How Effective Are These 7 Herbs In Treating Severe Asthma?

There should be two approaches to treating asthma naturally:

  • Have a strategy for dealing with the acute symptoms of an episode

  • Address any underlying deficiencies in the body's health system

Complementary therapy refers to using herbs in conjunction with conventional asthma¹ treatments. Alternative therapy is any treatment that does not include the use of conventional pharmaceuticals. Asthma complementary and alternative treatments should only be used after a discussion with your doctor and should not replace your medications.

Learn more about how you can treat asthma using herbs and which different types of herbs are effective. We will also take a closer look at the risks associated with herbal treatments.

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Treatment goals for asthma

  •  Improving and enhancing the body's natural defenses

  • Reducing the severity of an allergic reaction

  • Promoting the relaxation of the bronchial smooth muscle

  • Making the airways clearer

  • Enhancing mucous membranes' health

Types of herbs used to treat asthma

1. Garlic and ginseng

When it comes to medicinal uses, it's hard to overlook garlic. It is regarded as a critical anti-inflammatory in the respiratory system. Mucosal lubrication is also encouraged by this treatment method. It may be consumed fresh or used as a plaster if the lungs are congested.

Some individuals believe that the Asian herb ginseng, which has been used medicinally for thousands of years, may help alleviate respiratory problems.

A study² wanted to evaluate the impact of certain insecticides on the lungs and the development of asthma. They compared rats that were fed ginseng and garlic to rats that weren’t. Ginseng and garlic were shown to reduce asthma symptoms.

Compared to the other group, those rats that received the herbs had fewer symptoms and less inflammation. Although ginseng and garlic are widely accessible in supplement form, you can still get the same benefits from consuming them in food or drinks.

2. Turmeric

Asthma and other chronic illnesses are thought to benefit from turmeric's ability to decrease inflammation.

One study³ examined the effects of curcumin-adjacent therapy in a clinical trial that included 60 individuals with mild to moderate asthma for 30 days. Half of the participants were given just the standard asthma therapy, and the other half received the standard asthma therapy and curcumin. 

Researchers discovered that taking 500mg daily of the supplement helped open up the airways and significantly improved the expiration force and the hematological parameters. No adverse effects were observed, suggesting that it may be used in conjunction with other asthma treatments. It is important to note that this is only one small study, and additional research is required to assess the advantages and hazards.

The swelling of the airways primarily causes asthma — thus, it makes sense to consume foods known to lower inflammation. People who consume an inflammatory diet, such as processed foods, are more likely to suffer from asthma and obesity.

Therefore, incorporating turmeric into your diet may help reduce asthma symptoms. You can spice your food with it or add a teaspoon of turmeric powder to one cup of heated milk.

3. Black seed

A daily dose of black seed (Nigella sativa) may help alleviate the symptoms of allergies in persons with asthma. Long-term treatments for people living with asthma are essential to managing symptoms.

However, even with the availability of standard therapies, asthma management is seen as less than ideal. Nigella sativa (NS), sometimes called black cumin, has a long history of medicinal use, including the treatment of asthma.

Investigation on black seed and asthma was explored in one scientific review⁴ to determine whether it had any impact on current treatment approaches. According to the findings, earlier research suggests that black seed may help alleviate asthma symptoms, reduce inflammation, and improve airway function. Additionally, it stressed the necessity for further investigation.

Compounds found in black seeds are crucial to good health and well-being. Anti-inflammatory properties boosted immunity and eased airways are some of the numerous advantages of black cumin for asthma patients.

Organic black seed oil's versatility is one of its most vital features. Asthma patients may use it as an inhalant, a massage oil, or an oral supplement to ease their symptoms of congested airways.

4. Combination of Chinese herbs

Research on the usefulness of traditional Chinese herbal mixtures for asthma has been ongoing over the last few decades. Asthma herbal combinations from traditional Chinese medicine have been explored in depth by researchers. One herbal mixture includes the herb Ku Shen (sophora root), mushrooms (lingzhi), and the root of licorice (gan cao). Anti-asthma herbal medication intervention (ASHMI) is one of these mixtures that has gained popularity recently.

Several researchers have investigated ASHMI's efficacy. Research⁵ on mice foundt hat a mixture of herbs might help alleviate asthma symptoms by providing a powerful anti-inflammatory and antihistamine effect while directly reducing the contractions of the respiratory smooth muscles, which aids in opening the airway.

The efficacy of ASHMI was examined among 20 non-smoking asthmatic patients in a separate trial.⁶ They concluded that ASHMI looked to be safe and that individuals were able to tolerate the herbs.

If you have asthma, you may want to try Mai Men Dong Tang, a Chinese herbal formula. In a study⁷ of 100 patients with mild to moderate asthma, this herbal combination improved lung functions and relieving symptoms without any adverse effects. During the research period, all subjects used Western asthma medicines in addition to the botanicals.

However, there is a shortage of research since many of these investigations are conducted on animals or small groups of humans.

5. Honey

Honey has been shown to boost saliva production. Coughing may be lessened by saliva, which coats the airways and soothes the throat. Additionally, honey has anti-inflammatory effects, which may help alleviate asthma-related airway edema.

Infusing honey with spices like turmeric might further alleviate your discomfort.

Honey might be a great addition to your diet if you're searching for a natural remedy for your asthma. The anti-inflammatory characteristics of honey help protect your body from the common cold and flu, which may aggravate asthma. Congestion in the chest may be alleviated with honey.

If you have asthma, cinnamon and honey are a strong combination. As a result of the antioxidant and anti-bacterial qualities, it may help the respiratory system against germs and pollutants.

Studies⁸ in rabbits have demonstrated that honey alleviates the symptoms of asthma. In one investigation, researchers fed 40 rabbits honey that had been turned into a gas and found that their asthma symptoms were reduced.

6. Asthma weed 

Multiple studies⁹ have shown that E. hirta extracts (also known as asthma weed) have beneficial pharmacological effects, including sedative, analgesic, anxiolytic, anti-inflammatory, and antipyretic properties. The anti-inflammatory properties of E. hirta extract are attributed to several compounds, including phytol, aromatic acids, and others.

Asthma patients may benefit from its usage. Extract of E. hirta has been shown¹⁰ to have anti-inflammatory and anxiolytic effects on asthmatic inflammation in asthmatic rats, suggesting that E. hirta may have a protective impact against the inflammatory response in asthma.

7. Ginger

Ginger contains anti-inflammatory properties, much like garlic. A study¹¹ on mice reported that the components in ginger regulate the calcium that exists in the smooth muscles of the respiratory system, increasing the relaxation of these muscles, which allows the opening of airways and relief of construction. It was also found that a certain component of ginger (gingerol) is able to reduce airway hyperresponsiveness, which is one of the main asthma characteristics.

According to a scientific review¹² of the benefits of ginger for human health, including ginger in your diet or as a supplement could be beneficial for a wide variety of conditions, including asthma. Having a little ginger in your diet every day might provide some comfort.

Try brewing your tea with a bit of ginger during the colder months. When cooking, you may also benefit from the health advantages of ginger.

What are the risks of using herbal treatments?

Herbal remedies for asthma are not without risks. You should always consult your doctor before making any changes to your asthma medication regimen.

Take the following into consideration before starting any herbal supplement regimen:

  • Asthma treatments might be adversely affected by some herbs, leading to side effects or ineffectiveness.

  • Herbs may induce allergic responses in some people, and each person will have a unique sensitivity to them. A doctor should always be consulted before administering any herbal supplements, especially to a child. Take extra care if you're pregnant or breastfeeding.

  • The Food and Drug Administration does not regulate herbal supplements. This implies they haven't been subjected to a regulatory evaluation and don’t come with dosage recommendations. The quality of the supplements may be questionable, or they may be tainted with unwanted chemicals or minerals.

  • Asthma medications should not be discontinued without first seeing your doctor. Your health might be jeopardized if you do not adhere to your treatment plan.

The lowdown

Asthma patients may benefit from these herbs. Many of them can reduce inflammation and improve symptoms, but more research is needed to confirm their effectiveness and safety.

Before incorporating any herbal remedies into your treatment plan, be sure to consult with your doctor. Asthma might be worsened, or other health issues may arise if you take herbs without consulting your doctor first.

  1. Asthma | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

  2. Experimental studies on the effect of (Lambda-Cyhalothrin) insecticide on lungs and the ameliorating effect of plant extracts (Ginseng (Panax Ginseng) and garlic (Allium sativum L.) on asthma development in albino rats (2014)

  3. Evaluation of efficacy of curcumin as an add-on therapy in patients of bronchial asthma (2014)

  4. Medicinal benefits of Nigella sativa in bronchial asthma: A literature review (2017)

  5. Pharmacology and immunological mechanisms of an herbal medicine, ASHMI™ on allergic asthma (2016)

  6. Safety and tolerability of an antiasthma herbal Formula (ASHMI) in adult subjects with asthma: a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, dose-escalation phase I study (2009)

  7. Efficacy and safety of modified Mai-Men-Dong-Tang for treatment of allergic asthma (2005)

  8. Inhalation of honey reduces airway inflammation and histopathological changes in a rabbit model of ovalbumin-induced chronic asthma (2014)

  9. Euphorbia hirta: Its chemistry, traditional and medicinal uses, and pharmacological activities (2010)

  10. Anti-inflammatory and anxiolytic activities of Euphorbia hirta extract in neonatal asthmatic rats (2018)

  11. Effects of ginger and Its constituents on airway smooth muscle relaxation and calcium regulation (2013)

  12. Anti-oxidative and anti-Inflammatory effects of ginger in health and physical activity: Review of current evidence (2013)

Other sources:

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