If you or a loved one are experiencing symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), you may find yourself researching ways to get some relief.
Your physician is a great resource for solutions like these. He or she may not prescribe you oxygen therapy, especially if you are in the early stages of COPD.
Your physician may instead suggest some natural remedies for COPD that, while not aimed at treating your disease, can help with your comfort level and your ability to enjoy many of the activities you do now.
Below are a few of the many natural remedies for COPD worth considering.
1. Stay active.
Exercising may sound difficult for those experiencing symptoms of COPD, such as shortness of breath or chest tightness. But as few as 10 minutes of activity each day can help strengthen your respiratory muscles.
Many who experience COPD symptoms take up aquatic exercise. This could include lap swimming, water aerobics or other water-based activities such as wading, kicking or walking.
Walking, cycling or taking a tai chi class are great exercise options as well.
2. Enjoy foods that are high in antioxidants.
Another natural remedy for COPD relates to your diet.
Increasing the amount of snacks and meals you enjoy which are high in antioxidants can promote better lung function, among other benefits.
Consider trying some of the following:
- A fruit salad that includes blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries
- A mid-morning snack of a Red Delicious or Granny Smith apple
- Artichoke dip or the use of artichoke hearts in a main dish
- A side dish with red beans or pinto beans
- Sweet cherries for dessert
Be sure to consult with your physician before making major changes to your diet.
3. Take your vitamins.
Adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet in an effort to make it more antioxidant-rich will also help you get more of your necessary vitamins.
But, deficiencies in vitamins like Vitamin D are very common for those with COPD. As a result, it’s important that you make sure you’re receiving the daily recommended amount.
When consulting your physician, he or she may recommend that you take a vitamin supplement as opposed to making changes to your diet.
Afraid you’ll forget to take your vitamins? Set a reminder on your phone or leave yourself a little sticky note on the mirror or on the dashboard of your car.
4. Try eucalyptus oil.
Many who experience COPD symptoms turn to essential oils as a natural remedy. Research suggests essential oils such as eucalyptus oil can reduce airway inflammation.
There are a number of ways you can experience the benefits of essential oils, such as:
- Gently massaging your chest with a small amount of eucalyptus oil
- Investing in a diffuser for either your home or office
- Diluting some eucalyptus oil in water and spraying it in rooms where you like to relax
It is recommended to approach essential oils with caution if you have young children or pets in your home.
5. Try a ginseng herbal supplement.
Another herbal therapy that’s a great natural remedy for COPD is ginseng.
Ginseng has been shown to give those experiencing symptoms of COPD some relief. This includes but is not limited to ease of breathing and improved exercise tolerance.
It’s difficult to establish a standard dosage of ginseng. This is a result of levels of active ingredients in herbal supplements varying from maker to maker.
If you decide to move forward with a ginseng herbal supplement, or another type of herbal supplement, it would benefit you to consult your physician or another expert.
As opposed to taking herbal supplements, many looking to experience the benefits of ginseng will drink ginseng tea. Mmm!
Before making major changes to your diet, experimenting with essential oils or herbal supplements, or exercising heavily, please consult your physician. While the above natural remedies work for some, your physician will suggest the best option(s) for you!