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Condition - Breathe easy

Although allergies and respiratory conditions are on the rise, there are some positive steps you can take…

By Emma Mihill ND NT DipCNM MBANT

Our respiratory tracts are divided into the upper respiratory tract (URT) and lower respiratory tract (LRT). The URT is responsible for regulating temperature and water content of air, as well as protecting the lungs from particles in the air that are constantly bombarding membranes. 

The LRT is composed of vital organs responsible for receiving oxygen and distributing it throughout the entire body. We have a layer of tiny hairs in our lungs called cilia. These are essential and act as a filter to push out any excess mucus from the lungs so as not to allow too much to enter. The cilia can be damaged by smoking, which paralyses them and eventually will lead to their death.

Respiratory illnesses are conditions affecting the URT, producing symptoms mainly in the nose and throat. Many factors, including genetics, pollutants, irritants and infectious diseases, may affect the health of the respiratory system. Viral infections, smoking, alcohol and narcotics can damage its function. 

Rhinitis (inflammation of the nose) is one of the most common illnesses and can be an allergic reaction or non-allergic. Allergic rhinitis (hay fever) is when our bodies overreact to an airborne substance, such as mould, pollen or dust mite.

The common cold is another respiratory illness. Symptoms can include mild fatigue, runny nose and itchy and sore throat. The health of our immune system is important, with regard to both rhinitis and cold infections. However, we can lead preventative lifestyles to support our respiratory tracts, reduce allergic reactions and strengthen our immune systems. If we do find we need additional support in situations that trigger respiratory problems, there are a number of options available to us:

  • Invest in a Saltpipe – a traditional remedy using salt crystals from the Transylvanian Praid Salt Mine. The air you draw in over the mouthpiece stimulates a cleansing process in the respiratory system and calms the cells lining the tract, improving breathing. Used for 15 minutes every day, its curative properties can help with:
    • pollen and other allergies
    • asthma
    • common cold infections
    • snoring
    • exposure to smoky or polluted environments

 

  • Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, and is protective of the mucus membranes lining the respiratory tract
  • MSM aids normal breathing by assisting the relaxation of muscles in the bronchioles
  • Omega-3-rich fish oils help to manage inflammation. If you are vegetarian or vegan, you can supplement with either hemp or flax seed oil.

Following a preventative lifestyle:

·        Increase fresh foods in the diet; include a variety of fresh fruit, vegetables, wholegrains, pulses, legumes and fish

·        Eat protein at every meal, as it is vital for repair, maintenance and growth. You can supplement with hemp protein powder to help reach your individual protein requirements

·        Eat foods that are plentiful in vitamin C as it has numerous beneficial properties. Good sources include Aloe vera juice, broccoli, blackcurrant and peppers

·        Garlic, onions, chillies, ginger, horseradish, mustard and pineapple are natural vasodilators, which allow for easier breathing 

·        Avoid mucus-forming foods and foods which are common allergens, such as dairy products, eggs, wheat, fried and fatty foods, pastries, sugar, chocolate, beer and food additives

·        Avoid coffee, tea and alcohol, which can be mucus-forming

·        Drink plenty of water and include other fluids, such as herbal teas and vegetable juices 


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