Asthma is a chronic disease involving airways in the lungs. The most important characteristic of asthma is narrowing of airways. The airways in the lungs are the bronchi which are tubes with muscular walls.
The cells lining the airways have microscopic structures called receptors. These receptors sense the presence of specific substances and stimulate the muscles beneath to contract and relax thus altering the flow of air.
Two main types of receptors are important in asthma.
- Beta-adrenergic receptors – these receptors respond to chemicals such as epinephrine and make the muscles relax, thereby widening the airways and increasing airflow.
- Cholinergic receptors – these receptors respond to a chemical called acetylcholine and make the muscles contract, thereby contracting the airways and decreasing airflow.
Asthma is classified into two types, they are as follows:
- Allergic asthma: Exposure to trigger factors like smoke, dust, allergens, fur, cold air perfumes triggers asthma attacks.
Non allergic asthma: It is triggered by factors inside the body such as bacterial or viral infection, consumption of pain killers, physical or emotional stress.
In spite of the fact that asthma is one of the most chronic diseases of the childhood, adults can also develop asthma, even at an old age. Asthma is becoming more common nowadays.
Asthma affects more than 25 million people and more than 6 million children in the United States and occurs more frequently in boys before puberty and in girls after puberty.
Even though the number of people affected by asthma has increased, the number of deaths has decreased. For some people asthma is a minor difficulty. And for some, it can be a major problem that may lead to a life threatening asthma attack .
Symptoms of asthma:
- Coughing, especially at night
- Losing breath easily
- Sudden attacks with shortness of breath
- Feeling weak when exercising
- Feeling tired, easily getting upset, moody
- Changes in lung function as measure on a peak flow meter
- Sign of cold or allergies like sneezing, running nose, cough, nasal congestion, sore throat and headache
- Sleeping trouble
- Chest tightness, pain or pressure
- Wheezing or whistling while breathing out
Not every person with asthma has the same symptoms in the same way. Some people affected by asthma may not show any symptoms for a long period but often get serious asthma attacks.Some people may only have asthma during exercise or asthma with viral infections like cold.
Mild asthma attacks are generally more common. Usually the airways open up within a few minutes to few hours.
Severe attacks are less common but last longer and require immediate medical help. It is important to recognize and treat even mild asthma symptoms to prevent severe attacks and keep asthma under control.
Asthma can’t be cured, but its symptoms can be controlled because the disease often changes over time, it is important consult a doctor to track the signs and symptoms and start with treatment as required.
How turmeric benefits in asthma
Turmeric finds its use in asthma primarily due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-asthmatic property. Curcumin and other bioactive compounds present in turmeric can help to relieve of inflammation and reduce the mucous secretions in the airways.
Turmeric holds multiple benefits in asthma.
- It has anti-asthmatic properties.
- It reduces inflammation.
- It has an excellent antioxidant nature that helps in scavenging that mediates inflammation and oxidative damage in asthma.
- It has anti-allergic property that reduces allergen induced asthma and ameliorates mucus production and constriction of airways in allergic asthma.
- It has antimicrobial property which is as effective as antibiotics and steroids in reducing respiratory bacterial infections that could initiate asthma attack.
- It has the ability to regulate immune responses.
- It attenuates COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder) .
Best Ways To Take Turmeric For Asthma
Disclaimer – There is no particular prescribed dose of turmeric defined for Asthma. Based on the studies and reader’s reports we have summarized various ways of taking turmeric which could benefit in this disorder.
The dosage depends in terms of the formulation and severity of the condition. Here is the recommended dose:
Fresh Turmeric roots
Turmeric roots are a great addition to diet but it is difficult to expect a therapeutic effect from the limited amounts of roots we consume.
Recommended intake: 1-3g or ½ inch long piece of root sliced or chopped. You can also juice it and take it with a pinch of black pepper. This can be a part of your fresh juices or taken individually. You can also make Golden Paste from fresh roots.
Further Read – Is fresh turmeric better then powder?
If you are including turmeric powder in cooking then 1 tsp daily is sufficient. Always opt for good quality organic turmeric powder. (How to identify organic turmeric, Recommended Organic Turmeric brands)
However if you take turmeric powder straight with black pepper then it would be 1-2 g of turmeric powder with a pinch of black pepper.
In terms of teaspoon that would be 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder with ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper powder twice a day
Start with small dose and increase gradually. Avoid taking it on an empty stomach. You can also prepare DIY Turmeric Capsules.
Maximum dose: 1 tsp of turmeric powder with ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepperhttps://www.turmericforhealth.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=1887&action=edit thrice a day
Golden Paste combines heat, black pepper and healthy fats to increase the absorption of turmeric. It is highly recommended to take this paste after meals and to avoid taking it close to other medications.(Read Does Turmeric cause acid reflux? Black pepper in GP: Does it cause drug interaction?) Here is the recipe for Golden Paste.
You can also make Golden Paste from fresh roots.
Start with small doses such as 1/4-1/2 tsp and if you see no side effects then increase the dose by ¼ teaspoon every week. Continue till reach a dose of 1-2 tsp 2-3 times a day (precisely 1 tsp 3 times a day).
This is the ideal dose of Golden Paste where you should experience relief. However the ideal dose differs with every individual; some may need less some may need more.
Thinking of other ways to take Golden Paste read 10 ways to take Golden Paste
Maximum dosage: 1 table spoon 2-3 times a day only advised if you are comfortable taking it and not experiencing gastric side effects.
Turmeric tinctures are considered to be very beneficial as they pack tremendous potency in a small dose; but we have not come across any evidence regarding its efficacy in asthma. You may consult an herbalist about this.
Take 10-30 drops 2-3 times a day depending on the condition. It can be added to teas, juices or smoothies.
Maximum dosage: 20-30 drops 3 times a day
This is a good option for tea lovers and who want to skip the taste of turmeric paste. Here is the recipe.
Recommended intake: 1-2 cups a day
Turmeric milk helps in boosting immunity and overall health; it is delicious as well. You can find the recipe here.
Recommended intake: 1-2 cups a day
The recommended dosage for supplements is 300-400mg 2-3 times a day for standardized 95% curcumin extract.
However the dose would differ based on the formulation, hence it is best to consult a doctor before taking turmeric supplements.
Avoid taking supplements on an empty stomach and close to the time of taking medicines. Consult a doctor before taking turmeric supplements.
Turmeric in diet is absolutely safe. Turmeric supplements should be taken with care. (Read Side effects of Turmeric)
If you are taking blood thinners, turmeric supplements should be avoided. Turmeric can be included in diet in small doses. If suffering from a bleeding disorder consult a doctor and herbalist or naturopath before taking turmeric.
Turmeric supplements should be avoided in case of pregnancy and lactation. Discontinue use of turmeric supplements 2 weeks prior to surgery.
Turmeric supplements should be avoided in case of gall bladder obstructions. (Should you take turmeric if you have gallstones?)
Turmeric may interact with certain medications like stomach acid reducing drugs, diabetes medications, blood thinners. Avoid taking turmeric supplements at the same time as medicines.
Consult a health practitioner before taking turmeric supplements.
If harrowed by turmeric stains here is how you can take care of them.
Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory, anti-asthmatic property and its efficacy in treating lung disorders make it an effective complementary therapy for managing asthma.
Research suggests that Curcumin nasal drops can be potential anti-asthmatic agent in near future as data from animal studies suggests that it performs better than steroids and anti-asthmatic drugs.
Consuming turmeric in appropriate doses is beneficial in treating the symptoms of asthma.