10 Helpful Herbs for Treating Asthma

Asthma is a serious health concern for anyone who has it. The symptoms and effects of asthma are unwelcome and undesirable. Asthma is characterized by increased production of mucus and sticky secretions in the bronchial tubes, accompanied by inflammation and constriction of the airways. Symptoms include

  • Tightness, pressure, or pain in the chest
  • Inability to get sufficient air or oxygen
  • Wheezing
  • Chronic cough

Symptoms may occur at the same time or at different times, and the manifestation of symptoms can markedly vary from person to person. Across all age groups, 7-12% of the U.S. population suffers from asthma. In addition to taking prescribed medications, herbal remedies may help bring relief from asthma symptoms.

Flaxseed Oil

Flaxseed oil is a source of essential fatty acids that are needed to produce anti-inflammatory prostaglandins. In addition, it contains antioxidants that help to cleanse the blood. Take capsules before meals, mix oil into juice, smoothies, or chocolate shakes, or add to salad dressing. Do not cook flaxseed oil, since it breaks down with extreme heat. Also, store it in the refrigerator to prevent it from going rancid. Primrose oil can be used in place of flaxseed oil if needed.

Lobelia

Lobelia is sometimes called Indian tobacco. It has been smoked by Native Americans for centuries to relieve acute asthma symptoms. Lobelia extract can be helpful during an asthma attack. It soothes bronchials, relaxes muscles and is an expectorant. Lobelia should not be taken on an ongoing basis and should be used prudently; high doses can cause serious symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, tremors, heavy sweating, rapid heartbeat, confusion, and hypothermia. Women who are pregnant or lactating should not use lobelia.

Mullein Oil

Mullein OilMullein has a long history of use as a healing herb. Among its most early medicinal applications are coughs, bronchitis, and asthma. Mullein oil can be a powerful remedy for congestion in the bronchials. It helps stop coughing and clear out bronchial tubes to relieve asthma attacks. Some users say that when they take it in tea or fruit juice, it has a nearly immediate and pronounced effect.

Kelp

Kelp is an excellent source of minerals needed for a healthy body and immune system. Among the minerals that seaweed is rich in are iodine, potassium, calcium, iron, and magnesium. Some varieties are also high in protein. Kelp offers benefits for the entire body, not just the lungs and respiratory system. The Chinese primarily use seaweed to reduce and eliminate lumps, swellings, tumors, edema, nodules, and swollen lymph glands.

It is a wonderfully nutrient rich anti-inflammatory substance. If you have thyroid issues, talk to your doctor before adding any form of kelp to your diet.

Grape Seed Extract

Grape seed extract is a powerful anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory. It is an herbal supplement that can be taken on a long-term basis. Negative side effects are not known with grape seed extract. Studies in animals have shown that it increases lung capacity, improves the function of lungs, and reduces asthmatic symptoms. Besides being beneficial for asthma sufferers, it has a wide variety of other health benefits.

Nettle

Nettle is one of those herbs that seems to be a cure for nearly every existing health condition. It is used to treat the painful symptoms of arthritis, rheumatism, gout, fibromyalgia, and Lupus. In individuals with gout, nettle releases uric acid from the joints. Nettle has a good reputation for effectively increasing milk production in breastfeeding women. It is used to relieve eczema, hair loss, and acne, as well as being a digestive aid.

Treating respiratory ailments, including asthma is just one of the many medicinal uses of nettle.

Goldenseal

Goldenseal has powerful anti-microbial properties and anti-inflammatory effects. It seems to also reduce the lungs’ and upper airways’ inflammatory response to allergens. In addition to this, it is good for many body systems and organs. It is a good source of calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, selenium, and B-and C vitamins. It should be used at the first sign of infection and should not be used for prolonged periods of time. Pregnant and lactating women should not use Goldenseal.

Horsetail

Horsetail gets its name because it was commonly tied to horses’ tails to repel flies. It has the ability to decrease swelling and inflammation and relax spasming muscles. A key component in horsetail is silicic acid, which has the effect of strengthening the walls of the lungs’ air sacs. It also promotes expectoration and helps to relieve continual coughing. Other benefits of horsetail are treatment of urinary tract infections, promotion of joint health, promotion of bone health, treatment of dandruff, and promotion of hair growth.

It is sometimes used to treat varicose veins because of its ability to strengthen and tighten muscles and tissues. Horsetail is a good source of beta carotene, calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium phosphorus, selenium, potassium, zinc, silicon, and B- and C- vitamins. If taken for prolonged period of time this herb should be taken with vitamin B1.

Licorice

Licorice has a well-deserved reputation as an effective treatment for asthma and other respiratory ailments. It effectively inhibits the body’s release of histamine, thins and loosens mucus, and soothes swollen airways. Licorice is also used to relieve fevers, conjunctivitis, and pain in the body. Licorice root can be taken in tea form, and via capsules. With prolonged use, mild side effects may be experienced.

Chamomile

Chamomile is an aromatic plant whose flower heads are used for their healing effects. It is a gentle herb with a calming and relaxing effect. It has anti-bacterial and immune boosting characteristics. It also helps to reduce inflammation. For treatment of asthma, it can be steamed and breathed in, or prepared in a tea. Other uses of chamomile include treatment of tension headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, morning sickness, and many more things.

Conclusion

The use of these herbal remedies can be extremely helpful in the treatment of asthma. However, always use prudence when employing herbal remedies. The use of herbal remedies usually should not replace the appropriate and needed use of prescribe medications. When using any herbal remedies, always talk to your doctor about your plans to use them.