Herbal Remedies for Asthma

Asthma is on the rise in America according to recent statistical reports. Most cases of asthma are caused by one’s system being filled with excessive amounts of mucous and waste matter. Yet asthma can have numerous causes.

Some people suffer from this due to genetic predisposition. It may also develop as the body reacts to an irritant. Bronchial spasms are at times related to one’s nervous system. Hyperactivity, exhaustion, tension or anxiety can at times cause an asthma attack.

Some common allergens that bring on an attack are dust mites, animal dander, drugs, environmental pollutants, chemicals, feathers, mold, fumes, food additives and smoke from cigars or cigarettes. Humidity, dryness in the air, temperature changes, laughing, low blood sugar, exercise, stress, anxiety, adrenal disorders and fear can also bring on an asthma episode. Sometimes infections of the respiratory system such as bronchitis can be involved in symptoms of asthma.

During an asthma attack, muscles surrounding the bronchi constrict and spasms occur. The bronchial tubes swell and plug up with mucous. Some of the common symptoms are wheezing, difficulty in breathing, coughing and a feeling of tightness in the chest. Difficulty in breathing can last from a few minutes to several days, followed by remissions. The attacks can become more frequent, and the inflammation more severe as the airway is irritated on an ongoing basis. A simple diet should be followed for several weeks. This diet should exclude refined foods, tea, coffee, excess salt and too many carbohydrates, and it should include raw fruit, raw vegetables, nuts and cooked grains. Fish is very beneficial in treating an asthma condition.

Besides addressing what foods are helpful in getting well, there are a number of herbal approaches to consider, yet each person responds differently to a particular herbal recipe. People are not only what they eat and drink, but also what they breathe into their lungs.

Every aspect of our respiratory system can benefit from herbal remedies. Herbs can tone up the circulation so that blood coats the tissues well; they can assist in stimulating the excretory system and glandular process in order to create a clean inner environment of the body. Herbs assist with the human neurological responses that regulate breathing. They can assist with the activity of the mucous membranes, activate secretion of tissues in the lungs so that the air is adequately moistened and the membranes are protected. Some health professionals believe that asthma and hayfever are not diseases but rather symptoms of a deficiency in the body. In some cases, the body does not assimilate enough potassium, which can at times cause asthmatic symptoms, as the adrenal glands then are not functioning at peak levels. Fennel seed, coltsfoot, yarrow, comfrey, calamus, mullien and walnut leaves contain good amounts of potassium.

A tincture that treats asthma with an anti-spasmodic approach is made as follows:

Pour one pint of boiling spring water over:

  •     1 ounce gum myrrh
  •     1 ounce skunk cabbage
  •     1 ounce skullcap
  •     ½ ounce cayenne
  •     ½ ounce black cohosh

Steep this formula for 30 minutes, strain and add one pint of apple cider vinegar. The recommended dosage is a single teaspoonful.

Some people find that a homemade cotton pillow, stuffed with “life everlasting” herb is beneficial when going to bed. If asthma attacks weaken the strength of the heart, as often occurs, motherwort is very effective as it gently strengthens the heart. An overproduction of mucous, which must be coughed up and expelled at times, is helped by expectorants such as licorice, senega, aniseed, bloodroot, coltsfoot or comfrey root.

Wild cherry bark is a sedative that assists in controlling spasms and coughing. Some of the old-fashioned approaches are highly beneficial, inexpensive and simple to prepare. According to recent alternative medicine studies, ginkgo biloba, which contains the active ingredient ginkgolide B, is an excellent herb in treating asthma.

Another very good remedy is mullein oil, which unclogs bronchial tubes and helps clear up asthma attacks. Some users say that an immediate effect is noticed when several drops of mullein oil are added to a glass of fruit juice or tea. A natural antibiotic that can also reduce the inflammation is Pau d’arco. Some other herbs that are very good in treating asthma are Echinacea, juniper berries, horsetail and slippery elm tablets. Another good treatment is a syrup made of honey, cayenne and fresh pressed garlic.

  •     4 tablespoons of raw honey
  •     1 pinch of cayenne
  •     1 teaspoon per day
  •     1 garlic clove (pressed juice)

Green tea, chamomile tea, dandelion tea and nettles are also good treatments. Good Luck.