COPD is the acronym for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. It is a progressive disease that impacts breathing and damages the lungs. A person suffering from this condition finds it difficult to breathe often experiencing coughing, wheezing and a host of other respiratory symptoms. There are many causes of COPD, smoking being the primary one. Prolonged exposure to chemicals, pollutants and toxic irritants over a long period of time could also lead to COPD. Other causes of COPD include excess intake of foods having a high glycemic index, higher levels of blood sugar, over-consumption of bad fats and harmful fatty acids as well as stress and trauma.
Let us consider some effective home remedies for reversing COPD naturally:
1. Avoid following foods completely
Patients with COPD must avoid following foods completely:
- Food containing synthetic ingredients
- High Glycemic index foods
- Processed foods
- White or refined sugar
- Deep fried foods
- Meat products containing nitrite and nitrates.
- Over consumption of eggs and dairy.
These foods are lung irritants and can build up mucus which can aggravate COPD cough.
2. Quit smoking
If you are still smoking, it is time to quit. Smoking worsens COPD cough and can even lead to several other complications. If you are unable to quit, consider joining a support group.
3. Stay active
Staying active is important for both the physical and mental health. Physical activity helps improve lung function and also reduces stress which is one of the causes of COPD. You can talk to your doctor about using oxygen while exercising. Moderate exercises like walking, cycling etc are easy on COPD patients.
4. Eat smaller, frequent meals
When you suffer from lung disease, you do not want any more stomach fullness that can further impact the breathing. So try to eat smaller meals.
5. Eat healthier
A healthy diet for COPD ideally consists of fruits and vegetables. It should also include whole grains, low fat dairy products and nuts, beans and seeds. You must avoid red and processed meats but can go for fresh, organic, lean meat like chicken, turkey or fish. Eat low sodium foods and avoid sugar completely. Also eat onions and garlic for their antimicrobial and immune-strengthening properties. Completely cut back on saturated fats and trans fats. If needed, maintain a food diary to note how you feel after eating certain foods.
6. Drink plenty of fluids
Make it a habit to drink plenty of water and other fluids. This will reduce mucus and prevent cough and emphysema.
7. Remedies to keep COPD cough in check
To keep mucus and cough in check, you could use expectorants, humidifiers and drink plenty of water. Steam inhalation should be made an important part of your daily COPD home remedies. In case of infection, you might need to get a prescription for antibiotics. Bronchodilator medicines like Albuterol can help clear airways and in case of severe symptoms, you might need to take corticosteroids which can be inhaled or taken orally to stop copd cough.
8. Avoid allergens
As part of your natural remedies for COPD mucous, try to avoid allergens at all costs. Stay away from pollen, dust and moldy areas. Vacuum the house every day. Wipe down all surfaces. As far as possible, avoid sudden climatic changes.
9. Take dietary supplements
Your doctor will recommend dietary and nutritional supplements to you. NAC or N-acetyl-cysteine is known to help. Zinc is also necessary to strengthen immune system. Other supplements include Quercetin, Lactobacillus, Vitamin C and Bromelain which strengthen the body to prevent infections.
10. Ayurvedic cure for COPD
Many herbal remedies are used to cure COPD in Ayurveda. Ashwgandha is one such remedy. It is nothing but Indian Ginseng or Withania Somnifera- a stress relieving herb. Other herbal remedies like licorice and Pushkarmool or Inula Racemosa can also be used for relieving mucus and wheezing.
11. Essential oils and herbal remedies for COPD
Peppermint and eucalyptus oils contain menthol and are expectorant in nature; they help expel mucus. These remedies can also be used for calming and soothing dry coughs. Other herbs like barberry may be taken to strengthen immunity and fight infections. Slippery elm also known as Ulmus Fulva is recognized by the US FDA as a herb which fights respiratory symptoms and sore throat.
As with any natural medicine, it is important to use above remedies only under the guidance of an experienced naturopath or herbalist. If COPD symptoms are affecting your day to day life, try these 11 natural remedies and see the difference.