How to Help Your Asthma Using Home Remedies

Three Parts:Easing Symptoms During and After an Asthma AttackTaking SupplementsChanging Your Diet

Most people with asthma are familiar with the notorious asthma attack where breathing airways become narrow and swollen. Asthma attacks make it hard to breathe and people with asthma also experience wheezing, tightness in the chest, shortness of breath and coughing. Unfortunately, asthma is a chronic inflammatory lung disease so you should learn ways to manage and ease asthma symptoms.[1]

Part 1
Easing Symptoms During and After an Asthma Attack

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    Drink ginger root tea. Cut off about 1 inch of ginger root and peel the skin skin off using a vegetable peeler. Chop the ginger into small pieces and steep it in 1 cup of boiled water for 5 minutes. Drink the ginger tea 4 to 5 times a day. Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory herb that has been used for centuries to treat respiratory problems.[2]
    • You can also make a cold ginger drink. Mix ½ cup ginger juice, ½ cup pomegranate juice and add honey to taste. Drink this 3 to 4 times a day. The ginger acts as an anti-inflammatory and the pomegranate juice is high in antioxidants. Honey is for flavor, but also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.[3]
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    Do an herbal facial steam. Although more research is needed, some herbalists believe the lobelia plant can relieve asthma. To effectively breathe in lobelia and relieve asthma symptoms, place 2 or 3 drops of lobelia essential oil into a bowl of steaming water. Place a heavy towel over the back of your head and lean over the bowl so that the steam is trapped. Breathe in the steam for 5 to 10 minutes.
    • Keep your face about 18 inches away from the steaming water so you don't burn yourself.
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    Rub an herbal ointment on to your chest. Take an ointment that has menthol and eucalyptus and rub it over your chest. These can prevent or shorten an asthma attack. In a study, participants who used rubbing ointments went to the emergency room less often than those who only used inhalers.[4]
    • You can also do a facial steam with eucalyptus essential oil. Eucalyptus can break up mucus and may help you breathe easier. You can also place a few drops of the eucalyptus oil on a cotton ball and keep it nearby (stored in a baggie). If you feel any asthma symptoms, pull out the cotton ball and take a few sniffs of the eucalyptus.
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    Practice breathing techniques. If you're experiencing an asthma attack, take slow shallow breaths instead of quick deep breaths. This is the idea behind the Buteyko Breathing Therapy technique. A good exercise to try is to place the tip of your tongue behind your front teeth. Hold it there while you inhale slowly through your nose. Exhale slowly so that the breath moves around your tongue. Do four of these breaths at a time.[5]
    • While there are breathing exercises that focus on strengthening your respiratory muscles or improving your posture to help breathing, studies have shown that exercises to retrain breathing techniques are most helpful in managing asthma.[6]
    • You can also look into using the Papworth or Pranayama yoga methods of breathing.
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    Get medical attention. If you have asthma, you should be seeing your doctor regularly, especially if you're planning on taking supplements or changing your diet. Some supplements could interact with your asthma medication. Never stop taking your asthma medication without talking to your doctor first.
    • Your doctor will work with you to create an asthma plan of action so you know exactly how to respond and recover from an attack.

Part 2
Taking Supplements

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    Take vitamin C. A large number of clinical studies have shown that vitamin C is one of the best supplements to take for asthma. Vitamin C has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. You can take 500mg of vitamin C every day as long as you have no kidney disease. You can also get vitamin C from:[7]
    • Citrus fruits
    • Strawberries
    • Broccoli
    • Leafy greens
    • Bell peppers
    • Papaya
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    Include vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 can reduce general inflammation and improve your immune system so it's better able to fight off asthma triggers. Foods highest in the most absorbable form of Vitamin B6 are salmon, potatoes, turkey, chicken, avocados, spinach and bananas. You could also take a supplement. For:[8]
    • Children between 1 and 8 years old: take 0.8 mg/day.
    • Children between 9 and 13 years old: take 1.0 mg/day.
    • Adolescents and adults: take 1/3 to 1/7 mg/day.
    • Pregnant or nursing women: take 1.9 to 2.0 mg/day.
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    Get vitamin B12. You can get vitamin B12 from meats, seafood, fish, cheese and eggs. Vitamin B12 can block the effects of sulfites and some studies have shown that it's most effective in helping pediatric asthma. The vitamin can reduce the severity and frequency of asthma symptoms.[9]
    • If you'd rather take a supplement, take 2.4 mg/day (if an adolescent or adult), 2.6 to 2.8 mg/day (if pregnant or nursing), 0.9 to 1.2 mg/day (if between 1 and 8 years old), or 1.8 mg/day (if between 9 and 13 years old).
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    Supplement with selenium. More research is needed, but some studies have shown that taking selenium can reduce inflammation that causes asthma. You can get selenium from your diet if you eat organ meats, meat, and seafood. Or, you can take a supplement that uses selenomethionine. Studies have indicated that this form of selenium is best absorbed.[10][11]
    • Don’t take more than 200 mcg of selenium a day. It can be toxic in higher doses.
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    Take molybdenum. Molybdenum is a trace mineral that helps your body detoxify the sulfites that can trigger an asthma attack. You can get molybdenum from beans, lentils, and peas. Or, you can take a multivitamin or individual supplement. Always follow the manufacturer's dosing instructions. In general, the Recommended Daily Allowance for:[12]
    • Children up to 13 years: 22 to 43 mcg/day
    • People over 14 years: 45 mcg/day
    • Pregnant and nursing women: 50 mcg/day

Part 3
Changing Your Diet

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    Identify your triggers. Keep a journal for at least 2 to 4 weeks, writing down the foods you eat and if you had reactions. Since asthma triggers are unique to each person with asthma, you may be able determine if a certain food triggers your asthma and completely avoid it in the future.[13]
    • Tracking your reactions to foods can also help you determine if you're sensitive to a food or if it's a trigger for an asthma attack. One study showed that 75% of children with asthma have food sensitivities.[14]
    • Foods that have been associated as asthma triggers include eggs, citrus, peanuts, chocolate, wheat (gluten), and dairy.[15]
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    Distinguish between food triggers and food sensitivities. Food triggers are usually things that you're actually allergic to which is why you react by having an asthma attack. Food allergies can be determined by a skin test. Food sensitivities are also an immune response, but there are no diagnostic tests to determine if you're sensitive to a particular food.
    • If you have a food sensitivity, you may still benefit from removing the food from your diet. If you really are sensitive to it, avoiding it can reduce the frequency and severity of asthma attacks (especially gluten and dairy).[16]
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    Follow an anti-inflammatory diet. Once you've learned what foods to avoid, you need to reduce inflammation. Prepare your own foods and cook from scratch so you can control the quality and avoid chemicals, hormones, and antibiotics in your food. Try to choose organic food which isn't produced with these. You should also reduce sugar intake since it can lead to weight gain and inflammation. To follow a diet that reduces inflammation eat:[17]
    • Complex carbohydrates and fiber from whole grains, beans, peas, flaxseeds and vegetables.
    • Lean proteins like skinless poultry and fish like salmon, cod, haddock and tuna (which are also good sources of omega-3 fatty acids).
    • Reduced amounts of red meat and animal fat.
    • A variety of fruits and vegetables.
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    Cook with anti-inflammatory herbs. Not only do herbs flavor your food, several have also been shown to reduce inflammation. Seasoning your food in normal amounts is considered safe unless you have a sensitivity to the plant. If you are not sure, try just a pinch of the herb first. If you have no reaction within 2 hours, it should be safe to use. To reduce inflammation, cook with:[18]
    • Garlic and onions
    • Turmeric and curry
    • Ginger
    • Basil
    • Cinnamon
    • Cloves
    • Allspice


  • During an asthma attack, try a strong cup of coffee-- caffeine is in the same chemical family as a drug, theophylline, often used to treat asthma


  • Never smoke lobelia inflata for asthma relief unless your naturopath or medical herbalist recommends it.

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Categories: Asthma