Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease that causes inflammation in the lungs. As a result, the bronchial tubes that let air in and out of the lungs become constricted. Lung tissues also produce more mucus than usual in response to the inflammation. Inflamed tubes and excess mucus can make it difficult for a person to breathe.
Common symptoms of asthma include chronic coughs, chest pain and shortness of breath. Symptoms usually come and go without warning. During a flare-up, a person may experience mild or severe symptoms. These symptoms are often managed using an inhaler, which delivers medicine directly into the lungs.
In a TEOTWAWKI situation, it’s very likely you won’t have access to asthma treatment equipment. Luckily, there are many safe and effective natural remedies for asthma. As long as you have these remedies in your bug-out bag (BOB), you will be able to manage your flare-ups and get some relief for your symptoms.
Natural remedies for asthma
Though chronic and progressive in nature, asthma is a manageable disease thanks to natural remedies. Below are five remedies that can help people with asthma manage their symptoms:
- Honey – Thanks to its antioxidant properties, honey can help reduce inflammation and boost immunity. It can also soothe a sore throat and quiet a cough. Honey is most helpful when used as a nighttime cough suppressant. A form of nighttime asthma called nocturnal asthma can cause symptoms that may disturb your sleep. For asthma relief, take a teaspoon of honey in a glass of water thrice a day.
- Gumweed – Native Americans used the gummy secretions of the gumweed plant to relieve asthma, bronchitis and other respiratory conditions. However, gumweed doesn’t store very well except in an alcohol tincture. Once you have your gumweed tincture, take 15 to 40 drops a day for asthma relief.
- Essential oils – Herbs like oregano, thyme and German chamomile contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that can help you manage an asthma flare-up. The essential oils of these herbs are also particularly potent because they are highly concentrated. For asthma relief, add a few drops of any of these essential oils into a bowl of boiling water. Inhale deeply for five to 10 minutes.
- Herbal tea – Herbal teas, especially those that contain caffeine, may provide some relief for symptoms like coughing. That’s because caffeine is a bronchodilator, meaning it relaxes the muscle bands that tighten around your airways, opening them up to let more air move in and out of your lungs.
- Yarrow – Yarrow also acts as a bronchodilator, opening your airways so that you can breathe easily. Yarrow can be taken as an herbal tea or in tincture form.
Therapies for asthma
The following holistic therapies for asthma can be used alone or together with the remedies listed above.
- Buteyko Breathing Technique (BBT) – This technique, which involves shallow breathing exercises, is based on the premise that gentle, shallow breaths through the nose raise the level of carbon dioxide in the blood, which helps relax the bronchial tubes.
- Papworth method – This diaphragmatic breathing technique emphasizes nose breathing and developing a breathing pattern to suit various activities without triggering an asthma flare-up.
- Hypnotherapy – This therapy uses hypnosis to facilitate muscle relaxation and relieve chest tightness. Hypnotherapy also helps decrease fear and stress in people who feel anxious about their condition.
- Acupuncture – Acupuncture is an old Traditional Chinese Medicine practice. It involves inserting tiny needles into specific points throughout the body to stimulate the natural healing process. When used for asthma, acupuncture can help improve airflow inside the lungs and ease chest pain.
- Mindfulness exercises – Mindfulness exercises can help a person with asthma focus on the present instead of their condition. This is helpful for people who experience asthma flare-ups due to stress. (Related: Happier and healthier: Curcumin-rich turmeric can help ease depression and anxiety, researchers find.)
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