If you are living with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), then you probably are aware that limiting your consumption of salt can be helpful in managing your disease. However, a new trend is proving that exposure to salt and the inhalation of it can actually be helpful in managing your COPD symptoms.
Salt therapy has long been a method of treatment for people in Europe. Traditionally, people with lung diseases would be treated by entering an underground salt mine for relief.
How does this provide relief? The salt particles you inhale in a salt mine or salt cave clean the respiratory system and accelerate the elimination of toxins found in it. Those inhaled salt particles are able to settle deep down in your lungs and help treat damaged lung tissue.
In addition, salt acts as an anti-inflammatory and antibacterial agent. It also helps to loosen mucus and accelerate the mucociliary transport. Salt particles may help remove potentially irritating pathogens, such as airborne pollen, and help reduce your IgE level, which contributes to your immune system’s oversensitivity.
Still not so sure about salt therapy? Recent studies have also shown the benefits of time spent in a salt cave for those with COPD. In a study of 35 patients with COPD in stages II and III, patients were provided dry salt inhalers. They were asked to use them for 30 minutes a day. To evaluate the success, researchers did six-minute walk and spirometry tests before the study began and again at one, two, and three months after it started. The research showed that while there was not a notable improvement in spirometry test results, the six-minute walk test values improved as well as the reported qualities of life, without any serious adverse effects.
In another clinical trial, 97 percent of cystic fibrosis, bronchiectasis, and bronchitis cases benefited from salt therapy. In addition, 85 percent of mild/moderate cases of asthma and 75 percent of severe cases of asthma saw benefits from salt therapy.
Of course, if you are considering salt therapy, you should consult your physician before altering your treatment plan.
Source: lunginstitute.com, Accessed: 4/28/17
Source: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, Accessed: 4/28/17