My earliest memories consist of running around, enjoying the summer with my brother and cousins. Having been born chubby, my mother never put much thought into why I was usually the first to run out of breath. One particular day, as it escaped me, I found it impossible to catch my breath. Terrified by my rapid inhalations, my mother rushed me to the doctor. It was there that I took a breathing test and learned that I showed signs of asthma. After a few more weeks of careful monitoring and another breathing test that consisted of me blowing into a small tube until I simply couldn’t anymore, my doctor determined that I suffered from asthma.
Throughout my childhood, I was given inhaled corticosteroids. While the inhaler often helped prevent severe attacks, I still suffered from constant tightness in my chest as well as shortness of breath on a daily basis. The inhaler also did nothing when an asthma attack was already triggered. Sometimes, the use of my inhaler even made the tight feeling worse. Having no idea what my triggers were, it was impossible to prevent the attacks.
By the time I reached high school, I’d grown fed up with my asthma. I’d began to research herbal remedies to symptoms. After asking my aunt who’d suffered from asthma, she recommended onions and chili peppers. Chili peppers contain an anti-inflammatory agent called capsaicin. The body’s reaction to the spice is to produce more fluids to cool down the body, this stimulation of fluids helps loosen up mucus which makes it easier to breath. Onions, although too irritating when raw, are quite helpful to open up inflamed airways when cooked. After my first use of peppers and onions at my earliest signs of an attack, I ceased to have attacks.
Any time I felt tightness in my chest, I’d consume a pepper. On the rare occasion that the pepper didn’t stop the symptoms, I’d saute some chopped onions. Although I still can’t stand the taste, I haven’t needed an inhaler in years.
Now at the age of twenty-two, I haven’t had a severe attack in 7 years. As signs or symptoms appear, I simply refer to my herbal remedies. With the use of these vegetables, my asthma has subsided greatly. Where medicine failed, herbs prevailed. Although I still have asthma, you’d probably never know it. If you’re suffering from asthma, I recommend trying onions and chili peppers. Without them, I’d suffer from asthma far too often for my liking. I do not suffer from asthma… I live with it.