One in 10 children in the United States suffers from asthma. That makes for quite a few worried parents wondering what they can do to help their children.
The good news is that there are plenty of natural remedies that can go hand-in-hand with conventional medical treatment to ensure that your child with asthma is kept healthy and safe.
What Causes Asthma?
Doctors aren’t entirely sure why some people get asthma and others don’t. As of now, it is suspected that it is a combination of environmental and genetic factors.
What doctors do know is that those with asthma have inflamed airways in their lungs. When an asthmatic episode is triggered, these airways become even more swollen and the muscles surrounding them grow tight.
Triggers tend to include:
- Airborne allergens
- Respiratory infections
- Physical exertion
- Cold air
Symptoms of asthma include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightness
- Trouble sleeping
- A whistling sound when exhaling
If you suspect your child has asthma, it’s important to consult with his or her doctor. Asthma can be a life-threatening condition, and a doctor will be able to keep track of its progression in your child, identify potential triggers, and offer medical advice.
In addition to being given quick-relief medication (typically in a puffer), your child may be prescribed a number of asthma management medications.
Be sure to discuss potential side effects with your child’s doctor. If the side effects are concerning to you, ask if one of the following natural methods might be more suited to your child’s case. (If you do decide to let your child use pharmaceuticals, the following remedies can provide added benefit.)
Natural Asthma Remedies
1. Omega-3 Fats
A study from Japan found that Omega-3 fatty acids can be a major source of help for kids suffering from inflammation-related diseases like asthma. Omega-3s may reduce inflammation in the airways, which will make it easier for your child to breathe.
Be sure to include plenty of the following omega-3 rich foods in your child’s diet:
Ginger is another great natural anti-inflammatory that can be of benefit to your child with asthma.
The Wall Street Journal reports that ginger works by stopping an enzyme that causes airway muscles to constrict.
You can buy your child a ginger supplement or make them a drink with the herb.
To make ginger tea, place 1 and a half teaspoons of grated ginger into a cup. Fill the cup with one a half cups of boiling water and let it sit for 10 minutes.
Then, strain the ginger root and have your child sip the tea.
Check out this video for a ginger drink recipe perfect for a hot day.
Turmeric is recommended by Dr. David Williams as a great anti-inflammatory spice for battling asthma.
Turmeric works by dilating blood vessels to encourage better airflow, relax muscle spasms and maintain normal breathing patterns.
To make turmeric tea, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add 2 teaspoons of ground turmeric and 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Let this simmer for 10-15 minutes on medium-low heat.
Pour the tea into a mug and have your child drink all of it. If the taste is too strong, feel free to add honey to taste.