Struggling to breathe is scary. The cause can be bronchitis from a cold or asthma or COPD. Whatever the cause, finding a way to increase your lung capacity and keep breathing without taking lots of medicine means a lot.
Never stop taking medications without discussing it with your doctor first. Adding some of these simple home remedies to what you’re already doing may help increase your medication’s effectiveness and make breathing a bit easier. Check out the 7 ways you can help yourself at home.
1. Deep breathing. Since one of the breathing difficulties people encounter is asthma, WebMD recommends practicing deep breathing to help relax and manage your stress, thereby circumventing an asthma attack. Lie down on your back, close your eyes and take deep, slow breaths in through your mouth and let them out through your mouth.
2. Allergen removal. Sometimes the culprit for your lung trouble is allergens. The Mayo Clinic reminds you to minimize your allergen exposure by covering your pillows, mattresses and box springs in dust-proof covers. Regularly bathe your pets to reduce their dander, and wash your carpets and blinds to remove dust build-up.
3. Exercise. Expanding lung capacity through exercise is another recommendation by the Mayo Clinic. The exercise will also strengthen your lungs.
4. Omega-3 fatty acids. WebMD states that fish and other foods high in omega-3 fatty acids should be eaten as the omega-3 fatty acids appear to decrease lung inflammation.
5. Fresh ginger. Findings of a study published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine state that fresh ginger is effective in fighting human respiratory syncytial virus (HRSV). Dried ginger does not appear to have the same effectiveness.
6. Black coffee. The Cochrane Library published findings of a study that showed drinking regular black coffee improved airway function for four hours after it was drunk. The caffeine appears to reduce asthma symptoms. Enjoy your coffee, guilt-free!
7. Chinese breathing. Wikihow recommends using Chinese breathing as a form of exercise to improve your lungs. While sitting, extend your arms shoulder-high in front of yourself. Inhale and exhale. Move your arms, still shoulder-high, out to your sides and take another breath. Finally, raise your arms straight up and take your final breath. Repeat the process 10 to 12 times.
Although these won’t solve all your problems, they may give you the upper hand. Anything you can do to help yourself can mean a lot when struggling for a breath. By being disciplined and learning to control your breathing, you may see some great results.