Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, causes people to experience trouble breathing and includes symptoms such as chronic coughing, excess buildup of mucus, and shortness of breath. COPD develops very slowly and gets worse over time. Two major conditions within COPD are chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
A doctor will often prescribe medications for COPD; unfortunately, some of them have serious side effects. This had led many patients to search for alternative treatments that are effective, such as herbal treatments.
Herbal medicine has been around for centuries, and it's known that some herbs do have health benefits. For people who dislike side effects of prescriptions, herbal treatments may be a viable alternative. It is extremely important to discuss any use of herbs with a doctor. Your doctor should know about any herbal treatments you are trying, because some herbs can cause adverse reactions when they're combined with traditional medications.
- GinsengGinseng is an herb used to treat COPD symptoms. This herb, also called panax ginseng, has been used alone and also combined with other Chinese herbs. It's been used for centuries in ancient medicine and has been studied for its effectiveness, with mixed results. Some studies showed that ginseng helped when a person's COPD is in a stable stage. Some users claim they were able to breathe better and regain the ability to exercise when they used ginseng.
- Red SageRed Sage, which is also called salvia miltiorrhiza, is another traditional Chinese herb that is used by some COPD patients. Some believe that it helps with inflammation that happens in the airways as a result of the disease. Red sage has also been shown to be an antioxidant that protects blood vessels that have been weakened by COPD.
- Thyme An herb traditionally used in cooking, thyme has been shown to clear the airways of animals by lessening mucus buildup. It's also believed to cause airways to relax, which is crucial for better breathing. One of the elements that causes thyme to be helpful is essential oils that are released from this herb; they are thought to have potential antioxidant benefits.
- Turmeric A spice commonly used in curry dishes, turmeric is prized among herb users for its antioxidant benefits and ability to decrease inflammation. The beneficial compound present in turmeric is known as curcumin, which is believed to help by reducing inflammation in COPD patients' airways. This herb has also been used for many years in Chinese medicine.