Asthma is a very common respiratory disorder both in the United States and around the world and it is estimated that around 300 million people suffer from it globally. It is particularly prevalent in children and in the United States alone, is the number one reason for pediatric visits to the emergency room.
This respiratory condition is marked by periodic bouts of inflammation, called “flare ups” or “exacerbations”. During one of these episodes, exposure to an allergen or irritant like smoke or strong perfume causes an immune response in the respiratory tract and this in turn leads to inflammation and excess mucous in the airways, which makes breathing difficult. There are a number of prescription medications in the form of pills or inhalers which can help treat this disease but there are natural alternatives as well. One of these natural alternatives for asthma treatment is lemon juice.
Why lemon is ideal for asthmatics
When talking about why lemon juice is such a great treatment for this condition, it is important to remember that the flare-ups happen because of an immune response. Lemon can help strengthen the immune system – and make it less hypersensitive – due to the fact that it contains high amounts of Vitamin C and strong antioxidant compounds, both of which have been linked to healthy immunity. This is why it has been used for thousands of years to help treat a variety of infections.
Another important component in lemons in regards to asthma treatment is citric acid. Citric acid is a great detoxifier and can help cleanse the body of allergens and other unwanted substances that can trigger an attack. Citric acid, too, has antioxidant properties that can strengthen the immune system in a way similar to Vitamin C. In a recent study, it was found that inhaling limonene, one of the active ingredients in lemons, was able to help reduce airway inflammation and damage due to a flare-up.
Adding lemons to the diet
In order to be effective, however, consumption of lemons must be regular. The good news is that there are many easy ways to add it in the diet. These include:
- Drinking water in the morning to which the juice from one fresh-squeezed lemon has been added, then drinking it throughout the day
- Mixing it with olive oil to form a dressing for salads and other raw vegetables.
- Squeezing it into a warm cup of tea or a glass of iced tea.
- Squeezing it onto fish dishes.
Those who have asthma, therefore, would do well to make sure that they regularly consume lemon juice. There are many simple ways to add it to the diet and the health benefits to the respiratory system make it more than worthwhile to do!