Asthma is a common chronic disease characterized by a number of symptoms including inflammation of the human respiratory tract, fluid in the lungs, coughing and wheezing. Its name has a Greek origin meaning “pant,” and it plagues hundreds of millions of people every year, with a fatality rate of over ten percent. Despite the grim facts however, asthma is a manageable disease. There are thousands of generic and prescribed brand labels designed to combat asthma and its symptoms.
But what if you can’t afford to buy medicines over the counter? Let’s face it: doctor’s appointments alone cost a lot of money, and what most pharmacies provide just adds on top of that cost. What if you are stuck at home and just need a quick fix to help with the before they overwhelm you?
Well the first thing to do is understand what you have. Asthma is classified as allergic or non-allergic. Allergic asthma is triggered by the same things the person is allergic to. When the substance enters the lungs along with air, the bronchioles detect it, triggering an inflammatory response. This causes the asthma attack. Non-allergic asthma on the other hand, is caused by actual irritants entering the body through the respiratory system. Regardless of type of asthma, the common factor here is the trigger. If you want to deal with an asthma attack, the start by learning what causes the attack, and then avoiding it altogether.
The next thing to do is alleviate the symptoms. While I agree when physicians say that an actual medication is necessary for proper treatment of asthma, that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything you can do without medical help. Following are a list of home remedies for asthma attacks. Please note that they are alternatives meant to treat symptoms, and are not meant to replace a doctor’s advice.
Take a warm steam bath for example. Singers will often say that singing in the shower loosens moistens the vocal chords. In the same way, warm steam will restore moisture to dried and irritated bronchioles. The temperature can also get rid of nasal congestion some asthmatics get, and cause blood vessels to dilate for more absorption of oxygen into the body.
Hot ginger tea is another home remedy that people tend to swear by. This is because of the root’s anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger has been used in folk medicine around the world for thousands of years, and some research in modern-day medicine supports many traditional beliefs about the plant. Asthma is an inflammatory disease, and so it makes perfect sense to use ginger as a quick fix for it; or at least, for the symptoms.
Some cough and cold treatments also list honey as an ingredient. In medicines, it is used to help soothe an irritated throat and bronchial tract. It is commonplace for people to mix a spoonful of honey with tea to alleviate symptoms. Though insufficient research has been conducted to conclude whether or not this actually works, it really doesn’t hurt to try. At the very least, it is comforting; honey sends shots of dopamine – the human body’s natural feel-good hormone – straight to the brain.
Garlic is another plant people swear works wonders when dealing with asthma. Unique sulfur compound known as vinyldithiins are produced in garlic when the allicins it naturally contains break down. These compounds are responsible for inhibition of inflammatory responses in the human body, particularly in the cardiovascular system. Research is being conducted on how effective garlic really is, though even in the early stages of the studies, things look bright for those who support garlic and its properties.
Finally, there is chicken soup. While it has the same qualities of temperature and moisture that help heal irritated airways, the real value is that it white blood cells have been observed by doctors to be less likely to congregate and cause an inflammatory response when in the presence of chicken soup (I wish I was making this up). While the biological effects are unclear, the effect is definite. In addition, I really don’t want to argue with science when it backs up good food.
While it remains advised to seek professional help when dealing with asthma, it’s still a good idea to take a pick. There’s nothing wrong with wanting quick relief; and the truth is that everything mentioned above is either a health food, or a healthy activity. In the end, that is usually the point when it comes to well-being: a healthy diet and lifestyle is, and always will be cheaper and more convenient than a medical bill.