Mangosteen and Asthma
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the smaller airways of the lungs. During an asthma attack, the immune system is called into action. But this is part of the problem, not the solution.
Asthma used to be considered an allergic disease. Today it is considered an inflammatory disease. So the treatment has changed from treating an allergic reaction to treating an inflammation. Allergy is a secondary consideration.
In asthma, inflammation and other complex immune system effects cause recurrent episodes of wheezing, when the small airways of the lungs are narrowed due to contraction of the muscles in the lung walls. Other symptoms include chest tightness, breathlessness, and coughing, usually nocturnal. A severe asthma attack can be life threatening and provokes extreme anxiety in the victim and his family. Constriction of the small airway passages is called bronchospasm, and relief thereof becomes the emergency therapy. Mainstream therapy includes use of bronchodilators and sometimes intravenous steroids.
Current medical theory is that asthma has both genetic and environmental causes. Anything that causes an asthmatic attack is labeled an allergen. Genes governing an increased immune response to allergens, a stronger than normal inflammatory reaction and more reactive airway passages appear to be inherited traits, and predispose the victim to the development of the disease.
Exposure to pollution is considered a prime agent in the increase in asthma in recent years.
Immune response is part of the problem in aggravating the asthmatic response. Allergens such as respiratory viruses, pollen, pet dander, cigarette smoke, etc.. cause a cascade of events that result in the swelling of the airway passages, hypersecretion of mucous, and contraction in the walls of airways cause a decrease in the diameter of the air passages and damage to the cells lining the airways. This latter damage is caused by the attacks of the immune system's white cells.
The damaged cells cause inflammation and further narrowing of the air ways and impedes air flow into the air sacs of the lungs were oxygen is normally exchanged with the blood. Furthermore air is trapped inside the air sacs so that it cannot be sufficiently exhaled. This air trapping contributes to the over-inflation of the lungs as seen on the X-rays of patients.
The body then tries to get functional air movement in the lungs resulting in hyperventilation, respiratory muscle exhaustion and sometimes complete respiratory collapse! Death in a hospital is rare, but common outside the hospital if warning signs are not heeded or not understood.
Finally, the repeated or continued inflammation of airway passages causes a "thickening" of the airway walls that is basically irreversible. These modified airway passages are even more sensitive to allergens, thus beginning a vicious cycle that worsens the disease.
TREATMENT with traditional Medicine.
Unfortunately, all medications used to treat asthma have nasty or dangerous side effects. Bronchodilators cause rapid beating of the heart and can precipitate panic attacks. Steroids, both inhaled and oral, have so many side effects that the administration and surveillance of asthmatics on steroids would fill several pages of text. No doctor would truthfully argue that they are not harmful, but are necessary evils in our polluted environment.
Some less harmful medicines that interfere with the inflammatory response are now available and still others are in development. Nevertheless, treatment of asthma remain problematic and generates its own form of disability.
The Role of Mangosteen in treatment of Asthma.
A summary of problems with asthma include:
Viral infections in childhood, set the stage for asthma.
Allergens precipitate asthmatic attacks.
Air pollution, which is loaded with Free radicals, attacks lung tissue and triggers asthma.
Inflammation causes short-term asthma symptoms and permanent damage through remodeled airways.
In fact, except in very mild intermittent cases, an asthmatic's lungs are never free of inflammation.
The xanthones found in whole fruit mangosteen are powerful anti-inflammatories. These xanthones have anti-viral qualities that can lead to the reduction in the number of viral infections. They are also powerful antioxidants that help to counteract the free radical damage that we sustain as a result of exposure to polluted air. Finally, Xanthones have been shown to have ant-allergy effect.
In fact, whole fruit mangosteen extract is an ideal agent to deal with all four asthma pathologies: infection, inflammation, free radical damage and allergic triggers.
Finally, while mild intermittent asthma may be controlled with mangosteen, and while its use will benefit all asthmatics, do NOT discontinue your medications, or stop seeing your physician until your physician says that you are disease free.
The Xanthones in whole fruit mangosteen are fat-soluble. Therefore, for maximum benefit from the Xanthones, remember to take any mangosteen product with a meal or snack, either just before, during, or just after a meal.
Find mangosteen fruit at your grocery store, or ask for it. The fruit doesn't travel well, and about 1 in 5 fruit are spoiled. Furthermore, the essential Xanthones are found in the rind which tastes very bitter.
The only commercial preparation that contains the whole fruit mangosteen that we are aware of is XanGo™
The good news is that it tastes delicious!
Dosage: 1 ounce up to three times daily with meals.