The official blog of the Lung Institute.
When traditional medication fails, it may be time to consider something a bit more natural…
Living with a lung disease like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pulmonary fibrosis or emphysema can make one’s daily routine inherently difficult. Causing fits of coughing, difficulty breathing and lower energy levels, many suffering from chronic lung disease are simply looking for one thing: relief. Although there are a variety of traditional medications available such as pills, inhalers and oxygen therapy, they aren’t without their own side-effects. As research continues to show promise in the use of natural alternatives, it may be time to consider adding these supplements to your daily regimen.
With your health in mind, the Lung Institute is here to present 6 Natural COPD Treatments to Try Right Now to better your breathing using more natural ingredients.
*Any new medication or supplements should only be consumed after first consulting with your primary care physician*
6. NAC (N-Acetylcysteine)
Yes, it’s a mouthful but N-Acetylcysteine, otherwise known as NAC is an antioxidant that has shown promise in some studies. In a study of 24 Israeli COPD patients, it was found that 1,200mg of N-acetylcysteine a day helped lung inflation, especially after exercise. It is known to reduce phlegm, cough, thin mucus and ease expectoration. Although it won’t prevent flare-ups, its ability to loosen sputum is significant, and it can be bought over-the-counter. It’s a great example of natural treatments for COPD.
Daily Dosage Recommendation: 250mg to 1,500mg mg daily.
Special Note – You should not take N-acetylcysteine if you’re taking nitroglycerin.
5. Vitamin D
A deficiency in vitamin D can come from a variety of sources: not spending enough time outside, not drinking enough milk or the body simply losing its ability to make vitamin D with age. It has been noted that vitamin D has been linked to better lung function tests, and sources of vitamin D can be anything from drinking more almond milk, taking a daily multi-vitamin or stepping outside to get more fresh air (and sunlight).
Daily Dosage Recommendation: 1,000mg to 1,200mg
Special Note- Milk can build up mucus within the lungs and cause flare-ups. Instead, choose a milk alternative such as Almond or Soy milk.
One of the best natural treatments for COPD is ginseng. Although ginseng comes in a variety of different species, some studies have shown that the use of ginseng may improve lung function. With the Asian variety of ginseng showing a larger effect than its American counterpart, ginseng has been recognized for its propensity to improve the immune system, provide an energy boost, reduce stress, promote relaxation and even provide immune suppressive—or anti-inflammatory—effects.
Daily Dosage Recommendation: 1-2g
3. Antioxidant Vitamins
Antioxidants are crucial for the body as they allow it to use oxygen more efficiently so that it enters the bloodstream in the proper amounts. Because of these oxygen-regulating properties, vitamins A, C and E are considered a particularly beneficial supplement for those who suffer from chronic respiratory disease. In a recent Romanian study of 120 COPD patients, it was found that patients who ate a diet of fruits and vegetables rich in Vitamins A, C and E had improved lung function.
Daily Dosage Recommendation: Vitamin C: 75-90mg, Vitamin A: .7-.9mg, Vitamin E: 15mg
Special Note – Current smokers should aim for an extra 35mg a day of Vitamin C.
Okay, so what the heck is bromelain? Well, simply put, it’s a chemical made from enzymes found in the stems and juice of pineapple. Believed to reduce inflammation, although still awaiting more conclusive studies, it is thought to be an effective supplement for COPD relief. The added benefit of a citrus fruit such as pineapple, however, is that it contains other vitamins and nutrients such as vitamin C, and it can easily be incorporated into one’s diet through something as simple as a morning smoothie. Natural treatments for COPD can taste so good.
Daily Dosage Recommendation: 80 to 500mg
1. Coenzyme Q10
As a substance similar in behavior to that of an antioxidant or vitamin, coenzyme Q10 has value as a natural remedy for COPD. Found in nearly every cell of the body, it is often used to produce energy within the body allowing cell growth and maintenance. Through its ability to increase cell activity and ease inflammation, the enzyme may be able to contribute to airway dilation through its anti-inflammatory properties, ultimately allowing easier breathing as well as a reduction in symptoms. CoQ10 can be found in small amounts in a variety of different foods including sardines, mackerel and peanuts.
Daily Dosage Recommendation: 90 to 390mg
Try this in Combination with Natural Treatments for COPD
Although natural treatments for COPD and traditional treatments can be beneficial to respiratory health, if you’re looking to take a more proactive approach to treatment, it’s time to consider stem cell therapy. Rather than only addressing the symptoms of lung disease, stem cell therapy acts to directly affect disease progression, working to improve quality of life and pulmonary function within patients. For those who suffer from lung disease, a change in quality of life could mean the difference between struggling to walk to the mailbox and riding a bike.
If you or a loved one suffers from a chronic lung disease like COPD, pulmonary fibrosis, emphysema or other symptoms of lung disease, the Lung Institute may be able to help with a variety of adult stem cell treatment options. Contact us today at (800) 729-3065 to see if you qualify for stem cell therapy, and find out what stem cell therapy could mean for you.
Interested in our natural treatments for COPD? Share your thoughts and comments below.