- Trending Categories
- Data Structure
- Operating System
- MS Excel
- C Programming
- Social Studies
- Fashion Studies
- Legal Studies
- Selected Reading
- UPSC IAS Exams Notes
- Developer's Best Practices
- Questions and Answers
- Effective Resume Writing
- HR Interview Questions
- Computer Glossary
- Who is Who
Natural Remedies and Treatments Work for Asthma
Asthma is an inflammatory condition where the patient experiences inflammation flares in their airways. This results in narrowing and swelling of the airways, leading to more mucus production, making it difficult for the patient to breathe. The symptoms include breathing difficulty, chest pain, coughing, and wheezing.
Asthma can be mild, moderate, and severe and can deteriorate the quality of life. In some cases, people may experience fatal attacks. It is often managed with rescue inhalers containing Salbutamol to treat symptoms and controller inhalers containing steroids to prevent symptoms. If the case is severe, the patients may require longer-acting inhalers containing formoterol, tiotropium, salmeterol, and inhalant steroids.
Since asthma is a life-long condition, using steroids for the long term can cause side effects. Therefore, many people are turning towards natural remedies and therapies to prevent and cure asthma. However, how trusted are these alternative therapies and remedies? Are they evidence-backed or just rip-offs?
Here are some natural remedies and treatments commonly used for asthma
Exercise: The best evidence-based natural therapy for asthma
Exercise is the best complementary and natural treatment for asthma, backed by science. Research shows that exercising regularly with proper safety can improve your asthma symptoms. However, rigorous exercise may also trigger your symptoms, such as bronchoconstriction.
Experts believe exercise training can enhance cardiovascular fitness and improve asthma patients' quality of life. For instance, according to a trial published in August 2019 in Scientific Reports, patients with mild to moderate asthma noticed improved control over their breathing and reduced shortness of breath. The patients in the trial were on a 24-week aerobic exercise plan and were directed to do at least 30 minutes of exercise, strength training, and stretching for at least 30 minutes.
Another trial published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunologists states that exercise training is more helpful in controlling asthma than breathing exercises.
As stated earlier, exercise can also induce asthma, but that doesn't mean you would skip physical fitness altogether. You should consult your doctor before starting exercise training and ask them to recommend some medications to trigger any asthma attacks.
If you experience any shortness of breath, cough, or feel pain or tightening in your chest, you should stop exercising. While the symptoms will disappear soon after you stop the exercise, you must contact your doctor immediately if you notice worsening symptoms. You should exercise indoors with an air purifier ON. You may go outside for a run, but make sure the air quality is clean.
Natural therapies for asthma with limited evidence
Some complementary therapies for asthma show quite a promise in research. However, more research is required to have conclusive evidence.
Nasal Breathing Techniques
According to a meta-analysis, researchers find some evidence suggesting breathing exercises are an excellent way to manage asthma. Some breathing techniques include the Papworth method, yoga breathing, deep diaphragmatic breathing, and the Buteyko technique.
Evidence suggests that breathing exercises can help bring down the symptoms related to hyperventilation and can improve lung function. Studies also suggest that doing breathing exercises can help children with mild to moderate asthma but may not be helpful in severe asthma.
Yoga is exercise training involving the mind and body, often including deep breathing techniques. Since some form of yoga comprises several variations of breathing exercises, it is considered an excellent benefit for managing asthma. Research suggests that practicing yoga 30 minutes per day for five days per week for six months can help improve the quality of life in people with mild to moderate asthma.
Although the studies are limited and inconclusive in the western field of medication, yoga has been around for centuries and is used as a holistic treatment. Practicing it daily offers a wide range of health benefits.
Turmeric is a common spice generally found in Indian and middle-eastern cuisines. In Indian cuisines, it is used for coloring and health purposes. This is because turmeric is considered one of the most potent anti-inflammatories and antioxidants in Ayurveda, as it has curcumin as the active ingredient. You can take turmeric powder in its original form or take curcumin pills.
Coming to scientific studies, it has only been minimal studies so far. Some studies show benefits, while others do so much. According to a study, adults with asthma taking 500mg of curcumin per day for a month witnessed improvements in their asthma symptoms. However, the dosage of turmeric powder and curcumin is not the same. To get 500mg of curcumin, you need to consume at least 2-3 teaspoons.
Several herbal supplements claim to be a natural remedy for asthma, but according to experts, none offer any potential benefits to people with asthma.
Vitamin C is a popular herbal option for asthma, but since there is no solid evidence supporting the claim, patients shouldn't use them as a replacement for prescription drugs. You can use it as a supplement for other health benefits, such as enhancing the immune system and reducing inflammation in the airways. It may help prevent flu and cough associated with asthma.
On the other hand, warm steam baths can help relieve nasal congestion and airway irritation in asthma. However, it also has yet to offer a study to offer. Also, steam is extremely hot and irritates your airways and skin. It might exacerbate the symptoms in some asthmatic patients.
Ginger and Garlic
Ginger and garlic have plenty of health benefits due to their anti-inflammatory properties. Since asthma is an inflammatory disease, taking them can help relieve asthma symptoms. A 2013 study showed that people with mild to moderate asthma experience some relief from asthma flare-ups. However, their effect on overall lung function is yet to be studied.
Omega-3 oil is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and may help alleviate airway inflammation and improve lung function in patients with severe asthma. However, people taking high doses of oral steroids may not experience the benefits as steroids can block the oil's healing properties. You should check with your doctor before using them.
Some of these natural therapies and remedies may help reduce symptoms of asthma and help in improving overall lung functions. However, these remedies must be adequately studied and proven with sufficient data. Therefore, it's better to adhere to your prescription medications. If you are trying out a new supplement, you should only take it after getting the green light from your doctor. Meanwhile, you can do complementary therapies like exercising, breathing techniques, and yoga along with your medications for better results.
Kickstart Your Career
Get certified by completing the courseGet Started