Note: While all of the following therapies and self-care approaches can significantly relieve emphysema symptoms over time, they will be of little avail if you continue to smoke and/or be exposed to secondhand smoke.
Aromatherapy: Inhaling the steamed vapors of the essential oils of eucalyptus and pine can help relieve symptoms of emphysema, as can massaging the essential oils of cedarwood, eucalyptus, or peppermint into the chest once or twice each day.
Ayurvedic Medicine: To help ease emphysema symptoms, Ayurvedic physicians recommend boiling two to three cloves of raw, organic garlic in water. Once the cloves become tender, crush them, add to the water and drink the entire mixture in order to relief chest pain and ease breathing.
Diet: If you suffer from emphysema, you need to be screened for food allergies and sensitivities, and then avoid eating those foods you are allergic or sensitive to. In addition, avoid all sugar and sugar products, wheat and wheat byproducts, soy products, soft drinks, commercially processed foods, and all foods containing artificial ingredients, such as additives, colorings, flavorings, and preservatives (BHA, BHT, sodium nitrite, sulfites, saccharin, aspartame, and cyclamates, to name a few). Also minimize your intake of milk and dairy products, and coffee and other caffeine products, as well as red meat, salt, refined carbohydrates (white breads, pastries, commercial pastas), corn, chocolate, and unhealthy fats (hydrogenated or trans fats).
Drink plenty of pure, filtered water; at least eight ounces every two hours. For best results, add fresh squeezed lemon juice and a dash of cayenne pepper, making sure to brush your teeth afterwards so the acid from the citrus is not allowed to sit on the teeth. In addition, enjoy freshly made organic vegetable juices throughout the day, as well as hot broths and soups. Diluted organic pear juice can loosen up lung congestion. As part of your daily diet, emphasize organic, whole foods, especially plenty of fresh, raw organic fruits and vegetables, preferably soaked nuts and seeds, organic, free-range meats and poultry, and wild-caught fish. Garlic, cayenne pepper, chili peppers, horseradish, mustard, and onions should be eaten regularly, due to their powerful health benefits for the lungs and overall respiratory system. Organic, extra virgin olive oil should be used liberally. Organic grapes and fresh grape juice can be effective, as well.
Herbs: Useful herbs for managing emphysema symptoms include coltsfoot tea and thyme, both of which can help reduce the buildup of mucus and sputum in the lungs and respiratory tract. Peppermint tea can also be used for this purpose. Anise oil mixed with honey can be helpful when taken before each meal. Ephedra can help reduce coughing and bronchial spasms, while mullein can aid in eliminating fluid buildup in the lungs and fighting and preventing associated infection. Other useful herbs include comfrey, fennel seed, fenugreek, licorice root, red poppy flowers, rosehips, rosemary, slippery elm, violet, and white horehound.
Homeopathy: The homoepathic remedies Aspidosperma and Carbo vegetabilis can help to ease symptoms of emphysema.
Juice Therapy: The following juice combinations can be helpful for relieving symptoms: Carrot, celery, potatoes, spinach, wheatgrass, watercress, and one clove of garlic; barley juice with a clove of squeezed garlic; and the combined juices of grape, orange, lemon, and black currant.
Improving Indoor Air Quality: Improving the quality of your indoor air, both at home and at work, is an essential self-care step for helping to treat and prevent respiratory conditions, including bronchitis. Healthy air is warm, free of pollutants and odors, has a relative humidity of between 35 to 60 percent, and is high in oxygen and negative ions (3,000 to 6,000 negative ions per cubic centimeter). Today’s technology makes it easy to ensure that your indoor air meets the above criteria. A negative ion generator can not only increase the oxygen and negative ion content of indoor air, but can also cleanse it of harmful animal dander, bacteria, dust, mold, pollen, and viruses. Moreover, negative ions help to soothe and repair damaged mucosa of the nasal, lung, and bronchial pathways. For best results, choose a self-regulating negative ion generator that emits at least one trillion negative ions per second.
You should also use a humidifier to keep your indoor air moist, especially during winter months, when air tends to be drier. Choose a warm mist unit. Adding plants to your home and work environments can also help keep air moist. Certain plants, such as chrysanthemums, philodendron, and spider plants, can also help to keep your air free of circulating dust and microorganisms, since they act as natural air filters.
Also be sure that your home and work environments are properly ventilated, and avoid the use of synthetic materials in your home and workplace, including plastics.
Lifestyle: Avoid exposure to secondhand smoke and excessively cold or dry air. Also make it a point to get plenty of good sleep each night, sleeping in an environment that is free of dust and contains warm, moist air.
Nutritional Supplements: Useful nutrients for emphysema include vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin E, chlorophyll, coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), folic acid, lecithin, and the amino acids L-cysteine, L-methionine, and L-glutathione, and
Stop Smoking: If you smoke, seek help in order to quit. (See Addictions for more information.)
Alternative Professional Care: The following therapies can also help to prevent and relieve emphysema: Acupressure, Acupuncture, Biofeedback Training and Neurotherapy, Bodywork (Reflexology, Rofling, Shiatsu), Chelation Therapy, Energy Medicine, Guided Imagery, Magnet Therapy, Mind/Body Medicine, Naturopathic Medicine, Osteopathic Medicine, Qigong, Tai Chi, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and Yoga.
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