Health

10 Home Remedies for Asthma

Asthma is a chronic, long-term condition that is characterized by shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, whistling and tightness in the chest. Asthmatic symptoms are caused by… Elizabeth Lilian - March 29, 2017

Asthma is a chronic, long-term condition that is characterized by shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, whistling and tightness in the chest. Asthmatic symptoms are caused by inflammation and narrowing of the bronchial tubes, and those with asthma tend to have more sensitive airways that react to triggers like pollen, dust, mold, animal fur and even emotional issues like stress, which can flare up the airways and cause asthma attacks.

Asthma can be caused by genetics or environmental factors like the weather, exposure to tobacco smoke or chemicals, and health issues like obesity. If asthma is left untreated or undiagnosed, it can be deadly. Asthma can affect people of all ages and while it can’t be cured, it can be effectively controlled.

Here are 10 home remedies for asthma.

1.      Ginger

Ginger has been a popular spice in natural therapies for thousands of years. It’s taken from the rhizome (or root) of the Zingiber officinale, a perennial flowering plant that is native to Asia but grown across the world. Ginger is a member of the Zingiberaceae family, alongside turmeric and cardamom. It’s a common remedy for things like nausea, morning sickness and digestive issues, to reduce pain and inflammation, and much more.

Ginger can be ingested powdered, fresh, dried or as an oil. It’s often used in different cuisines, as it contains a unique flavor and aroma that comes from the natural oils. Ginger is a spice that is high in gingerol, an active phytonutrient that holds many antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds, and is the compound that is responsible for many of gingers healthy effects.

Ginger is a carminative, which means it relieves painful gas and bloating. It is also a common treatment for rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, and studies have found it to have profound effects on pain levels in arthritis sufferers. Ginger may also hold anti-tumor properties, and it’s thought to be an effective treatment for asthma symptoms by reducing inflammation and tightness in the airways that cause asthma symptoms.

To use ginger to relieve asthma, mix one teaspoon of ground or powdered ginger with one cup of water, and drink one tablespoon of the mixture before bed each night. Alternatively, you can make ginger tea by cutting ginger into small pieces and boiling it in water. You can also simply add ginger to your meals to reap the benefits, or eat raw ginger sprinkled with salt.

2.      Mustard Oil

Mustard oil is a fat derived from the black or brown seeds of the mustard plant, a member of the Brassicaceae family. The mustard plant is native to India, and as such, mustard oil has become a popular choice of cooking oil in Indian cuisine.  There are two different variations of mustard oil: mustard essential oil, which is extracted by steam distillation, and mustard oil, which is extracted through cold compression. The difference is an important one, because mustard essential oil is not appropriate to use in cooking, whereas mustard oil is.

Mustard oil is rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which can help lower high cholesterol and improve blood pressure, heart health and kidney health. Mustard oil is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antifungal, and can promote a healthy digestive tract by fighting off bacterial infections. It also contains glucosinolates, which are thought to hold potential anti-cancer properties, and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is an omega-3 fatty acid that our body is unable to make.

Mustard oil is often used as a massage oil. It contains high levels of vitamin E, which can reduce the appearance of wrinkles and protect the skin from harmful free radicals, and when rubbed into the muscles it can relieve pain and joint stiffness. Mustard oil can also be used to treat gum disease by rubbing it into the gums.

Mustard oil is a natural stress reliever. It can be used to increase blood flow and circulation, which can help calm the respiratory passages during an asthma attack. To use it as an effective remedy, heat the oil with a small amount of camphor and massage it gently into the chest and upper back. Apply it as often as required to relieve symptoms of asthma.

3.      Figs

Figs are a sweet-tasting, unique fruit that grows on the Ficus tree. Whether paired with a cheese or white wine, they’re one of the most versatile fruits and can be found in many backyards. Figs, also known as anjeer, are native to Asia and Turkey, and one tree will bear hundreds of figs each season. There are many different varieties of fig, and each kind varies dramatically in color.

Figs are low in calories, and packed full of soluble dietary fiber, as well as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and polyphenols like carotene, lutein, and tannins. When consumed fresh, figs are an excellent source of vitamin A, E and K, and B-complex vitamins like niacin, folate and pantothenic acid. Dried figs are also very high in minerals like calcium, copper, iron, zinc, manganese and selenium.

Figs are also an excellent source of potassium, which can help regulate and maintain blood sugar and blood pressure levels in diabetics and hypertensive patients. Figs can be used to treat constipation, sexual dysfunction, indigestion and high cholesterol. They’re also an expectorant, which makes them an effective remedy for bronchitis, dry cough and asthma.

Soak 3-4 figs in water overnight and eat them in the morning, making sure to drink the water as well, to help relieve congestion and drain phlegm that can build up in the respiratory tract. Fig leaves can also be used to make tea that can prevent and lessen the symptoms of asthma and other respiratory conditions.

4.      Garlic

Garlic, scientifically known as Allium sativum, has been cultivated for thousands of years to treat various health issues from cold and flu symptoms to the bubonic plague. It’s a common ingredient in cuisines across the world, and is a member of the Allium family. There are many different varieties of garlic that can be generally divided into four types: hardneck, softneck, black and Creole. Softneck is the most common variety that can be found in most grocery stores.

Garlic is often used in phytotherapy and holds many different health benefits, from decreasing the risk of cardiovascular disease to lowering blood pressure. These health benefits are likely due to the presence of allicin and diallyl sulfides, which are the two main active ingredients in garlic. Allicin is the compound that gives garlic that notable scent when it’s crushed or chopped, and it contains antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Diallyl sulfides can boost the immune system and circulatory system, lower the levels of “bad” cholesterol, and is also thought to potentially treat and prevent a variety of different cancer cells.

Garlic is a natural antibiotic, antiviral, antifungal and antioxidant, and has been proven to have positive effects on the frequency and severity of common colds. Garlic is a great source of vitamins like vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin B1, and minerals such as manganese, copper, selenium and phosphorus.

The rich amounts of vitamin C make garlic a perfect remedy to clear congestion and relieve symptoms of asthma. Vitamin C can also reduce the release of histamine, which is a natural chemical made by the body that promotes inflammation. Simply boil two or three cloves of garlic in milk and allow it to cool before drinking it. Use this remedy whenever asthma symptoms flare up, or if you’re suffering from a cold.

5.      Coffee

Coffee is made from the roasted beans of the Coffea plant, which was first discovered in Ethiopia in the 9th Century. From Ethiopia, it spread through Turkey, Egypt, and Africa, before it spread to Italy and its popularity exploded. It’s now one of the most widely consumed beverages across the world, cultivated mainly in America, Asia and Africa.

There are two different types of coffee beans: coffee Arabica and coffee canephora (or coffee robusta), with Arabica being the more popular choice due to its smooth flavor. Coffee beans begin as a small red fruit, and they go through a long process before they’re suitable for consumption. First they’re hand-picked, and the flesh of the fruit is removed by a machine. The seeds are then fermented, washed, dried and sorted, before they get roasted. The roasting process is important, because the degree of roasting dictates the flavor the bean will have.

Coffee is believed to hold many health benefits, such as protection against diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, some types of cancer, and cardiovascular disease. Coffee contains large amounts of antioxidants and other nutrients like riboflavin, pantothenic acid, potassium, manganese, magnesium and niacin, and can even help reduce the risk of depression in women.

Coffee is an effective remedy for asthma due to the presence of caffeine. Caffeine is similar to theophylline, a drug that can be used to dilate the bronchial tubes in the lungs, relieving the symptoms of asthma. Drinking strong, hot coffee will help relax and clear the airways, allowing you to breathe easier. However, ensure you don’t drink more than three cups of black coffee per day, as it can cause jitters, anxiety and sleep problems.

6.      Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus oil is extracted from the blue-gum, a tree that is native to Australia and can grow to over 100 meters tall. Over 500 species of eucalyptus trees exist in Australia, and the leaves, bark and oil have been used for their medicinal properties for thousands of years. Indigenous Australians would use the leaves for things like covering wounds to promote healing to brewing them in hot water and making tea.

Eucalyptus oil holds many therapeutic properties. It’s anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antiviral, astringent, deodorant, to name a few. It can be used to treat migraines, fever and malaria, and can be applied to burns, blisters, cuts, skin infections and insect bites. It’s also used as a massage oil to ease muscular pain and soreness, relieve arthritic stiffness, and can even be used as a natural deodorant.

Eucalyptus oil provides a cooling, refreshing effect that can stimulate the mood and relieve mental exhaustion. It also has expectorant properties, which makes it an effective remedy for asthma, colds, influenza, throat infections and sinusitis. It can sooth inflammation, dispel mucus, and clear congestion.

Simply mix a few drops of eucalyptus oil in with your preferred body lotion and apply it to the chest and upper back for relief from asthma and other congestion issues. You can also add a few drops to boiling water and breathe in the fragrant steam. Alternatively, you can apply it to a paper towel and keep that by your head while you sleep, so you can breathe in the aroma throughout the night.

7.      Honey

Honey starts out as flower nectar, and begins to be turned into honey once it is gathered by honeybees. When the nectar is collected and stored in the honeybees stomach or ‘crop’, it mixes with enzymes that start to break down the complex sugars that nectar is composed of. Once the honeybees return to the hive, they regurgitate the nectar and spread it through the honeycombs, fanning it with their wings in order to help it dry faster, turning it into a thick syrup. One the right texture has been reached, the bees seal off the honeycomb with a plug of wax, storing it until it’s eaten.

Honey has been used for thousands of years in many cultures and therapies, like Ayurveda. It can be used as a natural sweetener, and contains high levels of fructose and glucose. It’s high in carbohydrates, and contains no sodium cholesterol or fat. With essential vitamins and minerals like niacin, thiamine, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, calcium, manganese, potassium and iron, honey is an extremely healthy addition to any diet and lifestyle.

Honey is full of antioxidants. Generally, the darker the honey, the higher the levels of antioxidants. Honey also contains antiseptic, antifungal and antibacterial qualities, which is why it’s often applied to wounds and open sores. It provides a protective barrier and keeps open wounds sterile while promoting faster healing. Honey can also help maintain blood sugar levels, promote clear skin, and has even been thought to hold potential anti-cancer properties.

Consuming honey can help boost the immune system and break up phlegm and mucus that collects in the bronchial tubes and lungs, exacerbating symptoms of asthma. It also soothes a sore throat and reduces coughing, wheezing and tightness in the chest. Mix one teaspoon of honey into a glass of hot water and drink it slowly a few times each day. You can also simply dip a teaspoon into honey and eat it at least three times a day.

8.      Onions

Onions have been around for centuries and are even believed to have been a staple in the diets of prehistoric man, as they grew wildly in many different regions throughout the world. In Egypt, onions were considered a symbol of eternity and used as an object of worship, and they were featured heavily in ancient Indian Vedic texts for their purported medicinal properties. Onions belong to the Allium family alongside garlic, and are used frequently in many different cuisines.

Onions are low in fats and calories, and high in soluble fiber. They’re rich in vitamins, minerals and flavonoids, such as vitamin C, which can help boost the immune system and ward off colds, chromium, a mineral that can help control blood sugar levels, and quercetin, a flavonoid that contains anti-carcinogenic, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Onions also contain beneficial sulfur compounds, pantothenic acid, folates, thiamin, manganese, biotin and potassium.

Onion consumption is thought to help prevent ulcers by inhibiting the growth of the microorganism that causes ulcers, Heliobacter pylori. They promote a healthy cardiovascular system, reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, as well as relieve symptoms of bladder infections and support a healthy prostate. Onions also promote a healthy digestive system, and encourage the growth of good bacteria in the gut.

The anti-inflammatory compounds found in onion make them an effective remedy for asthma. The presence of quercetin is believed to help decrease the frequency and severity of asthmatic symptoms, and the sulfur compounds can help decrease inflammation in the lungs. Eat raw onion to clear airways, or cook them to make them more palatable.

9.      Lemons

Lemons are a wonderfully versatile citrus fruit that have been used for thousands of years in medicine, cooking and even household cleaning. They were initially created by cross-breeding a lime and a citron, and were thought to have first been cultivated in India or China. These days, the entire lemon fruit can be used for various purposes. Lemon juice is frequently used in different health tonics, leaves from the lemon tree can be made into tea or used in cooking, and the pulp and peel can be used in many different recipes to give an unmistakable taste and aroma.

Lemons are full of beneficial citric acid, which acts as an alkalizing agent that can help lower the levels of acidity in the human body. Lemons can be used to treat constipation, indigestion, kidney stones, high blood pressure, dental problems, fever, burns and rheumatism. Lemons are full of flavonoids that hold antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic properties, such as limonene, a component that is thought to contain potential prevention and treatment of breast cancer.

Lemons contain many active ingredients that give them a wide array of health benefits. They are an extremely rich source of vitamin C, with one lemon providing over 60 percent of the daily recommended intake. Inhaling the scent of lemons can increase the release of a neurotransmitter called norepinephrine, which can improve mood and emotions, and can also improve mental focus and alertness.

The high levels of vitamin C and other antioxidants make lemons a powerful combatant against asthma, as well as other respiratory disorders. Simply combining the juice of half a lemon with a glass full of warm water and drinking that first thing in the morning can help reduce symptoms of asthma and give the immune system a much-needed boost.

10. Carom Seeds

Carom seeds go by many different names such as bishop’s weed, ajwain or ajowan seeds, and are scientifically known as Trachyspermum copticum. They’re a member of the Umbelliferae family alongside parsley, fennel and dill, and are commonly powdered and used as a spice in Indian cuisine. The seeds are often chewed for medicinal purposes like an upset stomach, constipation, diarrhea, and loss of appetite.

Carom seeds contain protein, dietary fiber and carbohydrates, as well as essential minerals like calcium, thiamine, riboflavin, phosphorus, niacin and iron. They also contain limonene, and a phenol called thymol, which has antibacterial, antifungal and antiseptic qualities. Carom seed oil can be used to treat arthritis pain, earaches, toothaches, and menstrual cramps.

Carom seeds also act as a bronchodilator, which can help relieve symptoms of asthma. The seeds can be boiled and used as a vaporizer by inhaling the steam, or you can simply drink the water once it’s cooled. You can also wrap a handful of carom seeds in a piece of cotton cloth and microwave it until it’s comfortably warm, then place on your chest to bring relief from tightness and wheezing.

Even though asthma is not curable, it can be easily handled by taking preventative measures. Be sure to identify anything that may trigger asthma attacks, like cigarette smoke, animal fur, pollen or dust, and avoid these as much as possible. Take any medication that has been prescribed to you by a doctor, and pay attention to any potential symptoms of an asthma attack, treating the symptoms as soon as they appear. Acting quickly is the best chance to reduce the risk of a severe asthma attack.

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