While there is no known cure for asthma, and attacks can be potentially life threatening, asthma symptoms can be managed by both learning how to keep from having flare ups and how to manage a flare up when it does occur. During an asthma attack the airways become inflamed, the bronchial tubes constrict, adjacent muscles simultaneously contract and the body produces extra mucus that clogs the air passages. All this results in making it very difficult to breathe properly.
While a rescue inhaler is usually enough to take care of an asthma attack, some people may not want to use their inhaler, except as a last resort. Additionally, if you are in a crisis situation where no inhaler is available there are a number of home remedies you can try to reduce asthma flare-ups in an emergency. You should of course seek medical help if none of these home remedies seem to help in lessening your symptoms from asthma flare-ups.
Direct steam is an old tried-and-true home remedy for asthma, as the warm moist air will help to relax and open air passages. A vaporizer is always a good go-to option to have on hand. However, if no vaporizer is available any method that produces a lot of steam will be helpful. Take a long hot shower or sit in the bathroom with the door closed and the hot water running. Alternatively, place a pot of water on the stove to boil and breathe in the steam. Just be careful not to burn yourself.
The caffeine in coffee or tea can be an emergency treatment for asthma and has some of the same airway-opening properties as the prescription asthma medication theophylline. Studies have shown caffeine can be helpful in improving breathing function for up to four hours. Additionally, the warmth from the hot drink will also help to relax and open air passages.
Eucalyptus oil has been used for millennium as an all-natural remedy for a variety of conditions, including asthma. To treat asthma, place a few drops of eucalyptus oil into a diffuser and take long, slow, deep breaths. Alternatively, you can also place a few drops of oil in a cup of boiling water or a vaporizer if no diffuser is available.
Other essential oils that may help relieve an asthma flare up include lavender and basil oils. As essential oils aren’t regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, it is important to research any brands of oil that you use for quality.
It is important to note that essential oils can actually trigger an asthma attack in people whose asthma is aggravated by chemical odors. Here it is best to error on the side of caution and try one essential oil at a time, and in very small amounts, until you see how you react to each one.
Mustard-seed oil is one of the best known emergency home remedies for relief from an asthma flare up as it opens the air passages and increases lung function. Do not confuse mustard-seed oil with mustard essential oil. As the name implies, mustard-seed oil is the fatty oil containing isothiocyanates and is rendered from pressing the mustard seeds.
Rub a mixture of salt and warm mustard-seed oil on to your chest until symptoms subside. Mustard plasters, or poultices, produced from powdered mustard seeds, have a warming effect and a similar effect as mustard-seed oil on asthma symptoms. However, poultices should not be left on for more than 15 minutes, as mustard can burn the skin.
Sitting upright takes the weight off your chest and makes it much easier for the air to flow more freely through your bronchial tubes. Prop several pillows up against the headboard of your bed, or sleep in a recliner, to keep you head and chest elevated when trying to sleep.
Trying to control your breathing can be exceptionally challenging while in the midst of an asthma attack, but breathing exercises offer several benefits. Breathing exercises help to keep your airways open longer, making it easier for you to take in needed oxygen, by reducing the number of breaths you need to take.
Having an asthma attack can be very stressful and slow, controlled breathing will help prevent hyperventilation that will result in you getting less oxygen into your lungs. Deep breaths will also help you to remain calm and even help relax you. Deep breathing will also help prevent your chest muscles from constricting, making it harder for you to breathe.
1) Breathe in slowly and deeply through your nose.
2) Purse your lips and breathe out through your mouth. For maximum benefit, you should exhale at approximately half the speed that you inhale.
1. While sitting upright, breathe in through your nose with your hands placed on the belly.
2. Breathe out while relaxing your neck and shoulders. You should exhale at approximately half the speed that you inhale.
The best way to treat asthma is by preventing a flare up in the first place. There is a growing body a scientific research that suggests eating certain foods can help to keep your asthma at bay. Many of these foods may not only help keep an asthma attack from happening, some of these foods also work as a good home remedy during an asthma flare up. Of course, you will want to avoid any foods on the list you are allergic to.
Avocados have high levels of L-glutathione that is known to protects cells from free radical damage, including histamine which can trigger and asthma attack. Try to eat approximately three avocados a week to help reduce asthma flare ups.
Honey will help remove mucus from your throat and help you breathe easier. Mix one teaspoon of honey in a cup of warm water to help remove phlegm and treat asthma symptoms. Additionally, add some honey to hot tea of coffee to get the benefits of both.
Kale has become known as a super food, having a wide array of antioxidants and vitamins that can help reduce muscle spasms in the airways.
Packed with numerous vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, spinach is regarded as the king of super foods. Spinach has a very high magnesium content, a mineral asthma sufferers are known to be deficient in.
Apple and Bananas
Medical studies have shown that feeding pregnant women apples and bananas may prevent asthma and wheezing in their babies.
If you don’t mind having bad breath, garlic has a proven effect on reducing congestion, airway inflammation and muscle constriction. You can add fresh garlic to many recipes or eat a teaspoon plain every day. You should cook garlic before eating, as raw garlic can cause stomach issues.
Becoming dehydrated can cause a host of issues with virtually all your bodily functions. These include airway constriction, thickening of mucus and slowed immune system response, all three of which can result in or worsen asthma flare ups. Try to drink at least two quarts of water on non-active days and more when exercising or during hot weather.
Beside aiding in boosting immune system functioning and helping to ward off cancer, ginger can both aid in keeping asthma at bay and help when having asthma flare-ups. Ginger is known to have muscle-relaxing properties that helps with reducing airway spasms and also aids in regulating calcium uptake that also helps to control asthma flare ups. Make a natural ginger tea by adding one teaspoon of grated ginger root and one teaspoon of honey to a cup of hot water. Steep for 5 minutes.