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Breathe In, Breathe Out: Home Remedies To Manage Asthma Symptoms

Dr. Javed Hayat Khan

2 min read

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Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition that causes breathing difficulties through attacks or spasms in the lungs. While medication is necessary for effective treatment and symptom control, there may be times, like sudden asthma attacks, when inhalers and other emergency medications are unavailable.

So, here are a few natural remedies to combat such situations, along with some long-term control options that can be used alongside prescribed medication:

1- Sit Straight:

In the event of a sudden attack, sit up straight with your back against a solid support instead of bending over or lying down in order to avoid further breathing difficulties due to air passage constriction.

2- Stress Lowering Techniques:

Breathing difficulties are amplified due to hyperventilation and stress during an asthma attack; reducing oxygen intake and making it difficult to get through the attack. Therefore, try taking deep, slow breaths through your abdomen instead of your nose, whilst picturing your lungs slowly contracting and relaxing to calm yourself.

3- Coffee Or Tea:

After overcoming the initial wave of panic, drink a cup of warm black tea or coffee, which works to subside an attack and restore breathing function by opening up the airways via caffeine, which acts as a bronchodilator similar to theophylline; a popular airway-deconstructing asthma medication.

4- Eucalyptus Essential Oil:

Eucalyptol, the chief constituent of eucalyptus oil, aids in bronchial tube inflation by breaking down excess mucus. Simply add a few drops into an oil diffuser or 1 cup of boiled water and inhale slowly for instant effects.

You can also sleep with a napkin sprayed with eucalyptus oil for overnight decongestion. However, essential oils might trigger symptoms in patients sensitive to chemical smells, so use with caution.

5- Mustard Oil:

Massaging a mixture of Natural Mustard Seed Oil and salt, or simply the oil alone can help deconstruct air passageways and improve lung function in emergency situations. However, it is not to be confused with the medicinal Mustard Essential Oil, that can produce adverse effects if applied directly to the skin.

6- Ginger:

Ingesting this common household spice in the tea-form or supplements can improve asthma symptoms by effectively relaxing the airway muscles and relieving airway constriction via calcium uptake regulation. It can be used as both an emergency treatment and long-term prevention option.

7- Honey:

The alcohol and other oils present in this well-known cough and cold remedy can help alleviate asthma symptoms via phlegm removal from the throat. Drink a mixture of 1 teaspoon honey in a hot beverage like milk or warm water thrice daily, or swallow 1 teaspoon of honey and cinnamon powder daily for regular symptom prevention.

8- Omega-3:

Research suggests that omega-3 supplements can boost lung function and reduce airway inflammation, as this fatty acid resembles the common asthma drugs known as ‘Leukotriene Inhibitors’, which inhibit the airway actions of certain inflammatory body compounds.

9- Vitamin D and C Supplements:

While anti-inflammatory properties and immune response-increasing abilities of vitamin D have proven to be effective in asthma symptom reduction, Vitamin C can help alleviate exercise-induced asthma symptoms by improving lung function. However, do consult with your doctor before starting to take supplements.

In addition, Make An Action Plan:

Making an ‘asthma action plan’ with your doctor can reduce symptom exacerbation due to anxiety and increase control over the condition thorough knowledge of the illness and symptom triggers. It might include medication dosage and schedules, a list of triggers and avoidance techniques, and emergency attack measures. Consider talking to the top lung specialist in Karachi for help with this.

You can also keep an ‘asthma diary’ to record daily habits and trigger situations in order to aid your doctor in identifying possible triggers.

As Well As Use A Peak Flow Meter:

This inexpensive handheld device is used to measure the speed of air outflow, aka Peak Expiatory Flow (PEF) during exhalation after a deep inhalation, with low PEF levels indicating worsening of the condition. It can be used during and after asthma attacks to monitor the disease’s progression.

When To See A Doctor:

Go to your doctor or the nearest ER immediately if you experience severe breathlessness and wheezing particularly late night or in the morning, or if you regularly need to strain your chest muscles to breathe properly, or if you are unable to speak extensively due to shortness of breath during an attack, or the symptoms do not subside despite using home remedies or an emergency inhaler.

While natural remedies are a popular symptom control option, the importance of prescription medication should not be undermined and must not be discontinued entirely. Consult with your doctor before trying these remedies to avoid accidental triggers.

Here at oladoc, we help you find and book confirmed appointment with a top Pulmonologist in Multan, Lahore and Islamabad. Moreover, you can also call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 and seek the best appointment with the doctor near you.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.

Dr. Javed Hayat Khan - Author Dr. Javed Hayat Khan is a Pulmonologist practicing in Lahore. Dr. Javed Hayat Khan has the following degrees: MBBS, FRCP (London), MRCP (UK), FCCP , Diploma in Thoracic Medicine (London), FRCP (Glasgow) and has 36 years of experience.
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