When one has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD, getting along with your day to day activities can be a challenge. Those who have this chronic lung problem often suffer from fits of a cough, breathing difficulty, and low energy levels, and are all after one thing: relief. The health industry isn’t lacking in remedies, in the form of pills, inhalers, or oxygen therapy, all of which can come with a variety of side-effects. So home remedies for COPD are now being looked into as an alternative. Fortunately, there are many natural means to remedy COPD which can be extremely helpful.
One of the most common culprits in worsening COPD is smoking. It doesn’t have to be cigarette smoke, and it doesn’t have to be first hand. Any form of smoke, be it from cigarettes, electronic cigarette, or wood fire, can deteriorate the condition of any COPD patient. The smoke can damage and irritate the lungs, which can produce coughing and difficulty in breathing. COPD patients who are smokers need to stop their habit right away to prevent making themselves getting worse.
There are techniques for improving breathing. This not only applies to COPD patients but may be utilized by those who have asthma as well. Notable is the pursed-lip breathing, and diaphragmatic breathing, which, according to the American Association for Respiratory Care, can increase blood oxygen levels, and can improve shortness of breath. These techniques can help optimize breathing.
The mainstays of a healthy diet include plenty of fruits and vegetables, making sure that you have a steady source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Those who suffer from COPD may want to avoid dairy products as it can induce the production of mucus, which later on can worsen symptoms by plugging the airways of the lungs. In general, processed foods, as well as canned, and frozen foods and sugar should be avoided as well. Food additives, preservatives, and food dyes can worsen symptoms as well.
One of the best ways to get rid mucus is by breaking it down by drinking plenty of water. When mucus collects in the airways, symptoms would appear and start to worsen. The mucus in COPD patients can be difficult to get rid of and can result to continuous coughing. It is also advised to increase the moisture content of the surrounding air by employing humidifiers. Avoid using additives to humidifiers which can irritate the airways as well.
People often think that since they have difficulty breathing, they should avoid physical activities, especially since they are afraid of making their symptoms worse. Exercise is still recommended, especially for those who have health conditions. By doing exercise, you can improve your overall endurance, strengthen your respiratory muscles, and improve your lung functions. Endorphin levels also improve, which can improve mood, and reduce depression and anxiety. This is one of the home remedies for COPD that you wouldn’t want to miss out on because it has benefits that go beyond that of the respiratory problems.
Eucalyptus oil has been found to reduce exacerbations of COPD. It was shown in a study published in Respiratory Research that the main constituent of eucalyptus essential oil – cineole, is responsible for this. This is being considered as an active controller and reducer of inflammation of the airways. Eucalyptus may be placed in a diffuser or can be added to a humidifier.
This is a herbal supplement shown to improve lung function and known to decrease bacteria within the respiratory tract. This is a mainstay in Chinese medicine and has been used for a variety of respiratory problems, including COPD. Panax ginseng in particular and the active ingredient ginsenosides have been shown in a study published in Complementary Therapies in Medicine, to inhibit processes that are related to the development of COPD.
This is commonly used to get rid of mucus. This is one of the most popular home remedies for COPD. This has been shown to thin out mucus in the airways and can increase glutathione levels, which helps lower down the severity and frequency of asthma attacks and improve overall lung function. Glutathione is an antioxidant, which fights off oxidative stress in the respiratory tract.
Getting infected with colds can only make COPD worse. This infection can trigger spasms in the large airways, which is a reaction of the muscle tissues in the walls that can lead to shortness of breath. Infection can be avoided by reducing exposure to the cold temperatures, such as the outdoors, or avoiding crowds, and to use personal protection such as face masks.
Stress can only make COPD symptoms worse. It can trigger inflammation of the airways and produce shortness of breath. Reducing stress can help people suffering from COPD be more relaxed and prevent further exacerbations of their condition.
Vitamin A, C, and E are considered beneficial to those who suffer from chronic respiratory diseases. This has been found to improve lung function. These vitamins can be acquired from a diet of fruits and vegetables.
Vitamin D can be increased by increasing your exposure to safe sunlight and drinking the right amount of milk. Vitamin D has been linked to improved lung function. Vitamin D can also be increased by taking supplements such as multivitamins.
This substance is known to have properties that make it behave similarly to an antioxidant or a vitamin, making it valuable as a natural remedy for COPD. It has the ability to increase cell activity and thus can improve airway dilatation with its anti-inflammatory effect. This can be sourced from sardines, mackerel, and peanuts.
These can be used in conjunction with the management that their physician has prescribed for them. As with any self-directed treatment, ensure always that you run it by your doctor, to ensure that these do not go against any of your current management plans. For any home remedies for COPD available, patients can use the ones they feel work best for them, either one at a time or in combination.