How to Treat Asthma
Asthma is a serious condition that affects the breathing of the individual. When an asthma attack is triggered, the bronchial passages become inflamed. This inflammation causes them to swell, leaving only a narrow space for air to move through.
An asthmatic may feel like they can’t catch their breath. Wheezing is often a characteristic as they try harder and harder to move air. Another result of an asthma attack is the smaller passages in the lungs known as bronchioles are also congested. The lungs create mucus to help engulf the irritant and push it out of the lungs. But, the inflammation makes it hard for the mucus to pass.
Asthma is triggered by many of the same things that can cause allergies to become unbearable. It could be food, stressful situations, allergens (dust, pollen, grass) or other causes. Either way, histamine is triggered in the body and it leads to specific reactions like constriction of the airways. Add to that the inflammation and an asthmatic can barely move air.
One way that asthma is being treated is naturally with aromatherapy. Aromatherapy is a complementary medicine that uses different fragrant oils to bring about positive effects within the body.
Before starting any aromatherapy treatment, consult your doctor. If you have asthma, you are probably being treated with inhalers and other medication already. Be sure that none of the complementary treatments will interfere with your medications. In the event of an asthma attack, always turn to your rescue meds for treatment.
Aromatherapy is one way to help relax the lungs when no attack is in progress or imminent. If you want to give this method a try, that is the best time. Tell your aromatherapist if any type of fragrance is an actual trigger for your asthma attacks.
These oils can be used in much the same way as medications but without the side effects. Here is an example. Lavender is known to relax the mind and relieve stress. For the asthmatic, it can also be used to relax breathing passages, reducing spasms that cause the lungs to constrict during an attack. Adding lavender essential oil to a humidifier or vaporizer can promote freer breathing. The effects work faster if it is added to hot water and the steam is breathed in.
Peppermint oil is also good for opening the lungs. Create a chest rub with a few drops of it to promote deeper breathing at night. Including lavender will also calm your nerves.
Have you ever breathed in eucalyptus? You probably thought a freight train could run through your nose after that. It is powerful oil that has to be used judiciously to relax the bronchioles and allow air to pass.
Aromatherapy can be used to help asthmatics enjoy freer breathing between asthma attacks. Some can even aid in shortening an attack, but that decision is best left up to your doctor.