by Aarti Kapur Singh
Here are 6 home remedies to treat wheezing in kids
Wheezing is a high-pitched or purring sound or whistling sound made while breathing. You can hear it best when your child is breathing out. Because a child’s airways are so small, any lower respiratory infection (bronchitis), chest infections, a weak cartilage in the windpipe, or allergies (to milk, dust etc.) can cause wheezing in children. Some genetic factors, pneumonia, nasal obstruction and asthma also cause baby coughing and wheezing. A choking episode can also be the cause of wheezing. A baby who cries very often and finds difficulty in breathing is for sure suffering from persistent wheezing. It is best to seek medical advice as it can affect your baby’s cognitive development. Wheezing is also one of unwanted side effects of certain medications and drugs. Other health conditions such as heart failure, foreign objects inhaled, pneumonia, respiratory tract infection, respiratory syntactical virus, vocal cord dysfunction and sleep apnea may increase the risk of wheezing. Parents always protect their children from the smoking environment as the protection against wheezing. This is because inhaling smoke directly or indirectly results in wheezing.
There are essentially two types of wheezing:
- Transient wheezing: Occurs when a child is suffering from any inflammatory disorder and discontinues once the child gets better.
- Persistent wheezing: Continues for a long time when a child has allergic conditions or genetic factors.
Here are 6 home remedies for wheezing in children. But this guide is informational and should be used only when the child has not been diagnosed with a medical condition that causes wheezing. A doctor’s intervention is a must if the problem is severe.
1. Sesame oil:
For toddlers, massage the chest with warm sesame oil to which a pinch of salt has been added. Ideally this should be followed by steam inhalation. If they are unable to steam, keep them in a bathroom for 5 minutes after you have run a very hot shower. Make sure you cover the chest immediately afterwards. You can also make a mixture of 100 ml sesame oil, half a teaspoon of asafoetida and two pinches of powdered camphor. Store this paste in a glass jar and massage your baby’s upper back and chest with it when he is suffering from wheezing.
Make a paste with a teaspoon of turmeric powder, a pinch of black pepper powder and a teaspoon of ghee. Warm this paste a little before massaging your child’s chest with this.
Give half cup of ginger tea (no milk to be added) mixed with 2-3 crushed garlic cloves if your child is getting asthma attacks. You can add some honey to it to make it more palatable. Another remedy is to boil a teaspoon of freshly grated ginger in a glass of milk and add 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder to it. Give it twice a day to the child to reduce frequency of asthma attacks.
Licorice or Muletthi tea is also one of home remedies for wheezing you should not ignore. You simply need to crush or pound a licorice root, boil it in two cups of boiling water with an inch-long piece of cinnamon till the water is reduced to half. Steep it for a few minutes after adding half a spoon of palm sugar. Let your child drink this tea when warm. Follow this practice for a week daily to cure wheezing and throat infections.
5. Fenugreek Seeds:
Fenugreek seeds have been considered as one of great home remedies for wheezing for a long time. Even Ayurveda texts mention fenugreek to cure wheezing. To enhance the benefits of fenugreek seeds in treating wheezing, you should combine fenugreek seeds, honey, and ginger. Both ginger and honey are effective in reducing the symptoms of wheezing. Soak two tablespoons of fenugreek seeds in a cup of water and leave it for an hour. Extract a teaspoon of ginger juice from grated or ground ginger paste. Add the ginger juice into the strained fenugreek seeds water. Add a tablespoon of honey in this mixture. Mix it well and give it to your child first thing in the morning.
Mint remedy can soothe the respiratory tract and cure various breathing troubles. Using mint can help to remove the phlegm and mucus – even for babies. In order to cure wheezing, grown up children can inhale the steam of mint – simply boil a handful of mint leaves and let the child inhale the steam. Mint tea can be given to babies as well. Crush 4-5 basil (tulsi) and mint leaves. Add these to two cups of boiling water to which a 2-cm ginger piece and 4-5 peppercorns have been added. Boil till the water reduces to half. Strain the tea and add honey to it. This should be had when warm.
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