Asthma is a serious respiratory disease that literally leaves its victims breathless. People with asthma usually have a combination of problems in the lungs: bronchial muscle spasms, swelling of the mucus linings, and increased mucus production. When a susceptible person is exposed to a trigger, such as environmental irritants, allergens, heave exertion, or even anxiety, the passages inflame further and block air from flowing freely, resulting in an asthma attack. In a severe attack, a person who doesn't receive emergency medical care can suffocate.
In America, the number of people with asthma has increased by one-third in the last decade, probably because of pollution, the effects of emotional stress, and a Western diet that's high in additives, meat products, and fats, all of which can cause inflammation and excess mucus production. Alarmingly, the incidence of asthma continues to rise among children. It is most common in children under the age of ten.
Diet, nutritional supplements, bodywork, and other therapies can go a long way toward preventing and relieving asthma, but if you suffer from this potentially life-threatening disease, you also need to be under the care of a good doctor.
** All of these prescriptions below have been proven effective; level of effectiveness depends on the individual. Please consult your doctor when taking any and all supplements.
The top 7 vitamins and supplements shown to help Asthma:
Prescription for Natural
Cures by James F. Balch, M.D. and Mark Stengler, N.M.D.
Super Prescription #1 Omega 3, 6 9 - LifeSource Products - See All of our Omega 3 – Fish Oil Products. Essential fatty acid formulations that contain flax seed oil, fish oil, or a mixture of omega-3, 6, and 9 fatty acids are helpful for preventing asthma. Take as directed on the container. It may take four to eight weeks for you to notice an improvement. See All of our Omega products in link above.
Super Prescription # 2 Magnesium - LifeSource Product Take 250 mg two to four times daily. Reduce the dosage if loose stools occur. Magnesium relaxes the bronchial tubes and improves lung function. Nutrition-oriented doctors may also use magnesium intravenously for acute asthma.
Super Prescription # 3 Vitamin C - LifeSource Products - See All of our Vitamin C Products. Take 1,000 mg two to four times daily. Reduce the dosage if loose stools occur. Vitamin C lessens spasms of the bronchial passages and has anti-allergy benefits. Use a non-acidic product, such as calcium ascorbate.
Super Prescription # 4 Astragalus - LifeSource Product Take 500 to 1,000 mg twice daily. Astragalus is used to strengthen the lungs and to prevent respiratory infections that can trigger asthma. Do not use if you have a fever.
Super Prescription # 5 Antioxidant – Super Antioxidant - LifeSource Product Take as directed on the container. Antioxidants decrease inflammatory responses of the airways.
Super Prescription # 6 Enzymes – Super Enzymes - LifeSource Product Take a full-spectrum enzyme product with each meal to improve the absorption of nutrients and decrease reactions to foods. Take as directed on bottle.
- Difficulty breathing
- Tightness in the chest
- Loss of sleep due to coughing and blocked airways
- Increased heart rate
- Constriction of the muscles in the bronchial airways
- Inflammation of the mucus linings
- Increased mucus flow
Triggers that bring on an attack vary from person to person but most often include:
- Allergies, either environmental or food
- Pollution and irritants
- Infections (colds, flu, or other respiratory infections)
- Cold air
- Heavy physical exertion
- Poor digestive function
- Hormone imbalance
- Emotional stress
Important: If you experience a severe asthma attack, get emergency help at once. Have someone call an ambulance or drive you to the hospital, where you will receive medication to open your air passages.
While it may take some discipline, following an anti-asthma diet will reduce inflammation and the clogging of air passages. If you have trouble getting started, try the detoxifying fast recommended further on. It will help break your addiction to unwholesome food and will allow you to "hear" clearly what your body needs.
Note: Check with a pediatrician or a holistic doctor before eliminating any food group from a child's diet.
Eat a simple, light diet, based on foods that don't promote mucus production: raw vegetables and fruits, seeds, whole grains, lean poultry, and fresh fish.
Carotenoids are antioxidants that have natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. They are found in dark-green leafy vegetables and deep-yellow and orange vegetables.
Studies show that children who eat fish more than once a week have one-third the risk of developing asthma.
Garlic and onions have anti-inflammatory properties and are a savory addition to vegetable dishes.
A glass of clean water every two waking hours will help keep your system clean. Water is especially helpful after an asthma attack to break up mucus.
Ground flaxseeds are an excellent source of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. For children over five years of age, use 1 to 2 teaspoons, and for adults, the dosage is 1 to 2 tablespoons daily.
Foods to Avoid
It is most important to discover whether certain foods provoke allergic reactions.
Even if you don't have an allergy to dairy products, eliminate them from your diet. They encourage the production of mucus that plugs your airways. For the same reason, stay away from sugar, junk food, and fried and refined foods.
Do not eat foods that contain additives or preservatives. This means avoiding processed foods, dried or smoked foods, and salad bars, which are often sprayed with preservatives, such as tartazine (yellow dye number 5), red dye, sulfites (as found in dried fruits), benzoates, and monosodium glutamate (MSG).
Never eat frozen or extremely cold foods, which can cause the muscles in your airways to tighten.
Keep pressure off your diaphragm by eating small meals and by avoiding foods that cause gas, such as beans and cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts are the most common offenders).
Every three months, consider doing a three-day vegetable cleansing juice fast to expel mucus. Also, daily consumption of super green foods, such as chlorella and/or spirulina, is recommended.
- Mild to moderate exercise will increase your ability to take in oxygen, so get in a daily walk or other activity. Cold air can trigger an attack, though, so either wear a mask over your face and mouth during the cold months or exercise indoors.
- Perform deep breathing exercises every day.
- Use a HEPA (high energy particulate air) filter to clean the air in your room and home.
- Have the air vents in your house professionally cleaned each year.
- Wash all bedding in hot water one to two times weekly to remove dust and dust mites, which can trigger asthma. Use allergy-proof coverings for the bed mattress, the pillow covers, and the box spring.
- Vacuum twice weekly with a HEPA filter vacuum. Consider removing carpets and rugs, especially in the bedroom, and replace with nontoxic wooden or laminate flooring.
- Avoid all sources of smoke.
Update: Omega 3 - Fish Oil Allows Asthmatic Athletes to Catch Their Breath - Article
Vitamin C - Take More = Less Medication for Asthma Sufferers - Article
Vitamin C for Asthma, A Must! By Bruce Brightman - LifeSource Vitamins