A natural cure for asthma.

Posted on June 21, 2014 · Posted in Blog, General, Personal

Asthma is a chronic lung condition characterised by recurrent attacks of breathlessness, often accompanied by wheezing. Asthma is due to inflammation in the air passages of the lungs, causing constriction of these passages (bronchospasm) which makes breathing difficult.

Asthma can be classified into two main types: extrinsic, in which attacks are triggered by an allergy, and intrinsic, in which there is no obvious external cause for attacks. Extrinsic or ‘allergic’ asthma tends to come on during childhood, while intrinsic asthma usually develops later in life. However, either condition can appear at any age.

Allergic asthma is often set off by an inhaled trigger such as animal fur, dust, feathers and air pollutants. However, there is also good evidence that asthma attacks can be linked to certain foods. The most common offenders in this respect are dairy products, eggs, chocolate, wheat, corn, citrus fruits and fish. It might be worth your while consulting a practitioner who might be able to help you pinpoint any problem foods. Nutritionists, naturopaths and kinesiologists are generally skilled in food sensitivity diagnosis.

It is well known that certain foodstuffs may promote inflammation in the body, which can then perhaps contribute to asthma and other allergic conditions such as eczema. Some of the foods which may do this are what are known as the omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-6 fats are generally found in quantity in margarine and vegetable oils such as sunflower, safflower and corn oil. Omega-6 fats are known to be converted in the body into substances which tend to encourage inflammation in the body.

On the other hand, fats of the omega-3 type, such as those found in oily fish, appear to have the ability to reduce inflammation in the body. There is an idea that an increased consumption of omega-6 fats (found in many margarines and vegetable oils), coupled with a decreased consumption of omega-3 fats, might increase the risk of asthma. In countries where consumption of omega-3 fatty acids is high and omega-6 fats is low (such as Mediterranean and Scandinavian nations), low rates of asthma are noted.

I suggest that you avoid margarine and vegetable oils, and include oily fish such as salmon, trout, tuna, mackerel and herring in your diet.

There is some evidence linking salt consumption with asthma. Salt appears to heighten the airways’ response to histamine, causing increased constriction here. I would generally avoid adding salt to your food during cooking or at the table, and minimise your consumption of processed foods that tend to have a lot of salt already added.

Other substances which seem to have the ability to provoke asthma include tartrazine (a yellow colouring found in some processed foods) and sulphites (used as a preservative in many alcoholic drinks and processed foods).

The mineral magnesium can be a useful supplement for asthmatics. Magnesium can help prevent the bronchi going into spasm and might also help to prevent histamine release. I recommend that you take about 500 mg of magnesium a day. Vitamin B6 is often deficient in asthmatics, and supplementation with this nutrient has been found to be beneficial. Take 50 mg, once or twice a day.

A herb which might help in cases of asthma is ginkgo biloba. Ginkgo appears to have the ability to block the action of a substance called ‘platelet activating factor’ (PAF), which is believed to be involved in the processes which trigger asthma. At least one study has found ginkgo to be effective in reducing asthma symptoms. The normal recommended dose is 120-240 mg of standardised extract per day. -dailymail.co.uk

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