I am delving back into the health archives of my son again, as he experienced asthma as a child. For the record, he is now 30 years old, calm, easy going, healthy and fit.

However, back along when he was about 8, he would tell me he couldn’t breathe at night. I countered it with assurances that, “of course you can, silly boy” (said fondly, I should add). “Your body isn’t going to suddenly stop working for you!” I imagined it was only a night fear, as there were no daytime clues that there was a problem. No Best–Mummy-in-the-World awards to me for this misdiagnosis.

Eventually the symptoms did become obvious, with some wheezing and some gasping, so I made the trip to the doctor. There the diagnosis was indeed asthma, and an inhaler was prescribed. I absolutely did not want my son using this. “Side effects” of the steroids inhaled range from acne and thrush to bone loss and eyesight problems.

I looked instead for other ways to help him, and they worked so well, that he used his inhaler only occasionally when he played tennis. And he only ever had the one inhaler, and that alone speaks volumes.

Yet it was severe at times. I recall sitting up with him all night with steam pouring out of the bathroom to ease his croup-like cough. Hearing him try to catch his breath like a dying old man was painful and distressing. The more you want to breathe and can’t, the more you are likely to panic, which then exacerbates the difficulty with breathing.

The alternative means I had at my disposal all worked to manage the condition rather than cure it. Magnesium calmed and opened his restricted air ways, a wheat and dairy free diet offset his allergies. However, he was particularly affected by mould and cold, damp weather. We lived in the English countryside, therefore for over half of the year it is cold, damp and mouldy. In the last winter there, he was unable to live as a child should: no biking or walking or playing outdoors.

Sea Change

My ultimate natural treatment for asthma was to move us all to live by the sea. I had noticed during a beach holiday in Devon a few months earlier, that he had no symptoms at all and could breathe perfectly.

If only I had known about salt treatments then. Moving 200 miles away so he could be well was no small feat.

Once we were by the sea, a mere 5 minute walk from our apartment, he rapidly recovered his health and lived normally. He could even eat all the foods previously antagonizing his system. Which was good, as over 20 years ago, there were very few alternatives available to milk and wheat, unlike now.

So what is so special about the sea air? The “Daily Mail” reports the following as the reason:

“If you’ve ever wondered why we always sleep more soundly after spending the day on the beach, it’s because of the sea air. Sea air is charged with healthy negative ions that accelerate our ability to absorb oxygen. Negative ions also balance levels of serotonin, a body chemical linked with mood and stress.”

I confess I too had always put the effects down to the negative ions rather than the salt, until I had a “lightbulb” moment. I remembered reading about salt caves for treating patients with lung problems such as tuberculosis in Poland and the Ukraine. So here I present for you the amazing healing powers of salt.

How Does Inhaling Salt Air Help?

  1. It kills bacteria (the salt dries out all the germs and bacteria in your respiratory system)
  2. It is anti-inflammatory (based on clinical studies, the dry, saline-diffused air reduces inflammation in the whole respiratory tract)
  3. It has “mucolytic” effects (i.e., loosens excessive mucus and speeds the elimination of toxins)
  4. It removes pathogenic agents (such as airborne pollen)
  5. It strengthens the immune system and restores energy levels
  6. It reduces IgE levels (the immune system won’t over-react to asthma/allergy triggers)

“As a result of salt therapy, inflammation and mast cell response within the bronchi reduces, so the quality and function of breathing improves. This leads to the balancing of other bodily systems, due to increased oxygen availability. Thanks to the desensitisation of the immune response, sleep patterns will improve and acute attacks and the need for medication will substantially decrease. This means the child will have more energy to play or exercise and become stronger and more resilient to every day infections.
For those suffering from asthma, salt therapy can not only bring much needed relief, but can also prevent the frequent recurrence of symptoms. Salt therapy has a far more lasting effect as many, many visitors to the salt cave have testified.”
(Salt Cave UK)

In my ignorance, I thought these caves only existed where once there had been salt mines. But of course, some spa or healing centres have built their own salt rooms out of salt slabs.

Salt is a very grounding. It relates to a feeling of safety within us, and people using salt rooms often find they are reluctant to leave the womb-like comfort they emit.

No Salt Cave? Then Pipe It In!

The next best thing as a natural treatment for asthma, and maybe the first remedy to try due to its ease of access, availability and cost, is a Himalayan Salt Pipe.

According to the information included with pipes on sale via Amazon (and I quote):

  1. A Himalayan salt pipe filled with granules of salt lasts for approximately 1 year and then the salt can be replaced.
  2. Provides salt therapy to the respiratory system when used regularly. Use for 10-15 mins per day or otherwise occasionally if just feeling blocked up and congested.
  3. The Himalayan salt inhaler pipe is the modern way to experience salt therapy at home and has no known side effects.
    (End of quote)

So essentially it works as the salt cave does, cleaning the respiratory system. Note that it needs regular use!

Himalayan salt lamps (either using a light bulb or candles) are another way to transport the healing energies of salt into your home, but used alone are probably not enough to help asthmatics. They do however help keep the air clear and energised, and combat any Wi-Fi and other EMF smog in the home.

We all need salt therapy unless we live right on the beach. If we lived with the earth and nature, instead of in polluted cities and agricultural chemically treated land, many of the illnesses we develop would disappear, not just asthma.

Any comments or questions? I’m here.

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