Have you ever tried blocking any pipe that transmits air? If you do so, you’ll understand why you feel it so difficult to breathe when there’s and asthma attack! You just have to squeeze the pipe of your vacuum cleaner for few seconds and see how it doesn’t let any air come out and makes strange noises. Same is the case with your wind pipe or trachea, the passage from which air is let out by the lungs for you to breathe.
Why Asthma Occurs?
It is important to understand as to why does asthma occur because the first home remedy for asthma is to avoid the triggers and you can’t do this without knowing the basics.
There are many air passages in the lungs called bronchus (large wind pipes) and bronchioles (smaller wind pipes). When they suddenly contract, it becomes difficult to breathe as the required amount of air which is passed through them get reduced. Why do these wind pipes contract? This can be due to dust, smoke, drugs, pollution etc. These are called allergens. The asthma caused due to allergens is called allergic asthma. There is one other type of asthma which is called non-allergic asthma and it is caused due to such factors as stress, fear, anxiety, excessive intake of salt or processed food, and even lack of omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants. Sometimes asthma is genetic too. If you often experience such symptoms as breathlessness, chest congestion and pain, cough, and wheezing, you might be suffering from one of the types of asthma. While you must visit doctor and also try to find out if your’s is an allergic or non-allergic asthma, you should also immediately take steps to manage and cure your asthma. This can be done with the help of various home remedies for asthma that have been used since ages.
Home Remedies for Asthma
1. Track Your Asthma Triggers
The first thing you need to do to manage your asthma is to avoid all the allergens that cause asthma to you! What if you don’t know them? You simply need to be a little more alert about what you eat, do or where and when you go and you will find out what triggers your asthma. For this, you can maintain a log (preferably a small notebook that you can carry with you always.) Now jot down important pointers when you feel your asthma is getting worse. Some of the questions that you can ask yourself to know what all triggers your asthma are mentioned below.
- Where were you when your asthma deteriorated? You could be at home, work, school, market, airport and so on.
- What was near or around you when you felt that your asthma is resurfacing? It can be your pet, some food, dust, flowers, someone smoking, or any other thing.
- What were you doing when your asthma worsened? You might have been smoking, exercising, sleeping, cleaning, watching film, quarreling with someone or even laughing.
- At what time do you often feel the symptoms of asthma? It can be morning, afternoon, evening, night, cold or hot weather.
Once you are aware of the allergens or triggers that cause asthma attacks, you can easily avoid them and also take the right steps to cure your particular type of asthma.
2. Fenugreek Seeds, Honey, Ginger Remedy for Asthma
This is an Ayurvedic remedy for asthma using the wonder spice fenugreek seeds along with ginger and honey. Honey is very good for your respiratory tract. The components of ginger like gingerols, shogaols and zingerones have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties that are beneficial in curing asthma. In fact, a study conducted by the American Thoracic Society International Conference found that when ginger compounds were added to isoproterenol (asthma medication), it became more effective. Fenugreek too is very good remedy to cure any respiratory problems including asthma and bronchitis.
- Fenugreek seeds- 2 tbsp
- Ginger paste (make it from fresh ginger root)- 2 tsp
- Honey- 1 tsp
- Water- 1 liter
- Add the fenugreek seeds to water.
- Let the water with fenugreek seeds simmer for half an hour.
- Strain the water after 30 minutes.
- Put the ginger paste into a sieve and press to extract it’s juice.
- Add this ginger juice to the water you just strained.
- Add honey to this solution and mix well.
- Drink a glass of this fenugreek, ginger, and honey treated water every morning.
3. Gooseberry Remedy for Asthma
The Indian gooseberry or amla is one of the best sources of vitamin C. This vitamin is a fine antioxidant which can fight off the free radicals produced within the lungs when you get asthma attack. It also contains vitamin A which can cure respiratory tract infections- your asthma is one of these infections! Additionally, the anti-inflammatory properties of gooseberry soothes your tensed air passage giving you relief from asthma.
- Indian gooseberry powder- 1 tsp (if you can’t get the powder, use 1 gooseberry)
- Honey- 1 tsp
- If using whole gooseberry, de-seed and crush it to get its paste.
- Mix the honey with this paste or the gooseberry powder that you have got.
- Have this every morning so that you don’t get asthma attack during the day.
4. Honey Remedies for Asthma
With its many amino acids, antioxidants, and vitamins, honey is one of the most popular ingredients used traditionally for asthma relief. When you get asthma attack, your airways get inflamed and constricted making it difficult for you to breathe. Honey can effectively soothe the mucous membranes of your airways, giving you relief from cough related to asthma. Honey is specially recommended for children who struggle with night-time coughing. Here are some methods to use honey for relief from symptoms of asthma.
Ways to use honey for asthma
- Mix 1 teaspoon of honey with ½ tsp of cinnamon powder and have this once everyday.
- Mix 1 tsp of honey with a glass of water and have it every morning.
- Add 1 tsp of honey with ½ tsp of thyme powder and have it 2-3 times a day.
- Take 1 tsp honey, ¼ cup of onion juice, and 1/8 tsp of black pepper. Have this mixture for instant relief from breathlessness and chest congestion due to asthma cough.
- Mix 1 tbsp honey with ½ tsp of dried sunflower seeds powder. Have this twice a day.
- Fill a bowl with honey. Hold this bowl beneath your nose and inhale. This will bring relief when you feel breathless.
- Mix 1 tsp of honey with 1 cup of warm water. Have this every night before going to sleep.
5. Drumstick Leaves Soup for Asthma Cure
Various parts of Drumstick tree, also called Moringa tree, are used for treatment of different types of ailments. For asthma, the leaves of the drumstick trees are used to prepare a soup. Many studies have shown that Moringa plant alkaloid is similar to ephedrine (decongestant) and is effective in the treatment of asthma as this alkaloid relaxes bronchioles. Make a soup with drumstick leaves and have it once everyday to cure your asthma.
- Drumstick leaves- handful of them
- Water- ¾ cup (180 ml)
- Salt (optional)- to taste (lesser is good though)
- Pepper (optional)- to taste
- Lime juice (optional)- ½ to 1 tsp
- Add the drumstick leaves to water and boil this for 5 minutes.
- Let it cool for sometime
- If you want, you can mix salt, pepper, and/or limejuice to give some taste to the soup.
- Have this soup once daily.
6. Bitter Gourd Root for Asthma
This is one of the ancient Ayurvedic remedies for asthma but a modern research by University of Massachusetts Medical School too has found that certain bitter flavors can actually treat asthma fast and effectively. This research states that bitter flavors can reverse the contraction of airway cells. This process of reversal is known as bronchodilation and it can treat airway obstructive diseases like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. So, why wait! Just get some bitter gourd root and cure your asthma the established way!
- Bitter gourd root- enough to get 1 tsp of its paste
- Honey- 1 tsp or Holy basil leaves juice (tulsi juice)- 1 tsp
- Grind the bitter gourd root to get its paste.
- Take one tsp of bitter gourd root paste and add honey to it.
- If you are using basil juice, you will need to crush the basil leaves to get 1 tsp of its juice.
- Have this bitter gourd root paste mixed either with honey or with basil leaves juice every night before going to bed.
7. Garlic Remedy for Asthma
From over 5000 years, garlic has been used as a very powerful medicinal herb and now the modern researches too prove that this superfood can virtually eliminate any disease or infection. Garlic not only prevents and heals asthma but a wide range of other diseases including arthritis, circulatory problems, cold, flu, digestive disorders, insomnia, liver diseases, sinusitis, ulcers and even heart diseases and cancer! The magic is done by allin, allicin, chromium
- Garlic clove- 10
- Milk- 30 ml (about 6 tbsp)
- Add the garlic cloves to milk
- Now boil the milk
- Have these milk boiled garlic cloves once daily.
If you can’t do this, have ginger tea added with two minced cloves of garlic twice a day.
8. Licorice Root for Asthma Relief
Traditional Chinese medicine make extensive use of licorice root for treating asthma. This very popular herb has glycrrhizins and flavonoids in it which relieve you from bronchial spasms and inflammation of the air passage due to which you get asthma attack. As licorice has antibacterial and antiviral properties, it cures lung infections too that are caused by bacteria and virus. You instantly get relief from asthma as licorice acts as an expectorant helping in loosening up the mucus in your respiratory tract. So, to help yourself breathe smoothly, make licorice root tea for yourself.
- Dried licorice root- 2 tbsp
- Cinnamon- 1 stick
- Water- 2 cups
- Add licorice and cinnamon to water and boil this for 10-15 minutes.
- Strain and pour the tea in a cup.
- As this will be very hot, you would not be able to sip it instantly but you need to hold the cup beneath your nose and inhale the stem coming out of the hot cup.
- When the tea tolerably hot, have this.
- You can have this tea 2-3 times a day.
If you are a patient of high blood pressure or diabetes, consult your doctor before having licorice root tea as this may interfere with certain medicines.
9. Safflower Seeds Remedy for Asthma
Safflower seeds are known for various health benefits and is used by many people for preventing heart diseases. Linoleic acids present in safflower seed oil are thought to help in preventing hardening of the arteries, lowering cholesterol, and thus reducing the risk of heart disease. For asthma too, safflower seeds are useful as it acts as an expectorant and also reduces spasms by making the firm sputum or the mucus in your airways soft so that it can be expelled to give you relief.
- Safflower seeds powder- ½ tsp
- Honey- 1 tbsp
- Mix the safflower seeds powder and honey.
- Have this twice a day.
Safflower may slow down blood clotting so if you have some bleeding problem, avoid using safflower seeds. Also if you are allergic to ragweed or such other plants like chrysanthemums, marigolds, daisies, etc. consult with your physician before taking safflower.
10. Fruit Remedies for Asthma
Diet is also important for managing asthma. While fruits have lots of antioxidants in them and generally beneficial for your health, there are certain fruits that if taken in traditional prescribed ways can cure asthma effectively. Here are some fruits and the ways they can be used to cure your asthma.
- Figs: Wash 3-4 dry figs with warm water. Soak them in a cup of water overnight. In the morning, chew the soaked figs on empty stomach. Do not discard the water in which they were soaked. Have this too. This is very effective remedy for draining the phlegm.
- Banana: Get a ripe banana and place it on a slow flame to warm it up. Now, mash this warm banana and sprinkle a little black pepper on it. Have this mashed banana to get instant relief from asthma bout.
- Dry Grapes: Soak a handful of dry grapes in water overnight. Remove the seeds before soaking them. Have them in the morning.
- Pomegranate: Mix pomegranate juice, ginger juice and honey in equal quantities. Have 1 tbsp of this mixture twice or thrice a day.
- Vitamin C fruits: Having more of vitamin C will relieve you of wheezing related to asthma. Have 2-3 glasses of orange juice in a day. You may also have papaya, blueberries and strawberries that are also rich sources of vitamin C.
11. Mint Remedy for Asthma
The anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of mint soothes your respiratory tract to give you relief from breathlessness. It acts as an expectorant and expels phlegm out of your system. While you can inhale the vapors of mint, it’s better if you make mint tea and have it hot to relax your swollen throat.
- Mint leaves- 6-8
- Holy basil leaves- 4-5
- Ginger- 1 inch piece
- Pepper corns- 4-5
- Honey- 1 tsp
- Water- 2 cups
- Boil water
- Crush mint and basil leaves and add them to boiling water.
- Let it boil till the leaves get dark brown.
- Add the ginger to the tea.
- Crush the pepper corns and add this too.
- Put off the flame and strain your tea.
- Add honey to this.
- Take the cup with steaming mint tea beneath your nose and inhale for some time.
- When the tea gets a little less hot, sip it slowly feeling the hot solution going down your throat relieving you of all pain and discomfort.
12. Bishop’s Weed for Asthma Cure
Bishop’s weed is a herb that cures asthma by soothing muscle spasms that affect your bronchial airways. If you are suffering from dried up phlegm, this remedy will give you a lots of relief as it acts as a fine expectorant.
- Bishop’s weed- ½ tsp
- Buttermilk- 1 glass
- Mix Bishop’s weed with buttermilk
- Have this buttermilk twice day.
You can also use a hot poultice made with its seed for fomentation of your chest to get relief from congestion there.
13. Massage Remedies for Asthma
These are age old techniques that really give you relief from all that phlegm, mucus that blocks your air passage and makes it so difficult for you to breathe.
Massage your chest to get relief from asthma
- Take some mustard oil or ghee (clarified butter). Add rock salt to this to get a paste. Rub this mixture on your chest when you get asthma attack.
- Add some camphor to mustard oil. Massage your chest with this oil. It helps loosen the phlegm and make you breathe smoothly. This remedy is helpful when you get an attack of asthma.
- Warm sesame oil and mix salt with this oil. Massage your chest with this warm salted sesame oil to help loosen the phlegm. If you do this after steam inhalation, it will be more beneficial for you.
14. Natural Steam Inhalation for Asthma
Steam inhalation is what your doctor too suggests for loosening the phlegm that makes your chest tight and difficult for you to breathe. When you mix some natural ingredients to your hot water for inhalation, you can be benefited more. Here are some such natural home-made vaporizers for you.
- Mix some caraway seeds to hot boiling water. Now inhale the steam to get relief from chest congestion.
- Pour few drops of juniper oil into hot water. Inhale steam to get relief from asthma symptoms.
- Boil water in a pan. Add few drops of peppermint oil to this. Inhale the steam.
15. Apple Cider Vinegar for Relief from Asthma
Apple cider vinegar has been used since a long time to treat asthma along with many other diseases. In fact, it is a remedy related to asthma triggered by acid reflux or heartburn. When you suffer from acid reflex, acid in your esophagus may narrow down your air passage leading to breathlessness and other asthma symptoms like cough.
- Organic apple cider vinegar- 1 tbsp (Ensure your bottle of ACV comes with “mother” which is a cloudy brown mass that floats around inside the bottle containing ACV.)
- Water- 1 glass
- Shake the bottle well so as to evenly distribute “mother” through out your apple cider vinegar.
- Add 1 tbsp of ACV to the glass of water.
- Have this while sipping at slow pace.
- You may like to repeat the process after an hour if your wheezing hasn’t gone away.
You also need to make some diet and lifestyle changes to effectively manage your asthma. Have lesser carbohydrates, fats and proteins and more of fresh fruits, green vegetables, sprouted seeds, and grains. Avoid foods that tend to create phlegm like rice, sugar, lentils, and yogurt as well as fried and tough-to-digest foods like pickles, sauces etc. Limit your consumption of tea, coffee, alcohol etc. and quit smoking. Do regular exercise and try to be in fresh air and sun too for some time during the day. Diet, exercise, natural surroundings combined with home herbal remedies will definitely make you get rid of asthma!