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COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) natural treatments

COPD means chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. This is a disease that is caused by damage to a person’s lungs and airway tubes which carry air into and out of the lungs. This is making breathing difficult. As time passes by, it gets harder and harder for air to flow into the lungs. [1]

When COPD is in its early stages, then it causes symptoms such as decreased immunity to colds and infections, tightness in the chest, shortness of breath, wheezing, and coughing that generates mucus. As this condition progress, then the affected person can have some of the next symptoms: episodes of worsening symptoms, known as flare-ups; frequent respiratory infections; weight loss; swollen feet and ankles; a rapid heartbeat; lips or fingernails that turn blue or gray and trouble catching their breath even with minimal activity.

The severity of this disease depends on the amount of lung damage that a person has sustained. The main cause of COPD is smoking, and most people who suffer from this disease either used to smoke or smoke. Also, when you are breathing in the lungs, irritants other than cigarette smoke, such as air pollution, dust, and chemical fumes, can lead to COPD. [2] Talk with your doctor if you suffer from COPD before you start using some of the below-mentioned home remedies for this disease.

11 COPD home remedies

Consume ginseng

This is an herbal supplement which is improving lung function, and also it can help to decrease the bacteria in the lungs. In Chinese medicine, Panax ginseng has a long history as a natural cure for COPD and asthma. There was a recent study in which were highlighted the therapeutic benefits of ginseng. It is said that the Panax ginseng and ginsenosides (active components of the ginseng) can inhibit the process that is related to the development of COPD. [3]

Stay away from chemicals

There was one study in 2015 in which 167 participants who were diagnosed with COPD said (60% of these participants have reported) that cleaning supplies are a trigger for the symptoms of COPD. Also, in this study, more than 50% of participants reported trouble after being exposed to perfumes, insect spray, or scented candles. Also, 50% of these participants have reported hairspray as a problem for their disease. When you are using natural DIY household products, then you can avoid chemicals, and you can improve your COPD symptoms. [4]

Reduce stress

We know that stress worsens symptoms of all issues and diseases, so this is the same case with COPD. Stress can worsen symptoms of this condition, such as shortness of breath and airway inflammation. When you are reducing your daily stress and you manage the stress in healthy ways, then you feel more relaxed, and this has a positive impact on the symptoms of COPD. If you suffer from this disease, then you should make time every day to relax both physically and mentally. Talk with your doctor about the best way to reduce your stress.

Avoid cold and crowds

When someone has the symptoms of COPD, then it is very important to avoid things that can make them even worse. You need to avoid pollution and smoke because they can worsen the symptoms of COPD. You should know that cold air can trigger bronchospasm.

Bronchospasm is a sudden constriction in the muscles of airway walls that lead to shortness of breath. If the weather in your area is really chilly, then you should avoid or reduce your time outdoors. Also, you can help with your symptoms if you put on a face mask before you go out into very cold temperatures. Also, there is another environmental hazard that you should avoid, especially if you have been prone to respiratory infections, and that is the large crowds. It is known that respiratory infections can worsen COPD symptoms, so this means that the less you are in big crowds, you have the lower the risk of being exposed to infectious germs. This does not mean that you should close your home and never go out, but this means that you should not put yourself in situations that can worsen your symptoms. [5]

Natural cures for COPD

Use eucalyptus oil

People who suffer from COPD can use eucalyptus oil as their natural treatment. There was one study in which was said that cineole which is the main constituent of the eucalyptus essential oil, can reduce the exacerbations in people with COPD. This component can improve lung function, reduce dyspnea (shortness of breath), and it can improve overall health status. Also, many studies said that cineole is an active controller and reducer of airway inflammation in people who suffer from COPD [6]. The best way in which you can get the benefits of cineole is to use the eucalyptus oil in a diffuser and/or humidifier, and you should breathe in the anti-inflammatory air. You should not use eucalyptus oil if you have young children.


When someone has trouble breathing, then he or she thinks that exercise is a terrible idea, but if you are sedentary, then it will not help with your COPD symptoms. When you are regularly getting exercise, especially cardio workouts, then you can strengthen your respiratory muscles, and this can improve your overall endurance. There are some studies which are shown that about 40% of people who suffer from COPD experience high levels of anxiety and depression, which makes them even difficult to quit smoking and comply with treatment. When you are doing exercises, then it can increase the endorphin levels, and it can make it easier to quit smoking. [7]

Take N – Acetylcysteine (NAC)

When you are supplanting with NAC, then this can help to decrease the severity and frequency of asthma attacks and improve overall lung function by thinning the bronchial mucus and increasing glutathione levels. Glutathione is fighting against oxidative stress in the respiratory tract, and this can make the NAC a powerful and effective natural treatment for this disease.

Increase water intake inside and outside the body

Having mucus collect in the airways is one of the most common and frustrating symptoms of COPD. It can be difficult for this mucus to clear, and this can result in persistent and uncontrollable coughing. You should drink plenty of water throughout the day is one internal way that can help to improve the mucus problem. You should drink at least 8 glasses of water per day to thin the mucus and stay hydrated. The external way in which you should increase the water intake is to increase the moisture content of the air in your home by using a humidifier. Also, humidifiers can make your breathing easier. You can use a humidifier while you are sleeping at night.

Follow a healthy diet

It is known that a healthy diet can help to manage and improve the symptoms of COPD. There are some foods, in particular, that should be mainstays when it comes to an anti–COPD diet, while other foods should be majorly or entirely avoided.

You should eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables because in this way you will get a lot of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. You should know that citrus fruits are very helpful for COPD because they have quercetin. Also, you should consume foods that have anti-inflammatory Omega – 3 fatty acids, such as chia seeds, flaxseeds, and citrus fruits. People who suffer from COPD symptoms want to steer clear of conventional dairy because pasteurized dairy is mucus-producing, and it can plug the airways in the lungs [8].

Also, you should stay away from frozen, processed, and canned foods and sugar as well. Food dyes, preservatives, and additives also can lead to breathing issues and also they can cause asthma attacks.

Improve your breathing

There are some breathing techniques that can help you to breathe more efficiently with COPD. Also, these techniques can improve breathing for people who suffer from asthma as well as for people who do not currently have lung issues but want to optimize their breathing. There are some studies in which are said that diaphragmatic breathing and pursed–lip breathing can increase blood oxygen levels and it can reduce shortness of breath [9]. If you need assistance with breathing techniques, then a respiratory therapist can help you a lot.

Avoid smoke in every way

One of the most important things which you should do as your natural treatment for COPD is to stop any and all forms of smoking. In this are included electronic cigarettes. People who smoke can worsen the symptoms of their COPD. [10]


[1] Kim YW, Lee C-H, Hwang H-G, et al. Resting hyperinflation and emphysema on the clinical course of COPD. Scientific Reports. 2019;9(3764).

[2] Smith BM, Traboulsi H, Austin JHM, et al. Human airway branch variation and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2018;115(5):E974-E981.

[3] Shergis JL, Di YM, Zhang T, et al. Therapeutic potential of Panax ginseng and ginsenosides in the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Complementary Therapies in Medicine. 2014;22(5).

[4] Sama SR, Kriebel D, Gore RJ, et al. Environmental triggers of COPD symptoms: a cross sectional survey. COPD Research and Practice. 2015;1:12.

[5] Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): Overview. [Internet]. Cologne, Germany. Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG); 2006.

[6] Worth H, Schacher C, Dethlefsen U. Concomitant therapy with Cineole (Eucalyptole) reduces exacerbations in COPD: A placebo-controlled double-blind trial. Respiratory Research. 2009;10(1):69.

[7] Panagioti M, Scott C, Blakemore A, Coventry PA. Overview of the prevalence, impact, and management of depression and anxiety in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. 2014;9:1289-306.

[8] Guillien A, Laurent L, Soumagne T, et al. Anxiety and depression among dairy farmers: the impact of COPD. International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. 2018;13:1-9.

[9] Mendes LPS, Moraes KS, Hoffman M, et al. Effects of Diaphragmatic Breathing With and Without Pursed-Lips Breathing in Subjects With COPD. Respiratory Care. 2018;64(4).

[10] Hansen EC, Walters J, Baker RW. Explaining chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): perceptions of the role played by smoking. Sociology of Health & Illness. 2007;29(5):730-749.

Hanan Marshal
Hanan Marshal
Hanan, a medical student (MBBS) having passion for writing and is very much interested in holistic living along with nature. He is very much interested in doing community service and watches anime and play PS4 during his free time. You can reach him through [email protected]


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