Generally speaking, breathing, like the beating of the heart, occurs unconsciously. It is an automatism of the human body. But this process can sometimes be compromised by pathological situations such as heart failure, or non-pathological situations, including obesity and physical inactivity. Shortness of breath, also known as dyspnea, then results in painful breathing difficulties. To remedy this, Dr. Shweta U. Shah, a homeopathic doctor, offers some natural remedies.
If the dyspnea requires medical care, especially in the event of pathology, this respiratory discomfort can also occur in everyday situations. Intense physical exercise, excessively high temperatures, altitude, or being overweight are all factors that can lead to shortness of breath. When this symptom is not associated with a disease requiring medical treatment, Dr. U. Shah advises some natural ways to remedy it.
- What is dyspnea?
Dyspnea, or shortness of breath, is not a disease in itself. This is a subjective symptom, like pain, which occurs when you have to strain to breathe. This gives rise to a feeling of discomfort, often accompanied by a feeling of tightness in the chest or episodes of coughing.
Dyspnea indicates dysfunction in one of the elements involved in
process of transporting oxygen to muscle cells, namely the heart pump, respiratory system, peripheral muscles, or the circulatory system. To this end, it is important to know its origin to establish the appropriate treatment.
Acute dyspnea, which characterizes a progressive disease is different from so-called old dyspnea, accompanying a chronic disease that has evolved or shortness of breath linked to an increasingly sedentary lifestyle, which ends up impacting our slightest movements.
In this sense, it is strongly recommended to consult a health professional to establish the source of this discomfort. If you suffer from unexplained breathing difficulties, or these are sudden and severe, it is imperative to consult your doctor as soon as possible.
- What are the causes of dyspnea?
The feeling of shortness of breath manifests itself in different ways from person to person. Age, individual demands, regular physical activity, and lifestyle can have an impact on dyspnea. Indeed, feeling short of breath after making a minimal effort does not have the same meaning as shortness of breath after climbing. Also, providing physical effort will not have the same impact at 25 and 65, so it is a condition that must be assessed to determine the limit between the norm and the pathology.
Many factors can cause or worsen dyspnea. In the majority of cases, these relate to the cardiac and pulmonary systems, says Dr. Shweta U. Shah, given their major role in the process of transporting oxygen to the cells of the body, in addition to the elimination of carbon dioxide. In general, these can be pathological situations, the individual’s morphotype, lifestyle, or even their psychological profile. Here is a non-exhaustive list of these factors:
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- 5 natural remedies to relieve shortness of breath.
Beyond the conditions that imperatively require the intervention of a healthcare professional, it is possible to relieve dyspnea by using natural solutions. Although these do not replace medical treatment if advised by a doctor, Dr. U. Shah explains that they can act in addition to conventional treatments (provided there are no contraindications to herbal remedies), or reduce the frequency, duration, and intensity of the feeling of shortness of breath.
The first thing to know is that when dyspnea occurs, it is imperative to stay calm. Panic can make symptoms drastically worse, making breathing more difficult. In this sense, the expert recommends practicing the following technique on a daily basis: Close your eyes and slowly count to 10. Visualize a white light entering your lungs as you breathe in to regulate the rate of your breathing.
Also, certain natural ingredients can play a significant role in reducing the frequency or intensity of shortness of breath. Here are 5 recommended by Dr. U. Shah:
This home remedy can be very helpful for shortness of breath, thanks to the quercetin found in onions. This antioxidant considered as a natural antihistamine would offer many respiratory benefits according to Dr. U. Shah. A study published in 2016 in the journal Molecules indicates that a compound present in onion gives it anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties useful for acting as an adjunct to treatments against bronchial asthma and allergic rhinitis. Two conditions that can give rise to shortness of breath in people who suffer from them.
The homeopathic doctor recommends for this purpose grating half an onion and then mixing it with honey. This mixture is to be consumed once a day. Another alternative is to cut an onion in half and leave it at your bedside. This famous grandmother’s remedy owes its effectiveness to its content with the anti-inflammatory properties of this herbaceous plant, which would relieve the respiratory tract during the night.
- 2. turmeric
Turmeric is a spice with multiple virtues, renowned for its anti-inflammatory properties in Ayurvedic medicine. Thanks to curcumin, its active ingredient, this Indian rhizome, otherwise known as Indian saffron, would be a powerful ally in relieving shortness of breath. According to a 2014 study published by the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research on bronchial asthma, curcumin can relieve symptoms of dyspnea, wheezing, cough, and chest tightness. Efficacy also highlighted by a second study published in 2019 by Mediators of Inflammation, which indicates that curcumin would have helped to reduce inflammation and release mucus from the respiratory tracts linked to asthma in-vivo and vitro.
To reap its benefits, Dr. U. Shah recommends including the spice in his daily meals or in drinks that are consumed at night before bed.
- 3.La bromélaïne.
Bromelain is an enzyme derived from the fruit and stem of a well-known tropical fruit: pineapple. Indeed, beyond its exquisite flavor which adds freshness to our salads, this plant native to South America is said to have considerable anti-inflammatory properties to relieve the respiratory tract. According to an article published in 2020 by the Textbook of Natural Medicine, bromelain is a useful adjunct treatment for pneumonia and bronchitis, especially because of its mucolytic and anti-inflammatory action. Another study published in 2016 by Biomedical Reports indicates that the enzyme would have demonstrated complete resolution of breathing difficulties and inflammation of the nasal mucosa in patients with sinusitis.
In this sense, Dr. U. Shah recommends including this tropical fruit as much as possible in his diet. Smoothies, salads, healthy desserts, there are many choices to bring freshness to your daily life, while improving your health. You can also see your doctor if you want to use bromelain supplements. Remember that the intake of any supplement must be discussed with a healthcare professional, especially in the event of pathologies or pregnancy.
- 4.Ajowan seeds.
Ajowan is a seed native to southern India, renowned for its therapeutic potential in the Sub-Continent but also in Central Asia. According to Dr. Jesus Cardenas, the plant that originates from its seeds is endowed with antibacterial, antispasmodic, antifungal, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory properties. In internal use, it would be effective in the event of infectious pathologies of the respiratory system, such as nasopharyngitis, pneumonia, or even bronchitis.
Dr. U. Shah explains that this efficiency is due to its active ingredients, in particular thymol. Indeed, the latter would be part of the useful components to relieve dyspnea according to a study published in 2016 in the journal Wiadomości Lekarskie. To benefit from its benefits, she recommends consuming 1 teaspoon of ajwain seeds with lukewarm water to release mucus that clogs the airways, especially in people with asthma. This plant, which smells like thyme, can also be consumed as a daily infusion before going to bed.
- 5.Eucalyptus oil.
Ideal for decongesting the respiratory tract, eucalyptus essential oil is used by vapor diffusion or inhalation, says Dr. Cardenas. Its lively and invigorating aroma is a natural way to relieve dyspnea at home thanks to its eucalyptol content. A study published in 2017 by the British Journal of Pharmacology indicates that clinical trials conducted on patients with asthma, bronchitis, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease had shown that eucalyptol helped reduce cough episodes and their intensity as well as dyspnea, in addition to improving lung function.
Dr. U. Shah’s advice: add 10 drops of eucalyptus essential oil to a bowl of boiling water and inhale the steam from it. This process will make breathing easier while reducing anxiety. Also, Dr. U. Shah says this remedy helps prevent muscle spasms that narrow the airways and cause panting.
- 8 – habitudes à adopter pour soulager ou prévenir la dyspnée .
While there are natural remedies that can reduce shortness of breath in non-pathological situations, certain lifestyle habits can also be beneficial in taking care of one’s health. Indeed, lifestyle can also play a crucial role in exacerbating dyspnea. In this sense, Dr Shweta U. Shah provides the following advice:
- 1.Avoid exposure to allergens.
If you suffer from frequent allergy attacks, make sure you are as far away from chemical fumes, smoke, irritants and environmental toxins as possible.
- 2.Monitor medication intake .
If you are under treatment, be sure to strictly follow your doctor’s recommendations. Irregular or non-compliance with medication can make dyspnea worse.
- 3.Stop smoking.
If you are a smoker, it is strongly recommended to give up this harmful habit to avoid any risk of complications and irritating the bronchi with toxic substances. The same goes for passive smoking.
- 4.Avoid extreme temperatures .
Shortness of breath can be favored by very cold or too hot temperatures.
- 5. exercise regularly .
Sports activity significantly improves physical fitness. In addition to helping you adopt a better lifestyle, it will help you maintain a healthy body weight to prevent gasping and shortness of breath. It is helpful to consult your doctor before embarking on a new exercise routine.
- 6. watch your diet .
Avoid late meals in the evening before going to bed as they can promote acid reflux. These can cause breathing difficulties or trigger chest tightness, says Dr. U. Shah. This advice is especially important if you are overweight or obese.
- 7.Avoid strong scent products.
Shampoos, deodorants, perfumes, cleaning products, all factors that can trigger dyspnea when their scent is too strong. In addition, exposure to these scented products can also trigger allergic reactions, says the Canadian Lung Association.
- 8 take the time to acclimatize at high altitude .
If you find yourself at high altitudes, be sure to take the time to acclimatize to these new conditions, especially if you plan to be physically active.
When lung function is compromised, it may be helpful to try a few breathing exercises. For this purpose, Dr Shweta U. Shah recommends Pranayama, a breathing exercise derived from yoga. Its principle? make it difficult to inhale in order to strengthen the chest muscles.
According to the homeopathic doctor, it can help the lungs work better by reducing the intensity, frequency and duration of shortness of breath. Here are the steps to follow to practice it:
1.First, start by lying on your back.
2.Then place a book on your abdomen.
3.Breathe in gently and deeply as you widen your abdomen.
4.Once you feel you’ve reached maximum capacity, inhale a small amount of air again to see if you can lift the book a little higher.
5.Finally, breathe out slowly and steadily.
6.Repeat this exercise 10 times.
What are the precautions to take before considering these remedies?
Being in good health is everyone’s goal. And this goal can be achieved or at least greatly promoted by a better hygiene of life, namely a healthy and balanced diet and regular physical activity. Home remedies and herbal treatments also have a very important role to play in maintaining good health. But while these can be of great help, they are not suitable for everyone and not suitable for all situations. If you have developed sudden shortness of breath without being able to explain it, it is extremely important to see your doctor so that he can assess your symptoms.
If you are already on treatment for another condition, the same advice applies. A medical opinion is imperative to avoid any contraindication. The same goes if your symptoms get worse.
Remember that natural remedies are not a substitute for medical treatment. The use of plants for self-care must be done after consulting a health professional. Pregnant women, people with chronic or serious illnesses on treatment should also consult a doctor to avoid any side effects resulting from drug interactions.