Asthma is a disorder of the respiratory system that causes difficulty in breathing, cough, and sense of chest tightness. The same word from which it comes, ásthma, is of Greek origin and means “painful, tiring breathing”. During an asthma attack, a spasm, or a contracture, of the bronchial walls occurs, resulting in a free flow of air from the pulmonary alveoli.
The affected individual senses a feeling of choking accompanied by coughing and, sometimes, expectoration. Predisposition to this disorder is due to inheritance, infection or passive smoking exposure.
Most children develop asthma symptoms in the first 6 years of age and one fifth of them continue to have asthma in adulthood. There are cases of bronchial asthma that cannot be attributed to allergic causes, but generally, asthma has allergic genesis. The factors most frequently responsible for asthmatic phenomena in predetermined subjects are: foods (milk, eggs, dried fruits, flours, peas, tomatoes, cod, crustaceans, strawberries); chemical substances; epidermal animal derivatives; plant pollen; drugs; industrial and domestic dust, especially those in which the parasite Dermatophagoides pterinyssimus is present, mildren proliferating in temperate climates and dwelling in mattresses. In adulthood, it is important to note that symptoms may also be overshadowed due to their subjectivity and that thoracic objectivity may be negative, especially during early stages of illness.
Bronchial asthma may be of an allergic or infectious nature. In the first case, asthma is triggered by external agents, as can be irritating, polluting and allergenic substances (dust, animal hair, certain foods or pollen). In the second case, however, asthma may be generated by several viruses that can infect the respiratory tract. There are also circumstances in which some medicines, such as aspirin and other non-steroidal drugs, may cause the onset of asthma; alternatively, cold and physical strains can trigger acute asthma attacks.
When wheezing, coughing and breathing difficulties persist, diagnosis is easy as well as an asthmatic condition. The history involves the evaluation of the mode of onset of these symptoms (e.g.: seasonal repetition, in the presence of rhinoconjunctivitis, during exercise, after the healing of stomach ulcer, in association with symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux, in association with symptoms sinusitis, etc.) and the detection of objective signs (hissing).
To fight asthma, there are also natural remedies, like the ones we propose you today.
Phytotherapeutic remedies for asthma
Factors that can lead to asthma include allergies, genetic predisposition, infections, heart failure, smoking, and stress. Therefore, officinal plants used in asthma therapy have anti-inflammatory action against mucous membranes; Fluidizing and expectorant for the catarrh produced by them.
Curry plant (Helichrysum italicum)
Curry plant (Helichrysum italicum) flower buds are used in the treatment of allergies that affect the airways and skin tissues. The plant has antihistamines, anti-inflammatory, expectorant and antibacterial properties and is therefore indicated in the respiratory tract infections of both the allergic and infectious type. In tea or mother tincture, it favors the elimination of bronchial catarrh, attenuates excessive spasm of asthma and allergic inflammation of the nasal mucosa.
Black currant (Ribes nigrum)
Black currant (Ribes nigrum) is an elective remedy for all acute and inflammatory allergic syndromes at the level of the internal mucous membranes, as it acts as a cortisone-like stimulating the adrenal cortex in the production of cortisol; for this reason, it is used in the case of chronic bronchitis and allergic asthma. Black currant may have some side effects such as allergies and hypertension. Always consult a physician before taking it.
The use of Ribes nigrum for allergies is motivated by its stimulating action on the adrenal cortex, for the production of our natural cortisone with anti-inflammatory properties (cortison-like). As we have seen, this natural remedy is effective against all types of allergies, including asthmatic and cutaneous. Its intake generates a very important reaction as it increases the production of adrenal steroids. These hormones are normally secreted by our glands to counteract any kind of stress or injury, stimulate protein conversion into energy, eliminate inflammation and temporarily inhibit the action of the immune system during allergic reaction.
The extract of black currant buds is therefore used for its powerful anti-inflammatory and antihistaminic properties that acts both on the skin’s and respiratory pathways, and is therefore indicated in case of allergic and chronic rhinitis, asthma, bronchitis, laryngitis, pharyngitis, dermatitis and conjunctivitis. It also has an immunostimulant action, combats fatigue and increases resistance to cold in order to prevent flu illness.
It is important to remember how black currant is a natural phytotherapy remedy, it has a slower action on drugs, so it is necessary to start antihistaminic therapy one month before the period when the allergy is generally present and be absolutely constant in taking . Factors such as warm and low humidity emphasize the allergic reaction, so in such cases it would be advisable to increase the dosage of the medicinal extract, under the advice of a herbalist, a naturopath, or a doctor, as soon as summer approaches or the climate changes.
Lantana (Lantana Viburnum)
Lantana (Lantana Viburnum) is indicated for allergic, episodic, intermittent, periodic or continuous bronchial asthma, associated with allergy ground infection, chronic bronchitis with asthma, dyspnea (respiratory distress), sense of chest tightness and pertussis.
Propolis against asthma
Propolis is made up of a resinous substance that bees gather from the buds and bark of some trees, such as poplars, fir trees, elms, and birch trees, which then mix with saliva, wax and pollen. The name originates from the Greek ‘pro’ (front) and polis (city), or “in front of the city”. This makes perfect sense if you think that bees, in fact, use their product to defend the hive, their city, from diseases and predators that can put it in danger. Pliny the Elder speaks about propolis and its many curative beneifts in his Naturalis history.
Propolis is mostly composed of resins, balms and waxes, which vary depending on the different sources of harvesting. These ingredients are always complemented with aromatic acids, pollen, essential oils and vegetable and mineral organic substances, present in a percentage of about 15%. Rich in flavonoids and polyphenols, propolis also has a high mineral content, including iron, calcium, copper and manganese, and B vitamins.
Propolis performs many beneficial activities throughout the body. The composition of caffeic acid and flavonoids makes propolis a powerful anti-inflammatory, effective in people suffering from asthma. The list of propolis properties is really long: it has antiviral, healing, antimycotic, immunostimulant, vasoprotective It is used to treat burns, irritations and pimples (dry them and prevent scarring). Propolis in glycolic or alcoholic solution is useful for abscesses, abscesses, oral cavity vesicles. It is used on sore teeth it has a decongestant effect and therefore also effective on gingivitis (but in that case it will have to be in glycolic solution). Propolis also gives immediate relief to the inflamed throat (use glycolic extract spatulas). It is also an excellent natural preventative product against colds and influences. Propolis can also be used for the care of our animal friends, and in particular to treat dog and cat laryngitis during the winter.
And of course, propolis is great for the purposes studied in this article, which is as a natural remedy for asthma you can make at home, since it is a great ally in fighting the diseases of respiratory, skin, immune system. You can find propolis commercially available in different sizes and with various formulations. This can only be purchased only from beekeepers.
In herbal shops and pharmacies, instead, propolis tinctures, oils, tablets and ointments can be found. Within these products the percentage of propolis may vary, so it is always best to prefer those that have proplis content in a percentage greater than 50%, are free from dyes and with a low alcohol content.
Gingko (Ginkgo biloba)
Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) is a plant of the Ginkgoaceae family. In addition to being useful against diabetes and allergies, it is also used to counteract asthmatic symptoms. Ginkgo biloba leaves contain terpenes (Ginkgolide B) that block lipid peroxidation, implicated in platelet aggregation. These active substances, in fact, inhibit the platelet activation factor (PAF), preventing the formation of thrombs in the blood vessels and decreasing the capillary permeability, thus improving tissue spraying.
Polyphenols and flavonoids (ginketol, isigkettetol, bilabondol, ginkolide) act on the cell membranes, stabilizing them and counteracting the formation of free radicals. This platelet-blocking property makes it particularly suitable to avoid the rejection of transplanted organs, useful under close medical supervision in the event of emboli, which are responsible for heart attacks and apoplysis.
Its active ingredients also make it a powerful allergy remedy: it is a vasodilator of the arteries, while in the veins it has vasoconstrictor activity, so it is recommended in asthma attacks. To avail of gingko benefits, you can prepare a simple homemade gingko infusion or take it in form of a tincture or pills. For a gingko infusion, you will require 1 tablespoon ginkgo leaves and 1 cup of water. Pour the leaves into boiling water and turn off the heat. Cover and leave in infusion for 10 min. Filter the infusion and drink it away from meals to take anti-inflammatory action for the benefit of the circulatory system. Gingko tincture: 30-40 drops to be taken in the morning, or 800 mg dry extract in tablets or capsules, taken also in the morning.
Gingko is contraindicated in pregnancy and during lactation, and it is administered with caution in patients taking concomitant anticoagulants, blood flowing and platelet aggregation inhibitors, MAO and NSAIDs or acetylsalicylic acid. During gingko therapy, it is best to avoid sun exposure and / or tanning lamps, as it makes you sensible to light.
Grapes and grape seed oil
Grapes are able to alleviate and counteract many diseases: from asthma and migraine to constipation, to Alzheimer’s and heart disease. Grapes and grape seeds can be used to support asthma, as it has a high moisturizing power, which increases the moisture in the lungs and reduces asthma manifestations.
Essential oils as a home remedy for asthma
The essential oils used in asthma are few, especially if it is of allergic origin; While if such a disorder is the result of inflammation or infection of the respiratory tract, balsamic essences are the most widely used because of the fluidifying and expectorating properties of the catarrh. They can be used to make pills (5 drops in a boiling pot), for environmental diffusion (1 drop per square meter), or 2 drops in a teaspoon of honey 2-3 times a day.
Essential oil of hyssop
Essential oil of hyssop brings relief during asthma attacks. Hyssop is a respiratory expectorant, therefore its areas of application are related to typical winter disorders such as cough, flu, colds, and sore throat. In particular, the essential oil of hyssop is a mucolitic, ie it acts decongesting action on bronchi and lungs. So it is indicated in all forms of cough, when it is greasy, when it is dry: in the first case it helps to eliminate the catarrh, while in the second it helps to fluidify it, allowing it to expel.
Myrtle essential oil
The scent of myrtle essential oil releases its breath, opens its chest and has a positive effect on the mind stressed by daily thoughts. It is well tolerated by children, it has a mucolytic, expectorant and fluidifying effect on the catarrh. It helps to decongest inflammed airways, colds, bronchitis, smokers cough, and all chronic respiratory illnesses.
Thyme essential oil
Thyme essential oil is a powerful remedy for the respiratory system and its affections. It acts as an antibiotic against bronchial and oral cavity infections. It has a balmy anti-inflammatory action: disinfects it from catarrhs, fluidifies and facilitates expectoration. In the case of allergic asthma, it allows a greater dilatation of the bronchial vessels, acts as a shield against allergens, disinfection and decontracting the involved part.
Steam inhalations: in a bowl of boiling water dissolve 10 drops of thyme essential oil. Inhale deeply the vapor rich in balsamic properties, keeping your eyes closed because this very powerful essential oil could irritate you. It is advisable to inhale slowly and exhale long enough to allow a good purification and a re-equilibration of the hydrogen peroxide with respect to the charged portion of carbon dioxide.
Emergency remedy: soak a handkerchief with a few drops of thyme essential oil, about 10 drops, to carry with you and put it to close to the nose and mouth in moments of difficulty in which there is a beginning of a lack of exhalation.
Essential oil of clary sage (clary or clary sage)
Clary sage has a very important role among officinal plants. The Salernitan School of Medicine took great care of it and cited it as Salvia Salvatrix, the healer. Its essential oil performs a balancing action on the entire body. It regenerates and relaxes, it is a humorous tonic, sedates the anxieties and stimulates the mind. The important aspect of the case we are dealing with is its anti-pimp action, benefiting muscle tissue. Clary sage essential oil is indicated in the case of respiratory, constricted and congestion-related symptoms: it helps to fluidize, open the breath.
Steam inhalations: in a bowl of very hot water dissolve 12 drops of essential oil of clary. Cover your head with a towel and deeply inhale the rich steam of the sage’s volatile part. It’s good to repeat this practice every night in the pollen period, to encourage breathing and restful sleep.
Aromatic baths: dissolve 5 or 6 drops of essential oil in the bathtub water, it will benefit the entire body, the central nervous system, the respiratory system, the muscle tissue and the epidermal tissue.
Black cumin (Nigella sativa)
Black cumin (Nigella sativa) oil helps improve asthma control and pulmonary function, according to a recent research published in Phytotherapy Research. Seeds and essential oil of the herb are widely used in the traditional medicine of many Middle East and Asian countries for the treatment of various problems including immune and inflammatory disorders. This randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study (conducted by researchers from the University of London and King Abdulaziz University in Saudi Arabia) indicated that 1 gram per day of black cumin for four weeks resulted in significant improvements in scores of control of asthma and a significant reduction in eosinophil counts in peripheral blood. It is recalled that eosinophils play an important role in asthma inflammation and that the count of blood eosinophils is considered a very important biomarker in studies on this increasingly widespread problem.
The study included 80 randomly assigned asthma patients at one of the two experimental and placebo-controlled groups who received capsules containing 500 mg of cumin oil or a placebo twice daily for four weeks. Data from the 60 people who completed the study indicate that black cumin supplementation is associated with significant improvements in the mean score of the Asthma Control Test compared with placebo. In the experimental group, there was also a significant reduction in blood eosinophilia and an improvement, although not statistically significant, of pulmonary function. Black cumin oil, therefore, appears to be effective in improving the control of asthma symptoms with a trend in improving pulmonary function, researchers concluded.
When using home remedies against asthma, keep in mind that these remedies cannot replace the use of pharmacological bronchodilators in the case of accidental asthma, but may allow for more widespread use for the benefit of your health and general well-being.