With proper treatment and medication, natural remedies for allergic asthma can play an essential role in keeping your asthmatic symptoms under control. The remedies can either be natural or medical. However, in this post, we shall be observing the natural remedies that will help you manage your symptoms well. First, you need to know that asthma has no cure; these remedies are only available to ease the pains resulting from symptoms of the condition.
Table of Contents
You will learn the following from this post:
What is Asthma?
Asthma is a respiratory disease that causes inflammation in the lungs’ airways. The resulting narrowing and swelling of the airways make breathing significantly hard. This difficulty in breathing is often due to the tightness of muscles and increased levels of mucus around the airways.
All these effects can occur simultaneously and continue to get more severe, resulting in what people will call an asthma attack. The lungs do not receive enough oxygen during such an attack, so there is often shortness of breath. As a result, anyone with an asthma attack often wheezes, gasps, coughs, and feels tightness in their chest.
More than 24 million people the USA alone are suffering from asthma. Those with asthma occasionally need to stay home from work or go to the hospital; such a condition can be fatal when it becomes extreme.
Identifying and Eliminating Triggers of Asthma
One of the most effective natural remedies for allergic asthma is determining and getting rid of triggers for asthma attacks. These triggers depend on the severity of the condition, and they also vary from person to person. The following are common symptoms of allergic asthma:
- cold air
- smoke, mostly from tobacco (and sometimes from burning grass or wood)
- emotional stress
- household pets, such as cats and dogs
- having respiratory infection sickness (for example, influenza)
- dust mites
- air pollution
Once you know what your asthma triggers are, you can begin to take action to avoid them, for instance:
- put an air filter in the bedroom
- avoid smoking and refrain from secondhand smoke
- observe air quality forecasts and manage your plans for accommodating low-air quality
- make use of bedding that is allergy-proof and ensure you wash and dry it every week
- choose airtight food storage to keep pests from getting to it, and frequently clean the dining areas and storage
- vacuum regularly
Types of Asthma
Knowing the type of asthma you have can help you avoid the triggers that may bring about an attack. The knowledge will also give you the privilege to apply the appropriate treatments for such asthma symptoms. In addition, several types of asthma overlap; this means that you can have more than one type of asthma. For example, consider the following types of asthma:
1. Allergy-Induced Asthma
Allergic asthma is generally the most common type of asthma. Most asthma is allergy-induced. This type of asthma affects over 25 million people each day in the United States alone. Allergic asthma occurs as a result of the immune system identifying an allergen as a threat. When a person with allergic asthma comes in contact with a trigger substance, the immune system responds by releasing antibodies called immunoglobulin E, which causes the immune system to release chemicals that result in inflammation of the lungs.
Common allergic triggers include:
- household dust mites
- hair, saliva, feces, urine, pet dander (skin flakes)
A doctor may perform a blood or skin test to determine your specific trigger(s) and know whether the allergic asthma is seasonal or all-year.
2. Exercise-Induced Bronchoconstriction (EIB)
This kind of attack is often a result of physical activity. About 90% of people with asthma will experience the obstruction of airflow while exercising. When there is an obstruction in your airflow or problems breathing when exercising, it is known as exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB). You can easily trigger your EIB when you exercise in cold, dry air. Therefore, if you need to exercise, you should ensure that the air is warm and humid.
Cigarette smoke, pollen, and pollution – including a recent asthma attack or the common cold – can increase your risk of experiencing EIB.
Symptoms of EIB can occur within a few minutes after you begin to exercise. The symptoms can also be:
- aggravate 5 to 10 minutes as soon as you stop exercising and disappear within 20 to 30 minutes
- return as a “late phase” or “second wave” about 4 to 12 hours after exercise
- persist for about 24 hours
- It is advisable for people suffering from EIB to avoid exercising to prevent a total asthmatic flare-up. However, over time, your constant exercising will reduce your asthma symptoms.
3. Cough-Variant Asthma (CVA)
This type of asthma results from a chronic cough, which is a way your body is ridding itself of foreign bacteria, mucus, microbes, particles, irritant, and other allergens. Coughing is not an illness but a symptom of an illness. By pushing air out of the lungs, the body is trying to eliminate particles it considers harmful.
Even though it is a way your body is trying to get better, persistent coughing can be irritating. The only sure way to cure a cough is by identifying the cause of that cough. Unfortunately, people with CVA experience dry, nonproductive cough. In addition, CVA can be easily misdiagnosed as chronic cough because it exhibits some nontraditional asthmatic symptoms.
Symptoms and complications of CVA may include the following:
- persistent cough
- shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- tightness in the chest
- sleep disruption
- asthma attacks
Unless they get proper treatments, 30 to 40% of those suffering from CVA may progress to classic asthma. People suffering from CVA may also be at risk for:
- asthma attacks that are impervious to treatment
- permanent narrowing of the bronchial tubes
- fractured rib
- lung failure
- collapsed lung
4. Occupational Asthma
This particular asthma occurs when there is a trigger by a specific irritant that you expose yourself to at work. It often begins when you are at work and improves when you are away from your work environment. Over 250 manufacturing substances can exacerbate occupational asthma, such as:
- cleaning products
- latex gloves
- dust from flour, grain, and wood
- The following workers are susceptible to occupational asthma:
- plastic workers
- detergent manufacturers
- drug manufacturers
- metal workers
- laboratory workers
- grain elevator workers
5. Nocturnal Asthma
This asthma is one that its symptoms often come up at nighttime. Nocturnal asthma has other types of asthma symptoms, but they usually grow worse in the evening times. Such symptoms include:
- inflammation of the airway
- difficulty breathing
Some triggers that can worsen asthmatic symptoms in the evening include:
- beta-blockers or pain relievers, or anti-inflammatory drugs
- having a virus, flu, or cold
- acid reflux
- dust or other allergens
Natural Remedies for Allergic Asthma
The natural remedies for allergic asthma are capable of easing your symptoms, reducing the amount of medication you need to take, and ultimately improving your life’s quality. However, these remedies work best when you take them alongside your usual prescribed asthma medications. The following are the remedies you can try for your allergic asthma:
According to a 2013 study, garlic contains several health benefits, such as anti-inflammatory properties. Because asthma is an inflammation disease, garlic may be the best remedy for relieving your asthma symptoms. However, the evidence about the effectiveness of garlic in preventing asthma flare-ups is not yet conclusive.
Like garlic, ginger is another herbal remedy that contains anti-inflammatory properties that may help relieve severe asthma. Studies have shown that oral ginger supplements have a connection with the improvement in symptoms of asthma. However, the study did not confirm that ginger causes an improvement in general lung function.
Honey is an excellent cold remedy for reducing cough and soothing the throat. You can mix honey with such beverages as herbal tea to provide more comfortable relief for your symptoms. You can choose honey as an alternative treatment for asthma.
4. Omega-3 Oils
You can find omega-3 oils in flax seeds and fish, and they have excellent health benefits. These oils may also improve lung functions and decrease inflammation in the airway of people with severe asthma. However, high doses of oral steroids may inhibit mega-3 oils from functioning properly against your asthma symptoms. You should wisely consult your doctor or allergist first before you decide to increase your intake of omega-3 to avoid unnecessary health complications.
Caffeine can reduce fatigue in the respiratory muscle because it is a bronchodilator. It is an effective remedy for people who have allergic asthma because it helps improve the function of the airways for about four hours after taking it.
Yoga involves both breathing and stretching exercises to help increase overall fitness and boost flexibility. For many people, yoga practice can help decrease the level of stress, which is a possible asthma trigger. The breathing exercise in yoga can also help reduce the frequency of allergic asthma attacks. But still, there is no conclusive evidence to prove this effectiveness, at least not now.
This kind of therapy requires hypnosis to make a person more open and relaxed to new ways to behave, feel, and think. Hypnotherapy may facilitate muscle relaxation, which may help people who have allergic asthma cope with such symptoms as tightness in the chest.
Mindfulness is a kind of meditation that concentrates on how the body and mind feel in the present moment. You can practice mindfulness almost anywhere. All you need is a quiet place where you can sit down, close your eyes, and channel your attention on thoughts, sensations, and feelings in your body. Due to its stress-relieving benefits, mindfulness can relieve stress-related asthma symptoms and also complement your prescription medication.
Acupuncture is an old Chinese remedy that involves placing small needles on certain parts and points of the body. People with allergic asthma find that acupuncture helps in improving airflow and managing symptoms like chest pain.
Speleotherapy is a kind of therapy that involves staying in a salt room to allow tiny amounts of salt into the respiratory system. Although the effectiveness of speleotherapy against allergic asthma is still scientifically inconclusive, studies have shown that it has a tremendous beneficial effect on the short-term function of the lungs.
11. Dietary Changes
Although there is no specific diet for severe allergic asthma, you can take a few steps to relieve your asthma symptoms.
First and foremost, being overweight or morbid obesity can aggravate severe allergic asthma. Therefore, you should maintain a balanced and healthy diet if you are overweight. Your diet should include many vegetables and fruits, which are excellent sources of antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, including beta-carotene. These antioxidants will help reduce inflammation around your airways.
If you experience an aggravation in your asthma after consuming certain foods, you should avoid eating such foods. This is because you might be having a food allergy that’s worsening your symptoms.
Some of these natural remedies for allergic asthma may help reduce symptoms of allergic asthma. However, you should not disregard the medications your doctor or allergist prescribes. Plus, a lot of these remedies can work effectively alongside your medications.
Before trying out any new complementary therapy, always check with your doctor. If you begin to notice any strange side effects after trying any remedies, stop taking or using them immediately.