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“I was running sprints on one really cold and windy day when I started coughing. First I thought I was coming down with a cold, but there was something unusual about this. It felt like there was liquid in my lungs. I just couldn’t breathe no matter how deeply I inhaled. I was wheezing uncontrollably and started panicking. I was fatigued and in pain, so the coach called my mom and she came and took me to the emergency room, where the doctors told me I had asthma”.
Does this sound familiar? This is the reality of life with asthma. The good news? It can be and is brought under control. Read on to learn about some amazing home remedies for asthma!
Causes of Asthma
Asthma is an inflammatory disease affecting the air passages that carry air from the nasal region and mouth to the lungs and back. It can be either an acute or a chronic condition. When you have asthma, you find it difficult to breathe in outside air, especially if it is cold, foggy or humid and feel suffocated.
The fundamental causes of asthma aren't fully understood. It does seem to have an extensive number of contributing factors, including a very sensitive immune system, inherited traits, air passage infections at a young age, exposure to air pollution or cigarette smoke, viruses and allergies.
When your immune system is overly sensitive, the lungs and air passages swell and produce mucus in specific conditions. Sometimes this reaction is delayed, making the trigger hard to identify. The muscles around the swollen airways contract, causing less air to flow to the lungs. Asthma can flare up at any point in time and cannot be cured permanently.
Other common asthma triggers include:
- Premature birth
- Allergies to mold, dust mites, pollen
- Stress, tension, pressure, depression, general emotional lability
- Weather changes or cold air
- Genetics - a family history of asthma, hives or rhinitis
- Certain foods like eggs, fish, peanuts and soy
- Intense physical activity, i.e. exercise
Signs and Symptoms
Asthma afflicts people of all age groups, from children as young as 2 to adults. In fact, it is not unusual in children at all. Typical signs of asthma in children include persistent coughing and wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness and pain, trouble sleeping caused by these factors, delayed recovery after a banal respiratory infection like the flu, fatigue due to not sleeping well and a limited ability to play or do sport because of trouble breathing.
In adults, the most common signs and symptoms of asthma are:
- Difficulty breathing, wheezing, coughing
- Congested chest
- Feeling tired during all kinds of physical activity
- Frequent respiratory infections, frequently suffer from colds and the flu
- Uneasiness in sleeping
While there is no permanent cure for asthma, these home remedies will help you keep it at bay. They are not, however, to be used instead of the medication your doctor has prescribed. More information about asthma medication and medical devices to prevent asthma attacks is available in the “How to Prevent Asthma” section of this article.
1. Honey – A delicious and versatile remedy
Honey is a delicious and effective remedy for asthma. It’s as easy as simply having a teaspoon of honey mixed in hot water a few times a day or inhaling its scent. However, it’s more effective in combination with other ingredients.
- 7 cloves of garlic
- A tablespoon of honey
- A glass of water, two-thirds full
Boil the cloves in the water and add a spoon of honey. This is a great remedy for treating asthma at home. For best results, consume twice a day.
This is one of the best combinations out there, but certainly not the only one! Please read on for some other excellent remedies with honey.
- A tablespoon of honey
- Half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder
Mix the honey with the cinnamon powder and have it once a day before you go to bed.
- A teaspoon of honey
Gooseberries are perfect for asthma. Crush a few gooseberries and add the honey to them. Eat this mixture twice a day for a week, then stop for a week and start again. The asthma attacks will get less and less frequent with time.
- A tablespoon of honey
- Half a glass of lemon juice
- One radish
Blend the radish to get juice and mix that with the lemon juice and the honey. Consume it once a day, preferably in the morning because it gives a lot of energy. This remedy will clear up your respiratory track, making it easier for you to breathe.
2. Ginger has thousands of health benefits
Ginger has too many benefits for the health and body to count, including the fact that it is highly effective against asthma.
- An equal amount of ginger and pomegranate
Blend the ingredients to make juice and drink 2-3 times a day for best results.
Alternatively, you can mix a tablespoon of ginger juice and two tablespoons of dried fenugreek seeds and leave them in water overnight. Drink this mixture once a day in the morning – it is a great way to detoxify the lungs and improve the functions of the air passages.
3. Mustard and Eucalyptus Oil – Sensual Healing
Mustard and eucalyptus oils are both very effective against all kinds of respiratory illnesses, but when used together, the effect is double!
- Equal amounts of mustard and eucalyptus oil
- A little bit of camphor
Mix the oils and the camphor and massage the mixture all over your chest for quick asthma relief. Do not forget to warm the oils before massaging with them because your body needs to feel the warmth to get relief.
Alternatively, mix eucalyptus oil and mustard oil and breathe in the aroma. The essential oils can really help you keep asthma attacks at bay and provide fast relief. Put a few drops of these oils (essential) in a cup of boiling water and just breathe it in. It will help expand the nasal passages and airways, making it easier for air to pass through.
4. Fig Water – Effective and Immediate Relief
Fig water is another great home remedy against asthma. Get some dried figs and soak them in water overnight. Drink the water in the morning on an empty stomach. Eating the figs won’t hurt either.
The good thing about this remedy is that dried figs are available everywhere all year round. However, nothing can quite compare to the unique taste of fresh figs. Their luscious taste and great texture combines the smoothness of their skin, chewiness of their flesh and the unique crunch of the seeds. They help relieve tension and improve respiratory functions, clearing the lungs and nasal passageways of mucus that is coughed up during asthma attacks.
5. Coffee and Tea (Good News!!)
Now for some really good news! You know how everyone is always saying how bad caffeine is for you? Especially if you have respiratory problems? It turns out that isn’t true. Caffeine actually helps people with asthma because it clears your nasal passages, making it easier to inhale and exhale. The stronger the coffee, the better – but don’t drink more than three cups a day. Caffeine shouldn’t substitute asthma medication and other regular asthma treatments.
You don’t drink coffee? Then try tea instead. Black tea is a great option. Again, do not drink more than three cups a day.
- Black tea
- Lime juice
- Crushed ginger
Make tea and consume once a day, adding the lime juice and ginger.
6. Onions clear your airways
Onions are known for their amazing anti-inflammatory properties. They also help a great deal with asthma by clearing air passages. If you are battling with asthma, eat as much onion as possible – add it to salad or cook it if you can’t stand the raw taste
Preheat the sugar in a metal bowl on low temperature, stirring constantly until it becomes red. Chop the onion into small pieces and add it. Cook briefly and pour water into the bowl. Boil until around 1/3 of the water evaporates. Let it cool and then add the lemon juice and honey. Pour the mixture in a glass container and let it sit overnight. Eat a tablespoon of this before each meal until you finish it and your lungs get well.
Note: This treatment is also suitable for children, but they should have just one teaspoon before each meal.
7. Fruit with vitamin C benefits people with asthma
Fruits with high vitamin C content like lemons, oranges, and papaya have shown benefits to people struggling with asthma. Insufficient levels of vitamin C in the body have long been associated with asthma. They may even cause it. High-dose vitamin C has been shown to relieve asthma. Reduced preference for foods containing vitamin C and lower blood plasma concentration of vitamin C are also connected with frequency of asthma attacks.
Doctors recommend a daily vitamin C dosage of around 40,000 mg, divided into eight doses.
- The juice of three lemons
- Brown sugar
Mix the lemon juice with the sugar and water and consume at least once a day until your attacks become less frequent.
Note: Sugar is not healthy – use it only during these treatments.
8. Bitter gourd (not as yucky as you think!)
Bitter gourd or balsam pear is a young and tender fruit pod. It does live up to its name, but don’t let that deter you – it is an excellent source of folates, which are very beneficial for the respiratory system. It’s also an amazing source of vitamin C.
- A tablespoon of honey
- Basil paste
- Bitter gourd
Take the juice out of the gourd, add the paste of basil and honey, and mix them until you get a homogeneous paste. This remedy will help reduce the frequency of asthmatic attacks.
Arsenicum album and carbo vegetabilis are two known homeopathic remedies for asthma. If you feel exhausted and restless, you need the first one. It will help you breathe more easily, especially when you’re lying down.
If you feel very weak or faint, like you are going to pass out, you may experience some relief by taking carbo vegetabilis. This may also help treat gas and other digestive upsets.
How to Prevent Asthma Attacks
One of the best ways to experience relief from asthma symptoms is to get more involved. You're less likely to be surprised by a sudden attack if you pay attention to your physical sensations and your surroundings.
Here are some tips:
- Get regular immunization for the flu and pneumonia.
- Do not skip your meds or delay taking them
- Use an inhaler immediately if you feel your chest tighten.
- Avoid smoking and eating cold food
- Avoid fried food – it isn’t good for the lungs.
- Get an allergy test once a few months to see whether you have become allergic to something.
Make an Asthma Action Plan
Your doctor can help you make an asthma action plan. This would include how much medicine to take and at what time of the day, possible triggers and how to avoid them and what action to take when you experience specific symptoms.
You could also benefit from getting a peak flow meter. It is used to measure how fast you are exhaling and inhaling. This is measured by reflecting the peak expiratory flow or PEF. A low PEF means trouble. When you know it is low, you can take measures to avoid an asthma attack.
Did you enjoy our list of home remedies? Were you surprised by anything on it? Asthma can potentially be life-threatening - now you know how to cure yourself without panicking and rushing to the pharmacy to buy expensive medication! Please tell us what you think in the comments and share this article so you can help other people out there who also suffer from asthma.