Some herbs and foods may alleviate asthma symptoms by reducing inflammation, combatting oxidative stress, and boosting the immune system. These include turmeric, ginseng, and garlic.

It is best to contact a doctor before using any herbal or home remedies.

This article looks at which herbs and remedies may benefit asthma.

A person making a mix of turmeric, which is a herb for asthma relief. -2Share on Pinterest
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Immune-boosting herbs can be particularly beneficial for people experiencing asthma, as a stronger immune system can better cope with triggers and may reduce the frequency of asthma attacks.

Oxidative stress in the lungs can contribute to inflammation and airway constriction, so antioxidants may help people manage asthma.

The inflammation in asthma leads to swelling and narrowing of the airways, causing symptoms like wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and coughing. Some herbs may help alleviate these symptoms by reducing inflammation.

Herbal treatments come with certain risks and precautions that people should consider.

These include:

  • Interactions with medications: Many herbs can interact with prescription medications, enhancing or diminishing their effects.
  • Quality and purity concerns: The herbal supplement industry is not as tightly regulated as the pharmaceutical industry, causing purity and safety concerns.
  • Side effects: Like any treatment, herbal remedies can have side effects.
  • Pregnancy and nursing: Many herbs should be avoided during pregnancy and nursing due to potential risks to the baby.
  • Effectiveness and safety for children: Children are more sensitive to the effects of herbs, and many herbal treatments have not been thoroughly studied in children.

To minimize risks, people should consult with a healthcare professional before starting any herbal treatment.

Turmeric is celebrated for its significant anti-inflammatory properties, largely attributed to its active compound, curcumin.

Curcumin is a powerful antioxidant that plays a crucial role in minimizing inflammation, a key factor in asthma and other respiratory conditions.

Some studies suggest that curcumin can improve bronchial relaxation, which is critical in easing breathing difficulties in asthma.

Relaxing the bronchial muscles can help open the airways, allowing for better airflow.

People can consume turmeric in food or as supplements.

The ginseng root, a staple in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for centuries, may boost the immune system.

Additionally, ginseng may improve lung function. It may increase bronchial relaxation, easing breathing difficulties.

Ginseng may reduce the severity of asthma symptoms by reducing inflammation in the airways.

Garlic may have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that could benefit asthma.

The active compounds in garlic, like allicin, can help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress.

Traditionally, people have used garlic in various forms to alleviate respiratory issues, and its natural anti-inflammatory effects may help reduce the swelling and narrowing of airways that characterize asthma.

The anti-asthma herbal medicine intervention (ASHMI) is a notable example of a Chinese herbal combination that specifically aims to treat asthma.

Modern researchers have modified the TCM herbal formula Ja Wai San Zi Tang, a combination of 14 herbs, to 3 potent herbs to create ASHMI.

The modern formula contains:

  • Lingzhi: May have anti-inflammatory and immunomodulating properties.
  • Ku shen: May have anti-allergic and anti-asthmatic effects.
  • Gan cao: May have anti-inflammatory properties.

Studies have generally found that ASHMI can improve asthma symptoms, enhance lung function, and reduce the need for conventional asthma medications like corticosteroids.

Black Seed, also known as Nigella sativa, may benefit respiratory conditions like asthma.

Researchers attribute its multifaceted effects to a range of bioactive compounds it contains, including thymoquinone.

Allergic reactions, which involve the release of histamines, can often trigger asthma. The antihistamine properties of black seed can help reduce allergic reactions and thus may be beneficial in managing allergy-related asthma symptoms.

Honey has a natural soothing effect on the throat, which can benefit asthma patients who often experience coughing fits.

The thick consistency of honey coats the throat, which can help reduce the irritation that triggers coughing.

Honey contains compounds that have anti-inflammatory effects. This can be particularly helpful in asthma, where inflammation of the airways is a key problem.

By reducing inflammation, honey can help in easing breathing difficulties.

It can also act as a natural expectorant, helping to loosen mucus in the airways. This can aid in clearing the airways, making breathing easier. People can enhance honey’s benefits by mixing it with warm water or herbal tea.

While herbal remedies can be effective in some cases of asthma, people should contact a doctor before using them to treat asthma.