Asthma is a chronic condition that causes inflammation and narrowing of the bronchial tubes — the passageways that allow air to enter and leave the lungs. Asthma symptoms affect an estimated 26 million Americans, including 19 million adults and 7 million children. There are two types of asthma: allergic, which is caused by exposure to an allergen, and nonallergic, which is caused by stress, exercise, and illnesses like a cold or the flu.
Many people are unaware that they have asthma bercause their symptoms aren’t severe. Any asthma symptoms can become dangerous if left untreated. The most common signs of asthma are:
- Coughing at night
- Coughing during exercise
- Coughing when laughing
- Difficulty breathing
- Tightness in the chest
- Shortness of breath
- Outdoor allergens such as pollen from grass, trees and weeds
- Indoor allergens such as pet dander, dust mites and mold
- Certain drugs and food additives
- Irritants in the air such as smoke, chemical fumes and strong odors
- Colds, the flu or other illnesses
- Exercise (Although some people with asthma can benefit from exercise)
- Weather conditions such as cold air, or dry, wet or windy weather
Prevention and Treatment
If you suffer from asthma, knowing your triggers and trying to prevent them the best you can is often the best strategy. Visit an allergist if your symptoms are severe, unpredictable, or if they occur more than twice a week. Asthma accounts for 10.5 million missed school days a year for children and 14.2 million missed work days for adults. Living with asthma can be difficult, but it is entirely possible to live a healthy life despite it.
If you’re searching for a natural way to treat your asthma, give a few of these home remedies a try:
Ginger is used as a natural treatment for many illnesses, including asthma. It helps to reduce inflammation in the airways and relax the muscles.
- Mix equal parts ginger juice, pomegranate juice and honey.
- Consume one tablespoon of this mixture 2-3 times a day.
2. Mustard Oil
Mustard oil can help clear the respiratory passages during an asthma attack and allow breathing to normalize.
- Heat some mustard oil and camphor.
- When it is warm, gently rub it on your chest and upper back and massage.
- Use this remedy several times a day until the symptoms subside.
Figs help to relieve cough and excess mucus to promote easier breathing.
- Wash 3 dried figs and soak them in a cup of water overnight.
- In the morning, eat the soaked figs and drink the fig water on an empty stomach.
- Use this remedy for a few months until you notice improvement.
Garlic is a powerful anti-inflammatory that can help clear congestion in the lungs during the early stages of asthma.
- Boil 2-3 cloves in one-quarter cup of milk.
- Allow it to cool to room temperature and drink.
The caffeine in coffee can help control asthma attacks by acting as a bronchodilator. Hot coffee helps to relax and clear the airway for easier breathing. For those who don’t like the taste of coffee, hot black tea will have similar effects.
6. Eucalyptus Oil
Pure eucalyptus oil has decongestant properties that can help break up mucus.
- Put 2-3 drops in a pot of boiling water and breathe in the steam for soothing effects.
Honey can relieve asthma symptoms such as coughing, wheezing and tightness in the chest.
- Mix 1 teaspoon of honey into a glass of hot water and drink it up to three times a day.
Onions work as an anti-inflammatory to help reduce airway restriction that asthma causes. The quercetin in onions helps to dissolve mucus. Eat onions regularly to promote easier breathing.
Lemons are rich in Vitamin C and antioxidants that help to reduce asthma symptoms.
- Squeeze the juice of half a lemon in a glass of water and drink regularly to reduce asthma attacks.
10. Carom Seeds
Carom seeds can be used to treat mild asthma by acting as a bronchodilator. They help to clear congestion and get rid of mucus build up.
- Boil 1 teaspoon of carom seeds in water and inhale the steam or drink it.