The Best Natural Remedies for Asthma

By:    Published: September 6, 2011

a a a

At any moment, an asthma attack can come on. One breath can cause your airways to constrict and breathing to become difficult. Normally, an inhaler would provide relief in this situation, and to ward off asthma attacks in the long-term, medicines would be taken.

But for those who don't have medicine as an option, whether it is an allergic reaction to asthma medicine or they just can't afford it, or for those who just prefer to try a natural remedy, there are many natural treatments that can relieve the symptoms of asthma.

Causes of Asthma

While there are still many questions about the actual cause of the development of asthma, there are many triggers that are commonly known to cause attacks. Some of those triggers include:

  • Strenuous exercise.
  • Strong emotional reactions such as yelling, laughing or crying.
  • Changes in temperature or cold air.
  • Irritants in the air, which include dust, cigarette smoke, chemicals, perfumes, pollen and other allergens.

These are just a few of the triggers of asthma, but there are other triggers that are indirectly related to asthma attacks. For instance, according to WebMD, foods that cause allergies, such as soy, wheat, fish and peanuts, may not directly cause an attack, but could still cause a severe reaction for anyone with asthma.

When Attack Occurs

During an asthma attack, the bronchial tubes constrict, making it difficult to breathe. This can be accompanied by coughing, wheezing, chest pain and an increase in mucus production. Every asthmatic shows different symptoms, so it's important to find a remedy that works best at alleviating your symptoms in particular.

Benefits of Going Natural

Aside from reducing the severity of an attack, there are many benefits from trying a natural remedy. Here are just a few:

  • Using a natural remedy can reduce your dependency on medications such as antihistamines, nasal spray and decongestants.
  • If other treatments haven't worked, or if you haven't been satisfied by their results, a natural remedy may be the answer.
  • The body's natural defense against asthma can be strengthened by using natural treatments.
  • A natural remedy is more cost effective for those who can't afford asthma medication or treatment.

There are many different remedies that can virtually treat any symptom, and they typically fall into two different categories: short-term remedies and long-term remedies.

Short-Term Remedies

If you feel an attack is imminent and don't want to pick up the inhaler, here are some easy natural remedies you can try at home:

  • Breathing in steam helps the airways open up and mucus production to decrease. Inhaling steam from the shower or even from a bowl of hot water can help you begin to breathe better.
  • Honey can also soothe the airways, especially when they become inflamed after coughing or wheezing. Some say simply inhaling the scent helps while others suggest dissolving it in a hot cup of tea.
  • Why not try adding that honey to licorice root tea, which can also help soothe aggravated lungs? But be careful of how much you drink - licorice root has been known to cause high blood pressure in some people.
  • Other herbs, such as butterbur, boswellia and Ma Huang also have anti-inflammatory properties. Although some doctors may not recommend them because of their side effects, they have been used to treat asthma for many years.
  • Drinking garlic-flavored milk may not sound appetizing, but boiling one clove of garlic in a half-cup of milk can help relieve lung inflammation.

These treatments may work temporarily, but they probably won't help fight the symptoms of asthma in the long run.

Long-Term Remedies

Over time, asthma attacks can cause damage to your lungs. Since there is no cure for asthma, it'simportant to control it by taking preventative measures that can decrease your attacks. Here are a few long-term treatments you can try:

  • Taking certain vitamins, such as vitamin C, vitamin A and folic acid, can help keep asthma symptoms at bay.
  • Switching up your diet can also help. Dr. Andrew Weil suggests eating organic produce and swapping animal protein for plant protein. He also suggests eliminating milk and milk products from your diet and adding garlic and turmeric into your diet because of their anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Deep-breathing exercises, such as yoga breathing, the Papworth method and Buteyko breathing, are all known to help those with asthma.
  • Acupuncture and relaxation techniques, such as meditation and muscle relaxation, can reduce stress and tension, which can lower your chances of having an asthma attack.
  • Massage therapy has been shown to help many asthmatics, including children.

While these treatments may work for some people, they may not work for others. No two people are alike, so it's important to find what works best for you and to consult with a doctor before going off of medication or before trying any of these remedies. But once you find a natural remedy that works, you'll be breathing better in no time.

Sources:

More in Health A-Z

New on SymptomFind

a a a