Natural Remedies for Asthma
Managing asthma can be challenging. Prescription medications can be a substantial medical expense, and keeping track of all the medications and inhalers can be a hassle. In cases of severe asthma, you may find that your regular medications do not provide enough relief. In cases like this, you might be inclined to look into natural remedies to help improve your asthma symptoms. Note: These remedies work best if combined with your regular treatment. Do not replace your prescribed medication or begin any natural medications without proper medical consultation.
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Although there is no specific diet for asthma, there are a number of changes you can make to what you eat to help manage your symptoms.
Obesity is the most common morbidity to occur with asthma, and it can lead to an early onset of allergic asthma. It is crucial to maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet that contains a lot of fruits and vegetables. Asthma is caused by inflammation of the airways. Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of beta-carotene, which can help reduce inflammation.
There are a number of foods, spices and supplements that you likely already have in your home that are effective in managing asthma symptoms. Some of these staples include:
Garlic is an anti-inflammatory food that can help relieve your symptoms. Garlic can be beneficial in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases as well.
Ginger is another herbal supplement that is known to decrease inflammation and improve asthma symptoms.
Although Omega-3 fatty acids are primarily used to prevent and treat heart diseases, some studies suggest that they can help reduce airway inflammation and improve lung function as well. Some studies also suggest that fish oil can be beneficial for people with asthma.
Turmeric has been researched extensively for its beneficial properties. It has been long used as a medicinal supplement for its antioxidant, anti-allergic, and anti-inflammatory properties. It is known to have an effect on histamines, which presumably cause inflammation.
Caffeine, being a bronchodilator, can decrease lung muscle fatigue. One study suggested that caffeine can improve the function of airways for up to four hours post-consumption.
Honey, like turmeric, has long been used as a cough and cold remedy. You can mix a spoon of honey with a hot drink to get relief from asthma symptoms.
In addition to making changes to your diet, you can manage asthma symptoms by making small transformations in your lifestyle as well.
Yoga consists of breathing and stretching exercises, which increase your flexibility and overall fitness. Yoga is also known to relieve stress, a trigger for asthma. You can also utilize yoga breathing techniques to reduce the frequency of asthma attacks.
Since pain is an emotion, it can be managed with the help of psychological practices. In hypnotherapy, hypnosis is used to make a person relaxed. This technique can also encourage muscle relaxation, which can help with managing chest tightness.
Meditation has shown to have a direct effect on how your body responds to pain. Mindfulness is a form of meditation that deals with how your mind and body feel and react to certain situations. Practicing this technique is simple; all you need to do is find a quiet, dark room to sit, close your eyes, and focus on your breathing, thoughts, and sensations. Meditation has stress-relieving benefits, which can support your ongoing asthma treatment.
Speleotherapy is a procedure in which a patient spends time in a salt room to introduce tiny salt particles in the respiratory system. A study indicated that this practice could improve lung function in the short term.
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese technique that includes inserting small needles into particular points on the body. Some asthmatic patients receiving acupuncture have experienced an improvement in airflow and chest pain.
Buteyko Breathing Technique
The Buteyko Breathing Technique is a breathing exercise that can help in reducing asthma symptoms. Simply put, this technique focuses on breathing in and out of your nose instead of the mouth. Most people breathe out their mouth, which can make the airways dry and make them more sensitive. Practicing this technique has also shown to reduce the risk of lung infections.
Steam baths can help reduce airway irritation and nasal congestion. These baths provide moisture to the airways, which can relieve asthma symptoms.
Do alternative treatments work?
Many people suffering from various ailments turn to natural remedies to supplement their regular treatment. Although more research is needed to validate the effectiveness of alternate treatments, many have shown to be effective in managing symptoms when used in combination with regular treatment. Thus, you can use these therapies, and some of them might turn out to be beneficial as well. However, it is important to note that these treatments are not a replacement for your existing prescription meds. Speak to your doctor or medical professional if you would like to incorporate natural remedies into your treatment plan.