Asthma can be treated naturally rather than relying upon medication. You may have to try several of them though before you find the one that is right for your asthma needs. There are many reasons why people seek such natural treatments for it. For one, they don’t have to pay for expensive medications. Secondly, they don’t have to deal with adverse side effects that are commonly found with prescription medications.
For a fast response cures in case of an asthma attack, you can use certain household products you may have in your kitchen. A cup of strong coffee, 2 cans of Coca-cola or Red Bull or any soft drink with enough caffeine to keep you awake at night – you drink any one of the above because caffeine is a potent bronchodilator. Actually besides the caffeine, all those drinks contain 2 other major anti-asthmatic natural substances- theophylline and theobromine. Along with caffeine, they are perfect for opening/dilating the closing bronchial passages. A teaspoon of Heinz Apple Cider Vinegar is another perfect relief in case you experience an onset of an asthma attack.
If you feel like an attack is coming up, you can also try this visualization to calm your mind and breathing. Sit down in a chair and close your eyes. Visualize you are in a forest sitting right next to a pine tree. Smell the aromatic pine air and as you inhale the pine fragrance, imagine it fills every part of your body. Now, as you exhale, visualize the exhalation moving down to the bottom of your feet and “see” all the dark, sick air coming out from your feet into the earth of the pine forest. Repeat the same visualization (inhale-exhale) 3-5 times slowly and open your eyes, feeling your breath calm and free.
Still, if you experience difficulty breathing for a long time, do not wait and get qualified emergency care, especially if you see your fingernails and lips turning blue and you can’t breath properly.
Now that we covered emergencies, lets talk about long term remedies that will help you to remove the underlying cause of asthma. There is a breathing technique you can learn to naturally treat asthma. It is called the Buteyko breathing exercises and it is a type of swallow breathing that you do through what would be an asthma attack. You see, through all the research done to understand how breathing related to disease, medical research scientists realized that sick people chronically over-breath. Take a look at this list from medical research of breathing patterns of sick people (disease, minute ventilation, number of patients):
Chronic heart failure – 14 liters (+-4)/ 1minute – 88 patients
Diabetes – 10-20 liters/ 1 minute – 28 patients
Asthma – 13 liters (+-5)/ 1 minute – 101 patients
Cystic fibrosis – 10.4 (+-1.4)/ 1 minute – 10 patients
Note that the normal healthy minute ventilation is 6 liters of air per minute. Buteyko breathing method teaches that if you over-breath you get a disbalance of oxygen and carbon dioxide. Our body needs to maintain a normal level of these two gases, and breathing too much delivers too much oxygen to the lungs and removes too much of carbon dioxide from the body that eventually creates all type of physiological problems/disease. Watch this introductory seminar on Buteyko breathing technique- it will explain in detail the principles of this method.
A person will need to practice it and learn the right way to use it though before trying it during an asthma attack.
This type of natural treatment for asthma works because it allows more carbon dioxide to be in the lungs. This process with soothe the airways and as a result they are going to open up. Since asthma is the result of restricted airways this makes perfect sense. You can learn the technique from a qualified Buteyko instructor or by following instructional videos at home. I especially recommend the DVD “The Kick Asthma program” as it’s just a fraction of the normal cost you pay for other similar DVD instructional courses and the quality of instructions is top notch. Plus it’s specifically designed for asthma sufferers.
The other alternative to Buteyko breathing method is to buy a Frolov’s respiration training device. If you follow the instructions, the device will eventually teach you how to breath properly and dramatically improve your health. the main focus of the technique using Frolov’s breathing device is to gradual increase of exhalation duration, so eventually the practitioner starts breathing slower and less frequently than s/he was able before. I have 2 Frolov’s devices at home and consider it one of the best things I bought for myself in a long time. Buy a reasonably priced Frolov breathing device on Ebay from a US reseller as most of the sites selling it are located in Russia and it can take up to a month to get it delivered (prepare to pay the shipping costs).
It is believed that the food a person consumes can help reduce asthma as well. There have been studies to indicate the consumption of tomatoes, carrots, and leafy green vegetables can reduce asthma naturally. Apples are encouraged each day especially for children that have asthma. If a person with asthma doesn’t consume plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables each day, they may be needlessly suffering from chronic breathing problems.
Obesity has been linked to asthma for both children and adults as well. When you eat a healthier diet though you can shed those unwanted pounds. You will also find your energy level increases so you can burn more calories each day. It can take at least 10 pounds lost though before a significant change in breathing problems can really be measured. There are also numerous other health benefits for a person as they continue to lose weight though.
There are several types of natural herbs that a person can use for natural treatment of asthma. Boswellia is one of them because it contains Leukotrienes which help to open up the airways. Bromelain is an extract from pineapples that helps to prevent inflammation. It can help to reduce the inflammation often associated with asthma.
Another great anti-inflammatory natural treatment for asthma is called Butterbar. It is derived from shrubs and it has been proven to reduce the muscle spasm that often cause an asthma attack. If you have any type of allergy to Ragweed though you shouldn’t take Butterbar.
There are some common ingredients commonly found in the kitchen that can be used for natural treatment of asthma too. Breathing slowing with a jar of honey under the nose during an asthma attack can help to offset it. It can also be consumed in a cup of tea or other form. This is a temporary solution though and many people try to consume tea with honey in it daily to reduce their asthma concerns.
There are also some old folk remedies that I’m not sure of, but I’m going to tell you about them anyway
This remedy comes from Texas and it advises to sleep on wool of sheep. They say the wool absorbs the cause of asthma and soon enough you will have no breathing problems at all.
The strand of amber beads is said to ward off any breathing problems. Make a necklace out of them and wear it all the time.
Some recommend to get a chihuahua and sleep with the dog every night. Asthma will go to the chihuahua but the dog will never suffer from it.
Garlic is known to relieve the symptoms of asthma and some people were even successful in completely getting off their medication by eating lots of garlic every day. I know a friend who started eating a clove of garlic increasing 1 clove every week till he ate about 8 cloves a day. He would mince it and put it in water or juice and then drink the whole thing without chewing little minced pieces so his breath wouldn’t smell. After 5 months his doctor took him off the cortisone completely as he had no more asthma attacks or any symptoms.
You can cut an once of licorice root into small pieces and boil them on a quart of water for about 20 to 24 hours. Then strain the liquid into a bottle and drink a cup every time you feel heavy in your chest/lungs. If you have high blood pressure or kidney problems, please do not use this remedy.
I already told you about green veggies being good for you but you can lso make a juice out of equal parts of celery, carrot and chicory (endive). Some people had great success in improving their breathing after drinking the juice every day.
Go to the health food store or order online a box of wild cherry bark tea and drink it every day. Some people with asthma were successful in preventing asthma attacks after incorporating it into their diet.
Buy some grated horseradish (or make some yourself if you are not afraid to cry in the process), and take 1 teaspoon mixed with 1 teaspoon of raw honey before going to sleep.
A mineral Magnesium malate is known for relieving bronchial spasms. Gradually increase the dose of a magnesium preparation that your stomach can tolerate without causing diarrhea up to about 350-400 mg.
Melvyn Werbach, M.D., who wrote a couple of books on alternative medicine, states that there are a couple of cases where Vitamin B6 was given to kids with asthma along with their regular medication. 200 milligrams of B6 was given daily which was contributing factor in decreased number and intensity of asthma attacks, to the point the doctors reduced the doses of their regular asthma medications- steroids and bronchodilators.
200 milligrams is a pretty large dose (2 milligrams is the recommended daily amount) so I would recommend consulting with your doctor if you or your kid want to try this method.
Buy 1 lbs of fresh cranberries in your grocery or health food store and boil them in one pint of water until they are breaking apart . Add some raw honey to the mixture and pour it in the container. Store in in your refrigerator and drink 2-3 tablespoons 1 hour before meals to help relieve breathing problems.
Buy 3 apricots, 1 oz of cranberries and put it in a blender with little raw honey. Eat the resulting mixture to help healing of your lungs.
Boil 4 cups of sunflower seeds (without shells) in 2 quarts of water until the liquid is reduced to 1 quart. Then strain the liquid from the seeds and boil it with 1 pint of honey for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Take 1 teaspoon 1 hour before meals to promote the asthma relief.
Slice 3 large onions into a jar and add 3 cups of raw honey, and let it stay for 2 days closed in the dark place. Take the remaining syrup and eat 2-3 teaspoons 1 hour before meals.
This remedy is good for any lung problems, not just asthma. When I was little, I remember my mother would boil 4-5 potatoes in their skin, cut in half. Then she would take it off the fire and add some backing soda to cause it steam even harder and make me breath the steam through my mouth while i’m covered with a blanket to amplify the effect. Be very careful if you try it yourself. The steam, potatoes and the pot are very hot and may burn you if you are not cautious.
People with honey allergies, diabetics or infants shouldn’t use honey in the recipes above.
All said and done, some practitioners who specialize in natural medicine break asthma into 4 types and prescribe foods specifically designed for that type:
- “Heat” type asthma: your breathing is heavy and quick, you feel the heat in your body, often with sweat and face turned red. Mucus is yellow in color. Foods recommended: lemon, lime, daikon radish (normally sold in a Japanese supermarket), all type of sprouts to reduce heat, nettle leaf tea, apricot, horehound (Marrubium vulgare).
- “Cold” type asthma: you feel cold all the time, pale/white face, mucus is clear, white. The foods helpful for this type: fresh ginger, black beans, garlic, walnuts, sunflower seeds, oats, ginseng (Korean or Chinese), basil, blackstrap molasses.
- “Deficiency” type asthma: your breath is short and becomes difficult if from any little physical body strain, hard to find pulse, complexion is pale and weak, no coating on your tongue. Foods recommended: almonds, walnuts, bee pollen, buckwheat, barley, oats, ginseng (Korean and Chinese).
- “Mucus”/”Excess” type asthma: lots of mucus, hard to breath if you lay down, tongue covered in thick coating. Foods preferred: lime, lemon, sprouts, raw honey, horseradish, slippery elm tea. This is the most common type of asthma.
There is a herbal tea formula recommended for all types of asthma:
- Flaxseed (Linum usitatissimum) 1 part
- Licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra) 1 part
- Fennel seed (Foeniculum officinalis) 0.25 part
- Mullein flower/leaf (Verbascum thaspus) 1 part
- Fenugreek seed (Trigonella foenumgraecum) 0.25 part
- Lobelia leaf/seed (Lobelia inflata) 1 part
Preparation: pour boiling water over the formula and let it sit for 30 minutes. Strain the liquid from leaves and drink throughout the day.
Now I want to talk about Chinese herbal formulas. Believe it or now, Chinese sponsored quiet a few clinical trials involving hundreds of patients with great results.
In one clinical trial, 260 people with asthma were given a Chinese herbal formula that completely cured 148 people, improved lung conditions in 107 people and and had no effect in 5. Here is the formula:
- Ma Huang (Herba Ephedrae) 10 g
- Pi Pa Ye (Folium Eriobotryae) 10 g
- Zi Wan (Radix Asteris) 15 g
- Kuan Dong Hua (Flos Farfarae) 15 g
- Bai Qian (Rhizoma Cynanchi Stauntonii) 15 g
- Sang Bai Pi (Cortex Mori) 15 g
- Ting Li Zi (Semen Descurainiae seu Lepidii) 10 g
- Bai Jie Zi (Semen Sinapis) 10 g
- Su Zi (Fructus Perillae) 10 g
- Lai Fu Zi (Semen Raphani) 10 g
- Wu Wei Zi (Fructus Schisandrae Chinensis) 10 g
- Tu Si Zi (Semen Cuscutae) 10 g
- Bei Mu (Bulbus Fritillaria) 10 g
- Ban Xia (Rhizoma Pinelliae) 10 g
- Chen Pi (Pericarpium Citri Reticulatae) 10 g
- Xing Ren (Semen Armeniacae Amarum) 15 g
- Jie Geng (Radix Platycodonis) 15 g
Additionally based on the type of asthma the patient had, they added these herbs to the formula:
- Gang Jiang (Rhizoma Zingiberis) 10 g for Cold type
- Huang Qin (Radix Scutellariae) 10 g for Heat type
- Huang Lian (Rhizoma Coptidis) 10 g for Heat type
- Dang Shen (Radix Codonopsis) 10 g for Deficiency type
- Huang Qi (Radix Astragali) 10 g for Deficiency type
- Da Huang (Radix at Rhizoma Rhei) 10 g for Excess type
- Mang Xiao (Natrii Sulfas) 10 g for Excess type
The formula was administered as a decoction: 3 times a day for adults, 6 times a day for kids.
Another Chinese herbal formula called “Little Green Dragon Decoction” originally came from the 3rd Century medical paper “Essential Prescriptions of the Golden Chest” by Dr. Chang Chung-Ching. Since then, some of the ingredients in the formula were changed based on observations related to the effectiveness of the herbs. This particular formula is effective for any breathing difficulties related to asthma or sensitivity to pollen, dust, pollution, etc.
- Joint fir 10 g
- Pinellia ternata 10 g
- Horny goat weed 10 g
- Licorice 6 g
- Psoralea corylifolia 10 g
- Balloon flower 10 g
- White peony 10 g
- Asarum sieboldi 6 g
- Almond 10 g
- Earthworm (Perichaeta communissma) 10 g
- Schisandra 6 g
- Cinnamon 10 g
You can remove Earthworm if you are a vegetarian with no effect on the formula.
To use: as a decoction, 2 doses 1 hour before food intake. The length of taking this formula could be from a few weeks to up to a couple of months, depending on the health conditions of the patient.
Before I finish this post, I would like to recommend anyone following advise here to be careful and smart about how you do it. My personal recommendation is a mix of therapies, starting with breathing excersises like the Frolov device or Buteyko breathing method, and following with a healthy dietary plan. But then again, I’m not a doctor, so maybe you should ask one before you go off your medications. Still, my view of the doctors is they won’t approve anything that is free or takes away money from thier business, so take this into consideration. Asthma medicine prescriptions is a lavish business that keeps on giving. Wonder why there is no cure?
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