Over 300 million people globally are affected with some sort of asthma symptoms (Lorie Rice, 2011). Asthma is a serious respiratory disorder and over 80% of asthma problems are caused by allergies (Vance Ferrel, Harold M. Cherne, MD, 2021). Asthma was a disease thought associated with heredity as well as the environment, but asthma is more than genetic. So, what is asthma? Asthma is “inflammation which leads to blocking of the bronchial passages”, (Earthing page 63). In the previous decades, research has shown that natural alkaline foods and herbs can help get rid of asthma symptoms: foods containing nutrients certain mineral like magnesium can decrease asthmatic symptoms. Natural foods containing certain nutrients can reduce inflammation and lessen the triggers of asthmatic symptoms (rice, 2011).
What is asthma?
Asthma is a respiratory condition that affects air passages that go in and out of the lungs. Asthma triggers block the airways of the passages of the lungs. When an asthma attack occurs, the muscles around the small passage of the lungs tighten and shrink, making it hard for air to leave the lungs (Vance Ferrel, etc., 2021). The airways, or the bronchial tubes are very sensitive to outside particles that can enter the air passages when breathing. As a result, the air passages react to outside particles—they can get swollen and inflamed; when that happens, the muscles tighten causing the air flow in the bronchial tubes to shrink the air flow. Consequently, less air flows in and out of the lungs causing asthma symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, tight chest, and difficulty breathing (Rice, 2011).
Asthma symptoms is different depending on the individual. For example, asthma symptoms sign varies from coughing, difficult breathing, and shortness of breath. For some people signs of asthma may be mild; for others asthmatic symptoms can cause day-to-day activities a burden. Therefore, severe asthma symptoms can be life threaten for some people; so, treatment is important as soon as they appear (Vance Ferrel). Environmental factors can also play a role on asthmatic symptoms, for example, secondhand smoke, bad dieting, stress, automobile exhaust, viral infections, and for children who gets antibiotic early on in life (Lorie Rice). The Signs & Symptoms of asthma ranges from mild to severe—some people may only experience asthma attacks that are mild, and have no issues breathing. While other people may experience symptoms of asthma like wheezing, coughing, and severe attacks (Sherry Torkos, 2007).
What Causes Asthma Attack
Asthma attack may be triggered by an irritant such as food additives, feathers, tobacco smoke, drugs, fumes, chemicals, stress, respiratory infections, and pollutants. According to Danuser “even short exposer to low concentration of cigarette side stream smoke causes significant impairment of lung function in sensitive persons.” An experiment study was done to see if tobacco smoke affected all asthmatic people. The experimental studies showed that tobacco smoke exposer can exacerbate asthma in some susceptible people. Most asthmatics do not have asthma attacks even when they expose to high tobacco exposure (Peter N. Lee, Barbara A. Forey). About 80% of asthmatic people have an allergic disorder. Asthma experts warn that the increasing of pollutants on the environment will cause asthmatics to increase (Vance Ferrell). People will continue to work and live with things like dry cleaning chemicals, sulfites, polyurethane, and so much additional common chemicals. In the past ten years, the number of asthmatics in the United States has increased in children and adults over 65 years of age (Harold M. Cherne, M.D.).
Allergy and Asthma
Did you know that secondhand smoke can bother most people with asthma? How do you know if you have an allergy or asthma? There are some common symptoms, but keep in mind that it depends on the individual—some people may or may not react the same way to all things. Allergies are episode of different reaction to certain substances affecting your skin, eyes, nose, or sinuses. For example, allergy in the nose, eyes, and sinuses cause a runny nose, burning itching eyes, and congestion. Allergy in your skin produces redness and itching (Jefrey C. May). Asthma causes episodic respiratory symptoms consisting shortness of breath and wheezing. Other asthma allergies are foods containing sulfites addictive: potassium metabisulfite, sulfur dioxide, and sodium bisulfite used by restaurants to prevent discoloration in salads and other foods. Sulfites are added to food by the food industry. Other allergic asthma problems can be dust, mites, mold, and yeast that can cause coughing, itchy eyes, and make breathing difficulties. We will go over some of those asthma allergies below.
- Dust, which can provide nutrition for microscopic bacteria. House dusts consist of mostly human skin or the other inhabitant living in the house like dogs, cats, and birds. Dust in the home is one of the most common causes of allergic asthma symptoms.
- Dust mites is another common cause of allergy causing asthma symptoms. Dust mite fecal pellets are the cause of mite asthma allergy. The pellets can be airborne and inhale.
- Molds are fungi, “most fungi reproduce by creating spores, microscopic cell that are generated in vast numbers” (Jeffrey C. May). Mold needs moisture and nutrients to grow, especially in basements where the humidity is over 70 percent—mold can flourish. Mold can grow in dust, fruit, paper, cotton, soap, oil, wood, and paint. Individuals who are allergic to mold and who are sensitive to spores will react allergically if they breath in airborne mold spores (My house is Killing Me!).
Foods to avoid with Asthma
According to “The Everything Guide to Food Remedies”, these foods can trigger asthma symptoms in some people. The following foods to avoid with asthma contain sulfites such as vinegar, fresh or frozen shrimp, pickles, a variety of dried fruits, grape juice, beer, and wine (Rice 2011). According to the book “Nature’s Healing Power Through Food”, foods to avoid with asthma are buttermilk, curd, rice, white sugar, lentils (masoor), banana, guava, sour foods, coffee, alcoholic beverages, fried foods, processed or refined foods, and condiments sauces. The ingestion of tartrazine based on conducted studies have been linked to increase asthma, hives and hyperactivity (Woodhead Publishing, 2012, Natural food additives, ingredients and flavorings). Furthermore, the list below are foods to avoid with asthma:
- Food that creates mucus like dairy products, which increase mucus formation and can affect breathing
- Salt is very addictive, and it has been shown to make asthma gets worse
- Cold and frozen foods will cause the muscles in the air passages to tighten
- Processed foods, preservatives, and foods additives can trigger asthma attacks in some people
Treatment for Asthma attack
During an asthma attack, sit up straight on a chair for about ten minutes. Breath or inhale through your nose and exhale through your pressed lips. This helps press open the bronchial tubes (Vance Ferrell). Water therapy for asthma attack treatment. Treatment during the attack can be any one of the following according to the Natural Remedies Encyclopedia.
Hot fomentation in the back of the neck, front of the chest, and thorax. Keeping cool in the head with a cloth or a sponge with cool water running down the head is helpful as a treatment for asthma attack.
Pour water in the back of the neck for about 30 through 90 second is an effective treatment for asthma attack (about 1 and a half minutes). The person experiencing the asthma attack should bend over and the water should be about a gallon of water.
An asthma inhaler to blow fresh air during an asthma attack.
A neutral bath (94 degree – 98 F.) to calm and relax the nerves can be an effective treatment for asthma attack.
Herbs for Asthma
There are many natural herbs to help alleviate asthma attack symptoms. People are taking the initiative of an asthma action plan using natural asthma herbs to get relief from the severe asthma symptoms. The following herbs for asthma are useful for reducing asthma symptoms. For example, a warm cup of tea made from any of the following asthma herbs (1-2 tsp.).
Taking one cup of hot water in the form of the following herbs for asthma symptoms, catnip tea, mullein tea each hour.
Blend garlic with hot water in a cup to drink. This is to induce vomiting to loosening the phlegm.
Lobelia for asthma to relax the nerves when sipped slowly, to stop spasm, and induce vomiting when sipped rapidly or in large amount.
Mullein Oil works for bronchial congestion. Mullein oil stops asthma coughs by unclogging the bronchial tubes. Mullein oil can be taken with water or fruit juice to fasten the effects of helping asthma symptoms.
Other asthma herbs to help reduce symptoms are the following:
- Slippery Elm for asthma
- Cayenne for asthma desensitizes the respiratory system, taking cayenne orally may help increase the absorption of theophylline, a medicine used for lung disease and asthma (Sherry Torkos, 2007).
- Licorice tincture drops in a cup of warm water, let it cool to room temperature may help asthma.
- Stinging Nettle tea for asthma
- Ginger tea is good for asthma
- Marshmallow root is good for asthma
- Sage tea is good for asthma relief
- Astragalus tea is good for asthma
- Ashwagandha tea is good for asthma
- Licorice root tea is good for asthma. Licorice is used for cough and asthma.
- Oregano tea is good for asthma
- Boswellia tea is good for asthma. Boswellia has a long history for asthma in Ayurvedic medicine. Studied have found Boswellia to be beneficial for respiratory diseases, asthma, and inflammatory bowel disease—there have not been found any known drug interactions (Sherry Torkos-Canadian Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, 2007).
- Lobelia tea is good for asthma
- Jupiter berries is good for asthma
Food that Helps Asthma
Vitamins from foods act as an antioxidant to reduce inflammation in the lungs caused by free radicals from pollutants in the air. Air pollutants are linked to asthma and many of the symptoms associated with asthma. Food that helps asthma have a good source of beta carotene which the body can convert to vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E. Phytochemicals in vegetables and fruits are good food for asthma because of their antioxidants (Lori Rice).
Dietary recommendations for managing asthma, consider adding the following asthma diet to your daily food intake.
Eat dark green, yellow, orange, and colorful vegetables to your diet; foods that are high in antioxidants (carotenoids) to help lessen inflammation as well as allergies. You can also reduce inflammation by eating all types of berries and citrus fruits –they contain vitamin C (Sherry Torkos, 2007).
It has been proven that eating small frequent meals to keep off you diaphragm is recommended as an asthma diet.
To further reduce inflammation and your asthma, fatty acids from foods such as fish and flaxseed is a good asthma diet.
Anti-inflammatory foods such as purple onion is helpful for asthma.
The following asthma supplements are helpful for managing symptoms of asthma, but they are not listed here to replace your asthma medications prescribed by your healthcare professionals. Therefore, you should never stop taking your asthma medications without your doctor’s consent. These asthma supplements can help moderate cases of asthma.
Magnesium: Most people with asthma found to be lacking in magnesium. Studies showed asthmatics have low level of the mineral magnesium. To help asthma attacks by reducing bronchial spasm, magnesium supplements of 300-400 mg daily taken with a meal.
Pycnogenol: is an extract from pine bark full of antioxidant as well as inflammatory benefits. Research showed pycnogenol to have tremendous lung function and asthma symptoms benefits. Adults should take 100 mg daily; children should take 1 mg per pound of body weight per day (Sherry Torkos, 2007).
Asthma Action Plan-Diet
With the help of Dr. Sebi's natural food guide, you may be able to relieve the wheezing in about 4 weeks. If you follow the asthma action plan and discipline yourself to the natural diet lifestyle, you may be able to eliminate your asthma in about 2-6 months. In the world of natural healing, this is awesome because even on synthetic drugs taking for asthma medication—it takes time before treating asthma.
Dr. Sebi's natural food guide as your diet asthma action plan; make fruit juices and eat any solid fruits that you crave the need for. The fruit juices should be diluted with cold or hot water, and you may add some raw honey or agave nectar if you need to sweeten lemon/orange juices. Asthmatics can eat fresh or stewed vegetables. Sweeten your cooked food with sugar will worsen your asthma symptoms. Eat half of the food in the morning and the other half during mid-morning if you must.
During the afternoon or right at noon as your asthma action plan, eat raw salads—as much you want. This salad can be some dandelion greens, callaloo or any other greens that pleases you. You can add some slices of jicama, turnip, a pear or avocado, some raw fennel greens, and a little squeeze seeded yellow lemon or arrange juice to season your salad. No commercial salad dressings or oils. In addition, eat steamed vegetables instead of bread (different colors). No milk, pastries, or crackers.
(3 or 4 pm.) repeat your morning asthma action plan: do fruit and fruit juices the same way you did for breakfast in the morning; this good to keep your asthma symptoms under control.
for early supper, repeat your lunch asthma action plan. Do not eat food before bedtime or 90 minutes after sunset because eating late worsens asthma symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, and tight congested chest. The concept is to adapt an asthma action plan nourishing diet that is beneficial for asthma treatment. Include a variety of vegetables and fruits from Dr. Sebi's natural food guide. You want to have a fat free diet as much as possible to help reduce asthma attacks and worsen asthma symptoms. Drink plenty of natural spring water to keep your bronchial tubes clear from phlegm.
Bad asthma foods to avoid
Foods that can worsen your asthma attack symptoms, the following foods are not recommended for asthma prevention. Avoid processed junk foods, they are the leading result for asthma symptoms and they are bad for asthma.
- Food containing additives and preservatives
- Milk products
- Ice cream
- Cold liquids
- Bananas, melons, and ragweed
Asthma Home Remedies
There are a couple of asthma home remedies and homeopathic remedies to aid with your asthma symptoms in the comfort of your house. The list below includes some of those home remedies for asthma.
Fresh ginger mix with limon juice and honey to help soothe your throat and lessen your coughs.
Make a paste from pepper (pipli), dates, raisins(black), and honey is an effective aid for asthma.
Mustard oil and eucalyptus oil: one cup of mustard oil and 3 to five drops of eucalyptus oil to massage your chest.
Make a soup out of drumstick leaves and eating once a day is a good asthma home remedy that can help asthma treatment.
Magnesium mineral from rich sources of whole grains, peas, nuts, and seed. The mineral magnesium helps to relax the muscles lining airways (Dr. Farokh J. Master M.D., 2000).
Final thought about asthma
- To help the management of asthma, take the following into considerations:
- Consider adding the following foods to your diet—asthma diet, such as fruits, vegetables, onions, and plenty of natural spring water.
- Manage your stress level by exercising regularly—stress makes asthma worse.
- Keep your house clean as possible, avoid second and smoke, and other pollutants from your environment.
- Asthma supplement such as magnesium, pycnogenol, and vitamin C will help (Canadian Encyclopedia of Natural medicine-Wiley, 2007).
- Lorie Rice, The Everything guide o Food Remedies (2011)
- Natural Remedies Encyclopedia, Vance Ferrel, Harold M. Cherne, MD, 2021
- Peter N. Lee, Barbara A. Forey, Role of Environmental Tobacco Smoke in Asthma Induction and Exacerbation in Children and Adults
- Jeffrey C. May, My House is Killing Me, 2001
- Sherry Torkos—Canadian Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine – Wiley, 2007.
- Earthing, The most important health discovery ever? Clinton Ober, Stephen T. Sinatra, MD, Martin Zucker
- Dr. Afrika, Nutricide
- Nature’s Healing Power Through Food, Dr. Farokh J. Master M.D., 2000.