Asthma • Natural home remedies

Asthma is a condition in which your bronchial airways suddenly contract, you feel tightness in your chest, it's difficult to breathe and you may wheeze.

Asthma - Image of Milk Thistle for tea

Asthma is an inflammatory disease so whatever you can do to reduce inflammation will help. Severe attacks call for immediate medical help and using your inhaler or bronchodilator.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

You may have some or all of these in a mild case:

  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Chest tightness
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing

In a severe attack you may experience some additional symptoms:

  • Anxiety, panic
  • Blue lips or fingernails, indicating reduced oxygen levels
  • Breathing, rapid
  • Paleness
  • Sweating
  • Talking difficulties

PREVALENCE

The Global Asthma Report of 2014 estimates the number of people between 18 and 45 with asthma may exceed 234 million.

ALLOPATHIC TREATMENT

Medical doctors will rule out other conditions and use tests to measure lung function, imaging tests, allergy testing, et al. Your doctor may prescribe medications for long-term control of your symptoms.

SELF TREATMENT

These suggestions are treatments that others have found helpful. They are intended as information to help you in further research.

DIET

A healthy immune system is always the first line of defense against disease. To promote a healthy immune system, it is important to eat a balanced diet, with as much variety as you can manage, with lots of whole, fresh vegetables and fruits, quality protein and healthy sources of monounsaturated fat. The Zone is an excellent starting point. .

FOODS THAT MAY PROMOTE HEALING

Anti-inflammatory foods (see Inflammation)

  • Berries
  • Bone Broth
  • Figs—soaked dried figs in water overnight and consume first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.
  • Garlic
  • Honey
  • Melons
  • Oranges

FOODS AND OTHER SUBSTANCES TO AVOID

  • Additives
  • Alcohol (for certain people)
  • Cheese
  • Food allergens that are triggers for you (wheat, milk, yeast are common triggers)
  • Mangoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Potatoes
  • Salt, reduce intake
  • Saturated fat
  • Simple sugars and refined carbohydrates (because they encourage an inflammatory response)
  • Smoking
  • Trans fat
  • Wine (too much may trigger a reaction to the sulfites or histamines)

TEAS AND OTHER LIQUIDS

Coffee, while not healthful, may help in an emergency because it is a bronchodilator. Have a couple of cups if you are in trouble.

  • Aniseed
  • Blessed thistle
  • Chamomile
  • Clove
  • Coltsfoot
  • Echinacea
  • Elecampane
  • Ginger
  • Green tea
  • Khella
  • Licorice root
  • Malva leaves
  • Marshmallow leaves
  • Milk thistle
  • Mulberry leaf
  • Oregano
  • Persimmon leaves
  • Slippery elm
  • Thyme
  • Turmeric
  • Yerba santa

HERBS AND SPICES

  • Lobelia tincture with cayenne, 3-1, mixed in water. Take 20 drops at the first sign of an attack and repeat every 30 minutes three or four times.
  • Cloves
  • Fennel seeds
  • Garlic
  • Ginger (use freely in cooking)
  • Ginkgo Biloba
  • Lobelia tincture with cayenne pepper
  • Turmeric (use freely in cooking)

ESSENTIAL OILS

Essential oils can be administered via a diffuser for inhalation, administered topically in a carrier oil for use on your skin, or added to a hot bath. They can be combined into blends of your own. There is no scientific, controlled study for the use and efficacy of oils for asthma. Others have claimed benefits and so this is presented to you to try if you choose. Keep your inhaler handy at all times!

There are several cautions online that the strong odors from some oils can actually trigger asthma symptoms but oils are GRAS (generally recognized as safe).

  • Chamomile
  • Clove
  • Cypress
  • Eucalyptus
  • Lavender
  • Marjoram
  • Myrtle
  • Oregano
  • Peppermint
  • Pine
  • Tea tree
  • Thyme

OTHER SUBSTANCES AND SUPPLEMENTS

These are supplements that have been found useful by others or they are substances in which asthmatics are commonly deficient. Spend a little money on a blood test before spending a lot of money on supplements you may not need.

  • B6
  • Boswellia
  • Butterbur
  • Choline
  • Curcumin
  • Garlic
  • Lycopene
  • Magnesium
  • Omega 3’s
  • Probiotics
  • Pycnogenol
  • Selenium
  • Thymus extract
  • Tylophora Indica
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin B3
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Zinc

HYDRATION

Dehydration causes production of histamines which could trigger an asthma episode. Water is essential and a main nutrient for the human body. Without it, you cannot survive for many days. Staying hydrated is fundamental for a healthy body, so how much is enough? There are so many differences in people (i.e., how much we sweat), as well as the diets we consume (a lot of water comes from healthy, whole foods), but a general rule is to consume enough water that your urine is clear, but not so much that you dilute your nutrients. If you are taking certain supplements that make your urine yellow, then you can start out with the formula of drinking ½ ounce to 1 ounce of water for each pound you weigh. If you weigh 130 pounds, drink 65 to 130 ounces of water a day. Definitely drink when you are thirsty.

EXERCISE

Keep your mouth closed and breathe through your nose while exercising. Swimming in a heated pool may help breathing because of the humidity. Walking, yoga, biking and tennis are good choices. That exercise is beneficial is undisputed. If you are ill, you will want to take it easy, of course, but there is always something you can do to support your body. Do what you can do without making yourself feel worse. Exercise in fresh air whenever possible.

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT

Reactions to strong emotions can trigger asthma symptoms. Stay calm. Anxiety undermines health. Practice relaxation exercises, talk to a friend. Do what works for you to keep mellow. Choosing one or more of the following methods may be helpful to you:

OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO

  • A/C in your car may bring outside air in as an irritant.
  • Air conditioning in your home may reduce airborne pollen.
  • Avoid irritants like smoke, dust, molds, chemicals
  • Avoid pets with fur if you are allergic to dander.
  • Avoid your triggers, if you know what brings on an episode.
  • Breathing exercises
  • Cover your nose and mouth if it’s cold out to keep you breathing warm humid air.
  • Diatomaceous earth
  • Fight mold
  • Filter the air in your home
  • GERD may be related to asthma, so if you have it, treat it.
  • Honey in an herbal tea
  • Inhale the aroma of a jug of honey from the hills on which conifers grow (an old wives’ tale?).
  • Maintain a healthy humidity in your home or office.
  • Minimize dust in your environment.
  • Steam baths

ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES

  • Acupressure
  • (http://www.modernreflexology.com/acupressure-points-relieve-asthma/)
  • Acupuncture
  • Ayurveda
  • Biofeedback
  • Chinese Medicine
  • Earthing
  • Homeopathy (http://www.homeopathycenter.org/homeopathy-today/asthma-rise-homeopathy-can-help)
  • Massage
  • Rolfing on the chest by a qualified practitioner

CAUTIONS

  • Discuss the use of home remedies with your physician. Natural treatments are often combined with traditional methods.
  • If you have sinusitis and nasal polyps and asthma, doctors say not to take aspirin or ibuprofen.

PREVENTION

  • A healthy immune system
  • A wholesome diet
  • Regular exercise
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water.
  • Use natural household products rather than chemicals
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