Asthma is a disease of the airways or bronchial tubes that causes the inflammation and narrowing of the bronchial tubes thereby restricting airflow into and out of the body. The airways in our body are lined by muscles that contain mucus and in normal non-asthmatic people, these airways are relaxed and in asthmatic patients, they are sensitive, inflamed and constricted as a result of an allergy or trigger.
When the airways come across a trigger, the muscles of the bronchi react by tightening or contracting more and its lining swells and becomes filled with mucus. This reaction makes breathing very difficult hence they wheezing commonly associated with asthma patients and it is known as an asthma attack.
Asthma is not contagious but it is believed that genetics and environmental factors contribute to developing this condition. There is no widely known cure for asthma hence why proper management is key to living with asthma.
The symptoms of asthmas are mostly obvious during an asthma attack otherwise, they are just like other people in the community. The symptoms include:
- Wheezing – a whistling sound when breathing or when trying to breathe
- Breathlessness and breathing difficulties
- A tight chest – it feels like a band is tightening around the chest
It is important that asthma is properly diagnosed as there are other breathing related conditions that have similar symptoms.
A correct diagnosis is will lessen the burden inhalf then you can just go about designing how to manage the symptoms and prevent an asthma attack as much as possible.
It is known that asthma is as a result of an allergic reaction to a trigger that causes inflammation of the air passages. This makes the airways in the body very sensitive so they temporarily narrow therefore making breathing difficult.
A trigger is anything that irritates your airways and consequently an asthma attack begins. Triggers are largely classified into
- Allergic triggers i.e. these are substances known to cause allergies in people such as mould, mites, dust etc.
- non-allergic triggers i.e. they are mostly irritants such as cold air, sir pollutants, intense emotions, tasking exercises etc.
There is yet to be a known definite cause of asthmatic allergic reaction however, some factors make one more prone to developing this condition. They include
- Premature birth
- Family history and genetics
- Allergies – some studies indicate that those with allergiers are more likely to develop asthma however not everyone who has asthma will be affected by allergies and not everyon with allergies will develop asthma. It simply increases the chances of developing asthma later in life
- Environmental pollution or the air quality you breathe.
Identifying and eliminating/minimizing contact to allergens is one of the fundamental actions one can take is to identifying the material or substance causing of his asthma attacks.
This can be done by many ways such as being observant and keeping a journal of you routine to investigate your asthma trigger. Doing this successfully can reduce the frequency of your asthma attacks by atleast 50%.
Other tips on managing asthma include:
- Learn some breathing exercises
- Maintaining a healthy weight as being overweight can worsen symptoms
- Reducing stress as much as possible and emotionally triggering events
- Clearing your home of any known asthma trigger
- Let those around you know what to do or how to help you when you are experiencing an attack
A poor management of asthma can result in some complications and very unpleasant situations some of which you have probably experienced. They include:
- Constant tiredness or fatigue
- Delays in growth or puberty in children
- Stress, anxiety etc.
- Lung infections (e.g. pneumonia)
- Underperformance or absence from work, school, etc.
- Constant disruption of your life and daily plans
How long does asthma lasts
Asthma is mostly a life-long condition for those that developed their allergies on adulthood. As for those that had begun their asthma attacks as children, it tends to subside or significantly in severity reduce once one reached teenage-adulthood.
With a good asthma management,you can live a healthy and active life and not be burdened with constant worry and asthma attacks. This is my purpose of writing this blog post so read on to the remedies that keep asthma in check
Inhalers – small devices that allow breathing medicines into the body – are the known companions of asthma patients. They are used during an asthma attack to open the air ways and beyond and for everyday use to prevent the symptoms from occurring.
Constantly taking pharmaceutical drugs as we know can seriously erode our health which will in turn worsen our asthma. The following a natural and safe remedies and herbs that are often used by asthmatic patients in managing their symptoms successfully.
This is one of the most prominent natural remedy for combatting asthma attacks. The eucalyptus oil is commonly used not just for herbs but other ailments that are characterized by blocking of the air ways or breathing difficulties.
Eucalyptus oil an anti-inflammatory and de-congestant that clears the air ways fast. It is advised that you to get the best quality of this essential oil you can find to give you maximum benefits and to prevent possible reactions from impurities
How to use (Normally):
- Keep it around you in your bag, office, room or where ever and whenever you start to feel some discomfort, open the bottle and inhale the oil like an inhaler.
- You can also dab some of the oil on a clean cloth or towel and them place it on your nose/mouth and take a deep breath.
For steam inhalation:
You should use this method when your breathing is becoming difficult as your airways have closed. This quick remedy is guaranteed to open your airways fast
How to use:
- Boil about a liter of water or just sufficient water in a kettle fast
- As you are waiting for it to boil, prepare a place to sit comfortably and get a big towel or blanket and the eucalyptus oil
- Once it boils, don’t open it and quickly carry it to your sitting area. We need the water tobe as hot as possible
- pour it into a bowl
- and quickly add about 3-5 drops of the eucalyptus oil
- cover the asthmatic patient with the blanket completely without allowing any pace for the steam to escape while they are bent over the steaming bowl of water and essential oil
- sit in this position without opening the blanket for as long as you can until the water cools down and you will regain you breathing by then.
That is it. Well done!
Garlic and ginger
Garlic is here again. Garlic and ginger is very good for asthma patients and the other ailments that affects the chest such as bronchitis, pneumonia, common cold etc.
As we know, they are highly anti-inflammatory foods and herbs as well as antibacterial, antiviral, antimicrobial. So they not only reduce the inflammation but also boost the immunity and disinfect the airways.
Using these two remedies alone can significantly reduce the frequency of suffering from an asthma attack. You can add them to your teas with honey, soups, swallow chopped pieces of garlic not more than a single piece at a time, chew some ginger, etc.
Unless you have ulcer, the above two oils –garlic and ginger- should always be available and within your reach where ever you are. You can use them as raw or their oil whenever you start to feel the signs of an asthma attack as they combat the inflammation causing it.
How to use:
- You can use them raw by chewing, swallowing or adding them to teas.
- Alternatively, you can take the oil as a supplement. It will be best to take these raw oils not as a capsule.
Botanical name: Euphorbia hirta
Hausa name: Nonon kurciya
Yoruba Name: Akun esan
Igbo name: Ba ala
This medicinal plant is very popularly known for treating asthma that is is called an asthma herb. It is used in not just Nigerian traditional medicine but also Ayurveda (Indian traditional medicine) and in local regions of Native America.
It is used primarily for common ailments such as diarrhea, hay fever, etc., women health and respiratory disorders such as bronchitis, asthma, cough etx. One of its major components is the glycosides
How to use:
- Boil a single handful of the fresh leaves or a teaspoon of the powdered leaves in about half a liter of water
- Sieve the water and allow it cool but not completely.
- Take it warm
Use this herb as a preventive measure once a week. If you are nearing or beginning a new season or period when you tend to have more frequent attacks, then take this herb once a day every day to prevent attacks.
Alternatively, you can make burn/use it as an incense in the house when you are feeling breathing some difficulties.
- Burn some charcoal until they are red hot or heat the incense burner if using the electric burner
- Add the dried leaves of this herb to the coal or incense burner until you feel its concentration is enough for you
Asthma can be different for everyone. For some, their condition is severe and often affects their daily life. For others, with proper management and caution, they are able to live well with little to no symptoms at all.
I believe combining these suggested remedies with a good management of your habits and lifestyle, you can live a healthy and active life despite your asthma condition. You can read more on asthma condition here if you are interested.
There are health conditions that I strongly recommend that you use as many natural remedies as possible before using any pharmaceutical drugs because the constant and continuous use of these drugs does have a significant negative impact on our health. I wish you the best.
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Bye for now.