The Basics of Asthma and Treatment
Asthma is a chronic (incurable) condition of the lungs and airways, causing inflammation and difficulty breathing. The tightening of the muscles around the airways, and increased levels of mucus, also contribute to hindered breathing. When inflammation flares up, an "asthma attack" occurs. Shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, coughing, gasping, and wheezing are very common. The effects of an asthma attack can range from mildly uncomfortable to lethal. Hence, that is why managing and treating asthma is of utmost importance.
Individuals with asthma usually "manage it with a combination of daily and rescue medications". There are various prescribed medications for the underlying biological causes of asthma, and various types of inhalers are common to relieve asthma symptoms.
Living a lifestyle of self-care is also very important for asthmatic individuals. Basic healthy habits such as getting enough sleep, taking measures to avoid gaining excess weight, and exercise can make a big difference in preventing asthma symptoms. Identifying and avoiding triggers such as dust, pollen, and certain foods is also important.
Practices such as yoga, breath meditation, and breath exercises can be of great help, too. Following is a look at some natural remedies and supplements that are also helpful in managing asthma. It is important that you consult your doctor before trying any of these supplements to treat asthma.
Natural Remedies to Consider
Turmeric is a spice (and common supplement) which has the potential to further lessen asthma symptoms when it is used in combination with asthma medications. This is likely because turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties. One study from 2014 showed that asthmatic individuals taking medication had a greater increase in airflow and decrease in airway obstruction, compared to those who took only their regular medications.
Vitamin D is a basic and essential vitamin that serves a myriad of purposes in your body. Science has shown that asthmatic children and adults who get enough Vitamin D on a daily basis are less likely to experience severe asthma attacks. Per these same studies, those individuals also had lesser need for oral steroids to treat their asthma.
Magnesium is an essential mineral that is also necessary for many bodily processes. It's been shown that individuals with low levels of magnesium have an increased chance of developing asthma. Magnesium helps promote relaxation of the smooth muscle in the bronchial airway. This is helpful because muscle tightness is common in asthmatic individuals.
Essential oils can be of use in treating and preventing asthma symptoms. Different essential oils are thought to have different. For example, tea tree oil reduces inflammation, and might help reduce the allergic response in asthmatic individuals whose symptoms are triggered by allergies. Lavender and eucalyptus oils are both thought to help ease inflammation. Peppermint oil helps inhibit allergens, and might actually help asthmatics breathe easier. Essential oils can be lightly wafted near the nose and inhaled, or added to water and gently inhaled.
Honey has the potential to be useful in soothing your throat and improving the productivity of coughing that occurs. One study of children who inhaled honey in mist through a nebulizer showed benefits. However, it seems that more research is necessary before this can be called a credible remedy for asthma symptoms. If coughing is a common symptom in a certain individual with asthma, then consuming a spoonful of honey may be helpful.