Asthma is an illness characterized by episodes of breathing difficulty, accompanied with the sensation of suffocation due to the restricted respiratory tract inside the lungs. It also causes a frequent violent cough as the body tries to remove the mucous accumulated in the lungs.
The constriction of the respiratory tracts is caused by three main factors:
a) The bronchial muscle next to each tube contracts causing a stifling or spasm and the inability to breathe deeply and easily.
b) Accumulation of mucous in the bronchial tube.
c) Inflammation of the mucous membrane in the bronchial tube. Or a combination of the three.
The symptoms: Tightness in the chest, cough and periodic bouts with breathing difficulty. In more serious cases inhalers and extra oxygen are necessary to assist breathing.
The causes: allergies, air pollution, respiratory infections, stress or anxiety producing spasms (involuntary contractions) of the muscles that surround the bronchi and not allowing air to enter the lungs.
Maintain a relaxed family and work environment because stress and emotional tensions play an important role in asthma.
1. Try to remain calm and stay in well-ventilated areas. Drink a lot of fluids because this helps to loosen mucous in the lungs.
2. Put hot water in a container with few drops of eucalyptus oil. Cover your head and the container with a towel, and breathe in the vapors. This should loosen the phlegm and dilate the bronchi.
3. Add little honey to the water and drink it several times a day, especially during an asthma attack.
4. Take Echinacea alongwith Vitamin-E with selenium and Vitamin-C for enhancing the immunity system thereby preventing and eliminating any inflammation of the bronchial tube, which is common with asthma.
5. Ginkgo Biloba is an excellent plant with the ability to dilate the bronchioles, causing the alveolus of the lung to open and allow the passage of oxygen. The Chinese have used this plant for many years to combat asthma, especially asthma due to allergies that is most common. In a 1992 article from “Let’s Live” called “Ginkgo Biloba, Old and New,” Dr. Donald J. Brown comments on the ability of the active ingredients of Ginkgo Biloba, ginkgo sides A, B and C to inhibit the element responsible for closing the bronchial passages, related to asthma as well as bronchitis. This factor is called PAF or the Platelet Activation Factor and is how Ginkgo works to allow a person or child to breathe better.
6. Relaxation: It is very helpful for a person who suffers from asthma to learn to relax, as this will help relive tension when an asthma attack occurs.
7. Tension increases the severity of the muscle contractions in the chest making it more difficult to breathe. Practicing yoga (Pranayama) is a good way to learn to relax oneself.
8. Slow, deep breathing is very beneficial and should be practiced along with relaxation exercises.
9. Exercise is very important, especially swimming, which helps children and young people to strengthen the muscles of the rib cage and to oxygenate lungs.
10. It is important to monitor nutrition because you may be allergic to some foods. They need to be eliminated from your diet.
Warning! If your difficulties with breathing occur more and more frequently, or you have problems breathing even with an oxygen inhaler or bronchodilator, consult your physician.
It is recommended that an asthmatic person not take aspirin because they might be allergic to it.