Asthma Home Remedies: 8 Ways To Improve Asthma
Millions of people suffer from asthma. That means millions are dealing with prescription medications, inhalers, steroids, etc. While these medications can ultimately save your life, they also can bring on a whole slew of negative side effects and high costs.
Are there ways to treat asthma without this medical intervention?
Here’s the truth: natural treatments won’t cure your asthma, nor should you ever throw away your rescue medication/inhaler. Sometimes modern medicine can be the difference between breathing and not breathing.
However, there are some natural home remedies that can greatly improve your asthma symptoms, lessen the frequency of your attacks, and reduce their severity. Below I have 8 different things you can do to help improve your asthma at home starting today.
1. Follow an Asthma-Friendly Diet
Some health problems can be completely cured through diet. Asthma is not one of them. However, what you eat does play a big role in the severity of your asthma symptoms. While you won’t be healed by eating leafy greens, you may have fewer and less-severe asthma attacks.
Through diet, you can lower your inflammation, decrease your stress, and improve your lung function. You can also help lose extra weight (something that makes breathing even harder). Here are some of the top eating tips for an asthma-friendly diet:
- Get Allergy Tested: First off, it is important to see what foods you are allergic too. These could be contributing to your asthma attacks. Once you know, you can avoid them entirely.
- Focus on Produce: Bright carotenoids (like carrots or sweet potatoes), leafy greens with folate, and cruciferous veggies (like cauliflower or Brussels sprouts) are essential for improving all aspects of your health and lung function.
- Eat Fatty Fish: Fatty fish are an excellent source of protein that won’t add to your inflammation. In fact, they will actively take it away thanks to their high omega-3 content. Salmon, mackerel, sardines, and tuna are great options.
- Avoid Bad Fats: Trans fats, hydrogenated fats, and vegetable oil can increase inflammation.
- Avoid Processed Foods: Not only are they bad for your health in general, additives like preservatives and coloring have been shown to trigger asthma attacks.
2. Take Your Supplements
There are many all-natural supplements that can support your body/lungs and improve your breathing. Here are some of my favorites:
- Vitamin D: Many different studies have shown a connection between vitamin D deficiency and asthma – and vitamin D supplementation has shown to be an effective therapy for managing symptoms. Make sure you are getting outside for a few minutes each day to make your own vitamin D. If you are taking it in supplement form, choose D3; it is more highly absorbed by the body than D2.
- Magnesium: People who have asthma often have low magnesium. Doctors may even use IV magnesium to treat you in an emergency situation. At home, you can help prevent/reduce attacks by taking a magnesium supplement (it can also help control your stress, which is so important for asthma management).
- Vitamin C: A healthy immune system is essential for proper levels of inflammation, plus antioxidants help your overall health. While studies on its direct impact on asthma are contradictory, nobody can deny a healthier body will help your asthma overall.
- B Vitamins: Some B vitamins may help you have fewer asthma attacks, as well as less serious asthma attacks. Plus, they boost your energy.
- Omega-3s: Omega-3s are essential for lowering inflammation in your body.
- Butterbur: Studies have shown that this herb can not only decrease asthma attack frequency, but also the severity when they do arrive.
- Boswellia Extract: This all-natural anti-inflammatory helps keep your airways free from the inflammation that makes it hard to breathe
- Coleus Forskohlii Extract: This can help raise your body’s level of cAMP, a messenger that is normally decreased in people with asthma.
- Quercetin: This antioxidant is especially helpful for those with allergy-induced asthma attacks, as it works like an all-natural antihistamine.
- Hydrochloric Acid: Many people with asthma do not produce adequate amounts of stomach acid – taking this digestive enzyme can help.
- Probiotics: Almost your entire immune system resides in your gut, so you need to help heal your gut for proper inflammation control. Taking probiotics supplements daily is an essential step toward gut health.
Taking a high-quality multivitamin is a good first step. It will offer you those helpful herbs like butterbur, boswellia, coleus forskohlii, quercetin, and many more.
3. Clean and Green Your House
For people with allergy-related asthma, this one is essential. Having anything from too much dust to too many chemicals in your home is a recipe for an asthma attack. Here are my top tips:
- Say goodbye to toxins: Go through all your cleaning supplies and get rid of anything with harsh chemicals. Replace them with all-natural alternatives approved by the Environmental Working Group. Many times, this includes getting rid of anything with added fragrance (other than essential oils).
- Make some of your own cleaning products: You’d be surprise how many items in your home can be cleaned with baking soda and vinegar. Not only is that the cheapest way to clean, but it is also the least likely to cause breathing problems. Here’s a video showing you how to make a simple homemade lavender vinegar cleaning spray:
- Wash your linens regularly: Your pillowcases, sheets, blankets and towels may pollen and dust on them, so wash them regularly with unscented laundry soap.
- Vacuum: Your floors can harbor so many allergy triggers. Make frequent vacuuming a part of your routine.
- Invest in a dehumidifier: If you live in an area with humidity, use this device to prevent the growth of mold – one of the top triggers.
4. Deal with Your Stress
Stress is one of the #1 factors leading to asthma attacks. It is mandatory that you deal with your stress to help your health. Here are three ways to do just that:
- Progressive muscle relaxation: You can find these on YouTube (I have one linked below for you to try!), on podcasts, or on audio downloads you can purchase. You can also go through it on your own. Tense the muscles in one part of your body (maybe start at your feet). Then allow that same area to completely relax. Notice the difference. Slowly move all the way up your body in the same way.
- Guided imagery: You can find apps or audio downloads that will guide you through certain imagery that calms you, but you can also do it yourself. Think about a place that makes you feel entirely relaxed. Maybe it’s the beach or a cabin or a bookstore – anywhere. Go there in your mind. Notice what it looks like, smells like, feels like. Walk through your place and capture a thought or word that reminds you of how you feel. When you pull yourself out of that scene, keep that thought or word with you.
- Journal: When you write about what’s going on in your life, it can help you release the stress that leads you to asthma attacks.
5. Start Yoga
Let me begin by saying that yoga could definitely fall into our last category – it’s a proven stress-reducer – but yoga’s asthma-related benefits go even further.
Without a doubt, moving your body regularly is key for overall health, lowered inflammation, and improved lung function. However, many exercises trigger an attack for many asthmatics.
Yoga, on the other hand, is often considered to be a safe practice for those with exercise-induced asthma. Plus, some studies have shown that regularly practicing yoga can improve overall lunch function.
It’s a win/win/win.
Pro tip: If you don’t like yoga, swimming is a great exercise for asthmatics. The warm, humid air helps your lungs, so you have a smaller chance of developing an asthma attack while exercising.
6. See a Chiropractor or Acupuncturist
Both of these natural practitioners may be able to help you improve your asthma symptoms. The research is a bit contradictory for both, but there is enough positive evidence that you may want to give an appointment a try.
7. Use Essential Oils
While essential oils will not cure you of asthma, they can certainly improve your symptoms. Start with my two personal favorites:
- Eucalyptus essential oil: Dilute this with a carrier oil (jojoba oil is nice) and rub it on your chest. Breathe in deeply
- Lavender: Diffuse this one in your house to calm your stress at any time.
8. Keep an Asthma Diary
It’s not always easy to remember the events that led up to your asthma attack, what you tried for treatment, and how well it worked – especially when they happen frequently. When you track everything in an at-home asthma diary, both you and your doctor can have a clearer picture of patterns. These patterns can lead to a more detailed diagnosis and accurate treatment.
- Any time you have symptoms of asthma
- What you were doing before the symptoms began (Were you jogging? Driving? Etc.) and how you were feeling (Were you stressed? Sleepy? Etc.)
- What medication you used, how much of it you used, and how well it worked
Remedying Your Asthma Naturally
You may never be able to fully get rid of your prescription asthma medication or inhaler, but you can definitely take steps to lessen your reliance on them. The healthier you are, the better your asthma will be. So why not give your lungs an extra helping hand by starting these home remedies today?