Sunday, November 23, 2008

Research: Autumn births and asthma connection


A recent study out of the Asthma Research at Vanderbilt University states babies born in autumn months – 4 months preceding the peak cold and flu season – are more likely to develop asthma. Genetics predispose the development of asthma, but environmental exposure to viruses may activate the genes.

Autumn, Metal element season in Chinese Medicine, is related to the Lung and the Large Intestine and our immune system. The mucus membrane lining of the digestive tract, lungs and sinuses are our defense against infection. Dry membranes are open to viruses and bacteria and membranes congested with thick mucus hold onto the bacteria. Both states can contribute to frequent or recurrent infections.

Autumn is the season when nature begins to contract and move inward. A person born in this season, open and exposed and no longer in the protection of the womb is definitely not heading toward a more reserved, hibernated state. Any infant will be susceptible to infection in the first few months of life. The lung is the last organ to mature in fetal development and continues to develop during early childhood, so it would be understandable respiratory issues could be a concern.

That being said, I know twelve or more Autumn-born people. Without any time-intensive research, funding or controls, I can say only one of them has had asthma since childhood and recurrent immune system imbalances with no genetic predisposition; another has chronic genetic colon issues; and another has a Metal personality but no Metal physical imbalances. If I extend autumn to August 30, a 14-month old with a genetic predisposition to asthma has experienced multiple colds and ear infections in her first year. The remaining people have Fire and Earth imbalances. So from my unofficial research, genetics would contribute to respiratory imbalances and the season of birth, in theory would as well, but contributes to about 20% of the Autumn-born people in my life.

I don't think a parent can prevent a child from developing asthma but you can influence your infant's respiratory health. My advice is to keep the little one completely clothed, including a cap. In Chinese culture, caps are worn for the first year. Wind, the element that carries infection, can enter through the open fontanel or at the nape of the neck causing colds in infants. Keep the home environment free of drafts and free from humidity and dryness. Use vaporizers and humidifiers with a drop or two of essential oils with antimicrobial, antibacterial or antiviral qualities. As a breastfeeding mom, keep your body healthy and balanced through diet, exercise, and rest (when you can!).

Essential Oils (the short list)

  • Cinnamon Leaf
  • Cypress
  • Eucalyptus
  • Grapfruit
  • Lavender
  • Lemon
  • Sweet Orange
  • Patchouli
  • Spearmint
  • You may find some great blends as well like Thieves from Young Living Oils

2 comments:

Delara said...

lisa, i always learn so much from your blog posts! thank you for sharing your knowledge and what you learn along your journey.

Sharon said...

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