Natural Remedies for Asthma
More than 25 million Americans have asthma, and more than 1 in 4 of them are children. Once a diagnosis is made, the goal should be managing the condition because asthma cannot be cured. With today’s sophisticated treatments, however, most people with asthma experience very few symptoms and can live extremely active lives.
Managing your asthma (or your child’s) usually requires a well-balanced combination of prescription drugs and strategies to reduce the environmental triggers that provoke symptoms. These triggers can be as simple as ordinary dust, smoke, caffeine, alcohol, perfume, aerosol sprays, paint, even scented laundry detergents and fabric softeners.
A naturopathic approach to asthma control can contribute significantly to overall health and wellness. Nevertheless, it is important to remember that asthma is a serious medical condition that requires a doctor’s care. The following suggestions are meant to complement medical management, not replace it.
Maintain good air quality at home. Don’t smoke. Avoid wood fires. Change air conditioning filters regularly. And use a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) vacuum cleaner at least twice a week.
Dust mites and pets definitely trigger asthma. The allergens are these creatures shed and leave behind – especially in mattress fibers, upholstered furniture and rugs – can definitely irritate airways. So use an allergen-neutralizing formula to eliminate this problem. Easy Air Organic Allergy Relief Spray and Organic Allergy Relief Laundry Rinse will destroy indoor contaminants at a molecular level without harsh chemicals. They cannot cure asthma but they will keep indoor air allergen-free for up to 1 month.
Pycnogenol may ease asthma symptoms. In one study, 22 asthma patients who took 200 mg daily for 4 weeks had fewer symptoms than those who took a placebo. Pycnogenol is an antioxidant, derived from the bark of evergreen trees. It should not be taken while pregnant or breastfeeding. It should not be used by anyone with an autoimmune disease such as multiple sclerosis, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.
Magnesium may help relax tight airway muscles. That’s why it is often used in the ER during an asthma attack. It can be taken as a dietary supplement but it can cause stomach upset, so ask your doctor to recommend a dosage.
The Chinese herb Saiko is gaining popularity. It acts as an anti-inflammatory and helps to regulate the immune system, two critical functions in managing asthma symptoms. Over time, this herb has helped some asthma patients lower their corticosteroid dosage. Experts warn: don’t begin using Saiko until you’ve consulted a qualified doctor of Oriental Medicine (OMD) to determine proper dosage and ensure that the herb is safe for you.