COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a new name given to chronic bronchitis and emphysema. This disease disrupts the airways and the tiny breathing tubes which carry oxygen in and carbon dioxide out of the lungs causing swollen and blocked airways by mucus.
COPD often results in continuing coughing with large amounts of mucus, wheezing and always feeling shortness of breath. Though it develops gradually, the condition often deteriorates over time; limiting the patients daily activities. These basic natural remedies can restrict the disease in its initial stage, preventing it from getting worsened in due course of time.
Natural Cures for COPD
One of the best remedies to cure lungs problems is chewing of comfrey leaves which stimulate growth of new cells in airways and a quick healing of the condition. It also soothes the damaged mucus membranes and releases mucus from the tubes, preventing it from accumulating.
Consumption of 3-4 cups of black tea on a regular basis helps in giving relief to the symptoms associated with COPD. It contains chemicals which can assist in opening blocked airways.
Thyme is very helpful in reducing respiratory infections including COPD. It can be infused in water and consumed as tea.
Turmeric is an age old home medicine which helps in reducing symptoms of COPD. Half teaspoon of turmeric along with milk can be taken on empty stomach and at night for effective healing.
Virgin coconut oil is proven beneficial for thinning of mucus and opening the nasal passage. 2-3 teaspoons of this oil can be consumed daily with meals for effective results.
The enzyme called bromelain, present in pineapples, is found to reduce swelling of airways. Fresh pineapple juice can be taken daily for easy breathing.
It may sound strange to suggest exercise for COPD patients as they suffer from breathing problems but on the contrary regular exercise help in improving endurance- resulting in better breathing. Daily walking and aerobic exercises such as riding a stationary bike helps in rebuilding strength. These forms of daily workout work on the heart and the lungs to improve the flow of oxygen. Some strengthening exercises exert pressure on the upper body, which increases the potency of breathing muscles.
Breathing exercises help in curing shortness of breath and improves lung functions. Breathing from the diaphragm, practicing pursed lip method, using spirometer and pranayams like kapal bharti and anulom vilom also helps in preventing lung disorders. For diaphragmatic breathing, first lie down with knees bent. Put one hand on the area below the rib cage and the other on the chest. Now breathe in deeply through the nose till a count of three. (chest should not rise; only the lower rib should be filled with air). Exhale slowly through creased lips.
For pursed lip breathing, relax and breathe in the fresh air for a count of three through the nose. Then simply breathe out for a count of four through pursed lips. This can be repeated daily for 4-5 time for effective results.
Massaging the chest area with eucalyptus oil provides immediate relief to the blocked nasal passage. Therapeutic massage also helps in clearing mucus from the chest and relieving pain.
Gentle massage is usually followed by a warm compress for effective results. Boil some water in a pot and mix some grated ginger. Let this water steep for 10 minutes, strain and soak a napkin in the hot water. Apply this hot compress to the chest and back area.
Acupuncture is a holistic way of treating a disease from China where tiny needles are inserted in the body at specific points to relieve the symptoms of a disease. Clinical researches have proved its advantages in treating COPD but should be followed by specialists only.
A well balanced nutritious diet has outstanding effects in preventing symptoms of COPD. Fresh fruits and vegetables are often very rich in antioxidants that reduce the degenerative stress and inflammation in COPD patients. Consumption of moderate amounts of fresh local produce goes a long way in treating this disease.
Foods which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as flax seeds, sardines and walnuts are recommended in the daily diet, as they help in restricting the progression of the disease. More dairy products and protein rich foods are suggested to build a strong immune system in the body. Too much salt should be avoided in daily meals because of its water retention property. No smoking, avoiding humid atmosphere and keeping a distance from pollution are some more ways to beat the blues of COPD. These changes in lifestyle along with natural medications will surely reduce the progression of COPD.