Asthma is a chronic lung disease also termed as reactive airway disease. It is characterized by the inflammation and narrowing of bronchial tubes which blocks the airflow to and from the lungs. These inflamed airways produce stickier mucous leading to further blocking of the tubes. Asthma is also known as bronchial asthma and is a type of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.
An asthma attack occurs due to a number of environmental factors like when an irritant such as smoke, cold, dry air, pollen, mold or dust mites get into the lungs. Exercise, stress, anger, certain occupations, and hormonal imbalance also trigger asthma. Genetic factors are also responsible to be the cause of asthma.
The symptoms of Asthma vary from person to person. They can range from a reoccurring cough, wheezing to shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing with pale sweaty face and chest tightness. Some may experience dry mouth, thirst, sinus infections and trouble in talking and sleeping.
According to Ayurveda, the root cause of asthma is poor digestion or poor elimination of wastes from the body so just by improving the digestion with a healthy diet ( high fiber diet) and lifestyle one can manage asthma at home.
The best way to manage symptoms of asthma at home are listed below:
Sit upright and take slow deep breaths:
It is very important to sit straight upright when one is not able to breathe properly. Good posture helps to open up the air passage right away. Deep breaths help one to stay calm and relax and thus prevents chest tightening. It is also called the Belly Breathing Technique which involves sitting up and concentrating on the breath to maximize air distribution in the lungs. While inhaling in, the abdomen should go out as opposed to the chest and while exhaling the abdomen should push inwards. One may also try Pursued lip breathing Technique which involves inhaling some air slowly through the nose and then exhaling it through pursed lips or slowly like one is whistling. With this technique, more air is exhaled out and breathing becomes easier. Another way is Buteyko Breathing Technique wherein the patient sits upright and breathes slowly through the nose with mouth closed. The patient has to exhale until he feels no air is left in the lungs and then hold breath as long as possible. Then repeat. This technique aims at reducing the breathing rate or breathing volume.
Steam baths if possible, it is an effective way to relieve asthma symptoms at home.
Honey with warm water may be taken in case of severe coughing as it
To open up the airways right away, it is best to give the patient some caffeinated tea (black tea) or coffee. Caffeine has the ability to improve breathing function and can be served warm in case of an asthma attack where the patient is without the inhaler. Caffeinated cola may also be taken.
Sea Salt and water is the simplest way to get relief in case of an asthma attack at home. A pinch of sea salt may be placed under the tongue, and a glass of water be consumed along with it while the salt is dissolving. This can be done with small children in case of an emergency.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil or basil and lavender oil is another effective home treatment to deal with asthma. Boil a cup of water and put some drops of eucalyptus oil or basil and lavender oil to it, then breathe the vapors slowly. This helps in opening up the airways quickly. Some cumin seeds may be boiled in the water and inhaled to dilate the bronchial passage.
Asthma symptoms can get quick relief by consuming Apple Cider Vinegar in warm water as itis a powerful immune booster and helps in balancing the body’s acid/ alkaline levels. ACV quickly reduces the inflammation in the airways and break up phlegm.
Ginger and Garlic
Mustard seed Oil:
To fight bacterial infections that trigger asthma attack the best home remedy is mustard seed oil. It is antimicrobial and contains quercetin which inhibits inflammation. Massaging a mixture of warm mustard oil and salt on the chest and back helps in clearing the respiratory passages and ease the breathing. Mustard oil mixed with camphor is a potent combination for asthma treatment.
Figs are very useful in treating respiratory problems as they help in draining phlegm. Figs may be soaked in water overnight and consumed on empty stomach to help in relieving asthma symptoms.
Turmeric is best known for its anti-inflammatory properties. A spoon of turmeric in warm milk before bedtime helps asthmatic patients in preventing the attack.
Cooked or raw onion
Supplement like standardized gingko extract, Magnesium, Omega 3 fatty acid, Vitamin C, Vitamin B, Zinc and Vitamin D should be taken on daily basis.
It is possible to manage asthma symptoms by preventing food allergies, spending more time outdoors, avoiding exposure to pollution or irritants found inside the house. As a precautionary measure always wrap a scarf around the nose and mouth in cold weather to breathe in warm air.
It is advised to keep an active lifestyle and avoid smoking completely. An annual flu and pneumonia vaccine also help in preventing asthma flare-ups caused by viruses.
In case of severe asthma attack, presenting with the symptoms like pale face, sweating, blue lips, rapid heartbeat and inability to exhale, the patient should be taken directly to the hospital without delay.