In This Article:
Asthma definition, symptoms, causes and diagnosis
Asthma is a disorder of the respiratory system that causes difficulty in breathing, cough, and sense of chest tightness. The same word from which it comes, ásthma, is of Greek origin and means “painful, tiring breathing”. During an asthma attack, a spasm, or a contracture, of the bronchial walls occurs, resulting in a free flow of air from the pulmonary alveoli.
The affected individual senses a feeling of choking accompanied by coughing and, sometimes, expectoration. Predisposition to this disorder is due to inheritance, infection or passive smoking exposure.
Most children develop asthma symptoms in the first 6 years of age and one fifth of them continue to have asthma in adulthood. There are cases of bronchial asthma that cannot be attributed to allergic causes, but generally, asthma has allergic genesis. The factors most frequently responsible for asthmatic phenomena in predetermined subjects are: foods (milk, eggs, dried fruits, flours, peas, tomatoes, cod, crustaceans, strawberries); chemical substances; epidermal animal derivatives; plant pollen; drugs; industrial and domestic dust, especially those in which the parasite Dermatophagoides pterinyssimus is present, mildren proliferating in temperate climates and dwelling in mattresses. In adulthood, it is important to note that symptoms may also be overshadowed due to their subjectivity and that thoracic objectivity may be negative, especially during early stages of illness.
Bronchial asthma may be of an allergic or infectious nature. In the first case, asthma is triggered by external agents, as can be irritating, polluting and allergenic substances (dust, animal hair, certain foods or pollen). In the second case, however, asthma may be generated by several viruses that can infect the respiratory tract. There are also circumstances in which some medicines, such as aspirin and other non-steroidal drugs, may cause the onset of asthma; alternatively, cold and physical strains can trigger acute asthma attacks.
General home care for asthma
Asthma is a disorder of predominantly allergic nature. It is important to follow a clean and natural diet that excludes the presence of packaged products, food additives, pesticides and heavy metals. Foods containing allergenic substances, such as milk and dairy products, eggs, nuts, molluscs, salami, alcohol, chocolate and certain types of fruit, such as strawberries and kiwis, are to be avoided.
It is important that the liver is not overloaded because allergic allergic disorders are critical to eliminating toxins from the body. For this reason, excess animal proteins and foods from the solanaceae family (tomatoes, potatoes, aubergines, peppers and chilli peppers) should also be reduced.
It is important to regularly consume organic food rich in whole grains, legumes, blue fish, oilseeds, extra virgin olive oil, vegetables and fruit.
The EIA is exercise-induced asthma; it is a delicate theme because it may happen that hyperprotective parents may even, unintentionally, trigger a counter-productive mechanism by orienting their children towards sedentary lifestyle and consequent reduction in physical efficiency. In the Anglo-Saxon scientific literature, the acronym is EIB (Exercise-Induced Bronchospasm) or bronchospasm (or bronchodilation) by exercise. It is a form of bronchial hyperactivity which, in fact, is the substrate of the actual disease.
There is a classification of classical motor sports in ascending order: swimming, water polo, boating, cross-country skiing, volleyball, martial arts, free dance, march, baseball, soccer, basketball, tennis, athletics (fast racing, jumps ), Soccer, cycling, free run (mid-back, bottom). The lung parameter should be considered based on forced vital capacity or its relation to total vital capacity (CVF1 / CV). In short, if CVF1 forced vital capacity reduction exceeds 10-15%, we are facing strain asthma cases. An important precaution in this regard is to avoid practicing intense physical activity in cold and dry environments.
Some yogic practices involve the use of ice on the back in the case of allergic asthma and, in general, the constant practice of yoga positions, pranayama and meditation help to reduce the severity of the respiratory attacks. In fact, in many asanas, stretching movements are being performed that in the long run help to better react to the effects of asthma attacks. From the yoga perspective, asthma is considered a psychosomatic alteration that affects the heart’s chakra.
The tai chi chuan is also great for relieving breathing difficulties. One of the latest in-depth study cases dates back to 2008 and was presented at Philadelphia at the annual College of Chest Physicians annual meeting, CHEST. If asthma is allergic, in the pollen season it is good to reduce outdoor activity. If allergens are found inside home walls, use home cleaning as an opportunity to move (preferably with good music): dust using a damp cloth and, if necessary, protect yourself with a mask.
Phytotherapeutic remedies for asthma
Curry plant (Helichrysum italicum)
Curry plant (Helichrysum italicum) flower buds are used in the treatment of allergies that affect the airways and skin tissues. The plant has antihistamines, anti-inflammatory, expectorant and antibacterial properties and is therefore indicated in the respiratory tract infections of both the allergic and infectious type. In tea or mother tincture, it favors the elimination of bronchial catarrh, attenuates excessive spasm of asthma and allergic inflammation of the nasal mucosa.
Among the remedies used by phytotherapy for this disorder are the gemmoderms of.
Black currant (Ribes nigrum)
Black currant (Ribes nigrum) is an elective remedy for all acute and inflammatory allergic syndromes at the level of the internal mucous membranes, as it acts as a cortisone-like stimulating the adrenal cortex in the production of cortisol; for this reason, it is used in the case of chronic bronchitis and allergic asthma. Black currant may have some side effects such as allergies and hypertension. Always consult a physician before taking it.
The use of Ribes nigrum for allergies is motivated by its stimulating action on the adrenal cortex, for the production of our natural cortisone with anti-inflammatory properties (cortison-like). As we have seen, this natural remedy is effective against all types of allergies, including asthmatic and cutaneous. Its intake generates a very important reaction as it increases the production of adrenal steroids. These hormones are normally secreted by our glands to counteract any kind of stress or injury, stimulate protein conversion into energy, eliminate inflammation and temporarily inhibit the action of the immune system during allergic reaction.
The extract of black currant buds is therefore used for its powerful anti-inflammatory and antihistaminic properties that acts both on the skin’s and respiratory pathways, and is therefore indicated in case of allergic and chronic rhinitis, asthma, bronchitis, laryngitis, pharyngitis, dermatitis and conjunctivitis. It also has an immunostimulant action, combats fatigue and increases resistance to cold in order to prevent flu illness.
Lantana (Lantana Viburnum)
Lantana (Lantana Viburnum) is indicated for allergic, episodic, intermittent, periodic or continuous bronchial asthma, associated with allergy ground infection, chronic bronchitis with asthma, dyspnea (respiratory distress), sense of chest tightness and pertussis.
Black onyx (Alnus glutinosa)
Black onyx (Alnus glutinosa) is used for allergic asthma forms, since it is an adrenal cortex stimulator such as nigrum currant. Its use is also useful in inflammatory conditions that tend to chronic both in the acute stages of mucous membranes, pleurisy and pneumonia.
Propolis against asthma
Propolis is made up of a resinous substance that bees gather from the buds and bark of some trees, such as poplars, fir trees, elms, and birch trees, which then mix with saliva, wax and pollen. The name originates from the Greek ‘pro’ (front) and polis (city), or “in front of the city”. This makes perfect sense if you think that bees, in fact, use their product to defend the hive, their city, from diseases and predators that can put it in danger. Pliny the Elder speaks about propolis and its many curative beneifts in his Naturalis history.
Propolis is mostly composed of resins, balms and waxes, which vary depending on the different sources of harvesting. These ingredients are always complemented with aromatic acids, pollen, essential oils and vegetable and mineral organic substances, present in a percentage of about 15%. Rich in flavonoids and polyphenols, propolis also has a high mineral content, including iron, calcium, copper and manganese, and B vitamins.
Propolis performs many beneficial activities throughout the body. The composition of caffeic acid and flavonoids makes propolis a powerful anti-inflammatory, effective in people suffering from asthma. The list of propolis properties is really long: it has antiviral, healing, antimycotic, immunostimulant, vasoprotective It is used to treat burns, irritations and pimples (dry them and prevent scarring). Propolis in glycolic or alcoholic solution is useful for abscesses, abscesses, oral cavity vesicles. It is used on sore teeth it has a decongestant effect and therefore also effective on gingivitis (but in that case it will have to be in glycolic solution). Propolis also gives immediate relief to the inflamed throat (use glycolic extract spatulas). It is also an excellent natural preventative product against colds and influences. Propolis can also be used for the care of our animal friends, and in particular to treat dog and cat laryngitis during the winter.
And of course, propolis is great for the purposes studied in this article, which is as a natural remedy for asthma you can make at home, since it is a great ally in fighting the diseases of respiratory, skin, immune system. You can find propolis commercially available in different sizes and with various formulations. This can only be purchased only from beekeepers.
In herbal shops and pharmacies, instead, propolis tinctures, oils, tablets and ointments can be found. Within these products the percentage of propolis may vary, so it is always best to prefer those that have proplis content in a percentage greater than 50%, are free from dyes and with a low alcohol content.
Borage (Borago officinalis)
Borage (Borago officinalis), or starflower as it is more commonly alluded to, as well as its derivatives, is used in popular medicine to treat various disorders including asthma, having the plant shown an action on allergic problems. It suppresses, in fact, the tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) and releases gamma-linolenic acid. A recent, prospective, randomized and double-blind clinical trial conducted in Iran evaluated the effect of this plant on clinical and physiological parameters of persistent moderate asthma. Cough, dyspnoea, hissing, night disturbances and bronchial hyperactivity decreased significantly in the tested group after treatment with borage; the ACT score also improved in significant terms.
Gingko (Ginkgo biloba)
Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) is a plant of the Ginkgoaceae family. In addition to being useful against diabetes and allergies, it is also used to counteract asthmatic symptoms. Ginkgo biloba leaves contain terpenes (Ginkgolide B) that block lipid peroxidation, implicated in platelet aggregation. These active substances, in fact, inhibit the platelet activation factor (PAF), preventing the formation of thrombs in the blood vessels and decreasing the capillary permeability, thus improving tissue spraying.
Polyphenols and flavonoids (ginketol, isigkettetol, bilabondol, ginkolide) act on the cell membranes, stabilizing them and counteracting the formation of free radicals. This platelet-blocking property makes it particularly suitable to avoid the rejection of transplanted organs, useful under close medical supervision in the event of emboli, which are responsible for heart attacks and apoplysis.
Its active ingredients also make it a powerful allergy remedy: it is a vasodilator of the arteries, while in the veins it has vasoconstrictor activity, so it is recommended in asthma attacks. To avail of gingko benefits, you can prepare a simple homemade gingko infusion or take it in form of a tincture or pills. For a gingko infusion, you will require 1 tablespoon ginkgo leaves and 1 cup of water. Pour the leaves into boiling water and turn off the heat. Cover and leave in infusion for 10 min. Filter the infusion and drink it away from meals to take anti-inflammatory action for the benefit of the circulatory system. Gingko tincture: 30-40 drops to be taken in the morning, or 800 mg dry extract in tablets or capsules, taken also in the morning.
Greek hay (Trigonella foenum-graecum)
Greek hay, also known as Trigonella foenum-graecum, is part of the Leguminous family and is cultivated mainly in the Mediterranean, India, Egypt and Morocco. Greek hay tea is a natural remedy of ancient origin. Greek hay is an officinal herb that is used to solve various types of issues related to the whole organism. Apart from other multiple uses based on medicinal properties of Greek hay, herbal medicine uses the benefits of Greek hay to treat asthma and this is because it is a great natural expectorant. For a cup of herbal tea brewed with this wonderfully beneficial herb, you will need 2 teaspoons of Greek hay seeds and honey to sweeten (optional and to be avoided in case of allergies). Boil the water in a pot, pour the Greek hay seeds into boiling water and leave them to brew an infusion from 5 to 10 minutes with the heat off. Filter the infusion before consuming it. Sweeten with natural sweeteners as desired. If you want to improve your asthma condition, consume this herb once a day.
Grapes and grape seed oil
Grapes are able to alleviate and counteract many diseases: from asthma and migraine to constipation, to Alzheimer’s and heart disease. Grapes and grape seeds can be used to support asthma, as it has a high moisturizing power, which increases the moisture in the lungs and reduces asthma manifestations.
Goutweed (Aegopodium podagraria)
Goutweed is known for its asthma-relieving properties in herbal medicine. It can be taken in form of infusion, but it also can be used to prepare meals. Goutweed leaves and stalks should be used for food only early in the spring, and the green leaves can then be used in the same way as many other green leafy vegetables, for example instead of spinach. For optimal results, goutweed should be consumed in this or that form every day, preferable in the evening.
Kitchen remedies that relieve asthma
Ginger and lemon
Everyone should start the day with a glass of water and lemon for its beneficial effects: but maybe not everyone knows it is also very helpful for people suffering from asthma. Thanks to vitamin C, which is an antioxidant, lemon juice can cleanse the respiratory tract and strengthen the immune system.
People suffering from asthma should have a healthy immune system to be more resistant to asthma attacks. Stress is also a factor that can stimulate asthma attack because when we are stressed our immune system may be weakened. Starting the day with water and lemon will allow you to strengthen your immune system and combat the spread of bacteria and infections. Another important ingredient that will help you fight asthma is ginger. Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and is useful when airways are obstructed, as well as preventing obstruction.
So here are the ingredients for one cup of medicinal ginger drink are: 1 cup of water, 2 lemons, 1 ginger slice. Slicing lemons, put them in water and bring to boiling. Add the ginger slice and leave it to brew. For a thrust of energy and a better taste you can add some maple syrup. Drink this juice every morning for a few weeks.
Coffee and asthma
Good news for you if you cannot let go of your cup of joe, despite the controversy swirling around it in relation to asthma. Coffee may be good for your health. New research shows that coffee helps against asthma and heart disease. US scientists state that a cup of coffee a day is just what your body needs. Caffeine contains antioxidants that counteract heart disease. Coffee also reduces the risk of asthma attacks. Many experts also believe that coffee helps fight anxiety and depression. Coffee probably contains a mild form of antidepressant, which is just enough for coffee drinkers to keep a positive outlook. Coffee also counteracts certain forms of cancer. Among other things, the risk of liver cancer is halved if you drink coffee, according to the research. Coffee is also thought to counter Parkinson’s disease.
Avocado is an excellent option for asthma sufferers, especially when asthma is associated with an allergy to the nuts. Avocado also contains glutathione, an element that protects cells from free radicals, as well as having a great detoxifying power.
Some recent studies suggest that eating often broccoli helps asthmatics to avoid the annoying effects of this disorder. In this sense, it has been shown that eating broccoli reduces the risk of respiratory inflammation, as well as contributing to the elimination of free radicals.
Apples are another natural product that seems to have beneficial effects for asthma sufferers. Experts say this is due to the fact that the apples contain a good amount of bioflavonoids. The latter, like quercetin, among the various properties, represent a natural anti-asthmatic and an anti-inflammatory of the respiratory tract.
Bananas can help people breathe better, so they are highly recommended for asthma sufferers. Bananas contain pyridoxine, popularly known as vitamin B6. One of its functions is to relax the smooth bronchial muscle tissue.
Spinach is a very healthy food. Among their benefits has been recognized by a recent study the ability to avoid asthma. This should not be surprising as this product contains a large amount of nutrients and essential vitamins for the proper functioning of our body.
Due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, rosemary is a very well-known product for people with asthma. In this way, with rosemary you can keep your respiratory system in good condition, keeping the airways open.
Sunflower seeds have numerous nutrients and properties of great help in avoiding asthma attacks. Among them are vitamin E, potassium and magnesium. However, some people need to be careful because their consumption can cause allergies.
Mint contains several elements that release the respiratory tract, which is of great help to people suffering from asthma. This product, in fact, is usually used in medicine to treat respiratory diseases.
Asthma subjects are advised to consume foods rich in vitamin C. As you know, this vitamin has important benefits to our respiratory tract, as well as extraordinary antiseptic effects.
Bach Flower Remedies against asthma
When an asthma attack occurs (independent of severe bronchial and lung disease), the individual expresses a refusal for a situation, experienced or perceived as a “constraint”, and manifests itself through respiratory spasms. In this way we inevitably touch upon the theme of freedom and limitation.
When asthma is of allergic origin, we experience a real defensive strategy by the immune system against external substances that have been perceived as dangerous. On an emotional level, this reaction can be interpreted as the unconventional unconscious of the subject to come into contact with something that does not accept and awakens a traumatic emotion. Often individuals who experience this discomfort are people of habit, following rigid rules of their own imposure, and are little tolerant. They express a somatization mode for a more and more “compressed” life between stress and excited, suffocated, and rationalized emotion on the other.
The herbs used to counter this disorder will help to get rid of situations that are experienced as constraints and exit from existential conditions that are difficult, overwhelming, suffocating. Everyone faces subjective impressions and experiences, so personalized blends will affect emotional states and physical symptoms, such as asthma, with respect to individual perception. However, the most used herbs in vibrational asthma treatment are as described below.
Agrimony is a remedy for asthma caused by anxiety neuroses with anguish and chest tightness. The individual suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorders with repetitive thoughts of violence, doubtful that cause respiratory disturbances and asthma attacks, because he or she hides concerns, bitterness and inner torment, behind the exterior of serenity. Such an individual constantly searches for evasion to face the trials with joy, but in reality they are alive with restlessness, anxiety, torment, and inner torment, especially at night. The remedy makes a person regain the courage of being his or her true self; to face others and situations that oppress us without fear of consequences or without the fear of being rejected, giving us serenity and optimism.
Rock water is indicated in case of paroxysmal cough and excessive asthma control. The individual is rigid with himself and with others, self-reflective, self-exigent, denying joys and pleasures to achieve his or her goals. Such individuals have a rigid and controlled conception of life, of which they refuse the playful side, are overly controlled in the way of living, and, severe with themselves, impose rules of self-defense. They have too much dedication to work with the exclusion of pleasure and joy, who refuses to fear that they may interfere with their business. They practice indifference towards good food, sex, fun. The remedy promotes mental flexibility, openness, and elasticity, stimulating the person to discover the pleasures of life with abandon.
Star of Bethlehem
Star of Bethlehem is indicated for throat tension, swallowing disorders, psychosomatic illnesses due to past or recent traumas still active in the psyche. It is useful in case of paroxysmal dyspnoea, dysphonia and asthma crisis caused by stress conditions, as well as physical, mental, emotional pain not yet disposed of. The attitude of the subject appears untended, unhappy, sad. The individual lives in an emotional and emotional state of forced anesthesia. The remedy cleans the blocked energy, helps the flow of emotions and pushes the pain without repressing it. It puts in motion the ability to self-healing, to deal with any bad situation, to overcome the painful and traumatic experiences that can happen in life.
In addition to Bach flower remedies, Australian floral essences can also be useful in case of asthma. In particular, Gray Spider Flower is used as an adjuvant in asthma attacks as it fights the fear of choking and dying.
Essential oils as a home remedy for asthma
Essential oil of hyssop
Essential oil of hyssop brings relief during asthma attacks. Hyssop is a respiratory expectorant, therefore its areas of application are related to typical winter disorders such as cough, flu, colds, and sore throat. In particular, the essential oil of hyssop is a mucolitic, ie it acts decongesting action on bronchi and lungs. So it is indicated in all forms of cough, when it is greasy, when it is dry: in the first case it helps to eliminate the catarrh, while in the second it helps to fluidify it, allowing it to expel.
Myrtle essential oil
The scent of myrtle essential oil releases its breath, opens its chest and has a positive effect on the mind stressed by daily thoughts. It is well tolerated by children, it has a mucolytic, expectorant and fluidifying effect on the catarrh. It helps to decongest inflammed airways, colds, bronchitis, smokers cough, and all chronic respiratory illnesses.
Niaouly essential oil
Niaouly essential oil is a decongestant useful in all catarrhal forms. The oil of niaouly helps to fluidize and eliminate catarrh in colds, sinuses and coughs. It is also indicated for treating children’s respiratory illness as it is very delicate.
Thyme essential oil
Thyme essential oil is a powerful remedy for the respiratory system and its affections. It acts as an antibiotic against bronchial and oral cavity infections. It has a balmy anti-inflammatory action: disinfects it from catarrhs, fluidifies and facilitates expectoration. In the case of allergic asthma, it allows a greater dilatation of the bronchial vessels, acts as a shield against allergens, disinfection and decontracting the involved part.
Steam inhalations: in a bowl of boiling water dissolve 10 drops of thyme essential oil. Inhale deeply the vapor rich in balsamic properties, keeping your eyes closed because this very powerful essential oil could irritate you. It is advisable to inhale slowly and exhale long enough to allow a good purification and a re-equilibration of the hydrogen peroxide with respect to the charged portion of carbon dioxide.
Emergency remedy: soak a handkerchief with a few drops of thyme essential oil, about 10 drops, to carry with you and put it to close to the nose and mouth in moments of difficulty in which there is a beginning of a lack of exhalation.
Essential oil of clary sage (clary or clary sage)
Clary sage has a very important role among officinal plants. The Salernitan School of Medicine took great care of it and cited it as Salvia Salvatrix, the healer. Its essential oil performs a balancing action on the entire body. It regenerates and relaxes, it is a humorous tonic, sedates the anxieties and stimulates the mind. The important aspect of the case we are dealing with is its anti-pimp action, benefiting muscle tissue. Clary sage essential oil is indicated in the case of respiratory, constricted and congestion-related symptoms: it helps to fluidize, open the breath.
Steam inhalations: in a bowl of very hot water dissolve 12 drops of essential oil of clary. Cover your head with a towel and deeply inhale the rich steam of the sage’s volatile part. It’s good to repeat this practice every night in the pollen period, to encourage breathing and restful sleep.
Aromatic baths: dissolve 5 or 6 drops of essential oil in the bathtub water, it will benefit the entire body, the central nervous system, the respiratory system, the muscle tissue and the epidermal tissue.
Satureja essential oil
Satureja is yet another aromatic plant with many properties. It is a potent antibiotic, antiseptic, immunostimulant, tonic, choleretic, but especially expectorant, anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic. Satureja-based remedies are indicated for problems of gold-pharyngeal, for fungal and candidiasis, for hypotensive conditions due to heat, fatigue and stress conditions. Its anti-spasmodic action connotes it as an excellent remedy for cramping. This action carried by the essential oil of satureja helps in asthma and bronchitis, favoring the decompression of bronchial vessels.
Steam inhalations: in a basin of boiling water dissolve 10 drops of satureja essential oil and breathe its balsamic steam. It is also advisable to use an essence burner to put in the bedroom in the evening: 3 or 4 drops of essential oil will help you breathe smoothly and have a quiet sleep.
Black cumin (Nigella sativa)
Black cumin (Nigella sativa) oil helps improve asthma control and pulmonary function, according to a recent research published in Phytotherapy Research. Seeds and essential oil of the herb are widely used in the traditional medicine of many Middle East and Asian countries for the treatment of various problems including immune and inflammatory disorders. This randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study (conducted by researchers from the University of London and King Abdulaziz University in Saudi Arabia) indicated that 1 gram per day of black cumin for four weeks resulted in significant improvements in scores of control of asthma and a significant reduction in eosinophil counts in peripheral blood. It is recalled that eosinophils play an important role in asthma inflammation and that the count of blood eosinophils is considered a very important biomarker in studies on this increasingly widespread problem. The study included 80 randomly assigned asthma patients at one of the two experimental and placebo-controlled groups who received capsules containing 500 mg of cumin oil or a placebo twice daily for four weeks. Data from the 60 people who completed the study indicate that black cumin supplementation is associated with significant improvements in the mean score of the Asthma Control Test compared with placebo. In the experimental group, there was also a significant reduction in blood eosinophilia and an improvement, although not statistically significant, of pulmonary function. Black cumin oil, therefore, appears to be effective in improving the control of asthma symptoms with a trend in improving pulmonary function, researchers concluded.