Natural Remedies for Asthma
Asthma can develop into a chronic lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways. However, there some natural remedies for asthma to try at home.
People who live with this disease tend to suffer episodes in which breathing is obstructed. Asthma makes breathing difficult.
It affects people of all ages, although it occurs mainly during childhood. Fortunately, there are natural remedies to asthma you can make at home that could help you reduce or even cure this condition.
During an asthma attack, the walls of the airways in the lungs swell and contract. Consequently, this brings less air in the body and a greater amount of mucus that, in turn, obstructs the pathways.
The causes of these episodes can be reduced by factors such as tobacco smoke, dust mites, outdoor air pollution, factory smoke, roaches, mold, physical exercise, and so on.
Although this disease cannot be eliminated, it can be kept under control by preventing asthmatic episodes. Here we share ten home remedies to prevent and reduce asthmatic cough or bronchitis:
Ginger tea is a natural alternative to relieve asthma, as it has bronchodilator properties that will help you breathe better.
This effect inhibits an enzyme that causes the muscles in the airways to contract, and at the same time, activates another enzyme that relaxes the airways.
Thanks to the fact that it has a flavonoid called quercetin, onion helps to relax the bronchi and decrease the airways’ constriction.
Among its compounds, there are also thiosulphates, which are known for their anti-asthmatic properties.
Formerly, garlic was used as a natural medicine thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, garlic extract significantly reduces inflammation of the airways.
4. Lemon juice
It helps prevent mucus from accumulating in the bronchi, improving breathing and cleaning the respiratory system of bacteria and germs that hinder air passage.
A natural expectorant and anti-inflammatory that helps eliminate phlegm. Honey is useful in removing mucus that builds up in the airways and blocks airflow that could trigger or exacerbate an asthma attack.
6. Ginkgo biloba
The leaf inhibits a substance found in the lungs that causes inflammation of the airways. It acts as a bronchodilator and reduces inflammation, so it is recommended to take an infusion of Ginkgo biloba leaves twice a day.
Turmeric is a spice with anti-inflammatory and expectorant properties, which naturally control asthma.
With a protective action, Turmeric helps by shielding the respiratory system from impurities.
8. Green & white tea
These teas carry natural sources of theophylline, a substance with bronchodilator action that is part of numerous drugs used to treat asthma.
It relaxes the muscles that support the bronchial tubes and is used to prevent and treat puffing, shortness of breath, and difficulty breathing.
Grandma’s traditional remedy for general lung diseases
People with lung diseases are always looking for habits and remedies to improve their quality of life.
While these alternatives are not a substitute for doctor-prescribed medications, they can help manage symptoms.
In fact, its regular intake helps strengthen the immune system and reduces the risk of other complications.
Natural remedies for asthma: The lung “cleansing” recipe
The remedy that we want to share this time is one of the popular “grandma’s recipes” for controlling asthma, bronchitis, coughs, and allergies.
Its formula contributes to detoxifying the lungs while also improving your defenses. Try it!
- 1.1 lb oz of red onions
- 2 medium lemons
- 50.7 oz of water
- 7.4 oz of raw honey
- 10.6 oz maple syrup
- First, add the maple syrup in a pan and preheat over medium temp. Then, add the red onion, previously sliced, and cook for a couple of minutes
- Pour water and bring to a boil over medium heat until it reduces to a third. Please wait for it to sit, and in the meantime, squeeze the lemons
- Add raw honey and lemon juice to the preparation. Stir well
- Lastly, cover the mix and let it rest overnight. The next morning, strain it and pack it in a glass jar with a lid
- Take a tablespoon of this remedy before each main meal
- Repeat the dose every day until you feel an improvement in your symptoms
- Children can take this remedy too but in doses of one teaspoon a day
- For flu, colds, and cough relief, you can add it to a cup of hot water
Note: if you have lung disease and are under medical treatment, consult with a professional before taking this recipe.
Keep in mind that certain components may not interact well with medications.
Asthma: Summary and other facts
Asthma is a disease caused by a strange “relationship” between genetics and environmental factors. A large number of environmental stimuli can be the cause of asthma or trigger a crisis.
Risk factors are discussed when they favor or are the cause of the disease. Among them is the hereditary component, which explains why many people with asthma have a direct family member who also suffers from it.
Other risk factors are:
- Allergic predisposition
- Allergy or atopy
- Rhinitis or chronic rhinosinusitis
- Associated factors that appear in the perinatal stage: prematurity, cesarean birth, if and when the mother has a history of smoking; this can contaminate breastfeeding
- Environmental factors: allergens, respiratory infections (especially some viruses in childhood), or active or passive smoking
Triggers are those whose exposure symptoms in patients with asthma, which can cause attacks. Among them are:
- Virus infections
- Environmental pollution
- Allergens present in your work environment (flour in bakers, for example)
- Mites, fungi, or pollen
- The fur and hair of some animals such as cats
- Certain medications, such as aspirin or anti-inflammatories
- Some foods, such as cow’s milk, eggs, nuts, and others.
- Tobacco smoke and other combustion
- Physical exercise
- Breathing cold air
The most serious episodes generally occur in connection with viral upper respiratory infections or exposure to allergy-causing substances or allergens.
In more than half of adults with asthma and 80% of children, the cause of asthma is allergy. In turn, 15% of asthma cases in adults are of occupational origin: hairdressers, bakers, workers in the chemical, pharmaceutical, plastic, and cleaning industries are among the most affected professionals.
How is asthma classified?
Asthma varies greatly from person to person. There are different classifications, mainly based on severity and degree of control.
To determine the severity of asthma, the intensity and frequency of the symptoms, periods of worsening, and lung function are taken into account.
When symptoms alternate with prolonged disease-free periods, it is said to be intermittent, and when there are no such periods, asthma is called persistent. This, in turn, is subdivided into mild, moderate, or severe.
The level of severity is not always the same, it can vary over time, so it is necessary to periodically evaluate and readjust treatment.
Asthma control reflects the adequacy of treatment. The degree of control is assessed based on whether or not there has been a crisis, whether a normal life can be achieved, and lung function is preserved.
Depending on these criteria, we speak of well-controlled, partially controlled, or poorly controlled asthma.
How is asthma diagnosed?
The diagnosis of asthma is made by observing the symptoms indicating an obstruction in the airways. Your doctor may hear wheezing and other sounds that occur due to the narrowing of the airways.
To confirm the diagnosis, you can order tests that help determine lung function, such as spirometry.
This test can also be performed with bronchodilator drugs that decrease the obstruction; these are the bronchodilation tests; or with drugs that reveal bronchial obstruction, also known as provocation tests.
Sometimes the exhaled fraction of nitric oxide (FENO) is measured, demonstrating that the bronchi are inflamed and responding to some treatments.
Likewise, a chest x-ray is done to rule out other possible illnesses. In more severe crises, an arterial blood gas may be performed.
Only in cases where it is suspected that the cause of asthma is due to substance exposure, allergy tests must be carried out.
Human respiratory system: how it is and how does it work?
The respiratory system is made up of the airways and the lungs. Air circulates in the lungs’ direction through the airways, and it is in these organs where gas exchange occurs.
In the airways, we differentiate the upper airway, which goes from the nose and mouth to the vocal cords, includes the pharynx and larynx, and the lower airway, consisting of the trachea, bronchi, and their ramifications inside from the lungs, the bronchioles.
The trachea is the tube that runs from the larynx to the main bronchi. These, in turn, penetrate the interior of each lung and divide into smaller branches (bronchioles). Lastly, as they enter the lungs, they end up in bags or sacs called alveoli.
Within the trachea walls and the thicker bronchi, there are several layers that, from the outside in, form the cartilage, which gives it structure and consistency, a muscular layer, and a more internal covering, which is the mucosa.
The respiratory system’s basic function is breathing, which consists of bringing oxygen from the air into the blood and eliminating carbon dioxide (CO2) into the air. This gas exchange occurs inside the lungs.
Air enters through the nose and/or mouth and is conducted through the airways to the alveoli, where gas exchange occurs.
Thus, oxygen passes into the blood and is transported to all cells. In turn, the carbon dioxide (CO2) produced in the cells is transported to the lungs for elimination.
People with asthma may experience the following symptoms:
- Cough, which may be accompanied by thick mucus that is difficult to expectorate
- Shortness of breath or drowning, is called dyspnea and can be mild or severe
- Noises in the chest, such as beeping, called wheezing
- Tightness or pressure in the chest
These symptoms usually change from one person to another, appear isolated or combined, and generally variable in time.
They usually worsen at night, and patients wake up in the early morning hours with a feeling of difficulty filling the lungs with air. They are also usually more intense during colds, exerting effort, or in certain seasons of the year.
Asthma symptoms can come in the form of attacks or crises, with a visible worsening of the patient’s usual situation. Depending on the cause, seizures appear slowly or much faster.
The intensity of the symptoms also varies from mild to very intense, compromising health.
The duration is also variable; they can last from minutes to several days, separated by periods without symptoms that may require quick action.
Generic drugs for asthma treatment
The first thing to know is that asthma patients can lead a normal life, symptom-free if the treatment is followed correctly.
Therefore, at any age, you can maintain a good quality of life and carry out the activities of daily life as normal as going to work, go to school, exercise, play sports, and others.
Besides natural remedies for asthma, typical drugs used to treat asthma can be differentiated, according to their mechanism of action, into three groups:
- Anti-inflammatory drugs, which reduce bronchial inflammation
- Bronchodilators, which open the bronchi
- Modulators of the immune response, include immunotherapy with hyposensitizing substances (vaccines to reduce or suppress allergies) the most widely used
The use of one or the other depends on each patient’s characteristics and the particular stage of their illness. The use of two or more types of drugs in the same patient is common.
You should always consult with your doctor first before taking any action in regards to your health. Your health care provider will establish the most appropriate treatment in each case.