Breathe Easy with these Natural Remedies for Pulmonary Fibrosis
Published | 6 min read
Pulmonary fibrosis is a serious lung condition which makes it difficult to breathe. Here are some natural remedies to help support the treatment.
Pulmonary fibrosis is a progressive lung condition that currently has no cure. The disease causes scarring and stiffening of the lungs, making breathing difficult. Thankfully, it is considered a rare disease and affects only around 20 per 100,000 people worldwide. While research is ongoing for new therapies to treat the condition, there are traditional remedies that can delay the progression of the disease.
Causes of Pulmonary Fibrosis
In many cases, the cause of pulmonary fibrosis remains unknown and is referred to as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Researchers believe that the condition may be hereditary, and some families may be predisposed to the disease. However, inheriting the condition is quite rare and it is caused by other factors.
Exposure to certain substances like chemicals or hazardous fumes can damage your lungs and cause pulmonary fibrosis. If you have been exposed to radiotherapy, chemotherapy and are taking certain medications used to treat heart ailments, these can also cause the condition. Your risk increases with cigarette smoking and with age, too, especially if you are 50 years old and above.
Traditional Chinese Medicine and Pulmonary Fibrosis
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), pulmonary fibrosis is known as the
He attributes an important role to lifestyle. “Work-related stress, a poor work-life balance, insufficient sleep or rest, emotional disturbances, an unhealthy diet, binge drinking, and smoking all contribute to the pathologies responsible”. Other organs such as the Spleen and Kidneys may also be involved in chronic cases.
Common Symptoms of Pulmonary Fibrosis
The symptoms and
The most common symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis include breathlessness, a dry
Treatment of Pulmonary Fibrosis
There is no treatment that can cure the condition. But medications and supportive oxygen therapy allow patients to live more comfortably and have more productive lives. In Physician Yew’s experience, TCM can help alleviate the symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis. However, he emphasises that treatment should be taken under the guidance of a registered TCM physician.
TCM practitioners will formulate therapy based on the unique body composition of each individual patient. Hence it is important to consult a TCM practitioner for proper assessment.
Here is a list of some herbal remedies which have shown benefits in alleviating symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis:
- Xie Bai San (泻白散) – dispels residual Fire and nourishes the Lungs
- Bai He Gu Jin Tang (百合固金汤) – dispels residual Fire and
phlegm, replenishes yin to nourish Lungs
- Ren Shen Wu Wei Zi Tang (人参五味子汤) – dispels residual
phlegm, regenerates qi to strengthen Lungs
- Xiang Sha Liu Jun Zi (香砂六君子) – dispels Dampness and
phlegm, regenerates qi to strengthen Lungs
- Sheng Mai San (生脉散) – regenerates qi and yin to strengthen and nourish Lungs
- Bu Fei Tang (补肺汤) – replenishes qi and yin to strengthen and nourish Lungs, dispels residual Fire and
- Qing Zao Jiu Fei Tang (清燥救肺汤) – replenishes qi and yin to strengthen and nourish Lungs, dispels residual Fire
- Gan Cao Gan Jiang Tang (甘草干姜汤) – dispels
Coldand phlegm, regenerates yang to warm and strengthen Lungs Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang(血府逐瘀汤) – dispels blood clots and Stagnated Qi, improves circulation within Lungs
When performed by a trained TCM physician, acupuncture can be very effective in tackling the complex pathology behind pulmonary fibrosis. This is suggested for patients who have severe symptoms.
Physician Yew suggests acupressure as an easy self-help remedy for patients with mild symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis. “You can place your fingers or a blunt object like a massage stick at certain acupoints, and gently massage specific acupoints to elicit soreness or tenderness. Massage circularly in both clockwise and anticlockwise directions, 20 times each. Repeat for at least three minutes per acupoint,” he says.
You can use the acupoints listed below:
Tai yuanLU9, (太渊): It dispels phlegmand Fire and revitalises Lung qi.
- He gu (LI4
,合谷): It dispels Fire, phlegm, Stagnated Qiand blood clots; clears the Lungs and airways.
- Tian tu (RN22, 天突): It dispels Cold, Fire and
phlegmand clears the upper respiratory tract.
- Dan zhong (RN17, 膻中): It dispels Cold, Fire, and
phlegm, Stagnated Qiand blood clots. It also clears the thoracic cavity and strengthens the Lungs.
- Zu san li (ST36, 足三里): It dispels
Cold, Dampness, phlegm and Stagnated Qi,and strengthens the stomachto enhance the recovery of the Lungs.
- Yin ling quan (SP9, 阴陵泉): It dispels Cold, Dampness,
phlegmand Stagnated Qi; it strengthens the Spleento enhance the recovery of the Lungs.
- Feng long (ST40, 丰隆): It dispels Dampness,
phlegmand Stagnated Qi.
- San yin jiao (SP6, 三阴交): It revitalises the Spleen and Kidneys to enhance Lung recovery.
- Tai xi (KI3, 太溪): It revitalises the Kidneys to enhance Lung recovery.
Pulmonary fibrosis can considerably hinder the quality of life, making it challenging to go about routine activities. However, these traditional therapies can help you relieve the symptoms. Do consult your TCM physician today and breathe easy.
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