COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) natural treatments

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Natural cures for COPD

COPD means chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. This is disease which is caused by damage to person’s lungs and airway tubes which carry air into and out of the lungs. This is making the breathing difficult. As the 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 for COPD is smoking and most people who suffer from this disease either used to smoke or smoke. Also when you are breathing in lung 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.

COPD home remedies

Consume ginseng: This is herbal supplement which is improving the lung function and also it can help to decrease the bacteria in the lungs. In the Chinese medicine, the 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 have 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 have 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 is worsening symptoms to 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 are feeling more relaxed and this is having 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 the cold air can trigger bronchospasm. Bronchospasm is a sudden constriction in the muscles of airway walls which 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 to your symptoms if you put on a face mask before you go out into very cold temperatures. Also there is another environmental hazard which you should avoid, especially if you have been prone to respiratory infections and that is the large crowds. It is known that the respiratory infections can worsen the COPD symptoms so this means that the less you are in big crowds, then you have lower risk of being exposed to infectious germs. This does not mean that you should close at your home and never go out but this means that you should not put yourself in situations which can worsen your symptoms. [5]

Natural cures for COPD

COPD Natural cures

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 the overall health status. Also in many studies are said that cineole is an active controller and reducer of the 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 breath in the anti – inflammatory air. You should not use the eucalyptus oil if you have young children.

Exercise: 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 in which are shown that about 40% of people who suffer from COPD experience high levels of anxiety and depression which is making them even difficult to quit smoking and comply with treatment. When you are making exercises, then it can increase the endorphin levels and it can make 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. The glutathione is fighting against the 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 a 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 which 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 which should be mainstays when it comes to anti – COPD diet while other foods should be majorly or entirely avoided. You should eat 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 with the COPD symptoms want to steer clear of conventional dairy because the 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 which 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 they want to optimize their breathing. There are some studies in which are said that diaphragmatic breathing and pursed – lip breathing can increase the 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]

References:

[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. InformedHealth.org [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.

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