Some natural therapies may help to manage symptoms of asthma. For instance, a negative response to emotional stress can cause an asthma attack. Some natural relaxation remedies like deep abdominal breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery, and biofeedback can help relieve stress.
Other findings suggest that diet plays a role in alleviating asthma symptoms. For example, it’s thought that omega-3 fatty acids found naturally in high-fat fish such as salmon, mackerel, or cod enable the body to make more products that tend to decrease inflammation. Whether this may be of benefit to those with asthma is still unproven.
Pros and Cons of Natural Asthma Remedies
As you consider the different types of natural asthma remedies available, it’s of utmost importance to cautiously balance your desire to breathe easier with the possible dangers of the treatment, which may be unknown. Never use any natural dietary supplement without checking first with your health care provider or asthma specialist. Some natural herbal products, such as bee pollen, may trigger an asthma attack if you are allergic to the specific plant. Also, never stop using your asthma drugs without your health care provider’s knowledge. The result of not following your health care provider's prescribed medical regimen to treat your asthma can be very serious, even life threatening.
If you are uncertain about the claims on a natural dietary supplement product label, call your health care provider before taking it. A health care professional can assess the product to let you know what it contains.
Goals of Managing Asthma
Even though there’s no natural cure for asthma, your symptoms can be treated and controlled with several asthma medications. Your goal in managing asthma is to:
SOURCES: Smolley, L. Breathe Right Now, New York, Dell, 1999. American Lung Association: "Asthma Action Plan." American Academy of Family Physicians: "Asthma: Learning to Control Your Symptoms." Mayo Clinic: "Gain Control with Written Plans."