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18 Effective Home Remedies For Asthma

A chronic disease, asthma causes inflammation and narrowing of airways in the lungs. It causes wheezing (a whistling sound when you breathe), chest tightness, shortness of breath, and coughing. During an asthma attack, your airway muscles constrict and mucous membranes produce excess mucus, blocking your breathing. Allergens such as dust, spores, animal hairs, cold air, infection and even stress can trigger asthma.

According to various studies, about 15 per cent of the Indian population is suffering from asthma. The respiratory problem is diagnosed at an early age and since this ailment is not curable, people try to do everything they can to keep the symptoms under control, in efforts to lead a normal life[1] .

Asthma can be treated with medications and lifestyle changes. However, certain medications prescribed for asthma can have severe side effects on the body. So, many people are now choosing natural remedies for asthma. From herbal medicine to Ayurveda, the natural remedies for asthma attack do not pose severe side effects like that of the prescribed medications. However, consult a doctor before adopting the remedies [2] [3] .

Home Remedies For Asthma

From flax seeds to steam inhalation, the natural cures for asthma as mentioned below [4] [5] [6]

1. German chamomile

This is one of the best and effective natural herbs for asthma treatment. German chamomile has antihistamine properties that help fight off allergic reactions and asthma attacks.

The herb in its dried version is available in the form of tea bags which you may drink at least twice a day.

2. Turmeric

Used as a natural herb for asthma wheezing and shortness of breath in China for several years, turmeric helps relieve the symptoms of asthma. Turmeric also has antibacterial, stimulant, astringent and antiseptic properties. Curcumin, a compound present in turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties that help keep inflammation of the respiratory passage under control.

Include one teaspoon of turmeric in a meal or add it to a glass of water and drink twice a day.

3. Lavender

Possessing anti-inflammatory properties, lavender is an effective cure for asthma. It also has antiseptic, antibacterial and antispasmodic properties, and help manage the symptoms. Lavender is also beneficial in other respiratory infections such as bronchitis, phlegm, and lung disorders.

Note: Lavender has to be used in controlled quantities as excessive use can lead to toxicity.

4. Liquorice

The chemical compounds present in liquorice roots are extremely beneficial in reducing the inflammation in the lungs. An effective remedy for asthma, liquorice has been used for breathing problems and clearing the air passageways for ages. However, it should be used in moderate amounts to avoid its unwanted effects [7] .

You can make a cup of liquorice tea and drink it twice a day. It is also available in capsule form.

5. Ginkgo biloba

The anti-allergy and anti-inflammatory properties of the herb make it beneficial in the treatment against asthma. Ginkgo biloba can be used to prevent asthma attacks triggered by allergens and exercise [8] .

You can take 120 to 240 mg of ginkgo supplements, or 3 to 4 ml of regular tincture three times daily.

6. Butterbur

The plant is extremely useful for asthma treatments. Butterbur can be used to relieve airway inflammation caused during asthma attacks. The extract from the plant is useful in reducing the incidence and severity of asthma attacks as well [7] .

You can take 50 to 150 mg of butterbur extracts once per day. Consult a doctor to get the correct consumption rate.

7. Slippery elm

Mostly found in North America, the bark of slippery elm can relieve asthma symptoms such as an obstruction in the airways. When taken as tea or capsule, slippery elm helps in preventing bronchial spasms which are normally associated with asthma. It is also useful for people with respiratory conditions such as bronchitis and cough [9] .

You can make dried slippery elm tea and consume it twice a day.

8. Garlic

An excellent remedy for asthma, the herb contains active compounds that may help cure and eliminate symptoms of asthma. Various studies have been conducted on understanding the effect of garlic on asthma attacks and have asserted that garlic is one amongst the most beneficial remedies[6] .

Crush three cloves of garlic, add two cups of water and let it boil. Once the water reduces, let it sit for 5 minutes and consume.

9. Flaxseed

Packed with omega-3 fatty acids, flax seeds can be used in the treatment of asthma. The anti-inflammation properties aid in curing an infection caused in the respiratory tract. Regular consumption of flax seeds can help soothe the symptoms of asthma and may help cure it permanently[10] .

10. Honey

Known for its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and healing properties, honey is an ideal remedy for treating asthma. It helps prevent the bacterial infection and the anti-inflammatory property helps in lowering inflammation, which soothes the wheezing and provide relief [9] .

Mix 1 teaspoon of honey with 8 ounces of hot water and consume this mixture twice or thrice a day.

11. Black coffee

Many perceive black coffee as not a very healthy component, as it contains a lot of caffeine; but several studies have proven otherwise. Black coffee can be a great remedy to cure asthma. It helps in melting the mucus formation in the chest, thereby keeping shortness of breath caused by asthma in check [11].

Consuming 2-3 of black coffee in a day can help keep inflammation and wheezing under control as well.

12. Eucalyptus oil

One of the worst symptoms arising due to asthma is that it clogs the air passage which causes shortness of breath. Eucalyptus oil helps in clearing these blocked passages due to its decongestant properties and also provides immediate relief from the shortness of breath [12] .

It is recommended to pour a few drops of eucalyptus oil in some hot water and taking the steam to gain some relief.

13. Fig

Draining phlegm and alleviating breathing difficulties are the key points in managing asthma. Figs can do this effectively.

Soak three dried figs in a cup of water overnight. Drink the solution next morning on an empty stomach. This is a long-term treatment that should last for a minimum of three months [7] .

14. Pomegranate

Rich in polyphenols and consisting of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, pomegranate can be used in treating asthma attacks.

Mix ginger juice, pomegranate juice and honey in equal quantities and consume one tablespoon of this mixture daily for three times. This will help to manage the airway inflammation and inhibit airway constriction [13] .

15. Fenugreek

Possessing cleansing abilities, these can be used as an effective cure for asthma symptoms. Fenugreek has an excellent property in cleansing your lungs [13] .

Boil one tablespoon of fenugreek seeds in a cup of water. You can add one teaspoon each of ginger juice and honey to the solution and drink this two times a day.

16. Camphor & mustard oil

It is extensively used for the management of asthma. You can use some mustard oil also for this purpose.

Heat some mustard oil with camphor and gently massage the warm oil on the chest and upper back areas to get relief from the inflammation and blockage [12] .

17. Clove

One of the most effective ways to treat asthma is by using clove. The essential oil produced from clove help reduce symptoms such as wheezing, chest pain, and difficulty breathing [11] .

Boil few cloves in water along with honey. Drink this mixture at least twice in a day to suppress the condition.

18. Onion

Consume onions in a good amount as it helps in getting relief from asthma and its symptoms. With the anti-inflammatory properties possessed by onions, they help in clearing the air passages [13] .

On A Final Note...

While choosing the right home remedy to treat asthma, make sure to go over the possible reactions or side effects it can cause you. It is best to discuss with a doctor before incorporating the remedies into your lifestyle.

View Article References
  1. [1] Barnett, D. J., Mommers, M., Penders, J., Arts, I. C., & Thijs, C. (2019). Intestinal archaea inversely associated with childhood asthma.Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
  2. [2] Mirzakhani, H., Carey, V. J., Zeiger, R., Bacharier, L. B., O'Connor, G. T., Schatz, M. X., ... & Litonjua, A. A. (2019). Impact of parental asthma, prenatal maternal asthma control, and vitamin D status on risk of asthma and recurrent wheeze in 3‐year‐old children.Clinical & Experimental Allergy.
  3. [3] Johnston, R. A., & Shore, S. A. (2019). Obesity and asthma: What have we learned from animal models?. InMechanisms and Manifestations of Obesity in Lung Disease(pp. 111-142). Academic Press.
  4. [4] Ledogar, R. J., Penchaszadeh, A., Garden, C. C., & Garden, I. (2000). Asthma and Latino cultures: different prevalence reported among groups sharing the same environment.American Journal of Public Health,90(6), 929.
  5. [5] Pachter, L. M., Cloutier, M. M., & Bernstein, B. A. (1995). Ethnomedical (folk) remedies for childhood asthma in a mainland Puerto Rican community.Archives of pediatrics & adolescent medicine,149(9), 982-988.
  6. [6] Dolan, C. M., Fraher, K. E., Bleecker, E. R., Borish, L., Chipps, B., Hayden, M. L., ... & TENOR Study Group. (2004). Design and baseline characteristics of the epidemiology and natural history of asthma: Outcomes and Treatment Regimens (TENOR) study: a large cohort of patients with severe or difficult-to-treat asthma.Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology,92(1), 32-39.
  7. [7] Chipps, B. E., Zeiger, R. S., Borish, L., Wenzel, S. E., Yegin, A., Hayden, M. L., ... & Weiss, S. T. (2012). Key findings and clinical implications from The Epidemiology and Natural History of Asthma: Outcomes and Treatment Regimens (TENOR) study.Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology,130(2), 332-342.
  8. [8] Slavin, R. G., Haselkorn, T., Lee, J. H., Zheng, B., Deniz, Y., Wenzel, S. E., & TENOR Study Group. (2006). Asthma in older adults: observations from the epidemiology and natural history of asthma: outcomes and treatment regimens (TENOR) study.Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology,96(3), 406-414.
  9. [9] Savithramma, N., Sulochana, C., & Rao, K. N. (2007). Ethnobotanical survey of plants used to treat asthma in Andhra Pradesh, India.Journal of Ethnopharmacology,113(1), 54-61.
  10. [10] Singh, B. B., Khorsan, R., Vinjamury, S. P., Der-Martirosian, C., Kizhakkeveettil, A., & Anderson, T. M. (2007). Herbal treatments of asthma: a systematic review.Journal of Asthma,44(9), 685-698.
  11. [11] Bielory, L., & Lupoli, K. (1999). Herbal interventions in asthma and allergy.Journal of Asthma,36(1), 1-65.
  12. [12] Øien, T., Storrø, O., & Johnsen, R. (2010). Do early intake of fish and fish oil protect against eczema and doctor-diagnosed asthma at 2 years of age? A cohort study.Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health,64(2), 124-129.
  13. [13] Samarghandian, S., Farkhondeh, T., & Samini, F. (2017). Honey and health: A review of recent clinical research.Pharmacognosy research,9(2), 121.

Story first published: Thursday, May 23, 2019, 14:00 [IST]
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