(NaturalHealth365) The number of people suffering from asthma in the United States has been rising at an alarming rate over the past 30 years.
About 2.5 million new cases of asthma were diagnosed in the past five years alone and today, about 25 million kids and adults – across the country – suffer from asthma. Not only that, the financial costs related to asthma are staggering at about $3,300 (per person) per year and it’s been identified as the number one culprit behind many chronic health issues in children.
What are the physical symptoms related to asthma?
While not all symptoms are alike, asthma has sometimes been described as attempting to breathe through a narrowed straw. Symptoms include difficulty breathing, wheezing or noisy breathing, hyperventilating and coughing.
In many asthma sufferers, symptoms such as hyperventilating can worsen during exercise. These patients are said to be suffering from exercise induced asthma. All asthma patients suffer from constriction of the bronchial tubes, whether coping with exercise induced asthma or asthma that occurs even without the presence of exercise.
Asthma attacks can range from troublesome to fatal. Conventionally speaking, the cause of this bronchial tube constriction can seem impossible to pinpoint, though many holistically-trained physicians believe the increased number of respiratory issues, in recent years, point to gluten sensitivity and the consumption of overly-processed foods as potential factors.
But, while the reason behind the constriction of bronchial tubes may be open for debate, known triggers for asthmatic attacks include not only exercise, but also respiratory infections and emotional distress.
How do I relieve asthma symptoms – naturally?
While there are a wide range of medications available for alleviating symptoms of asthma, these inhalers and oral medications also introduce a host of negative side effects. For that reason, asthma patients have sought out home remedies for asthma – which are safer and more effective.
Here are three natural remedies that can relieve breathing difficulties and other symptoms of asthma without the dangerous side effects of conventional medications:
1. Nutritional therapies that work.
Of course, as stated early, you can try to eliminate gluten from the diet – which includes all wheat, barley and/or rye products. In addition, according to the staff of the Mayo Clinic, asthma symptoms can be improved with consumption of pycnogenol and magnesium. And, finally, while noting that additional studies would be useful, the clinic states that blends of different types of herbs commonly used in eastern medicine can be useful as a non-toxic alternative to prescription drugs to eliminate asthma symptoms.
Specifically, in a study of 80 asthma sufferers over the course of four months, butterbur root extract was found to reduce the severity, duration and even frequency of asthma attacks. Over 40 percent of the study’s subjects were able to decrease their use of conventional asthma medication.
In addition, at the first sign of an asthma attack, it has been found that a tincture of three parts lobelia to one part cayenne pepper mixed in water can stop an attack before it becomes full-blown.
2. Be sure to consume high quality, omega-3 fatty acids.
Also on the Mayo Clinic’s list of home remedies for asthma are consumption of omega-3 fatty acids. These healthy oils can be found in flaxseeds, fish, nuts (especially walnuts) and seeds like chia. According to Harvard School of Public Health, omega-3s, “are an integral part of cell membranes throughout the body and affect the function of the cell receptors in these membranes. They provide the starting point for making hormones that regulate blood clotting, contraction and relaxation of artery walls, and inflammation.”
In other words, if you’re deficient in omega-3s, your risk of disease goes way up without this essential oil.
3. Learn about breathing and relaxation techniques. Do NOT disregard this basic, powerful health tip.
Because emotional stress can increase asthma symptoms, it is no surprise that following breathing exercises and relaxation techniques can help to decrease bothersome and dangerous symptoms. In addition to reducing stress and promoting relaxation, yoga classes can help to make the patient more fit and healthy, improving an ability to control symptoms.
Common relaxation techniques including biofeedback, progressive muscle relaxation, meditation and even hypnosis – which can be helpful in relieving muscular tension and central nervous system stress associated with asthmatic attacks.
Interesting to note: The link between breathing exercises and relief of asthmatic symptoms was first widely promoted in 1952 by Konstantin Pavlovich Buteyko, MD. Today, Dr. Buteyko’s recommended breathing treatment, which consist of a system of shallow-breathing exercises, is known as the Buteyko Breathing Method and is based on the doctor’s theory that over-breathing is a significant contributor to asthma’s breathing difficulties.
Dr. Buteyko believes shallow breathing increases the levels of carbon dioxide in the blood, helping to dilate smooth muscle in the airways.
In summary, eat organic, plant-based foods (as much as possible); avoid toxic substances like processed-sugars and denatured dairy products; stay away from ‘bad fats’ like, vegetable shortening and partially hydrogenated oils (trans fats); eat plenty of omega-3 fatty acids and keep your ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 – 1:1; drink plenty of clean, purified water; stay away from genetically manipulated foods (GMOs); eat lots of anti-inflammatory foods like, ginger and turmeric and keep chronic stress at bay.
Follow these simple steps, enjoy your life and you CAN beat asthma naturally.