If you're one of the 25 million asthma sufferers in the United States, you're in luck. We've rounded up the most effective home remedies for asthma that also manage to help with wheezing, coughing, and allergies, as well! We discussed everything from essential oils to air filters, so you're sure to find something.
If you’ve ever experienced an asthma attack, you know how uncomfortable and even terrifying on can seem. Your chest tightens and begins wheezing, and you might even feel like you’re drowning or suffocating.
Fortunately, we’ve rounded up home remedies for asthma, wheezing, and coughing to help ease your symptoms and prevent attacks.
What Is Asthma?
Asthma is a chronic disease experienced by children and adults. In fact, about 25 million Americans suffer from the disease each year, with as many as 2 million visiting the emergency room for treatment annually.
During an asthma attack, the bronchial tubes, the airways in our lungs, become inflamed and no longer allow air to pass through. In response, your body will cough, wheeze, and experience shortness of breath and tightening in the chest. Especially if you’re a child, this can be very frightening.
Home Remedies for Asthma
There are fairly well-defined medical treatments available for asthma (inhalers are frequently used), but as we learn more and more about the dangers of steroids, more people are looking for home remedies for asthma.
We never recommend the following remedies over the advice of your doctor, and you should always visit a doctor immediately if you’re having trouble breathing, but the following solutions can help you find natural ways to treat the symptoms of asthma!
Your grandmother might have prepared a mustard poultice for you when you were little and felt ill; turns out, she might have been on to something! Mustard has been shown to have incredible asthma-relieving symptoms. Make sure you don’t use mustard essential oil--that’s a different thing altogether.
The best way to use mustard to help with asthma is by using the oil pressed from mustard seeds or making a plaster from mustard seed powder. Either can help to open up closed airways and improve your lung function.
You can use this poultice until symptoms improve, multiple times a day, but be careful not to leave them on for more than fifteen minutes or so, as they can burn the skin!
One of the home remedies for asthma is the Stinging Nettle. Stinging nettle looks a little like dandelion, but it’s an herb with some powerful properties! If your asthma is allergy-induced, allergy season can be miserable. Stinging nettle, however, fights the inflammatory reaction your body is experiencing, helping you to breathe more easily.
You can take it in capsule form, or you can brew it as a tea, but if you do the latter, make sure you use a very strong concoction! Typically, you’ll need to steep approximately an ounce (1 cup) of dried nettle in a quart of water for as long as four hours to receive the benefits.
Essential oils are wildly popular now and for a good reason. People love that they’re able to treat common ailments with natural medicines that have been in use since the dawn of time. Here are some of our favorites:
Made from the leaves of the tree koala bears inhabit, Eucalyptus oil is pungent and spicy. Eucalyptus is an essential remedy for many natural practitioners. Breathing in its vapor can help with all kinds of breathing issues, including croup and bronchitis. This oil can also help with your asthma.
You can use it in a diffuser or diluted with a carrier oil. and applied directly underneath the nose, the bottom of the feet, or the chest.
You can also create a steam bath (we only recommend this for adults due to the hot water necessary). Boil water and pour into a wide-mouth bowl on a table. Add several drops of eucalyptus oil and place your head over the bowl, being careful not to burn yourself. Place a towel or blanket over your head and the bowl to trap the steam.
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Lavender is something of a magic oil, with numerous uses for all sorts of applications. It is believed to be anti-inflammatory and helps to relax the entire body, but especially the respiratory tract. Try adding it to a bath for a delightfully relaxing pre-bedtime routine.
Other oils that show great promise: peppermint, tea tree oil, oregano, and thyme oil.
We should insert a word of caution, however, since FDA does not regulate essential oils. In some instances, it can cause allergic reactions. Introduce them slowly and monitor reactions very carefully.
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Use a Neti Pot
For allergy-induced asthma, Neti Pot can help remove the allergens as much as possible. If you’re allergic to cats, you can make a point to stay away from homes that have cats. If you’re allergic to pollen, for example, it’s much harder.
A neti pot is a small container that holds a saltwater solution. Neti pot helps gently and naturally flush out your sinuses with the saltwater. With the use of the neti pot, water is sent through one nostril so that it flows out the other.
If you’re especially stopped up, you probably have large amounts of mucus that have trapped all those awful contaminants. Being able to flush the mucus out can bring incredible relief. Please make sure, however, that you do not use tap water. Use only purified water, as tap water can cause dangerous organisms to reach your brain!
One of the home remedies for asthma, wheezing and coughing is garlic. Garlic, like mustard, is full of quercetin, which has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. It's also rich in antioxidants and can help reduce the histamine response in your body. There are a variety of ways you can enjoy the anti-asthmatic benefits of garlic.
One such way is to take garlic directly. Add a teaspoon of honey or take it on toast to make it more palatable. Make an infused water or milk by crushing multiple cloves of garlic and allowing them to steep in water or milk.
You can purchase garlic supplements at a vitamin supplement or health food store.
Hot Shower or Steam Bath
If you’re wheezing or coughing badly you need results fast. You can have a hot shower or steam bath to help open up your airways quickly, thanks to the heat and the humidity. It's one of the great home remedies for asthma. These conditions will also help to thin any mucous that has accumulated.
Take up to two or three hot showers a day until symptoms are relieved. Make sure that you tightly closed the curtains and the doors to maximize the benefits of the steam.
Coughing can trigger asthmatic responses, so avoiding it, if possible, is important. Many rely on drinking warm or hot drinks like coffee or hot tea to soothe the throat. Others drink honey and they have proven that honey itself is a fantastic cough suppressant. You will surely love this one among the home remedies for asthma.
In fact, one study compared honey to dextromethorphan, a commonly used cough suppressant. The study found that honey is as effective in helping children deal with coughing!
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Nix the Toxic Household Cleaners
Americans use a plethora of household cleaners, like dishwashing detergent, rinse aids, counter sprays, Lysol, and so forth. All these cleaning chemicals can do more harm than good, especially when it comes to asthma.
The government doesn’t test most of the chemicals used in our homes daily. And, there’s enough evidence to suggest many can cause serious problems for consumers. Some can even be neurotoxins, carcinogens, or endocrine disruptors.
Fortunately, there are more and more non-toxic yet still effective options available for home use. And, you can even make your own in many instances! Using common household ingredients such as vinegar, baking soda, and borax can help make life easier for the asthma-sufferers in your home. Using these will also help keeping things spic and span!
Raise the Air Quality
Next on our list of home remedies for asthma is bettering the air quality of your home! Today’s homes are made so energy-efficient that they’re virtually airtight. It means that the level of pollutants from household chemicals and other contaminants can grow quite high, increasing the discomfort of asthmatics.
To remedy this, you have several options. First, try opening the windows! Allowing fresh air into the house can help tremendously. You can also bring air purifying plants into the home and use air purifiers that screen out microparticles.
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Home Remedies for Asthma: Something for Everyone
We’ve provided enough different home remedies today that you’re sure to find something that works well for you. They range from essential oils, mustard plasters, nettle, hot showers, or something else. We hope you experience relief from your symptoms, and maybe even manage to prevent them from happening again.