Living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is difficult because it causes shortness of breath that can make even the simplest of tasks more physically demanding.
There is no cure for COPD, but people with the disease can receive treatments that may help reduce the progression and severity of the disease.
Since COPD makes life so challenging, most people who have it actively seek opportunities to improve their breathing. Surprisingly, the answer may lie in the food you eat.
The vitamins, minerals and nutrients found in certain foods can help keep your lungs strong and improve your ability to breathe. One herb that may make a significant impact in the lives of people with COPD is ginger.
How does ginger help people with COPD?
Ginger is a rhizome (similar to a root) that is considered a spice that is used to flavor many foods and help treat many ailments. Ginger is loaded with anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation in your lungs.
It also helps settle your stomach when it’s upset and can help regulate your blood sugar levels. Plus, this spice is loaded with many vitamins and minerals that your lungs and the rest of your body use to fuel performance.
Other herbs and spices that help people with COPD
- Turmeric — Turmeric contains curcumin, which is a component of the spice that is known to help reduce inflammation in your lungs.
- Garlic — Garlic acts similarly to antibiotics to help fight inflammation and congestion that affect your lungs.
- Thyme — This herb can help relax the muscles in your airways to improve your ability to breathe and clear out mucus.
- Red sage — Red sage has antioxidants that help remove toxins from your blood and protect the inner linings of your blood vessels from damage when oxygen levels are low.
- Ginseng — Ginseng can help improve your ability to breathe and retain energy to participate in physical activity.
- English Ivy — English ivy can help improve your ability to breathe when inflammation is blocking your airways.
Christine Kingsley, APRN is the Health and Wellness Director at the Lung Institute where she focuses on providing helpful online resources for people looking for information on various lung diseases, breathing exercises, and healthy lifestyle choices. She advocates for holistic care that involves working with your doctor to explore all options including traditional and alternative care while focusing on diet and exercise as proactive measures.