Fiona is a qualified herbalist and aromatherapist. She has twenty years' experience in the field and wants to share that knowledge.
Before you Read About the Herbal Home Remedies for Asthma
According to the Global Burden of Diseases Study published in 2012, around 334 million people globally suffer from asthma. It is an illness that takes a big toll on the sufferer's life, both physically and emotionally and, if not managed correctly, can be fatal.
The good news is that asthma can, to a large extent be managed. It is, however, not something that you should attempt on your own—if you or a loved one has asthma, it is important that the condition is monitored by a health care professional. The herbs that we will go through in this article will be helpful in reducing the severity and number of attacks but they should not be seen as a substitute for professional medical advice.
Always Keep an Inhaler on Hand
If you suspect that you have asthma, but aren't sure, please see your doctor for a proper diagnosis.
Identify What Is Causing the Asthma Attacks
Pinning down a reason why asthma developed can be difficult. It is speculated that heredity, allergies, and obesity might all be contributing factors.
It is easier, however, to pin down what triggers your own asthma attacks. These will differ from one person to the next but some items could include:
- Emotional distress
- Exposure to allergens
- Exposure to the cold
Identifying your own particular triggers will help you to manage your condition better, allowing you, where possible, to avoid trigger events or, in those instances when that is not practical, allowing you to be adequately prepared.
The first step in managing your asthma better is to start recording when attacks happened, what you were doing immediately prior to the attacks, and how severe the attacks were.
Keeping track of the actual attacks will help you to identify triggers and also give your physician an idea of how effective your treatment plan is. Keep a small notebook on you and record the attack as soon as possible afterwards, while you can still remember everything.
Keeping a food diary for at least a month or two will also go a long way to identifying possible food allergies and sensitivities that may be exacerbating symptoms.
An Important Note on Herbal Teas
Again, I must stress that these are not a substitute for a physician's care. By all means, let your physician know that you will be supplementing your treatment regimen with natural remedies but please do not stop seeing them altogether.
During a severe attack, the first thing to do is to follow your physician's instructions. Herbal teas can be taken in-between attacks to help reduce the likelihood of attacks and help to support the system.
How to Make an Herbal Tea
Herbal teas can be made using the fresh or dried herb, whichever suits you best. Unless otherwise mentioned, use 50g of the fresh herb or 25g of the dried herb for every 500ml of water.
If using the fresh herb, tear and bruise the herb if possible before pouring boiling water over it so that more of the oils within the herb are released.
Leave to steep for at least 5 minutes, strain and sweeten with honey, if you like. Sip slowly.
You can increase the quantities so that you have enough tea for a day or two but don't keep it for longer than two days.
Give Yourself a Break
Herbal remedies are potent and this is something that we often forget. It is important not to take the same remedy daily for more than two weeks at a time or you do risk a tolerance developing. If you are planning to take the herbal teas on a continuous basis, switch them out every two weeks for best results. Alternatively, you can take the tea daily for two weeks and then stop it completely for a week.
Ginger is a warming and soothing herb. It can be especially useful when it comes to easing the tightness associated with asthma and relieving congestion. It is believed to help relax the muscle tissue in the throat and so ease constriction.
It is a potent antibacterial and anti-viral agent. It also helps to reduce the allergic response and boosts immunity, leaving you less likely to develop an infection in the first place.
For ginger tea, the fresh root is preferable - you want about two-four teaspoons of thinly sliced ginger for every cup of boiling water. Again, sweeten with honey if you like and drink as hot as you can manage.
If you cannot lay hands on fresh ginger, use ginger powder instead. Use a teaspoonful in a cup of boiling water.
Take two to three cups a day.
Chamomile Is a Great Choice
Chamomile tea is easy to obtain and can be extremely useful on a physical and psychological level. The tea is a mild anti-histamine, anti-inflammatory and systemic tonic.
On a psychological level, it is a mild sedative and can be extremely useful when it comes to soothing stress, insomnia, and emotional upsets.
Take two to three cups a day as a preventative measure and to alleviate stress.
Thyme is a useful antispasmodic and decongestant herb. It can help to soothe a tight chest and help to clear up phlegm as well.
It has strong anti-bacterial and antiviral properties meaning that it can help you to get over infections whilst simultaneously acting as an immune booster.
You should either use Lemon Thyme or Creeping Thyme.
Which Tea Will You Try?
Garlic is one of nature's superfoods and deserves a mention here. In Chinese medicine, it is commonly used to treat asthma.
It has strong anti-inflammatory properties as well as strong antibacterial and anti-viral properties. It will help to reduce inflammation, boost immunity and help clear up infections.
The rub? It is best taken raw. Granted, it isn't great raw but cooking it destroys a lot of the beneficial compounds. And, once you are used to it, it is pretty easy. Simply peel and slightly crush two cloves of garlic, chop them so that they can easily be swallowed and just chug them down. If you do find that you have garlic breath, chew on some parsley.
You can find garlic supplements but, to be honest, this is a lot easier and less expensive and at least you know that you are not getting any fillers and binders.
Vitamin Supplements to Consider as a Preventative Measure
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
When it comes to vitamin supplements, Omega-3 oil supplementation should be considered essential, especially if you do not eat fish. Omega-3 can help to fight inflammation in the body and so reduce the chances of having an attack. Studies have shown that children who eat fish at least once a week reduce their chances of having an attack by around about a third.
Adding a 1000mg dose of Vitamin C on a daily basis can assist by strengthening the body's ability to resist the irritation caused by pollutants in the bronchial system. This, in turn, helps to reduce coughing.
Getting enough Vitamin E makes it easier for phlegm build-up to be removed.
Betacarotene could help to reduce wheezing overall. Yet another good reason to add healthy fruits and veggies to your diet.
500mg - 1000mg of Magnesium, taken in divided doses daily can help to reduce the frequency of attacks.
To Sum It All Up
Getting yourself healthier can play a big role when it comes to managing asthma. Make sure that you do follow a healthy eating plan and use a vitamin supplement if necessary. Be sure to include a clove or two of fresh garlic into your daily diet as well.
Herbal teas are your next line of defence when it comes to heading off asthma attacks. Chamomile, Ginger and Thyme tea all work well when it comes to preventing attacks.
I want to lastly just stress that the information given above is not a substitute for a doctor's advice. Be sure to speak with your physician about any home remedies you want to try.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
What Home Remedies Have You Tried for Asthma?
Fiona (author) from South Africa on August 15, 2016:
Very true CrazyGata - I think we underestimate just how badly the highly refined foods, etc. that we take are.
Mara Clemente from Borinken, Loíza on August 14, 2016:
Nice read, above all, avoid toxic foods, pills and vaccines.