asthma Breathe easier with home remedies
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If you suffer from asthma or any other chronic condition affecting the lungs you may want to investigate herbs that have been traditionally used as lung tonics. Evaluate them carefully, however, as some are not suitable for long term use or for children.
Bitters & Syrups
Home remedies for asthma: You need look no further than your own kitchen for old fashioned home remedies that open the lungs and help asthmatics breathe easier. Not only do most people have these items readily on hand, they are safe, effective and easy to use for the whole family. Garlic and onions have been shown to help ease breathing for asthma sufferers. Onions make a smelly but effective poultice to apply to the chest area to ease breathing. The caffeine in coffee and tea works in a similar manner to the asthma drug theophylline. 1 Culinary delights of the kitchen can help ease breathing as well as flavor your foods. Fragrant contains essential oils that block the histamine that is responsible for constricting airways. Rosemary, sage, and thyme can be used to create fragrant herbal steams to ease the breath.
Herbs for asthma: Grindelia is a indigenous North America bush best known medicinally for its expectorant properties in treating breathing problems like asthma and bronchitis, and as a good field remedy for insect bites and poison ivy. (Mabey,Richard ,41) Modern Chinese herbal medicine uses epimedium (usually in combination with other herbs) for asthma, bronchitis and other lung problems. Mountain Rose Herbs Present-day herbalists use the root of elecampane as a tonic for pulmonary complaints and for coughs. Elecampane is a safe home remedy for bronchitis and asthma. (Dawson,Adele) Allergies and asthma also improve with ginkgo. The herb contains a dozen different anti-inflammatory chemicals and seven natural antihistamines. (Duke,James, Ph.D.) Butterbur is a traditional remedy for wheezing. Studies of the effectiveness of butterbur root extract on the symptoms of asthma are promising, but further study is necessary.
Smoking certain herbs helps to soothe inflamed lung tissue, loosen secretions, and tones the lungs. Coltsfoot is also one of the traditional smoking herbs that formed the basis of many smoking mixtures. Native Americans smoked the leaves of Lobelia, known to colonists as Indian Tobacco, to ease asthma. Lobelia acts as a relaxant in the presence of pain, and is useful in bronchitis and asthma as an expectorant and stimulant of the respiratory system. (Millspaugh, Charles F.) Coltsfoot hinders the body's production of an inflammatory protein, which narrows the air passages and prompts asthma attacks.(Duke,James, Ph.D.)
Nettle is anti-asthmatic, the juice of the roots or leaves, mixed with honey or sugar will relieve bronchial and asthmatic troubles, and the dried leaves, burnt and inhaled will have the same effect. (Grieve, Maud)It is worth noting that the old folks (going back to Pliny the Elder) and American Indian traditions recommended smoking herbs while the more modernists modern herbalists prefer we drink herbal teas, or take herbs in tinctures and capsules.
Looking for something you can read offline? Join our mailing list and get a free copy of Methods for Using Herbs. This free handbook includes instructions on how to make basic herbal preparations at home. It covers making herbal teas, herb infused oils and balms, tinctures, and more.
- Broadhurst, C. Leigh. Natural Asthma: Clearing the Way to Breathing Freely Nutrition Science News. April 1999, Vol. 4, No. 4:pp. 200-201, 204, 206, 208, 210.. American Botanical Council
- Linda B. White, M.D.. "The Herbal Drugstore" , (2003) The caffeine in coffee and tea is a chemical cousin to the asthma drug theophylline. Researchers have found that a caffeine dose of 7 milligrams per 2.2 pounds of body weight can significantly improve lung function of people with asthma.