Natural remedies for asthma are among alternative therapies for easing asthma symptoms and severity. Some popular natural remedies for asthma are discussed below.
This breathing technique consists of shallow-breathing exercises to help asthmatics breathe easier. This technique is based on the principle that shallow breathing raises the level of carbon dioxide in the blood, which in turn helps asthmatics by widening the airways muscles. Buteyko breathing technique mimics pranayama, but has better results in decreasing the symptoms of asthma than pranayama. Exercising this technique relieves tension in the chest, abdomen, throat, diaphragm and shoulders thus, improving the breathing system. Through the continuous practice of Buteyko, asthmatics can control 90% of asthma symptoms and attacks. Additionally, they are required to take minimum prescribed medications.
Highly consumed fatty acids are omega-3 and omega-6. For asthmatics, omega -3 fatty acids are beneficial whereas omega-6 can worsen asthma. Omega-3 fatty acid calms the airways, thereby reducing the incidences of asthma symptoms and inflammation of the air passages. Sources of Omega-3 fatty acids are fish such as salmon, tuna and halibut, oils such as canola or olive oil, green leafy vegetables and walnuts. Omega-3 fatty acids are known as polyunsaturated fatty acids. The American Heart Association recommends asthmatics to eat fish (particularly fatty fish such as mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna and salmon) at least 2 times a week.
Greater intake of tomatoes, carrots and leafy vegetables helps in lowering the occurrence of asthma attack. The saying ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’ is suitable for asthmatics as high consumption of apples may protect against asthma. A study done by University of Cambridge found that asthma symptoms in adults are associated with a low dietary intake of fruits, vitamin C and manganese. Daily intake of fruits since childhood cuts down the risk of asthma in later life.
Found in Europe, Asia and North America, butterbur is a perennial shrub. It contains petasin and isopetasin that are believed to relieve smooth muscle spasm and have an anti-inflammatory effect. A study examined that use of butterbur decreases the number, duration and severity of asthma attacks. Butterbur comes from the family of ragweed plant and therefore, people who are allergic to ragweed, marigold, daisy or chrysanthemum should not consume butterbur. Some reported side effects of butterbur are indigestion, headache, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea or constipation. Butterbur is not advisable for pregnant or breastfeeding women, children or people with kidney or liver disease.
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