Here at Zock, we like to keep to our theme of balanced wellness and alternative medicine. And in doing so, we wanted to take this last week of the month to discuss natural asthma remedies. We know that depending on an inhaler and other medications for asthma can be tiring. Not to mention the pain of keeping them all in order! And we also know that prescription drugs are the largest medical expense related to asthma. With the current trend of holistic healing, you may be considering trying more natural asthma remedies.
Do Natural Asthma Remedies Even Work?
“Many people do use alternative medicines, especially for allergic disease,” notes Anju Peters, MD, associate professor in the division of allergy at Northwestern University’s Feinburg School of Medicine. Dr. Peters is an allergy and asthma specialist in the division of allergy/immunology at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. And in fact, as many as 40 percent of people with an allergic disease will try a natural asthma remedy! “Most people use it in conjunction with traditional [treatment],” she explains.
Before we start, I want to disclaim that if you are having thoughts about your asthma treatment, you should discuss it with your doctor/medical professional. These remedies are not substitutes for your asthma medication/inhalers. Rather they should be used in conjunction with them to help relieve your symptoms. Now let’s jump in and read about a few!
Steam baths are often used to help alleviate nasal congestion and other head/sinus symptoms. They also help with airway irritation often associated with asthma. Steam baths provide moisture to your airways and help offset nasal “stuffiness.” Though this method should be used with caution. For some asthmatics, the extremely hot water may actually make symptoms worse. So please use caution and start with less extreme temperatures!
What can’t garlic do? It is used as a natural remedy in managing a number of diseases. This is due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Asthma is an inflammatory disease and many often assume that garlic would be the perfect ingredient to help cope with asthma symptoms. And while it won’t necessarily prevent an asthma attack, it can help reduce symptoms.
Garlic is extremely high in vitamin C, a vitamin known to help reduce histamine release in the body. Garlic can also increase prostacyclin production. Prostacyclins are lipids that help keep the lungs open so air can pass through. This boost helps to promote easier breathing in asthmatic individuals.
Ginger is another ingredient known to help decrease inflammation. Recent studies have shown that oral ginger supplements are linked to the improvement of asthma symptoms. When incorporated with medication, ginger enhances the medication’s bronchodilating (opening up of airway passages) effect.
Licorice Root and Cinnamon
You guessed it, licorice root is yet another food known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It has other medicinal properties including anti-histamine, anti-spasmodic, and anti-bacterial. Many consumers note the warming sensation licorice root brings to a congested chest. That warmth helps to loosen thick mucus from the airways.
We mention cinnamon in this portion because many consume licorice root in tea form. And adding a bit of cinnamon-based sweetness is always a treat. Not to mention cinnamon is known to provide the body with antioxidants. These antioxidants are necessary to kill harmful bacteria, fungal, and viral infections naturally.
We do want to give a warning that licorice root is linked to high blood pressure and a rapid heartbeat in some people. So again, make sure to discuss your concerns with your doctor before implementing this remedy.
Honey is an ingredient in many cough and cold remedies. It is most often used to help soothe an irritated throat and calm a cough. Even those with asthma mix honey with a hot drink for relief. Using honey seems to be the most helpful when used as a nighttime cough suppressant – especially for those with nocturnal asthma. Nocturnal asthma is known for causing coughing, wheezing, and chest tightness which all, in turn, disturb a person’s sleep.
Researchers at UCLA suggest taking 2 teaspoons of honey at bedtime. It’s believed that the sweetness of honey triggers your salivary glands to produce more saliva. This may lubricate your airways, easing your cough. Honey may also reduce inflammation in the bronchial tubes (airways within the lungs) and help break up the mucus that is making it hard for you to breathe.
One More Disclaimer
The research on natural asthma remedies is on-going. These natural asthma remedies have helped some asthma sufferers, however, there is not enough data to be conclusive. If you are going to try a natural remedy to treat your asthma, never use one in place of your conventional asthma medication. And before using any alternative treatment, make sure to talk to your doctor first.
The Chiropractic Connection to Asthma
Several studies have explored the connection between chiropractic adjustments and improvement in asthma symptoms. Adults and children alike have reported lowered severity of asthmatic symptoms after an adjustment.
Contact us today to schedule an introductory chiropractic session. I would love to talk to you about other remedies we offer like essential oils and products from Nutritional Frontiers. We can discuss your asthma symptoms and needs as part of my initial chiropractic workup for you as a new patient to our practice!
* This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please contact a medical professional for advice.