Living with asthma can be exhausting, and managing your symptoms day-to-day can be challenging. Since asthma is incurable, you may wonder if there are any natural cure through alternative or modern medicines?
The good news is that some home remedies and natural therapies can help to improve asthma symptoms. But the question remains the same.
Is it safe to fall for such natural treatments?
When I came to know that my wife was suffering from asthma, I researched a lot about ways to treat the chronic respiratory, and it was apparent to fall for natural remedies that may backfire too.
Experts have claimed that natural therapies help in managing emotional stress that can trigger asthma attacks. Not only this, natural relaxation remedies like abdominal breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery, etc. can help to overcome asthma symptoms.
Consuming a healthy diet, along with regular medication, plays a crucial role in preventing severe asthma. Many natural remedies claim to improve asthma, but nothing is yet proved owing to limited research on complementary and alternative treatments for asthma.
Head down to some natural remedies that have been studied and do improve asthma symptoms. As in my wife’s case, I have personally experienced that these remedies work best when taken with usually prescribed asthma medications. Also, I would advise you to consult your doctor before adhering to some of the below:
Honey: This folk medicine is widely used to treat cough, fever and inflammation. This cough suppressant provides relief by causing salivation and airway secretions.
A study revealed that aerosolised honey helps in decreasing airway inflammation and manage asthma symptoms in rabbits. Prefer mixing 2 teaspoons in warm water or tea and take it before going to bed.
Ginger: Ginger is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and works well to improve asthma symptoms. It aids in relaxing the airway muscles and loosen bronchial tubes that carry air to and from the lungs.
Researchers claim that 2 grams of ginger per day aids in reducing airway inflammation and serum levels of asthma-related inflammatory markers.
Garlic: Raw garlic promotes histamine breakdown and reduces histamine release in the body. Histamine is a natural chemical that is responsible for allergies and is known to promote inflammation in asthma patients.
Caffeine: Black or green tea and coffee appears to ease the function of the airways. Caffeine is a drug which is similar to theophylline – a bronchodilator drug that opens up the airways in the lungs and relieves from asthma symptoms like wheezing, coughing and breathlessness. It helps to open narrow and constricted airways for about 4 hours after consumption.
Caffeine should not be used as a regular treatment for asthma as too much of it can lead to side effects like insomnia, shakiness and headaches.
Omega-3 oils: It’s obtained in fish and flax seeds and is responsible for lowering inflammation which is the key component in asthma. A study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, suggests that a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids may alleviate asthma symptoms in children while eating foods high in omega-6 fatty acids could worsen symptoms.
Essential oils (EO): Essential oils have been an alternative treatment of several health conditions, including asthma. Several essential oils, like clove and eucalyptus, have anti-inflammatory properties that relieve from anxious moments during asthma.
Doctors have also cited that breathing exercises with some aromatherapy can ease asthma symptoms. I have tried and tested essential oils like peppermint, clove, eucalyptus, lavender and rosemary that are known to reduce symptoms by merely adding a few drops of oil to diffuser and humidifier. Let me let you some benefits of these oils:
- Clove- Reduces symptoms like wheezing, chest pain and breathlessness
- Rosemary- Relaxes the smooth muscles of the trachea and promotes relaxed breathing
- Eucalyptus and Tea tree oil- Reduces inflammation
- Lavender- Aids in reducing inflammation caused by asthma and allergies
- Peppermint- Helps to reduce symptoms of asthma attacks
A slight change in lifestyle can bring a huge difference in improving asthma symptoms. They are:
Yoga: The breathing and stretching exercises enhances flexibility and improves overall fitness. Studies have shown that breathing exercises can help people with asthma to control breathing and relieve stress.
Performing yoga regularly gives a cumulative effect and helps your body and mind to stay calm. Don’t rush yourself, be patient and relax your breathing muscles.
Mindfulness: This is a type of meditation when you maintain a moment-by-moment awareness of your thoughts, emotions, bodily sensations, surroundings, etc. It allows you to re-energise your body and mind by focusing your attention on your body. Meditating relieves you from stress-related asthma symptoms.
Hypnotherapy: It caters to boost your immune system and makes you more relaxed by opening new ways to think, feel and behave. Hypnosis or relaxation therapies are claimed to bring improvement in easing asthma symptoms.
The best part about this is that it helps to get rid of all negative emotions like depression, stress, anxiety by undergoing hypnosis.
Acupuncture: Researchers have revealed that the quality of life for patients undergoing acupuncture was higher than patients who don’t prefer the treatment. After three months, there is a significant change in individual parameters like physical, emotional, mental. Asthma symptoms do improve with acupuncture.
Asthma diet: There is not a specific asthma diet, but you need to adhere to the following:
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Consume lots of fresh fruits and vegetables
- Say N-O to allergy-triggering food
- Choose eating more Vitamin D rich food
- Avoid sulfites like preservatives
The Final Verdict
For my wife, I happened to hear from someone that massaging warm mustard oil mixed with camphor on the chest can be a quick relief. Before using it, we consulted our doctor about this possibility, and it did work for her. I think eucalyptus oil steam inhalation helps in opening nasal blockage on bad nights.
A mixture of superfoods like ginger, honey and pomegranate is beneficial in improving asthma symptoms. These are some of the remedies that worked for my wife. Today, she is much better, and meditation has helped her a lot.
She can understand her body signs and have mastered the art of bodily control. I hope this article will help many people like her.
A gentle reminder: Before trying this at home, please speak to your doctor.