Asthma is a condition that affects the respiratory system and causes the narrowing of the passages, thus making breathing difficult for affected patients. In addition to the narrow airways, there is also excessive production of mucus that triggers incessant coughing that is sometimes accompanied by a wheezing sound. Many patients will also experience shortness of breath. The severity of this condition differs from one individual to another. For some, it is a minor condition that they can get along with in their day-to-day activities, yet for others it is a serious condition that warrants medical attention and even hospitalization in some cases. These variations are referred to as acute and chronic asthma respectively.
While there is medication available for patients who suffer from asthma, it is important to note that there is no cure for asthma. Instead, the medication available serves to manage the symptoms of the condition. For this reason, the discovery of natural remedies has created options for those who would otherwise prefer to take the medication alongside home treatment to ease the condition. Listed below are some of the most effective natural remedies you can use to manage asthma as well as contain its symptoms. More importantly, patients are advised to get in touch with their doctors to assess the choice of natural remedies.
1. Mustard Oil:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Mustard oil, camphor and a hot water bath.
Mustard oil is an amazing remedy used for the home treatment of asthma. This is because it has decongestant properties that help clear the airways and enhance normal breathing. Massaging one’s chest with mustard oil has great benefits for asthmatic patients during an attack. Camphor is added to improve the potency of the home remedy. Note that this remedy is not intended for internal use and is only used externally.
- Put some mustard oil in a bowl and mix with camphor. Stir so that the two blend evenly.
- Place the bowl containing the mixture in a hot water bath to heat the mixture and make it more effective.
- Once sufficiently heated and comfortable to the skin, scoop some of the mixture onto your hands and massage your chest in deep regular motions until the wheezing subsides.
- You may also apply the mustard oil- camphor mixture on your upper back.
- Repeat this procedure severally until the symptoms are alleviated.
2. Eucalyptus Oil:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: Three drops of eucalyptus oil, dropper and a paper towel. Alternatively, get the oil, a dropper, a clean towel and boiling water for steam therapy.
Eucalyptus oil is an excellent natural remedy for the management of asthma symptoms as it is a strong decongestant. These properties can be attributed to the presence of a chemical compound known as eucalyptol whose inherent properties help it disintegrate the thickened mucus and clear the airways. There are two ways in which you can use the oil: the first is by using a paper towel to inhale the oil’s aroma, while the second involves adding the oil to steam therapy with the same results.
- Suck three drops of eucalyptus oil using a dropper and place on a paper towel.
- Place the paper towel close to your head so that you inhale the oil’s aroma to help maintain clear airways and make breathing a little easier.
- Repeat this as often as you need to.
- Place three drops of eucalyptus oil in boiling water using a dropper.
- Turn off the heat and transfer the water to a bowl.
- Lean over the bowl and cover your head with a clean towel so as to trap the aromatic steam for ease of inhalation.
- Maintain this position, taking care not to scald yourself.
- Take deep breaths as much as you can as this eases the whole experience.
- Keep inhaling the steam until the water cools.
- Repeat this procedure as often as you need to or until the symptoms subside.
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Freshly ginger (may be replaced with ginger powder), two cups of water, a tablespoon of honey (optional).
Ginger is an excellent option, and perhaps one of the best known ways to manage asthma. This natural herb works by reducing the tightening and inflammation of the airways. Additionally, research has shown that ginger contains natural compounds that relax the muscles located in the airways, thus reducing pain in the chest during asthma attacks. Honey is used as a natural sweetener, and helps sooth the throat which sometimes becomes painful due to persistent coughing.
- Peel the fresh ginger root and wash well using clean water.
- Cut the ginger into small pieces and mince to create a pulp-like compound.
- Place the minced ginger into a pan and add two cups of water.
- Bring the mixture to boil and allow steeping for some five minutes.
- Use a strainer to drain the water and discard the steeped ginger.
- Add honey to the ginger drink and stir before allowing to cool.
- Take this drink as often as you can throughout the day.
Time Required: 15 Min
What You Need: Raw honey, a cup of hot drinking water and cinnamon powder (optional).
Honey is an age-old remedy used for the natural treatment of asthma and the control of its accompanying symptoms. Honey works well because it contains ethereal oils which help reduce the formation of mucus while relaxing the airways. In addition, the presence of alcohol in the honey enhances these benefits. Add to this the pleasant smell of raw honey and there is every reason to incorporate this into your arsenal of healthy natural remedies. Cinnamon is added for its benefits in reducing mucus production while creating a warm sensation across the body.
- Place a teaspoon of the raw honey in the cup containing hot water and stir.
- Sprinkle some cinnamon into the mixture and stir once more.
- Drink this mixture slowly at least thrice a day or until the symptoms subside.
5. Red Onions:
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: Raw onions.
Raw onions are an effective way to treat asthma while managing the symptoms thereof. Onions contain potent anti-inflammatory properties which come in handy in dealing with the constricted airways. As described above, it is this constriction of the airways that makes breathing such a laborious task. By managing this constriction, onions help reduce the severity of the condition. Additionally, onions contain sulfur that helps reduce pain in the chest.
- Simply peel the onions to get the fleshy part of the same.
- Wash the onion and chop into sizable pieces.
- Chew on these pieces in the course of the day to help manage the symptoms of asthma.
NOTE: If you find it difficult to use onions as a result of the pungent smell, you can always incorporate the use of fresh mint leaves. These leaves easily mask the smell of onions and make this remedy bearable with a fresh zing!
Time Required: Preparation – overnight, application – 5 Min
What You Need: Four dried figs and a cup of water.
Figs have long been used to improve respiratory health, and this is what makes them ideal for the home treatment of asthma. Figs work by draining excessive mucus from the airways while improving breathing. Figs are also simple to prepare and use because all that is required is to soak the figs overnight as described in the steps below.
- Clean the dried figs well before placing them in a cup of water for overnight soaking.
- Take the soaked figs the next morning and eat them before drinking the water used to soak the figs.
- Note that is is recommended to take this remedy on an empty stomach for the most effective results.
- Repeat this procedure daily to make asthmatic attacks less severe.
7. Fresh Parsley Leaves:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: Fresh parsley leaves, a cup of drinking water, a strainer and a tablespoon of honey.
Fresh parsley leaves are a great choice when it comes to the home treatment of asthma. The leaves contain compounds that soothe the throat after bouts of persistent coughing. Additionally, the leaves also prevent chest congestion and ease breathing for affected patients. To get the most these leaves, the remedy calls for preparation of parsley tea.
- Sort the fresh parsley leaves and clean well before chopping into small pieces.
- Place the leaves in a cup of water and boil the mixture for 5 minutes.
- Allow the parsley leaves to steep for another 5 minutes.
- Using a strainer, separate the tea from the used leaves.
- Drink the tea twice daily for considerable period of time until the symptoms are put under control.
Other remedies that you can use to manage the symptoms of asthma include coffee whose constituent compound theophylline helps enlarge the airways and improve normal breathing, garlic which helps clear congestion of the chest as well as gingko extract, an effective herb that reduces spasms in the airways. Additionally, it helps to maintain calmness during an asthma attack as panic only aggravates the condition and makes it difficult to deal with.