweating, drinking excessive cold water will induce breathing difficulties; even pouring water will cause breathing difficulties."
Based on this description, I asked the child, "Do you often drink cold water rapidly, making "gulugulu" sound, like a cow drinking?"
The child replied, "Yes!"
I explained, "That's the reason!"
Avoid Cold-Natured FoodsTraditional Chinese medicine has found that most foods have either "cold" or "hot" properties and categorizes most common foods into three types, "cold," "hot," "warm," or "neutral" in nature.
Steaming pear with a little bit of rock sugar, Fritillaria, and almond is a good dietary remedy for people with asthma. It's not only delicious but also effective in treating asthma and coughing.
Steaming yellow- or green-skinned pear with a bit of honey is also effective in treating asthma. A concoction of lily bulbs, Tremella fungus, red dates, and lotus seeds, known as the red dates soup can help change the constitution of those prone to asthma and coughing.
Press 2 Acupoints for Midnight Asthma AttacksIn TCM, the body has a network of meridians, which are pathways for the flow of energy and are responsible for distributing qi (energy) and blood throughout the body. They are the basic substances that make up the human body and maintain its life activities.
There are twelve main meridians, separately associated with the twelve internal organs. The twenty-four hours in each day are divided into twelve two-hour segments, called "Shichen." During each Shichen, the qi and blood on the corresponding meridians will be particularly vigorous, and the organs corresponding to the meridians will also be more active. Certain points on the meridians have special effects called acupoints—in the corresponding Shichen, you can treat the diseases of the corresponding internal organs through acupuncture, massage, and other stimulation of the corresponding acupoints.
During a middle-of-the-night asthma attack, you can press acupoints as self-help when you can't immediately see a doctor.
Between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m., lung energy is at its peak. Pressing on the acupoint Chize (LU 5) can improve asthma symptoms.
Between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m., lung energy is at its peak. Pressing on the acupoint Chize (LU 5) can improve asthma symptoms. LU 5 is located in the inner elbow crease along the thumb line.
Between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m., lung energy starts descending. Pressing on the Taiyuan（LU-9) acupoint can tonify lung energy and benefit the heart.
Traditional Chinese Medicine Treatments for AsthmaIn treating asthma using Chinese medicine, the lungs are the proper treatment, which means that whenever we cough or have asthma symptoms, it is all related to the lungs.
According to Chinese medicine theory, the lungs and the spleen are closely related, so if the lungs are weak, the spleen can be tonified to treat the lungs. If you want to tonify both the spleen and the lungs, there is a good prescription called "Four Gentlemen's Soup for Panting," which contains the expensive herb agarwood, as well as costusroot, fructus amomi, tangerine peel, and angelica among others.