Natural Remedies for Emphysema/Lung Disease/COPD

Emphysema is a subset of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and is characterized by breathing difficulty.  

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Smoking tobacco is the primary cause of emphysema but it can be caused by other poisons such as marijuana smoke and environmental pollution.  A person can be predisposed to the disease by genetics. While you don’t have to be a smoker to get COPD, about eight out of ten smokers do get it.

Emphysema occurs when the alveoli in the lungs (where the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide into and out of the blood takes place) break down.  It becomes difficult to exhale air from the lungs.  Emphysema increases the risk of heart disease.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

You can have emphysema for years without knowing it. Shortness of breath begins gradually with exertion, but eventually occurs while at rest.

  • Breathing difficulty at rest
  • Breathing difficulty during exercise
  • Chest tightness
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent respiratory infections
  • Increased heart rate
  • Lips and fingernails turn blue or gray with exertion
  • Mental dullness
  • Swelling in feet and ankles
  • Wheezing

PREVALENCE

The National Health Interview Survey reports prevalence at 18 cases per 1000 persons.   Smokers are six times more likely to develop the disease than non-smokers. By the time one is diagnosed with the disease, lungs are already severely damaged and the average life expectancy is five years. That’s an average and some live much longer.

ALLOPATHIC TREATMENT

Allopathic treatment uses bronchodilators, corticosteroids, and supplemental oxygen. You cannot get benefit from supplemental oxygen if you continue to smoke.  Most people with tobacco-related emphysema begin to experience symptoms between the ages of 40 and 60.

Emphysema is a serious, life-threatening disease.  There is no cure but you may be able to improve the quality and extend the duration of your life if you adopt a healthy lifestyle and above all, quit smoking! Research is being done on the use of stem cells (cells that self-renew) for lung tissue repair/regeneration.

SELF TREATMENT

These suggestions are offered to you for further research.

DIET

A healthy immune system is always the first line of defense against disease and inflammation. 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.  If you keep smoking, however, much of your efforts will be lost because smoking robs you of nutrients and, of course, continues to barbeque your lungs.

FOODS THAT PROMOTE HEALING

  • Adequate protein
  • Anti-inflammatory foods
  • Antioxidant-rich foods
  • Bone broth
  • Vitamin and mineral-rich foods

FOODS AND OTHER SUBSTANCES TO AVOID

  • Beta carotene-rich foods
  • Cruciferous vegetables if they cause bloating
  • Excessive salt
  • Food additives
  • Fried foods
  • Garlic
  • Milk
  • Processed foods
  • Second-hand smoke
  • Shrimp
  • Smoking

TEAS AND OTHER LIQUIDS

  • Amaranth juice and honey
  • Astragalus tea
  • Cordyceps (soak in water and drink the lliquid)
  • Ginger
  • Lemon juice
  • Lime juice
  • Peppermint
  • Rose Hips

Consider other teas made from some of the herbs listed below

HERBS AND SPICES

  • Aniseed
  • Astragalus root
  • Chaparral
  • Comfrey
  • Echinacea
  • Elecampane
  • Ginger
  • Licorice
  • Lobelia
  • Lungwort
  • Mullein
  • Oregano
  • Osha root
  • Peppermint
  • Plantain leaf
  • Red sage
  • Rosemary

ESSENTIAL OILS

Essential oils can be administered via a diffuser for inhalation, mixed with a carrier oil (i.e. coconut, almond) and used topically, or undiluted drops can be added to a hot bath. Use diluted with a carrier oil for massage.

  • Basil
  • Eucalyptus
  • Hyssop
  • Thyme
  • Wintergreen

OTHER SUBSTANCES AND SUPPLEMENTS

The cost of having a blood test to determine if you have nutritional deficiencies is likely to be negligible compared to over-consuming expensive supplements that you do not need.

  • Antioxidants
  • Boswellia
  • Bromelain
  • Co Q10
  • Garlic
  • Ginseng
  • L-carnitine
  • Melatonin
  • N-acetylcysteine
  • Omega 3’s
  • Resveratrol
  • Retinoic acid, found in milk and eggs, was researched by British scientists who found that this derivative of Vitamin A has reversed damage in test mice.  This is from an early 2000’s study and no information is posted about human trials. Vitamin A treatment is best done with medical supervision as excessive use (which is different for each person) can cause serious side effects. The safest way to increase Vitamin A levels is with food. Another study from Georgetown University found that treatment of rats with a kind of retinol stimulated regeneration of the alveoli sacs.
  • Serrapeptase
  • Sulforaphane
  • Turmeric
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Zinc

HYDRATION

Increase water consumption. It helps to flush toxins from your body.  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

Breathing difficulties increase without exercise. That exercise is beneficial for overall health is undisputed. If you are very 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 without making yourself feel worse. Exercise in fresh air whenever possible.  Walking is a great exercise for those with emphysema.

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT

Stay calm. Anxiety undermines health. Practice relaxation exercises, talk to a friend. Do what works for you to keep mellow.

OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO

  • Avoid cold air and crowds.
  • Biogetica Freedom Kit with CB EMP Formula
  • Coughing exrcises
  • Diaphragmatic breathing
  • Diatomaceous earth, food grade
  • Eat smaller meals more often, both to give your stomach a break (which is already under pressure) and to keep the digestive process short to allow blood and oxygen to do more work with the lungs.
  • Lung flute (for loosening mucus)
  • Maintain a normal body weight.
  • MSM
  • Pursed-lip breathing
  • Use a humidifier.

ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES

PREVENTION

  • A wholesome, balanced diet
  • Eliminate smoke from your environment (including second-hand smoke and wood fire smoke).
  • Live in an unpolluted environment.
  • Low stress levels
  • Quality sleep
  • Regular exercise

 

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