In addition to medication and an adequate treatment plan, home remedies for asthma can play an important role in keeping symptoms under control. Remedial measures range from simply identifying triggers to making various lifestyle adjustments.
Asthma is a disease that causes inflammation in the airways of the lungs. The resulting swelling and narrowing of the airways makes breathing difficult, as does the increased mucus content and the tightening of the muscles around the airways.
All of these effects can occur at once and become progressively more intense, resulting in what people often refer to as an asthma attack. During an asthma attack, the lungs do not get enough oxygen, making the person feel short of breath. They often cough, wheeze, wheeze, and feel a tightness in their chest.
People with asthma, of which there are more than 24 million in the U.S., are sometimes hospitalized or home from work, and the disease can even be fatal.
Asthma is a chronic disease, which means there is no cure. However, people can often manage it with a combination of daily and rescue medication.
In addition, self-sufficiency is important for people with asthma. Individual responsibility and action are essential to preventing attacks. When combined with a medically sound asthma action plan, home remedies for asthma can be very helpful and play an important role in keeping asthma under control.
One of the most effective home remedies for asthma is identifying and eliminating triggers for asthma attacks. These triggers vary from person to person, although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) note that the following are common:
- Smoke, especially from tobacco, but also from burning wood or grass
- Pets including dogs and cats
- Dust mites
- Air pollution
- have a respiratory infection such as influenza
- Emotional stress
- cold air
Once a person knows what their asthma triggers are, they can take steps to avoid them, such as:
- Refrain from smoking and avoid passive smoking
- Use allergy-friendly bedding and wash and dry them weekly
- suck regularly
- Use airtight food storage to keep pests out and clean storage and dining areas frequently
- Track air quality predictions and change plans to adapt to low air quality
- with an air filter in the bedroom
According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, these healthy habits can help people manage their asthma:
- quit smoking if a smoker
- Achieving or maintaining a moderate weight
- be physically active
- get enough sleep
- Practice stress management techniques such as mindfulness and deep breathing
Research shows that yoga can be an effective home remedy for asthma. The data showed that participants with asthma who practiced physical yoga poses called asanas, yoga breathing exercises called pranayama, and meditation:
- reduced frequency of asthma attacks
- fewer asthma symptoms
- improved lung capacity
- improved blood circulation
- better response to medication
According to experts, 21.2% of adults and 7.2% of children with asthma in the US in 2012 used herbs, non-vitamin supplements, or both to treat their condition. While there is no reliable scientific evidence of its effectiveness, the most common choices were:
Researchers have identified other natural products that people commonly use as home remedies for asthma. Again, there isn’t much scientific evidence to support them, but it does include:
- Over-the-counter (OTC) breast massages, especially for children, often with eucalyptus oil, menthol and camphor
- Herbal therapies such as chamomile, mint and echinacea
It is important to use home remedies for asthma with caution, as even OTC and so-called natural products can be dangerous for some people or in certain situations or combinations. People who are not aware of these dangers can endanger themselves.
Experts point out that popular herbs like echinacea and chamomile are members of the ragweed family. When people who are sensitive to ragweed use these herbs to relieve their asthma symptoms, they may get worse instead.
Other known, yet often unexpected, side effects of home remedies for asthma include ephedra, which has a synergistic cardiovascular effect on albuterol (Ventolin), and some types of black licorice that prolong the half-life of corticosteroids.
People should discuss all aspects of managing their asthma with their health care provider and use caution when considering home remedies for asthma. Just because a treatment is popular doesn’t mean it’s safe or effective.
For example, the American Lung Association reported research showing that while soy isoflavone supplements are popular, they do not offer any benefits for people with asthma.
Experts say that stress and strong emotions like anger can sometimes provoke asthma attacks. Techniques that help people reduce their stress levels can be helpful home remedies for asthma, although additional research is needed to confirm this.
Techniques that people may find useful include:
- Breathing exercises
- Message therapy
Technology can help people manage their asthma, and several apps are available for this purpose.
Researchers have found that some apps can help people change their behavior and take the necessary steps to manage their asthma. Apps can also help people take their medication consistently and appropriately.
Asthma is a serious and chronic condition that affects millions of people in the United States. While there is no cure, people can treat it with consistent medical care.
Self-care is an important part of treating asthma, and there are many different home remedies for asthma to aid individual well-being.
It can help to avoid known triggers, practice yoga or other forms of regular exercise, use herbs and supplements wisely, and harness the power of technology to keep track of all of these initiatives.