What Is Asthma?
Asthma is a type of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), characterized by difficulty in breathing and narrowing of the airways which leads to the lungs. Certain lifestyle changes and treatments can help in clearing up the blocked or inflamed airways that cause asthma symptoms.
Do you have asthma or care for someone who does? Well, for sure you know that prescription medicines are the largest medical expense related to treating it. Did you know that asthma medications, in the long term, can sometimes make asthma symptoms even worse? That might have surprised you, right? Asthma medications have a host of side effects because of how they affect the immune system and endocrine system. Aside from this, researchers also found out that asthma drugs can be attributed to mood changes, yeast growth, weight gain, and acne. Furthermore, over time, they might as well hamper normal immune functions causing frequent allergic and asthmatic reactions.
You might as well be tired of depending on inhalers and be considering trying a natural remedy or alternative to manage your asthma. But before heading to your natural food store or herbal supplements, see to it that aside from being effective, the natural remedy you’re considering is also safe.
Common Signs And Symptoms Of Asthma
- Coughing and sneezing
- Running out of air as you try to speak or inhale
- Pressure and tightness in the chest
- Difficulty exercising
- Wheezing, including sounds emanating from your chest as you try to breath
- Feeling dizzy, lightheaded, and weak
- During attacks, it’s possible to show signs of poor circulation and oxygen, including having blue- or purple-colored finger and toes or skin changes
- Dry mouth, especially if you begin breathing through the mouth more often instead of the nose
- Symptoms of anxiety, such as sweating and rapid heartbeats
- Swollen glands and puffy lymph nodes in the neck — sometimes people with asthma even feel like they’re choking
- Symptoms similar to those caused by allergies, such as red and watery eyes; runny nose or itchy throat – some people can see swelling and redness as they look inside their throats or noses
- Exposure to environmental toxins (chemicals, fumes, pollution)
- Poor posture (compression of the lungs caused by poor posture)
- Sedentary lifestyle.
- Genetics (according to studies, asthma tends to run in families, but it isn’t usually genetically acquired)
- Spending lots of time indoors.
- Allergies, obesity and other medical conditions that affect the lungs and cause decreased immunity.
- Sometimes, childhood infections can affect the lung tissue and cause the airways to narrow or become inflamed.
Here Are Some Herbs Touted As Natural Remedies For Asthma:
Garlic has inflammatory properties that can manage many diseases, especially cardiovascular disease. It may help relieve asthma symptoms.
Ginger is also thought to decrease inflammation. According to studies, oral ginger supplements were linked to improvements in treating asthma symptoms.
Turmeric has anti-allergy properties and is thought to have an effect on histamines, which can cause inflammation.
Honey is a known ingredient in many cold and coughs remedies as it helps soothe an irritated throat and calms a cough. People with asthma may try mixing honey with a hot drink for relief.
Omega-3 fatty acids are commonly used as a remedy to prevent and treat heart diseases. Some research suggests that it can also help decrease airway inflammation and boost lung function.
Home Remedies For Asthma
Best Foods For Treating Asthma
A healthy diet for asthma sufferers can provide them with antioxidants and nutrients that can control inflammatory responses reduce dietary triggers and fight environmental toxins.
Some of the most beneficial foods to include in your asthma diet plan are:
- Foods with folate (vitamin B9) – include beans, nuts, and green leafy vegetables
- Brightly colored carotenoid foods – This compound gives fruit and vegetables their red or orange color and can help reduce asthma attacks.
- Foods with magnesium- sources include nuts, greens, seeds, cocoa, beans, and certain ancient grains.
- Foods with vitamin B5 (or pantothenic acid)
- Broccoli, broccoli sprouts, Brussels sprouts and other cruciferous vegetables
- Cultured dairy and raw milk
- Vitamin E and vitamin C foods – found in cruciferous veggies and berries, leafy greens, citrus fruits,
- Prebiotics and high-fiber foods- found in whole grains, nuts, beans, seeds and raw vegetables
- Garlic, onions and mustard seeds
- Omega-3 foods – mostly found in oily fish, such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, tuna orange roughy, and trout as well as on nuts and seeds
Avoid Foods that Can Make Asthma Worse
Processed Foods and high sugar foods – it contributes to the overgrowth of yeast or candida albicans which can be a trigger itself, but worse, it takes valuable nutrients from the digestive tract.
Foods fried in refined/processed vegetable oils – trans fat contributes to the presence of dangerous free radicals in the body.
Hidden food allergens – The most common food allergies are pasteurized eggs, gluten, milk products, soy, and nuts.
Compared to those who are breastfed, children who are bottle-fed with pasteurized and powdered infant formulas are more at risk of developing asthma and allergies.
Animal products treated with antibiotics and hormones as well as pasteurized foods and drinks.
Food preservatives and food coloring – Avoid tartrazine (yellow food dye), sulfites, sulfur dioxide and MSG.
Essential Oils for Treating Asthma Symptoms
Essential oils for allergies can help manage coughing, wheezing and breathing troubles associated with asthma. Homemade vapor rub with eucalyptus oil and peppermint oil can help opening up airways. Lavender can be used to lessen symptoms like mood changes and anxiety. Also, frankincense oil can be used to lower inflammation and swollen lymph nodes.
Supplements For Asthma (Especially Vitamin D)
Vitamin D supports immune system health and appears to slow declining lung function. Over time, it can stop lung “remodeling,” which is the narrowing of breathing passages. For adults, the daily recommended dose of vitamin D is about 600 international units. Its sources are a combination of a healthy diet and sun exposure.
Other supplements that can help lower attacks and symptoms include vitamin C, B, zinc, and magnesium.
Other Home Remedies for Asthma
Asthma severity can be reduced through stress management techniques. Stress increases the frequency and severity of asthmatic attacks as it raises inflammation and hinders immune function. Try natural stress relievers, including progressive muscle relaxation, deep abdominal breathing, massage, guided imagery and art therapies.
Exercise and Movement
Obesity is associated with increased risk for asthma and other breathing problems, like sleep apnea. Stay active in order to improve immune function, prevent obesity, lower inflammation and dealing with stress.
Avoid Irritants Inside Your Home
- Switch to natural cleaning products or use vinegar, lavender oil and baking soda to make your own.
- Avoid secondhand smoke from wood-burning cigarettes and stoves
- Avoid disinfectants and antibacterial soaps.
- Avoid petroleum-based ingredients and aerosols in your health and beauty products. Use natural products made from essential oils.
- Remove chlorine from your tap water by using a water filter.
- Install flooring or carpets that you can vacuum beneath to reduce dust mites.
- Wash bedding weekly. Keep carpets and upholstery regularly vacuumed.
- Use a dehumidifier in damp areas, and fix water leaks to reduce mold.
- Use sheets and pillowcases that are non-allergenic and don’t contain down or feathers.
- Keep furry friends out of the bedroom to limit the amount of pet hair you’re exposed to.