DR. LINDA JOHNSON: Khella is natural asthma ‘drug’

by Symptom Advice on October 22, 2011

You just took a breath and didn’t even notice. Dealing with asthma is a little like having to breathe through a straw. It turns out that every breath we take is a memorable event when we have to work for it, which is why most asthma sufferers keep their stash of meds close.

Though asthma is considered an incurable disease, it is very manageable thanks to steroids. I’m asked all the time, “Aren’t there any other options?” the answer is yes.

Take my husband, for example, who is a longtime sufferer. his steroid stash is expiring in a drawer because of non-use. his asthma didn’t go away; he simply found a better way to manage it.

I don’t advocate getting rid of any options that enhance breathing, but there certainly are some powerful alternatives for those interested in something less intrusive than pharmaceuticals.

It’s always wonderful to discover yet another herb that works so well, and khella falls into that category. Khella is a species of a flowering plant in the carrot family. It’s known by many names. One is toothpick weed and — you guessed it — toothpicks are also made from the stems of the plant in the Middle East. It can be found throughout the world, but is native to Europe, Asia and North America.

If you find khella growing in a field, it looks like celery or wild parsley. It has wispy soft, fine feathery leaves with clusters of white flowers. tiny fruits have grey seeds used to make khella tincture. It takes about two months for khella to grow flowers and when the flower heads turn brown, the seeds are ready for harvest.

The biological action of khella works as a vasodilator and reduces blood pressure by inhibiting calcium influx into the cell. Khella is effective as a smooth muscle relaxant, and the asthma drug cromolyn is a synthetic derivative of it. when an herb is used, the synergistic components are a big reason why side effects are rare as compared to a drug made from an herb. when drugs are made from herbs, only the active ingredient is used, leaving the synergy out and creating side effects.

Khella also has antibacterial, antifungal and preservative properties. Besides being used for asthma and cardiac problems, khella has been shown effective in treating bronchitis and emphysema. It increases HDL (the good cholesterol); helps diminish risk of stroke and heart attack, spasms and constriction of the urinary tract and bladder; relieves gallbladder pain and helps with passage of gallstones.

If you have an allergic reaction to Khella, you could experience nausea, vomiting or changes in vision. all of these symptoms disappear with discontinued use. Khella should not be used in conjunction with blood thinners such as warfarin and calcium channel blockers that lower blood pressure. Do not use if pregnant or breastfeeding. Do not use if you have liver disease, and always check with your doctor before adding a supplement to your regimen.

Precautions are always necessary because interactions are possible. Khella is another powerful example of nature’s pharmacy and is an alternative for many asthma sufferers.

Dr. Linda Johnson is a naturopathic doctor based in Alamogordo. Contact her at 434-6400 or via e-mail at balancedhealth@live.com.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: