Fiona is a qualified herbalist and aromatherapist. She has twenty years' experience in the field and wants to share that knowledge.
Let's Start With Some Global Statistics About Asthma
According to the World Health Organization, asthma:
- Is a major, non-communicable disease
- Affected more than 339 million people around the world in 2016
- Killed around 417,918 people globally in 2016
- Can be effectively managed by avoiding triggers and using medication
In this article, we'll look at how you can identify your triggers to reduce your risk of attacks.
Before we go further, please understand that this information is to enhance rather than replace conventional therapy.
Identify What Is Causing The Asthma Attacks
Pinning down a reason why asthma developed can be difficult. Experts speculate that heredity, allergies, and obesity might all be contributing factors.
It is easier, however, to pin down what triggers your own asthma attacks. These will differ from one person to the next, but some reasons include:
- Emotional distress
- Exposure to allergens
- Exposure to the cold
Keep Notes To Identify Your Personal Asthma Triggers
Identifying your own particular triggers will help you to manage your condition better, allowing you, where possible, to avoid trigger events or, in those instances when that is not practical, allowing you to be adequately prepared.
The first step in managing your asthma better is to start recording when attacks occur, what you were doing immediately before the attacks, and how severe the attacks were.
Keeping track of the actual attacks will help you identify triggers and give your physician an idea of how effective your treatment plan is. Keep a small notebook on you and record the attack as soon as possible afterward, while you can still remember everything.
Also, Keep A Food Diary
Keeping a food diary for at least a month or two will also go a long way to identifying possible food allergies and sensitivities that may be exacerbating symptoms.
An Important Note About Herbal Teas
Again, I must stress that these are not a substitute for a physician's care. By all means, let your physician know that you will be supplementing your treatment regimen with natural remedies, but please do not stop seeing them altogether.
In Between Attacks
During a severe attack, the first thing to do is to follow your physician's instructions. Herbal teas can be taken in between attacks to help reduce the likelihood of attacks and help to support the system.
How To Make An Herbal Tea
You can make herbals teas with fresh or dried herbs, whichever suits you best. Unless otherwise mentioned, use 50g of the fresh herb or 25g of the dried herb for every 500ml water.
If using the fresh herb, tear and bruise the herb if possible before pouring boiling water over it to release more natural compounds within the leaves and flowers.
Then leave it to steep for at least 5 minutes, strain, and sweeten with honey, if you like. Sip slowly.
You can increase the quantities to have enough tea for a day or two but don't keep it for longer than two days.
Never Take A Herbal Remedy Over An Extended Period
It's easy to forget that natural remedies are highly potent. It is important not to take the same remedy daily for more than two weeks at a time, or you risk developing a tolerance to it.
If you're planning to take the herbal teas regularly, switch them out every two weeks for the best results. Alternatively, you can take the tea daily for two weeks and then stop it completely for a week.
Ginger is a warming and soothing herb that is helpful for several respiratory ailments. It can be beneficial when it comes to easing the tightness associated with asthma and relieving congestion.
It is a potent antibacterial and anti-viral agent. It also helps to reduce the allergic response and boosts immunity, leaving you less likely to develop an infection in the first place.
The fresh root is preferable for ginger tea - you want about two to four teaspoons of thinly sliced ginger for every cup of boiling water. Again, sweeten with honey if you like, and drink as hot as you can manage.
If you cannot lay hands on fresh ginger, use ginger powder instead. Use a teaspoonful in a cup of boiling water.
Take two to three cups a day.
Chamomile Is An Excellent Choice
Chamomile tea is easy to obtain and can be extremely useful on a physical and psychological level. The tea is a mild antihistamine, anti-inflammatory, and systemic tonic.
The flavenoids within the tea actively reduce pro-inflammatory markers that might precede an attack.
On a psychological level, it is a mild sedative and can be extremely useful for soothing stress, insomnia, and emotional upsets.
Take two to three cups a day as a preventative measure and to alleviate stress.
Thyme is a useful antispasmodic and decongestant herb. It can help to soothe a tight chest and help to clear up phlegm as well.
It has strong anti-bacterial and antiviral properties, meaning that it can help you get over infections while simultaneously acting as an immune booster.
Luteolin within the plant is an anti-asthmatic compound.
You should either use Lemon Thyme or Creeping Thyme.
Which Tea Will You Try?
Garlic is one of nature's superfoods and deserves mention here. In Chinese medicine, it is commonly used to treat asthma, and scientific research has proven its efficacy in reducing inflammation.
It has strong anti-inflammatory properties as well as strong antibacterial and anti-viral properties. It will also help to thin the blood, boost immunity and help clear up infections.
The rub? It is best taken raw. Granted, it isn't great raw, but cooking it destroys a lot of the beneficial compounds. And, once you are used to it, it is pretty easy. Simply peel and slightly crush two cloves of garlic, chop them so that they can easily be swallowed, and just chug them down. If you do find that you have garlic breath, chew on some parsley.
You can find garlic supplements, but, to be honest, this is a lot easier and less expensive, and at least you know that you are not getting any fillers and binders.
Vitamin Supplements to Consider as a Preventative Measure
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
When it comes to vitamin supplements, Omega-3 oil supplementation should be considered essential, especially if you do not eat fish. Omega-3 can help to fight inflammation in the body and so reduce the chances of having an attack. Studies have shown that children who eat fish at least once a week reduce their chances of having an attack by around a third.
Adding a 1000mg dose of Vitamin C daily can assist by strengthening the body's ability to resist the irritation caused by pollutants in the bronchial system. This, in turn, helps to reduce coughing.
Getting enough Vitamin E makes it easier for phlegm build-up to be removed.
Betacarotene could help to reduce wheezing overall. Yet another good reason to add healthy fruits and veggies to your diet.
500mg - 1000mg of Magnesium, taken in divided doses daily, can help to reduce the frequency of attacks.
People Also Ask
What helps asthma without an inhaler?
- Sit up straight
- Try to remain calm
- Seek medical attention
- Practice Buteyko breathing
What is Buteyko Breathing?
It's a breathing technique that calms the mind and resets the natural breathing rhythm. Follow these steps:
- Sit quietly and close your mouth without clamping it shut
- Breathe through your nose as naturally as possible for about 30 seconds
- Inhale and exhale forcibly through your nose once
- Close off both nostrils and also keep your mouth shut
- Stay that way until you can no longer help taking a breath
- Inhale deeply through your nose
This breathing exercise may be enough to stop the attack. If not, it'll give you something else to focus on while waiting for medical assistance.
How can I calm my asthma naturally?
Calm asthma naturally by:
- Avoiding triggers
- Practicing good posture
- Reducing stress
- Following a healthy lifestyle
- Taking Ginger, Thyme, or Chamomile tea regularly can help to keep attacks at bay, as can eating raw garlic.
What drink is good for asthma?
Your choices include:
- Ginger Tea
- Thyme Tea
- Chamomile Tea
Drink them as warm as possible to soothe the throat and reduce inflammation.
Can asthma go away?
It can, especially if it developed initially in childhood. Usually, when it develops in adults, it's a permanent condition.
To Sum It All Up
Getting yourself healthier can play a big role when it comes to managing asthma. Make sure that you do follow a healthy eating plan and use a vitamin supplement if necessary. Be sure to include a clove or two of fresh garlic into your daily diet as well.
Herbal teas are your next line of defense when it comes to heading off asthma attacks. Chamomile, Ginger, and Thyme tea all work well when it comes to preventing attacks.
I want to lastly stress that the information given above is not a substitute for a doctor's advice. Be sure to speak with your physician about any home remedies you want to try.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
What Home Remedies Have You Tried for Asthma?
Fiona (author) from South Africa on August 15, 2016:
Very true CrazyGata - I think we underestimate just how badly the highly refined foods, etc. that we take are.
Mara Clemente from Borinken, Loíza on August 14, 2016:
Nice read, above all, avoid toxic foods, pills and vaccines.