(WellnessNova.com) - Asthma is a long-term condition which causes suffers to experience coughing and shortness of breath. At worst, it is highly inconvenient; at worst, it is frightening and debilitating. The airways may become inflamed, constricted, or filled with mucus, making it difficult to breathe.
The condition is usually treated using inhalers, or steroids and other drugs. Of course, we cannot deny the need for these types of treatments; they are prescribed by your doctor and can make asthma more manageable, and life more enjoyable. However, if you are interested in a more holistic, drug-free lifestyle, then it may be useful to find out some of the other options out there. These more natural methods may help you to avoid some of the side effects associated with drug-based treatments, which can include tremors, headaches, and a hoarse voice.
Of course, there is no cure for asthma, but certain methods can be used to reduce the regularity of asthma attacks, improve comfort levels, and help you to get on with your active, busy day without too much interruption.
Read on for the best safe and natural methods of addressing asthma! These are particularly good if you have severe asthma, and require extra methods (alongside your prescribed medication) to keep your asthma under control.
1. Avoid Allergens
Reduce your exposure to particles which could trigger attacks. These include mold, animal dander, and dust. These can be minimized by regular cleaning. You should also avoid spending too much time outside when the pollen count is high, and stop purchasing perfumes and eau de toilettes, as these can irritate your lungs.
2. Monitor What You Eat
Certain foods are known to cause intolerance in many people, and also increase the risk of asthma attacks. Some of these are chocolate and other dairy products, eggs, gluten, corn, peanuts, and citrus fruits. Half of all asthma sufferers over the age of 30 can’t tolerate them, and 70 percent of Asthma sufferers aged 16 to 30 are allergic to these foods. You should try and gradually phase them out of your diet one by one, and take note of any improvements to find out what your body needs you to avoid.
3. Try the Buteyko Breathing Technique
This method was created by Konstantin Pavlovich Buteyko. The method aims to lower carbon dioxide levels in the blood, which is thought to improve asthma by dilating blood vessels. The technique involves shallow breathing, similar to the kind of breathing you do while practising yoga. The Buteyko Technique opens airways, and reduces the need for inhalers.
4. Psychological Therapies
According to a study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology in 2000, psychological and mental techniques can be used to increase the body’s defence against disease and illness, including asthma. Often they may be spiritual in nature; take, for example, prayer, faith healing, therapeutic touch, and shamanism. However, there are often instances of fraudulent practitioners, so this path has to be followed with caution.
Some may wish to experience a radical spiritual environment, and make a pilgrimage or visit a shrine or guru. This may help them to treat psychological triggers (such as stress), which can lead to asthma attacks.
Hypnosis can also be an option. Other methods involve training sufferers to relax, breathe more effectively, cough in specialized ways, or chant and sing. Positive visualisations and writing down stressful thoughts and feelings to lessen them has also been proven to work.
5. Herbal and Homeopathic Remedies
There are a number of plant-based remedies that can be created (using herbs, fruits, and vegetables with medicinal properties), and used to treat instances of asthma. Honey, onion, nettle, liquorice, orange peel and bryony are examples of such components.
As well as visiting a practitioner, there are simple remedies that you can create yourself, using ingredients you may have at home:
- Ginger, an anti-inflammatory, can be juiced and mixed with equal parts pomegranate juice and honey. This mixture should be take two or three times a day.
- Heat mustard oil and camphor, and use it as a chest and upper back rub to relieve symptoms of tightness and breathlessness in the airways
- Figs, when soaked in water overnight and then eaten, can improve coughs and mucus build-up.
- Boil three cloves of garlic in milk, and drink once cooled. This will clear the lungs.
- Put three drops of eucalyptus oil into some boiling water and breathe in the steam; this with soothe your airways and relieve symptoms.
- Forskolin supplements have been shown to treat asthma in a similar way that pharmaceuticals relax the muscles of your airways.
Why not try one of these remedies today? See if you can improve your asthma symptoms using the power of nature!