Asthma is a respiratory problem where your airways are blocked, causing suffocation like feelings and wheezing. Many people require an inhaler or nebulizer to help their respiratory system work smoothly.
Asthma can be considered as an inflammatory condition in the lungs, which causes minor to severe difficulties in breathing. It has been identified that more than 25 million Americans suffer from asthma at this point in time, and is a condition which is seemingly growing in our population.
Even though the exact reason behind asthma is still unknown, it is known to be triggered by many factors including:
“seasonal allergy, nocturnal and exertional exacerbation, dust including house-dust, farm and industrial dusts, fumes including perfumes, drugs (e.g. salicylates and beta blockers), cigarette smoking and animals.”
Common symptoms associated with asthma include chest tightness, shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing.
One of the many disadvantages of asthma is that similarly to diabetics, you may need to take asthma drugs throughout your life. These life supporting medications are quite costly and are not relatively good for your body either. According to a study published in Chest,
“The financial burden on patients with asthma in different Western countries ranges from $300 to $1,300 per patient per year, disproportionately affecting those with the most severe disease.”
Fortunately, there are a few natural home remedies for asthma which can alleviate symptoms.
Although you shouldn’t stop using your asthma medications or try to self-medicate with DIY asthma remedies without the advice of a medical professional, natural remedies for asthma can be effective for alleviating the symptoms of asthma.
Keep reading below to learn about a few natural home remedies for asthma which are generally considered safe to practice and that have shown to be effective!
What Home Remedies are Good for Asthma?
As anyone who has ever played sports with me assuredly knows, I have suffered from severe exercise-induced asthma just about my entire athletic life. As stated by a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine,
“Exercise-induced asthma is a condition in which vigorous physical activity triggers acute airway narrowing in people with heightened airway reactivity. A more accurate description would be exercise-induced bronchospasm.”
Due to this, I have discovered numerous natural remedies to help subdue my asthma.
I wish I could treat my asthma completely holistically (and it certainly is a future goal of mine), but combining aspects of holistic medicine with modern science has helped me manage my asthma now better than ever!
Though many people use traditional medications for their asthma, natural home remedies can be effective as well.
I personally use many (almost all) of the DIY asthma home remedies listed below, so I will also be including a few of my favorite products which help me, and hopefully can help you as well!
So, let’s check out some of the best natural home remedies for asthma! Here is a list of foods and drinks which I can personally attest to being useful in helping alleviate asthma symptoms.
Garlic is a powerful natural remedy with many health benefits. Along with other health benefits, garlic has the power to prevent the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases and reduce inflammation.
Garlic has anti-inflammatory properties, which is why it is beneficial for people who suffer from asthma.
However, there are no conclusive studies which prove this. However, according to a study published in the Iranian Journal of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology,
“Our findings in the present research suggested that aged garlic extract has the potential of attenuation of inflammatory features of allergic airway inflammation in murine model.”
Adding garlic to your diet can help reduce inflammation throughout your body, which can help reduce symptoms of asthma.
You can also choose a garlic supplement to use consistently as well. If you’d like to try a garlic supplement, I suggest:
Ginger is a natural herb which can help treat a variety of health conditions, including asthma. The unique properties of ginger can reduce inflammation in the airway, which is responsible for the closing of the airways.
By reducing this inflammation, someone suffering from asthma will be able to breathe better and more consistently.
According to a study published in the American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology,
“Taken together, these novel data show that ginger and its isolated active components, -gingerol, -gingerol, and -shogaol, relax ASM, and -gingerol attenuates airway hyperresponsiveness, in part by altering [Ca2+]i regulation. These purified compounds may provide a therapeutic option alone or in combination with accepted therapeutics, including β2-agonists, in airway diseases such as asthma.”
When you start taking ginger in its natural form or in supplemental form, it helps to lower asthmatic symptoms and open your airways.
I am personally a huge fan of ginger tea, as well as adding raw ginger to my various smoothies I make throughout the day. Warm (not hot) ginger tea is especially helpful for easing my asthma during the winter.
It is also possible for you to eat raw ginger by mixing it with salt, but this can be a little difficult to take down.
Lastly, you can always use a ginger supplement as well. I use a supplement which combines ginger and turmeric (which I will discuss below.
Turmeric is one of the most powerful natural products in the world.
Turmeric contains the compound curcumin, which is responsible for the health benefits of the spice. Turmeric reduces inflammation in the airways through its anti-inflammatory properties, making it a potent aid for fighting asthma!
According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical & Diagnostic Research,
“The results showed that curcumin capsules help in improving the airway obstruction which was evident by significant improvement in the mean FEV1 values. There was also significant improvement in the hematological parameters and absence of any clinically significant adverse events indicates dependable safety profile of curcumin capsules, though there was no apparent clinical efficacy. Therefore, it is concluded that curcumin is effective and safe as an add-on therapy for the treatment of bronchial asthma.”
You can include the turmeric spice in your diet through smoothies or other foods you cook, you can drink turmeric tea, or you can take a turmeric supplement. I prefer taking a turmeric supplement because it is the most convenient option, although I also love drinking turmeric tea. As I said before, I always take a supplement which combines both ginger and turmeric.
My favorite turmeric and ginger supplement is:
Read Also: Turmeric and Apple Cider Vinegar
Honey is another incredibly healthy natural product, and it has been used as a remedy for asthma for hundreds of years. According to a study published in Pharmacognosy Research,
“Traditionally, honey is used in the treatment of eye diseases, bronchial asthma, throat infections, tuberculosis, thirst, hiccups, fatigue, dizziness, hepatitis, constipation, worm infestation, piles, eczema, healing of ulcers, and wounds and used as a nutritious supplement. The ingredients of honey have been reported to exert antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antiproliferative, anticancer, and antimetastatic effects.”
Although there are no definitive studies proving the benefits of honey for asthma, there are some conducted that show positive effects. For example, a study published in the Sudan Medical Monitor on the combined effects of black seed oil (nigella sativa) and honey along with a traditional asthma medication (inhaled corticosteroid) concluded that,
“Combination of Nigella Sativa (NS) and Bee Honey (BH) as an adjuvant therapy with ICS was found to improve the cardiopulmonary functions and helps better control of asthma symptoms.”
Although purchasing local raw honey is an excellent option, manuka honey is a specific type of honey in New Zealand which has enormous amounts of health benefits. Amongst other health benefits, manuka honey promotes cell regrowth and tissue regeneration, which is beneficial for asthmatics. According to a study published in Current Drug Metabolism,
“In addition to bacterial growth inhibition, glyoxal (GO) and MGO from Manuka honey can enhance wound healing and tissue regeneration by their immunomodulatory property. Further studies are needed to provide detailed information about active components of Manuka honey and their potential efficacy in different diseases.”
If you would like to try manuka honey, the brand I use is:
Having a banana a day can keep asthma away from you. This fact has been proven from a research that was conducted by a group of researchers from the Imperial College London.
As per their study, a group of students who were suffering from asthma symptoms have been asked to consume one banana per day, and the conditions were observed after several weeks.
According to the study which was published in the European Respiratory Journal,
“After controlling for potential confounding variables, eating bananas at least once a day (compared with less than once a month) was negatively associated with current wheeze (odds ratio 0.66; 95% confidence interval 0.44-1.00) and ever wheeze (0.69 (0.50-0.95)), but not with ever asthma (0.80 (0.56-1.14)).”
6.) Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Airway inflammation can be lowered by omega-3 fatty acids, which help in protecting your heart and lungs as well. Overall, omega-3 fatty acid intake will enhance your lung function and reduce inflammation throughout your body.
The use of fish oil supplements is an excellent remedy in healing asthma symptoms. According to a study published in Chest,
“Our data suggest that fish oil supplementation may represent a potentially beneficial nonpharmacologic intervention for asthmatic subjects with Exercise-Induced Bronchoconstriction (EIB).”
If you would like to try a fish oil supplement, I suggest you try:
7.) Mustard Oil
Mustard oil is a lesser-known treatment for asthma, but it is can be very effective. According to a study published in the Asian Journal of Dairy and Food Research,
“Looking into the chemical composition of mustard oil with other edible vegetable oil, this review highlights the health benefits of mustard oil for its medicinal utility like anti-carcinogenic property which prevents cancers formation in body, reduces body temperature, anti-fungal and antibacterial property to treat skin diseases, good appetizer and body toner Further, reduces the adhesive impulses in blood platelets which is helpful to minimize the risk of a heart failure, prevent children’s from asthma, allergic cold, and asthmatic eczema, protect eyes and throat irritation and strengthen our Red Blood Cell (RBC) by decreases cholesterol and improves RBC membrane structure”
You can try massaging your chest with this oil, or you can try a mustard seed oil supplement such as:
8.) Eucalyptus Oil
Eucalyptus oil is another excellent remedy for healing asthma attacks. According to a study published in Respiratory Medicine,
“Long-term systemic therapy with 1.8-cineol has a significant steroid-saving effect in steroid-depending asthma. This is the first evidence suggesting an anti-inflammatory activity of the monoterpene 1.8-cineol in asthma and a new rational for its use as mucolytic agent in upper and lower airway diseases.”
There are many ways that you can use eucalyptus oil. For example, simply mix a few drops of eucalyptus oil in hot water, and then breathe the steam gently.
This opens the airways and provides easy breathing for people who have asthma. This is an effective and simple method to use that can heal the symptoms of asthma.
You can also try adding eucalyptus oil to an essential oil diffuser, or taking eucalyptus capsules.
If you’d like to buy eucalyptus oil for an essential oil diffuser or for using as a steamer, I suggest this one:
Figs are one of the best fruits that can be ate to heal asthmatic symptoms.
According to a study published by the Bangladesh Council of Scientific & Industrial Research,
“Dry figs help to clear mucus from bronchial tubes and are therefore a valuable food remedy for asthma. Phlegmatic cases of cough can be treated with success.”
An effective way to use figs is to soak the figs overnight, and then drink the water the figs were soaked in the next morning. This must be done immediately after getting up!
Coffee can be pretty amazing, with a uniquely huge amount of potential benefits.
According to a study published in the Annals of Epidemiology,
“We examined the relationship of usual coffee and tea consumption from a medical history questionnaire to the presence of asthma and wheezing symptoms. Subjects who drank coffee on a regular basis had a 29% reduction in the odds of having current asthma symptoms (odds ratio, 0.71; 95% confidence interval, 0.55 to 0.93) when compared with non-coffee drinkers.”
This is what I would consider to be a 2-way street for asthma symptoms. In the correct dosage, caffeine has the ability to help your body control regular asthma attacks.
Coffee has a positive healing effect on asthmatic symptoms because caffeine helps the nasal passages to clear and makes it substantially easier to breathe. According to a study published in Chest,
“Thus, the results of this survey provide epidemiologic confirmation of previous clinical observations that caffeine intake has a bronchodilator effect in asthma, and indirectly suggest that long-term moderate coffee consumption may not only reduce symptoms, but also prevent the clinical manifestation of bronchial asthma.”
2-3 cups of coffee a day can help you open up the airways and help you in breath naturally. In fact, the caffeine content that can be found in coffee can work as a bronchodilator. When you drink hot coffee, you relax the airways in your throat which facilitates breathing.
Be careful not to overly consume caffeine though, because too much caffeine intake can cause inflammation in your airways. Only drink a moderate amount of coffee per day!
Espresso is especially useful for this, and is generally a mainstay for me before practices in the winter time.
Another one of my favorite types of coffee is Bulletproof Coffee. If you haven’t heard about this before, check out my article on the benefits of bulletproof coffee!
However, if you end up pushing the level of caffeine too much, you can overstimulate these same muscles in your throat. This could end up closing your throat and making you asthma worse overall.
Moderate your use of this tactic, but remember it certainly can be useful when used correctly!
11.) Perilla Seed Oil
One of the more unknown effective home remedies for asthma is perilla seed oil. Perilla seed oil is a member of the mint family, and it is another oil that is rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids. According to a study published in International Medicine,
“These results suggest that perilla seed oil-rich supplementation is useful for the treatment of asthma in terms of suppression of LTB4 and LTC4 generation by leucocytes, and improvement of pulmonary function.”
You could try cooking with this oil as well, as it is a staple of Korean cuisine.
12.) Clove Oil
Although there are no conclusive research studies that show that clove oil is beneficial for asthma,clove oil has anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties which make it an ideal asthma treatment. According to a study published in Antioxidant Properties of Spices, Herbs and Other Sources,
“Cloves have been reported to have antifungal, antiseptic, anesthetic, antispasmodic, carminative, antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties.”
You can effectively use clove oil in an essential oil diffuser..
Another way to use clove oil is by mixing it with almond oil and use as a topical rub on the chest region.
If you have skin sensitivity, never put clove oil directly on your skin! Instead, dilute it first with a carrier oil (for example, olive oil) and then apply to your skin.
Dehydration can be considered a major culprit of asthma, and my number one piece of advice is to make sure that you’re always well hydrated.
Drinking water can be considered as a treatment for asthma, but also, dehydration is a common symptom of asthmatics. According to a study published in Archives in Disease in Childhood,
“We conclude that mild dehydration is common in severe acute childhood asthma.”
You need to be careful to drink clean water as much as possible, otherwise, the asthma symptoms could get worse.
Even in the United States sometimes our tap water may not suffice for those with asthma, as even small changes in water quality can cause issues.
14.) Practicing Breathing Techniques
According to a study published in the Journal of Asthma,
“A simple program of breathing exercises was found to be effective and could be completed in less than 10 minutes per day. Furthermore, there was a statistically significant improvement in ACT scores post-exercise.”
Two of the most notable breathing techniques that asthmatics can practice are the Pursed Lip Breathing Technique and Diaphragmatic Breathing.
In the “pursed lip breathing technique,” inhalation is done through the nose, and exhalation through “pursed lips.”
While practicing the diaphragmatic breathing technique, you can sit or lie down. However, you must concentrate on your breathing.
Breathing should be done through the nose, and during inhalation in this process, the abdomen must go out. Then, you exhale by pushing out the air and abdomen inside.
Combining these two breathing techniques can strengthen the lungs and airways, helping to reduce the symptoms of asthma.
15.) CBD Oil
CBD Oil has become a very popular product over the last few years, and researchers are still discovering even more health benefits of this cannabis extract. Although the evidence is not totally conclusive, it appears that CBD oil is beneficial for asthma as well.
According to a study on CBD oil and allergic asthma that was published in the European Journal of Pharmacology,
“CBD treatment, regardless of dosage, decreased airway hyperresponsiveness, whereas static lung elastance only reduced with high dose. These outcomes were accompanied by decreases in collagen fibre content in both airway and alveolar septa and the expression of markers associated with inflammation in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and lung homogenate. There was a significant and inverse correlation between CB1 levels and lung function in asthmatic patients. CBD treatment decreased the inflammatory and remodelling processes in the model of allergic asthma.”
Furthermore, in a different study which was conducted on CBD and broncho-spasms, asthma and COPD, that was published in Pulmonary Pharmacology and Therapeutics,
“In vivo, (-)-cannabidiol reduced valbumin-induced airway obstruction. In conclusion, our results suggest that cannabidiol can influence antigen-induced airway smooth muscle tone suggesting that this molecule may have beneficial effects in the treatment of obstructive airway disorders.”
If you are interested in trying CBD Oil, you can check out all of the CBD Oil product reviews on my website to see a variety of options.
16.) Use an Air Purifier
According to a study published in Respiratory Care,
“Though the guidelines state that there is insufficient evidence to recommend air cleaners, air cleaners and reducing activities that generate indoor pollutants may be sound practical approaches for improving the health of individuals with asthma.”
From my own personal experience, using an air purifier made one of the biggest differences out of anything for improving my asthma!
Personally, I own three air purifiers, and honestly, I notice a huge difference in my breathing since I bought my first one. I have one in my bedroom, one in my basement, and one in my living room. The key is you want to make sure your air purifier or air cleaner doesn’t use ozone to clean the air. As stated in the same study,
“We recommend a common-sense approach to indoor ozone, including avoidance of ozone-generating air purifiers.”
Air purifiers neutralize allergens, dust, and other things which can cause asthma attacks or breathing issues. I actually have three different air purifiers to assist with my asthma, and they are all great. However, my favorite is this one:
There are cheaper and more expensive air purifiers, so you can check reviews and additional options on websites like AC Pulse to learn more.
17.) Use a Dehumidifier
According to Pediatric Annals, if you live in a house, you should,
“use a dehumidifier in the basement or other areas of dampness.”
The reason is that humid places are terrible for people with asthma. Even if you live in an apartment but you live in a humid region of the world, using a dehumidifier can help alleviate asthma symptoms.
Also you should avoid using humidifiers in general if you have asthma. A study published in the journal Chest concluded that using a humidifier in a child’s home had a direct link to them developing asthma. Irrespective of which humidifier you choose based on reviews and types such as cool mist and warm mist, humidifiers are not good options for asthmatics, and you should opt for a dehumidifier instead.
If you’d like to buy one for your bedroom or living room, this is an excellent option:
Concluding Thoughts – Home Remedies for Asthma
Especially in the winter time, asthma is difficult to live with. There are no two ways about it. If you do not want to be taking massive amounts of medicine for your entire life, it takes a strong commitment to a precise holistic diet to deal with asthma symptoms, and it still may not be enough.
I have personally found a great deal of help from these tips listed above, and I hope you do too!