There are many natural ways to control asthma symptoms without resorting to drugs, inhaler or medicines. Using these methods, you can prevent asthma symptoms from becoming chronic or taking control over your life completely. However, you need to be willing to exercise a bit of self discipline and also make tremendous changes in your lifestyle for this purpose. So let us discuss the changes and remedies that can help you control your asthma naturally and also reduce the frequency of asthma attacks.
1. Get a proper diagnosis
Work with your doctor to determine specific allergens, irritants and asthma causes. You may take all the cough medicine in the world for your wheezing but until you find out the triggers, you cannot put a stop to the symptoms permanently. Discuss with your doctor if you need a pulmonary testing to assess functioning of your lungs. Consider buying a peak-flow meter to monitor your lung function at home. Note that many ailments are similar to asthma, such as acid reflux. So getting a proper diagnosis is a must.
2. Eat sensibly
Certain foods can trigger asthma attacks. These include:
- Tree nuts, peanuts, legumes
- Shell fish
- Cow’s milk
- Egg whites
- Wheat, certain cereals
Not every asthmatic is allergic to above food groups. So it is necessary to know exactly what allergens in food trigger your symptoms. If needed, keep a food journal to note down what you eat through the day. Keep your meal portions small and easy-to- digest. Eat an early dinner to prevent acid reflux. Foods like peanuts, chocolates and fried foods can sometimes cause irritation in the throat leading to coughing and wheezing. Therefore, it may be best to limit or avoid these foods completely.
3. Avoid certain drugs
Many drugs such as aspirin, NSAIDs and penicillin are known to trigger allergy symptoms. Recent research has shown a link between allergy and asthma. So take medicines sensibly. Keep an eye out for symptoms and note the supplements you take in your food journal. Discuss these medicines with an allergy and asthma specialist.
4. Become aware of lesser known triggers
Perfumes, fragrant powders, colognes, soaps, detergents, household cleaners and garden insecticides can also trigger asthma symptoms. Watch out for these elements and avoid or limit their use completely. Buy green cleaners or make your own using vinegar, baking soda, essential oils. Asthmatics need to clean their house daily and wipe down all surfaces to get rid of pollen, dust, dander etc. Vacuum clean all of the carpets and rugs every day. Avoid keeping pets if you are allergic to pet hair and dander.
5. Stay away from smoke
This includes smoke filled areas like industrial and commercial regions, smoke from chimneys, vehicular smoke as well as smoking zones in restaurants or other public places. Nicotine smoke especially can trigger severe asthma attack. Pesticides and insect foggers can also be harmful.
6. Drink plenty of warm water
In order to prevent asthma, you need to keep your throat clear and free from phlegm. Drinking plenty of warm water can help dilute the mucus. It is best to avoid cold beverages as they tend to increase congestion.
7. Drink apple cider vinegar
Take organic raw and ‘mother’ apple cider vinegar mixed with warm water at night before bed. This remedy can ease symptoms such as coughing, wheezing and breathlessness at night.
Add a teaspoon of turmeric to warm milk or water and chug it down before bed at night to prevent wheezing, coughing and other symptoms. Turmeric strengthens immunity and builds resistance to allergens. If you are lactose intolerant, go for almond, soy or rice milk.
9. Oil of oregano
Many asthmatics have benefitted from the intake of oil of oregano capsules. This herbal remedy not only prevents symptoms but also builds immunity to allergens. Please note that in some patients, this oil is known to cause acidity and acid reflux. Discontinue use if symptoms like burning in the throat etc arise. Also take the capsule with milk or diluted with coconut oil.
10. Steam inhalation
This is a simple and natural remedy to control asthma cough. Boil a gallon of water and carefully position yourself over the vapors. Cover up your head with a towel or a sheet. Inhale the steaming vapors deeply to open up nasal passage and clear up congestion. You can also add essential oils to the water such as tea tree, eucalyptus, lavender or peppermint oils. Alternatively, prevent asthma symptoms by soaking your hands and feet in a bucket of hot water. This will immediately put a stop to asthma wheezing without an inhaler as the vapors open up choked airways.
11. Keep OTC/prescription medicines handy at all times
There will be days when you experience symptoms despite taking all precautions. It helps to keep OTC and prescription drugs handy to manage them. Work with your doctor or an allergy specialist to avoid flare-ups, episodes and attacks. Have a plan in place and keep yourself informed about all aspects of your condition.
12. Take supplements
Certain supplements can help in asthma prevention. They work by strengthening the immune system and also help ‘deactivate’ asthma triggers. For example, one research has shown that calcium or calcilytics –a class of drugs that are nebulized directly into the lungs- could prevent asthma symptoms. Other vitamins you can benefit from are Vitamin K (400 mcg per day), Vitamin D3 (5000 IU per day but check your levels to prevent toxicity), and Zinc (50mg, 4 times each week).
13. Get rid of Candida and fungus
There is a link between Candida and asthma triggers. It helps to eat an antifungal diet. Antifungal diet includes food without sugar, artificial preservatives, colors etc. You must also get rid of toxic mold in your home. Check out my article on other easy ways to get rid of Candida naturally.
14. Lead a happy and stress-free life
There is truth in the old saying that goes ‘mind over matter’. So it pays to live a healthy, happy life and keep your body and mind fit and positive. Exercise daily. Avoid energetic sports which make your breathless-instead go in for gentle exercises in fresh open air such as walking, cycling and swimming etc. Support exercising with a healthy diet. Get regular physical examinations done. Meditate to lead a stress free life.
Use these 14 easy ways to control asthma and improve your quality of life.