Surely it cannot be comfortable living like in the 19th century with all the technology provided by the midst of the 21st century but, according to recent studies, the Amish lifestyle brings unexpected remedies in treating asthma. They mostly live on dairy farms and use horses for transportation and fieldwork.
In recent years, one of 12 kids in the United States is diagnosed with asthma and even more have allergies. Asthma is a chronic disease that makes breathing problematic. Its cause is still unknown, but the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute believes that an important role is played by environmental exposure and genetics. Until now, no cure for this chronic disease has been discovered.
Studies showed that the secret to preventing asthma in children are the microbes from farm animals carried inside homes by dust. Stimulating children’s immune system by exposing them in their first years of life to bacteria will help to protect them from asthma.
The studies compared children that lived and grew up on farms with kids that lived in other environments and the result proved that the simple farm life helps prevent asthma. But the results were still not clear due to other major differences between the children who had more asthma and those who had less.
Another study has been conducted on Amish and Hutterites which have a similar genetic background, both groups having large families and living on dairy farms. Also, they both forbid indoor pets and have little exposure to tobacco smoke or pollution.
The only significant difference was that Hutterites live on large, industrialized communal farms and use modern farm machines which limit their exposure to animals. Although they have such similar ways of living, the rates of asthma in the Hutterites is 21.1 percent, while for the Amish, the rate is just under five percent.
Researchers discovered that the difference came from the type of dust that was inside their homes which for the Amish was richer in microbial products. The Amish barns being much closer to their homes suggests an early exposure to microbes that decreases the risk of allergies and asthma.
Besides, the blood test done on the children that participated in the studies showed that the Amish children had fewer blood cells that encourage allergic inflammation.
Image source: Wikipedia