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Top 10 Lifestyles and Home Remedies to Relieve Asthma

Updated on April 25, 2019
mtghozali profile image

A licensed pharmacist who is also a lecturer and researcher at School of Pharmacy, Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

What Helps Asthma Naturally?

Asthma is a chronic illness which makes you difficult to breathe. It usually starts in childhood and goes into remission during teenage years. However for some people, it will continue in their adult life.

Severity of asthma can range from mild illness to severe life threatening attacks. The airways narrow and swell up producing extra mucus leading to symptoms of asthma. The symptoms can vary from one person to another, which may include shortness of breath, frequent cough, chest pain or tightness, and wheeze.

Some people only get infrequent asthma attacks where symptoms occur on and off. For others, symptoms can occur almost daily which can make their lives miserable.

Still no potent cure for asthma is available, but fortunately, you can control the symptoms with good management methods.
Still no potent cure for asthma is available, but fortunately, you can control the symptoms with good management methods. | Source

Lifestyle & Home Remedies to Control Asthma

There is no cure for asthma. You can only control your symptoms. Following home remedies will help you to prevent getting attacks and improving your symptoms.

Although there is not much scientific evidence to prove effectiveness of these home remedies, practically they are found to be effective and worked for many people with mild to moderate asthma.

Below are many key points about lifestyle and home remedies to get rid of asthma:

1. Identify and avoid all potential triggers

Exposure to various substances which cause allergies can trigger asthma. They are commonly known as allergens. Identify them early and then avoid them as much as possible. Here are a few examples of common allergens:

  • Pollen, dust mites, animal dander.
  • Respiratory infections with viruses – Cold and flu.
  • Cold air, smoke, toxic fumes.
  • Exercise induced Asthma – Physical activity can trigger asthma in some people.
  • Stress and strong emotions.
  • Certain medicines – Aspirin, Ibuprofen (Advil), Beta blockers.

Although all the potential triggers above vary from person to person, it is important to know them in order to avoid exposure. Once you start avoiding the triggers, you will find out that your symptoms are also reducing and attacks will be infrequent or minimal.

2. Quit smoking

In some people, the tar and various other chemicals in cigarette smoke can trigger asthma symptoms. Therefore, do not smoke and avoid passive smoking too!

3. Avoid occupational hazards

If your asthma symptoms are due to occupational exposure (for example: asbestos, chemicals, exhaust fumes, pollutants) in your work place, it is time to say bye to that job. It is highly recommended to find a work place which does not make you exposed to triggering factors or wear a protective mask.

4. Maintain a healthy weight

Obesity or being overweight can trigger asthma symptoms. Eat a balanced, healthy diet. Meet with a nutritionist and stick to the diet plan and regular exercise.

5. Swimming

Swimming is considered the best form of exercise for asthmatics. It can open up air ways and help with asthma by developing good breathing practices.

Swimming is considered the best form of exercise for asthmatics.
Swimming is considered the best form of exercise for asthmatics. | Source

6. Change food practices

There are certain foods which can trigger your symptoms such as peanuts, shell fish, wheat, eggs, cow’s milk and other dairy products.

Remember that those foods may trigger symptoms only in some individuals and not all people with asthma; therefore you need not avoid all these foods.

There are certain foods found to help controlling asthma symptoms in some people:

Flavonoids found in apples can reduce risk of asthma.
Vitamin C rich foods
Fruits rich in vitamin C such as cantaloupe, oranges, kiwi, lemon, and grapefruit – Vitamin C, is a potent antioxidant which fights free radicals and prevent lung damage. Vegetables rich in Vitamin C include broccoli, tomatoes and brussels sprouts.
Beta carotene found in carrots which is an antioxidant fights with free radicals and reduce incidence of exercise induced asthma.
Coffee intake
Caffeine in coffee can reduce symptoms in some people with asthma as it acts as a bronchodilator which improves air flow.
It has anti-inflammatory properties and has “Allicin” which is a powerful antioxidant. This destroys free radicals and help to prevent cell damage in asthma.
Goat’s milk
Although proteins in milk are allergic to some individuals, Vitamin D in milk may ease symptoms of Asthma in some. Goat’s milk has smaller protein and fat globules and digests sooner than cow’s milk. Therefore it reduces the inflammatory response.
Red wine
Certain compounds in red wine may help to reduce symptoms in some individuals.
This fruit has a powerful antioxidant called Glutathione, which fights against free radicals.
Magnesium rich foods
Eating foods rich in magnesium – such as Spinach, pumpkin seeds and dark chocolate – may help to reduce your asthmatic symptoms. It is found that low levels of magnesium may reduce lung air flow and volume.
Vitamin D rich foods
Taking foods rich in vitamin D such as salmon, milk and eggs has a lot of benefits. (Caution – may be an allergen to some individuals). Spending a few minutes in the sun can also increase your vitamin D levels.
Adding ginger to your tea or taking a little ginger juice with honey may also help. Ginger reduces air way inflammation and air way narrowing. It also has compounds which enhance muscle relaxant effects.
Bee’s honey
Ethereal oil in honey can help reduce asthma symptoms. Simply mix one teaspoon of bee honey in warm water and drink daily. Honey with cinnamon powder – one teaspoon daily will help to remove phlegm from throat and allow you to have a better sleep.

A Warning Word...

Avoid processed foods since it can worsen symptoms. Artificial food additives and preservatives in processed and packaged foods can trigger asthma attacks.

Active compounds found in ginger (Zingiber officinale) can help reduce air way inflammation and air way narrowing.
Active compounds found in ginger (Zingiber officinale) can help reduce air way inflammation and air way narrowing. | Source

7. Eucalyptus Oil

This oil has decongestant properties. The chemical called “Eucalyptol” helps break up mucus. Put a few drops of Eucalyptus oil to a pot of boiling water and breathe the steam. This will help to open up your air ways by removing the mucus.

A warning word: Never ingest the oil directly, as it can be fatal!

8. Add herbs and spices to your cooking

Certain herbs and spices, such as ginger (Zingiber officinale), turmeric (Curcuma longa), oregano (Origanum vulgare) and rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) have anti-inflammatory properties which will help in asthma.

9. Mustard oil

Heat mustard oil with a little camphor. When it is slightly warm, gently rub it on the chest and upper back. Repeat several times a day to help relieve symptoms.

10. Vicks Vaporub

Applying and massaging Vicks Vaporub on your chest and back will also help you to have a comfortable sleep.

Always Keep in Mind...

You should always consult with your GP, asthma specialist, or other health care professionals before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal or homeopathic supplement, beginning any diet, nutrition or fitness plan or adopting any treatment for your asthma complaints.

When Should You Seek Help from A Doctor?

Since asthma symptoms can be life threatening to some individuals, you have to take it seriously. Make sure you visit your doctor if;

  • The home remedies do not control your symptoms.
  • If your shortness of breath or wheeze is worsening.
  • If you develop symptoms with minimal physical activity.
  • If your sleep is disturbed frequently due to symptoms.

This content is for informational purposes only and does not substitute for formal and individualized diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed medical professional. Do not stop or alter your current course of treatment. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2019 MT Ghozali


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