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Last Updated: May 10, 2023

Asthma natural treatment

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Dr. Kurian ThomasPulmonologist • 40 Years Exp.DNB (Respiratory Diseases), MD - Tuberculosis & Respiratory Diseases / Pulmonary Medicine, Diploma in Tuberculosis and Chest Diseases (DTCD)
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Asthma is a chronic lung disease which has affected people of all ages including children. In this disease the muscles of the air tubes get constricted or swollen or excessive mucus production is observed in the airways leading to difficulty in breathing. The particular cause of the disease is not known as many people have it and many don't but doctors say that it may be due to certain genetic factors. Studies show that it has affected more than 3.2 crore people of the world and is more prevalent in developed countries like the USA in which 2.5 crore cases have been observed. There is no treatment of asthma so far but the symptoms can be treated and managed effectively. The symptoms are flared up by certain factors such as dust, pollen, exercise, stress, weather, illnesses. In some people the symptoms of asthma may come and go leaving the person to be normal in between but in other people the symptoms may be persistent. It can occur in children below the age of five years as well as adults above the age of 18 years. So no age group can be considered safe. The persons who work in an environment which contains certain irritating substances are at the highest risk to develop asthma. 

Causes of asthma

Asthma can be triggered by certain substances which irritate you and if a person comes in contact with such substances he can have an asthma attack. A few factors which triggers asthma have been described below-

  • Air pollutants- The most common factor which triggers the symptoms of asthma leading to an asthma attack is air pollution. Nowadays the AQI of various cities have increased which has led to various respiratory problems including asthma. The most common sources of air pollution are smoke from the industries, factories and refineries, increased usage of automobiles leading to increased carbon emissions etc.
  • Household pests such as mice, cockroaches, flies etc can also lead to an asthma attack.
  • Smoking- The most common cause of asthma is tobacco smoking. One who smokes is at an increased risk of having asthma. Passive smoking is even more dangerous. So it is advised to stay away from people who are smoking if you have asthma.

Symptoms of asthma

Usually the symptoms of asthma may appear like symptoms of respiratory infections, hence proper diagnosis is necessary. The symptoms of asthma include wheezing, feeling of tightness in the chest, pain in the chest, coughing which is more prominent at night, feeling of shortness of breath etc.

Natural treatment methods 

There are some natural remedies and treatment methods which may help in the management of asthma. However they must be done along with the medications of asthma simultaneously for best results. Don't leave your medications without the advice of your doctor. They are as follows -

  • Change in the diet- A person who is overweight can have severe symptoms of asthma. So reducing weight and taking a balanced diet is very important. Including more and more fruits and vegetables and anti-inflammatory foods in the diet which can treat the inflammation of the airways is very important. 
  • Garlic- However there is no evidence that garlic helps to relieve the symptoms of asthma but as it has anti inflammatory properties, experts suggest that the consumption of garlic can help in the management of asthma.
  • Ginger- It also contains anti-inflammatory properties and a study showed improvement in the symptoms of asthma while consuming ginger but there is no conclusive evidence.
  • Caffeine- It can help in reducing the constriction of the muscles of the airways and can help improve its functioning for a few hours.
  • Honey- It is used in the common cold along with warm water or any other hot beverage to relieve the symptoms. It can soothe the throat and symptoms such as coughing. But there is no conclusive evidence whether it can effectively manage the symptoms of asthma. But the people suffering from it can give it a try.
  • Omega 3 oils- These have been known to reduce inflammation and improve the functioning of the lungs, hence can help in the management of asthma.
  • Acupuncture- A few people have benefited from this technique and have reported improvement in breathing and lung functioning but there is no conclusive evidence of this too.
  • Buteyko breathing method- This method refers to certain breathing exercises which help in reducing the symptoms of asthma and managing it effectively through gentle and slow breathing. It involves breathing through the nose instead of the mouth as breathing from the mouse can dry up the airways which could worsen the asthma. It can be adopted as a method to manage asthma but there is no conclusive evidence to support the method.

The natural methods discussed above should only be practised after taking advice from a medical practitioner and no one should skip their medications before consulting the doctor. Everybody is different and responds to different treatments and there is no harm in adopting natural methods which could help improve your condition. 

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