Disabled man. His life depends on his oxygen tank. Asthma emphysema COPD. He is using a rescue inhaler.

by Paul Fassa
Health Impact News

The pharmaceutical remedies for COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), which may seem to help at first, are side effect nightmares that most COPD sufferers abandon upon discovering other more natural solutions.

Pharmaceuticals also usually fail to stop the progression of COPD into the later stages that demand oxygen tanks as ones’ partner for life.

There are several natural options existing that can make life less miserable for COPD sufferers. One option is medical cannabis.

It’s too early to tell if cannabis can completely cure one with COPD, meanwhile it serves to relieve the anxiety of not breathing well while simultaneously restoring normal breathing and providing relief by dilating bronchial tubes and healing lung tissue.

One of the pioneers who helped forge medical marijuana legislation in Oregon, Dr. Phil Leveque, who passed away in 2015 at the age of 90, has prescribed cannabis for over 5,000 patients and stated for the record:

“Marijuana is one of the best bronchodilators, much better than any other class of drugs. For these respiratory diseases, [asthma and COPD] marijuana can be life-saving.”

Dr. Leveque also claimed that smoking marijuana was not bad for the lungs, claiming cannabinoids are beneficial for lung tissues.

There are published studies that confirm Dr. Leveque’s assertion. In some cases, lung function increased with pot smokers who did not use tobacco cigarettes that are saturated with 600 added chemicals, mostly toxic and carcinogenic. (Source)

Studies that attest to support Dr. Leveque’s view may be accessed here.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

The lungs are the primary organs of respiration in humans and many other animals including a few fish and some snails. In mammals and most other vertebrates two lungs are located near the backbone on either side of the heart.

When you see someone lugging around oxygen tanks on wheels with tubes connected to the nostrils from those tanks, you are likely looking at a stage (three or four) COPD sufferer. There are many others who suffer from earlier stages (one and two) COPD who are without the contained oxygen apparatus.

Their situations are less obvious, but they experience breathing as a burden, with little or no physical exertion.

COPD is sometimes referred to as chronic obstructive lung disease (COLD). It’s an umbrella term used to cover chronic bronchitis, bronchiectasis, and emphysema, which is technically different and often diagnosed separately.

The end result is the same: breathing difficulties. COPD does not include asthma, although some of the same natural remedies do handle asthma symptoms well without side effects.

Considered a disease that progressively worsens and is deemed incurable by mainstream medical standards, COPD may lead to other maladies caused by oxygen shortages. The pharmaceutical drugs used to manage symptoms only create side effects that exacerbate the condition or create other ailments, some also chronic.

Early stages of COPD, which worsen progressively over time when using prescribed pharmaceuticals, include shortness of breath, chest tightness, wheezing, and a chronic need to cough up the sputum (phlegm) lodged in bronchial tubes. One’s physical endurance is hampered progressively as COPD progresses, making it difficult to walk any distance and perform physical labor.

COPD can be tested to determine which of the four stages one is in. The most common test is the spirometry test, where ones volume of air is breathed out completely and forcibly and a meter creates a graph that measures the volume held.

There are various other pulmonary function testing methods used with or without the spirometer, but the forced exhalation spirometric test, which is concerned with the ability to exhale CO2, is the one most are familiar with. Carbon dioxide (CO2) not fully expelled blocks oxygen from filling the lungs. Only plants “breathe” CO2. Mammals need O2 (oxygen) that plants convert from CO2.

Some Natural Alternative Options for Sufferers of COPD

Diligent analysis, determining what’s right for one’s individual needs and appropriate within one’s environment needs to be researched further, along with the mindset of making lifestyle changes. Below are some natural alternatives for COPD sufferers to consider.

Cannabis: As mentioned above, one substance that has only recently been discovered as highly effective for COPD sufferers is cannabis. Unfortunately, most if not all states that allow medical marijuana don’t include COPD as an allowable cannabis application. Some states leave what is not spelled out in its list of exemptions for cannabis-use open for a licensed physician’s discretion to prescribe it.

In some states, one may get around the tape—for example, a COPD sufferer may have also been diagnosed with arthritis, and approved for a medical marijuana card. Applying for the card using the diagnosis of arthritis gets one the medical marijuana card for what’s also needed for their COPD symptoms.

Cannabis Oil with THC: The most effective cannabis choice for most COPD sufferers is cannabis oil with THC, however, CBD or cannabidiol without THC is easier to get and seems to work for some early stage COPD sufferers, depending on its quality.

Edibles such as cannabutter and others last longer than the effects from smoking or “vaping” marijuana, (vaping is a less irritating method than smoking).

To determine what would work for your COPD or a friend’s or loved one’s, I recommend searching online for a COPD or cannabis group on Facebook or another social media / chat site.

Hydrogen Peroxide: A recent Health Impact News article covered the potential of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) use for flu symptoms and more. (Note: this protocol for COPD was not brought up in that article.)

H2O2 has improved the lives of many COPD sufferers. It may be ideal to nebulize hydrogen peroxide, but some simply spray it into the mouth while breathing in and some simply drink it. In both cases the H2O2 is diluted down from even 3% strength and more-so at 35%.

It’s important to use only distilled water for diluting only food grade hydrogen peroxide to appropriate levels. The following source uses 35% food grade H2O2 to begin with. Now there are 3% food grade solutions available, whereas prior to recently, the most common food grade solutions were 35%.

Most protocols for healing with H2O2 are based on the older situation with food grade hydrogen peroxide of 35% and decreasing it to 3-3.5% with distilled water. Here is one of those guidelines. More can be gleaned from testimonials accessed here.

Glutathione (nebulized): Glutathione is considered the master antioxidant. It is capable of replenishing itself in the liver after scooping out the free radicals that threaten to damage tissue on a cellular level. It should be in all cells, but various toxins from our environment and fake processed foods can and do get in the way of this metabolic process or simply overburden it.

When lung tissue cells become deficient from glutathione, external sources for this master antioxidant are needed. Glutathione taken orally is relatively useless. It is adulterated by the stomach before it gets to the small intestines to be absorbed into one’s blood. That’s why LET (liposomal encapsulation technology) is now used. LET lets glutathione get through the gastrointestinal tract intact. (Source)

There’s a way to bypass the digestive system and get glutathione directly into the lungs. It’s a technique used by Dr. Jonathan V. Wright in his Tahoma Clinic in Washington state and endorsed by Dr. Jeffrey Dach in South Florida. Their glutathione protocols are supported with this quote from a study:

“Alterations in alveolar and lung GSH metabolism are widely recognized as a central feature of many inflammatory lung diseases including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).” (Source)

Dr. Wright’s approach is fine for an M.D., but a little unwieldy for most of us who don’t have access to a holistic M.D. who can prescribe pharmaceutical grade pure glutathione that has to be filled by a compounding pharmacy.

So Dr. Dach offered this solution, devised by Dr. Clark T. Bishop, M.D: A pharmaceutical grade powder with a trace of bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) as a buffer in capsules. The capsules are not consumed orally. They are pulled apart to place the powder into a distilled water or saline solution in a nebulizer. Then the glutathione mist is breathed directly into the lungs. This can be both convenient and effective.

Here is the complete list of items Dr. Wright uses in his Tahoma clinic.

  • 120-200 milligrams of nebulized, inhaled Glutathione, two times per day
  • 500 milligrams of N-acetylcysteine, three times per day*
  • 30 milligrams of Zinc Picolinate per day
  • Three to six drops of potassium iodide (SSKI) per day*
  • 200-400 milligrams of Goldenseal twice a day
  • 2 grams of vitamin C twice a day
  • 300-400 milligrams of Magnesium per day (in the form of magnesium citrate, aspartate, taurate, or glycinate)*
  • 50,000 units of vitamin A per day
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of lecithin per day
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of flaxseed oil per day
  • 400-600 units of vitamin E per day
  • 2 milligrams of copper glycinate per day
  • multiple vitamin-mineral supplements

*N-acetylcysteine (NAC): NAC is available at reasonable prices in most health food stores, while some online companies offer it cheaper. It serves as a mucous thinner and precursor for enabling the body’s innate glutathione production. 

*SSKI (super saturated potassium iodide): Many COPD sufferers use this extremely potent iodine supplement as a mucous thinner and expectorant, which also supplements the thyroid gland’s iodine needs. One drop contains 50 mg (milligrams). Most iodine supplements recommendations are measured in mcg (micrograms).

According to Dr. Dach:

“There is much misinformation or disinformation about the safety of SSKI. The elevation of TSH [thyroid stimulating hormone] from SSKI is not life threatening and is of little or no clinical consequence. As with most other medical treatments, it is best to work with a knowledgeable doctor who can monitor thyroid function while under treatment.” (Source)

*Magnesium: Almost all you need to know about magnesium is explained in this earlier Health Impact News article.

In addition to those items listed by Dr. Wright, Dr. Dach offered a couple of other natural remedy suggestions. (Source)

Resveratrol: Dr. Dach quoted “We conclude that resveratrol has potential as a therapeutic agent in respiratory disease” from this study.

Serrapeptase: This is a proteolytic enzyme that is capable of eating through tough cell walls. For COPD, it has proven useful at breaking up the congestion from hard mucous lined lung airways — supported by this study. Dr. Dach recommends this source of serrapeptase.

Another item recommended by Dr. Dach is the book Natural Therapies for Emphysema and COPD: Relief and Healing for Chronic Pulmonary Disorders by Robert J. Green, Jr., ND