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How to Naturally Ease the Symptoms of Lung Sarcoidosis
Sarcoidosis is a systemic inflammatory disease of unknown cause, and is characterized by the formation of small bead-like nodules called ‘granulomas’ in the lungs and nearby lymph nodes. If many granulomas come together, they can affect the working of the lungs which leads to the diagnosis of sarcoidosis.Shortness of breath, fatigue and weakness, weight loss, chest pain, dry cough and enlarged lymph nodes around the lungs are the classic signs and symptoms of sarcoidosis.If you don't want to treat your sarcoidosis with steroids, you can attempt to use natural remedies, including herbs, lifestyle and dietary modifications, and meditation and yoga, to ease your symptoms.
Making Dietary Modifications
Maintain a healthy diet to reduce your symptoms.You are what you eat, and your health depends on it.
- The diet for a patient suffering from sarcoidosis should include healthy amounts of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, poultry, lean meats, fish, and low-fat milk and milk products.
- A few additional dietary changes should be made to keep inflammation to a minimum in all the organs of your body, as sarcoidosis may affect any organ, at any point in time.
Substitute red meat for alternatives.Eat fewer red meats and more lean meats, cold-water fish, tofu (soy, if no allergy), or beans to get your protein.
- Red meat from corn-fed animals tends to increase inflammation in the body and should be avoided.
Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.Drink water throughout your day to keep your body well-hydrated and flush out any toxins from your body.
- Drinking around 6-8 glasses of water helps detoxify your system of heavy metals and other toxins that might aggravate sarcoidosis.
Eat a variety of antioxidant-rich foods.Antioxidant-rich foods reduce inflammation throughout the body.
- Antioxidant-rich foods include tomatoes, cherries, blueberries, bell peppers, and squash.
- Eating these foods regularly may help alleviate some symptoms of sarcoidosis.
Eat foods rich in magnesium and low in calcium.Maintaining adequate levels of nutrients in your diet is the best way to stay healthy and prevent unnecessary inflammation.
- Foods rich in magnesium and low in calcium such as bran, oats, corn, barley, brown rice, soy, potato and banana should be a main part of your diet.
Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco.Caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco must be avoided, as they promote inflammation in the body and may worsen sarcoidosis.
Consume fish oil.Fish oil seems to help reduce inflammation throughout the body.
- Cold-water fish, such as salmon or halibut, are good sources of fish oil.
Using Herbal Treatment
Use turmeric to relieve inflammation.Turmeric, also known as Curcuma longa, is an herb that may be helpful in treating sarcoidosis.
- Turmeric is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory herb that may be helpful in treating various inflammatory disorders.
- Turmeric, a member of the ginger family, has been used for hundreds of years in both Ayurvedic medicine and traditional Chinese medicine as an anti-inflammatory to help treat numerous health problems.
- Turmeric has a bitter, pungent taste and cooling and stimulating properties.
- The rhizome, or underground stem of the plant, is used medicinally.
- A standardized extract, 300 mg three times a day, may help reduce inflammation.
- Also, adding about 5 grams of the root to milk, boiling it, and consuming it twice daily may help relieve some symptoms.
Try cat's claw (Uncaria tomentosa).Cat's claw may be useful in treating sarcoidosis, because it has shown positive effects in treatment of other autoimmune disorders.
- The exact mode of action of this popular herbal remedy is unclear.
- A standardized extract, 20 mg three times a day, may help reduce inflammation.
Drink chamomile tea.Chamomile, also known as Matricaria recutita, has anti-inflammatory, analgesic (painkiller), and antipyretic (fever-reducing) properties.
- Chamomile may reduce the amount of arachidonic acid in your body, which in turn could reduce your levels of inflammation and sarcoidosis-related symptoms.
- Prepare your tea with 3-5 fresh or dried flowers of chamomile plant, brewed for 15 minutes in hot water.
- This tea should be consumed twice daily for 6 months.
Take goldenseal tablets.Goldenseal, also known as Hydrastis canadensis, possesses cooling and drying properties.
- The root of the plant is used for medicinal purposes.
- Goldenseal is an alternative, or an herb that helps cleanse, revitalize, and nourish the lymphatic fluids and cleanse the blood, which may be helpful in combating lymphatic system problems that lead to sarcoidosis symptoms.
- Goldenseal contains alkaloids like hydrastine and berberine that provide its anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-diabetic properties.
- Goldenseal can be used in tincture or powder form.
- The dried root of the goldenseal may be consumed orally, 3 times per day, in the form of 1 gram tablets or 1 gram of decoction.
- It should avoided during pregnancy and lactation.
Meditate to reduce stress and inflammation.The symptoms of sarcoidosis can flare-up when you are stressed out, and meditation can be a useful way to combat increased stress.
- Meditation and relaxing techniques can be used to overcome the challenges brought on by day-day life.
- Perfecting the art of meditation takes some time, but all you need is time alone and a calm space free of distractions.
- Close your eyes, focus on your breathing, and take time for yourself. This helps to free the mind of unwanted stress and worries.
Do yoga to improve your respiratory system.Yoga can be an effective pulmonary sarcoidosis remedy, because it helps clean out the lungs and respiratory system.
- Pranayama is a form of yoga that may help treat a number of respiratory conditions, because it is focused on promoting respiratory health and clearing the lungs and respiratory passages.
- Remain calm throughout your yoga exercises, as holistic approaches may take some time to improve your condition.A few Pranayama exercises are highlighted below.
Try Bhastrika Pranayama.Find a comfortable seated position to begin the exercise.
- Inhale rapidly and forcefully.
- Then exhale rapidly making a sound like ‘hmph’, with the same kind of force as a large sneeze.
- Do at least 4 vigorous breaths, making a bellows sound.
- After the last one, release your breath slowly and begin some relaxing breaths.
- Move back into the bellows breath and repeat the whole process.
- These breathing exercises have a calming effect.
- Alternatively, try anuloma viloma, another breathing exercise that involves inhaling through both nostrils together and exhaling alternately between the left and right nostrils.
- The thumb of the right hand is used to manipulate the right nostril, while the pinky and ring finger are used to control the left nostril.
Exercise with the tadasana.Stand with the base of your big toes touching, heels slightly apart (so that your second toes are parallel). Lift and spread your toes and the balls of your feet, then lay them softly down on the floor.
- Rock back and forth and side to side. Gradually reduce this swaying to a standstill, with your weight balanced evenly on the feet.
- Tighten your thigh muscles and lift your knee caps, without hardening your lower belly. Lift your inner ankles to strengthen the inner arches, then imagine a line of energy running all the way up along your inner thighs to your groins, and from there through the core of your torso, neck, and head, and out through the crown of your head.
- Turn your upper thighs slightly inward. Lengthen your tailbone toward the floor and lift your pubis toward your navel.
- Stretch your ribcage. Press your shoulder blades into your back, then widen them across and release them down your back.
- Without pushing your lower front ribs forward, lift the top of your sternum straight toward the ceiling. Widen your collarbone and hang your arms beside your torso.
- Balance the crown of your head directly over the center of your pelvis, with the underside of your chin parallel to the floor, throat soft, and tongue wide and flat on the floor of your mouth. Soften your eyes.
- Tadasana is usually the starting position for all the standing poses. But it's useful to practice Tadasana as a pose in itself.
- Stay in the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute, breathing easily.
I am a Sarcoidosis patient. Is inserting a garlic clove with olive oil in my bump of any benefit?
My wife is suffering from Sarcoidosis and was diagnosed in May 2019. She has been treated since then, but now wants to try a natural treatment. Is this a good idea?
Where do I get treatment?
What other asanas could be good for sarcoidosis?
- Refrain from alcohol and smoking, because smoking causes lung disorders.
- Avoid exposure to lung irritants like chemicals, dust, toxic gases and second hand smoke.
- It is important to exercise and maintain a healthy body weight.
- Get enough sleep and consume a nutritious diet.
- Consult a doctor before beginning any exercise, because over-exertion may lead to breathlessness.
Sources and Citations
- Ray Sahelian, M.D: Sarcoidosis treatment, diet, food. Review of cause and natural, alternative therapy. www.raysahelian.com, June 6th 2014
- Nagai S, Handa T, Ito Y, Ohta K, Tamaya M, Izumi T: Outcome of Sarcoidosis. Clinical Chest Medicine, September 2008.
- Ed Smith. Therapeutic Herbal Manual. 2007
- Curcuma longa (turmeric). Monograph. Alternative Medicine Review, 2001
- Goel A, Kunnumakkare AB, Aggarwal BB. Curcumin as “Curecumin” from Kitchen to Clinic: Biochem Pharmacol 2008
- Sharol Tilgner M.D, Herbal Medicine from the Heart of the Earth. October 1st 1999.
- John Wolfe RRT. Yoga as Adjunctive Therapy for Lung Diseases. RT, August/ September 2001.
- Ritu Soni, Kanika Munish, K.P Singh, Savita Singh. Study of the effect of Yoga training on diffusion capacity in COPD patients: a controlled trial. International Journal of Yoga, 2012, Volume 5, Issue 2, Pg. 123-127
- Judith H. Lasater. Asana, Tadasna. Yoga Journal, March 1978.
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