Do you have trouble breathing and feel a tightness in the chest? Do you hear a musical sound while breathing? Doctors call this wheezing, and it is a common sign while diagnosing any respiratory disorder. One such respiratory disorder may be asthma which can affect anyone, especially children. It is of different types depending on the cause, etc. Asthma is a simplified term for bronchial asthma, a long standing and life-threatening condition affecting the lungs. It mainly occurs when the airway gets blocked due to narrowing or excess mucous. Your doctor might prescribe you medications which might be effective in helping with the symptoms of asthma. Let’s find out more about this disease.1
What Causes Asthma:
There is no clear explanation why some people have asthma and others don’t, but there is ongoing research on this subject. Factors that might put certain people at a higher risk for asthma are:1
- Genetics: You might be at a higher risk of having asthma if there is a family history of asthma or allergic diseases.1
- Allergies: You might be at a higher risk of developing asthma if you have allergies to smoke, tobacco, outdoor air pollution, pets, mould, dust mites, etc. 2
- Respiratory infections: Viruses such as Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) can damage the developing lungs of young children leading to asthma.1
- Environmental factors: Certain allergens (allergy-causing substances), fumes, toxins and smoke might cause asthma in some people as they might irritate the airway. This can significantly harm children in whom the immune system is undeveloped.1
Also Read: Natural Home Remedies for Sinus Problems
Symptoms of Asthma:
Generally, the asthma symptoms are very obvious and resemble the signs and symptoms of other respiratory diseases.1 Some of the common symptoms are as follows:
- You might experience a cough, especially at night
- You might experience a shortness of breath
- You might experience wheezing (a musical or whistle-like sound while breathing)
- You might experience pressure, tightness or pain in the chest.1
Knowing the warning signs and the triggers of an asthma attack can help you avoid or control your asthma. When you follow your doctor’s advice and take medicines exactly as they tell you to, you might be able to have control over your asthma; you can then notice:
- Better sleep
- Possible reduction of symptoms such as wheezing and coughing.
- You can take part in physical activities.2
Also Read: Best Home Remedies for Snoring
Home Remedies for Asthma:
The home remedies for asthma mentioned below need more research to be incorporated in daily life. As asthma can be a life-threatening disease, it is a serious condition and must be diagnosed and treated by a doctor.1 According to the currently available data, the following might be helpful for asthma.
1. Karpoorathy oil
Karpoorathy oil might help with asthma. It might help to relieve the phlegm that gets accumulated in the chest and might help in breathing freely. An ayurvedic physician might suggest the application of the oil to your back and chest. However, more research is required to state the potential effects of karpoorathy oil on asthma. Kindly consult a doctor before using it. Please do not self-medicate.3
Kayakarpam (a division of Siddha medicine) mentions breathing exercises for people with asthma. These breathing exercises are known as pranayama. These exercises might help strengthen the respiratory system, which might help with asthma. They might also help in lowering stress. Please ensure that you consult with an expert in Siddha to guide you through the pranayama exercises.3
Mulethi is also known as yashtimadhu or liquorice root. It is scientifically known as Glycyrrhiza galbra and belongs to the family Fabaceae. It might have the potential to help with asthma. A tea made from the root of liquorice might be recommended by your Ayurvedic physician. To make the tea, you should take the root and boil it in water. Drinking this tea might be helpful for asthma. However, more studies are required to prove the potential effects of mulethi on asthma. Please consult a doctor before using it. Do not self-medicate.4
Vasa is known as vasaka (English), arusa (Hindi), basanga (Oriya) and bhekar (Punjabi). It is known by many different names in regional languages across India. The scientific name is Adhatoda vasica and it belongs to the Acanthaceae family. A decoction made with vasa leaves along with dry ginger, long pepper and honey may be recommended by an Ayurvedic physician. This decoction might have the potential to help with cough associated with bronchial asthma. However, more research is required to ascertain these effects. Therefore, please consult a doctor before using it.4
5. Star Anise
It is also known as chakra phool, anasphal, takkolam and badian. It might have the potential to help with asthma. Along with honey, it might help with bronchial cough associated with asthma. Therefore, it might be a herb used by Ayurvedic physicians. However, more research is required to prove its effect on asthma. Kindly consult a doctor before using it and do not self-medicate.4
6. Ajwain Patta
It is also known as Karpuravalli in Tamil, Pathurchur in Marathi and by various names such as Indian mint, Cuban oregano, Indian borage and Mexican mint in English. The leaves of this plant might help provide relief from the symptoms of asthma. Boiling a few leaves in water and inhaling the vapour might be helpful for asthma. It might also be helpful as a decoction with ginger, pepper and honey to relieve chest congestion. However, make sure to consult with a doctor before using it.4
7. Lavanga (clove)
Clove is commonly used in Indian kitchens. It might help with asthma as well. It is used to make a decoction. To make the decoction, you should take the coarse powder of clove, a few tulsi (basil) leaves and black pepper and boil them in some water. Drinking this preparation might be recommended by your Ayurvedic physician. However, more research is required to back up such claims. Therefore, please consult a doctor before using it.4
It is referred to as Indian birthworth or serpent root. Its scientific name is Aristolochia indica and it belongs to the Aristolochiaceae family. It might help with bronchial asthma. The plant root powder with some honey may be recommended by your Ayurvedic doctor to help with your asthma. It might also help with cough, fever and toxicities. However, more research is required to prove the effects of isvari on asthma. Kindly consult a doctor.4
Though there are studies that show the benefits of the given herb and home remedies in the condition, these are insufficient. There is a need for large scale human studies to establish the true extent of the benefits of these home remedies on human health. Thus, these should only be taken with caution and never as a substitute for medical treatment.
Also Read: Simple Home Remedies for Wheezing
When to Seek Medical Help:
Asthma is a serious condition and must be treated by a medical professional. Do not try to self-medicate. In case of a severe asthma attack, make sure to follow the following steps:
- Use your rescue inhaler. It has fast-acting medicines and is different from a daily use regular maintenance inhaler.
- If you do not have the rescue inhaler, call for help or visit the nearest emergency department in a hospital.1
You should look out for the following signs and should seek immediate emergency medical care;
- If you are panicking or anxious
- If you have chest pressure or pain
- If you are continuously coughing
- If you are wheezing while breathing is severe
- If you have difficulty talking
- If you are pale and sweaty excessively
- If your breathing is very rapid and shallow
- If your fingernails and skin become bluish (in light-skinned people) or lips and gums become grey or whitish (in darker-skinned people).1
You must not rely on home remedies alone for the treatment of condition and should consult a qualified doctor for any advice for condition if the symptoms do not improve with home remedies.
Asthma is a disease of the lung and you might notice coughing, wheezing, tightness of chest, etc. as symptoms. It can be a life endangering situation if not treated properly. The exact reason for the occurrence is not known but genetics, environment, allergies, etc. might play a role. There are a few home remedies for asthma like, clove, ajwain patta, pranayama, etc. which might help with asthma. However, more research is required to prove the possible positive effect that these herbs for asthma treatment might have. Moreover, asthma is a serious condition and must be diagnosed and treated by a doctor. Please do not use the above-mentioned herbs to self-medicate.
Also Read: Natural Home Remedies for Pneumonia
Frequently Asked Questions:
1) What are the home remedies for asthma?
Clove, ajwain patta, star anise, mulethi, vasa, etc. might have a potential to help with asthma and might act as home remedies for asthma. However, more research is required to prove their potential use. Moreover, a doctor must be consulted before using these herbs for asthma.3,4
2) Can we use clove for asthma treatment at home?
Clove or Lavanga might have a potential to help with asthma. Its use in the form of a decoction along with pepper and ginger might be recommended by your Ayurvedic physician. More research is required to prove such claims. Kindly consult a doctor before using it.4
3) Is pranayama a good natural cure for asthma?
Pranayama might be recommended by your Siddha medicine practitioner and might be helpful for asthma as it might help to strengthen the respiratory system.3
4) Can we use a home remedy for asthma wheezing instead of using medicines?
No. You should not use any herbs to self-medicate. You must not alter, replace or discontinue any ongoing medical treatment. Kindly follow your doctor’s advice as asthma can be a life-threatening situation and must be diagnosed and treated by a qualified doctor.1
5) What are the herbs for asthma treatment?
The herbs that might have a potential to help with asthma are ajwain patta, star anise, clove, isvari, vasa etc. However, there is more research required to ascertain the potential use of these herbs for asthma. Therefore, you should consult a doctor before using them.4
1. Asthma [Internet]. Cleaveland Clinic. [cited 2022 Jul 12]. Available from: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/6424-asthma
2. Learn How To Control Asthma [Internet]. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. [cited 2022 Aug 17]. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/asthma/faqs.htm
3. Eraippu erumal (Bronchial Asthma) [Internet]. [cited 2022 Jul 12]. Available from: https://www.nhp.gov.in/eraippu-erumal-bronchial-asthma-_mtl#:~:text=Asthma is a chronic lung,most often starts during childhood.
4. AYUSH. Ayurveda Offering Herbal Healing [Internet]. 1–128 p. Available from: https://www.esic.nic.in/attachments/publicationfile/7d11b02e5abb4717d53b4ce05efabd21.pdf
Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.