Natural cures for asthma

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Think of asthma as a form of respiratory high drama. Just as an actress might wring as much emotion as possible from a simple prop, so the lungs of a person with asthma seize and wheeze over something as innocuous as a pillow covered with cat hair. The difference? The actress has control over her scene; the person with asthma doesn't.

What's going on? People without asthma breathe easily despite a swamp of pollens, molds, animal dander, and cigarette smoke. For a person with asthma, inhaling certain irritants triggers a cascade of events. The smooth muscle encircling the airways constricts, diminishing their diameters. The mucous membranes swell and produce excessive mucus, further narrowing the air passages.

Unfortunately, asthma has become more common in recent years. About 14 million Americans- one-third of them children- have asthma.

Doctors prescribe asthma medications according to the disorder's severity and how frequently attacks happen. Although many asthma drugs cause side effects, they have also saved lives. If you have asthma, you should work in close partnership with your doctor to try herbal remedies; never stop taking any asthma medication or change your dosage without your doctor's approval. Some of the herbs traditionally used for asthma can interact with asthma drugs in negative ways. That said, there are herbs that have been shown through either years of traditional use or medical studies to help people with asthma regain their respiratory health.

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