Asthma is a common inflammatory disease that affects the air passages of the lungs. Symptoms vary; episodes of wheezing, coughing, tightness in the chest and shortness of breath.
With the constant increase in environmental pollution, the number of diagnosed cases of asthma worldwide is on the increase.
Modern medicine treats the condition with an array of orally administered medication. The centre of treatment is relieving the symptoms, or at best, reducing the frequency in which they occur.
Research suggests that more and more sufferers are turning to alternative treatments to address underlying causes. Complimentary approaches range from dietary, breathing exercising and psychological, to acupuncture and homoeopathy.
*It is important to point out that you must discuss treatments you wish to undertake with your doctor first.
- Clean Up Your Diet:
As with any inflammatory problem, diet is important.
- Avoid foods that irritate the immune system (dairy, wheat, preservatives, and additives.)
- Eat more antioxidant-rich foods (vegetables, fruits, and berries), and drink natural (water, natural fruit juice, herbal tea and coconut water).
- Up your intake of Magnesium and vitamin D (A good multivitamin will help).
- Clean Up the Environment:
Asthmatics need to optimise the cleanliness of the air they breathe. Air-borne pollutants are found in every place we go it; house dust, smoke, animal hair/skin, exhaust fumes, chemical sprays, etc. Where possible it is best to avoid these as much as is possible.
- Breathing Exercises:
Breathing techniques are commonly used in the treatment of asthma. Belly or deep breathing involves breathing through your nose rather than the mouth and using abdominal muscles.
Two specific techniques are Butekyo and Pranayama (yoga). Many studies have shown that these exercises improve symptoms.
Originating in China thousands of years ago, Acupuncture involves the insertion of very fine needles into the skin at specific points of the body. Some studies show that this treatment, when performed by a qualified practitioner, is very safe and effective.
- Herbal Treatments:
Used for centuries, herbs are still a primary asthma treatment in many countries. Herbs used include; Ephedra, Green Tea, Ginger, Rosemary, Schizandra, Ginkgo Biloba and Boswellia. Generally, more than one herb is used as this has proven more effective.
*Some herbs can interact with prescription medications. Do consult your doctor before taking.
- Homoeopathic Cures:
Homoeopathy stimulates self-healing using a dose of substances. For asthma, homoeopathic remedies are made from substances that generally trigger asthma reactions (pollen, weeds, etc). The amounts used are so small that they will prevent rather than trigger an attack.
- Relaxation Therapy:
Meditation, Hypnosis and muscle relaxation are typical therapies used to treat asthma. These techniques reduce stress, relieve symptoms and promote a sense of well-being. In Psychogenic asthma (emotionally induced), these methods have been proven highly effective.