(NaturalNews) Natural treatment for asthma helps reduce acute asthma attacks, manage chronic asthma and helps those with general trouble breathing. The benefits of herbs for treating asthma and the lungs has been shown repeatedly through the centuries worldwide.
Asthma is a chronic upper respiratory disease affecting the lungs and airways. The lining of the lungs becomes inflamed during an asthma attack, forcing the airways and surrounding muscles to swell, causing trouble breathing. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC), about 20 million people worldwide are asthmatic, with more than half being children. Conventional breathing treatments often produce unwanted side effects and can cause a dependency on the drugs. Natural treatment for asthma with herbs and other alternative remedies can provide relief; however, consult your health practitioner before using unfamiliar herbs or stopping conventional treatment.
The Ayurvedic spice turmeric helps relieve asthmatic inflammation that causes swelling in the lungs and trouble breathing. It helps dilate blood vessels allowing for better air flow; and, relaxes muscle spasms, restoring normal breathing patterns. Turmeric is a blood thinner and should only be used under supervision.
Another Ayurvedic herb, Boswellia works to improve asthma and the lungs and lessen the recurrence of acute asthma attacks. Although Boswellia has been used as a breathing treatment for centuries in India, there is little scientific research and its efficacy is anecdotal. Boswellia is contraindicated for people taking drugs to lower cholesterol or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDS).
Saiboku-to is a Japanese herbal tonic used as a breathing treatment for asthmatics. People suffering acute asthma attacks and chronic cases who used Saiboku-to reported being able to lower their doses of corticosteroid asthma
medications, notes UMMC. Saiboku-to contains herbs that may produce side effects, and should only be used under supervision of a health practitioner.
Parsley leaf helps relieve coughing during asthma attacks and acts as an expectorant, enabling the patient to cough up mucous trapped in the airways. It relieves tightness in the muscles of the chest and soothes the throat and cough.
Parsley leaf is best used as an herbal tea. Parsley is also a natural diuretic increasing the quantity of urine and frequency of urination. Use with caution if you take a diuretic.
Use mullein is an excellent breathing treatment to help relax acute asthmatic spasms and constriction in the airways. It's an old-time herb, well known for relieving coughing and many other upper respiratory conditions. Mullein is found in a variety of cough and herbal asthma preparations; relieving shortness of breath and lessening wheezing.
Ginkgo biloba helps reduce the mechanism that causes wheezing and may be of benefit as a breathing treatment to some asthma patients. Gingko may produce some mild side effects such as nausea, diarrhea and headaches. A lower dose often resolves these effects allowing patients to continue using the herb as a natural treatment for asthma.
Reishi mushroom as a potent anti-inflammatory that helps strengthen the lungs. Used in Chinese medicine as an immune booster, the mushrooms helps reduce swelling in the airways.
Lobelia, or Indian tobacco, is a potentially toxic herb; however, used with care, it can provide a remarkable cure for asthmatics. Use only under the supervision of a knowledgeable herbalist.
The active ingredients in butterbur, help to reduce muscle spasms and work as anti-inflammatories to reduce asthmatic attacks. Butterbur has been found to be especially helpful in cases of allergic asthma and acts in a similar manner to conventional inhalers.Sources for this article include:
Traditional Chinese Medicine--TCM: Gingko Bilobahttp://altmed.creighton.edu/Allergies/ChineseMed.htm
University of Maryland Medical Center: Asthmahttp://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/asthma-000015.htm
Gaiamlife: 7 Nondrug Asthma Treatments + 5 Herbal Remedieshttp://life.gaiam.com
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Natural Remedies for AsthmaAbout the author:
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JB Bardot is an herbalist and a classical homeopath, and has a post graduate degree in holistic nutrition. Bardot cares for both people and animals, using alternative approaches to health care and lifestyle. She writes about wellness, green living, alternative medicine, holistic nutrition, homeopathy, herbs and naturopathic medicine. You can find her at The JB Bardot Archives at www.jbbardot.com
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