5 Best Herbs For Asthma: Herbal Relief For Asthma Symptoms

Asthma is one of the most common respiratory diseases in the world. According to the National Institute of Health, it affects more than 300 million people worldwide. So many people have it, but very few people know exactly what it is, or how to manage the respiratory symptoms that go along with asthma or other common lung diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and chronic bronchitis.

Did you know that there are many different types of asthma? There are 7 asthma groups including exercise-induced, adult-onset, occupational, allergic, non-allergic, pediatric, and asthma-COPD. But, there are several more forms that can fall into one of these groups. Unfortunately, most doctors do not explain the type of asthma their patients have at the diagnosis appointment. They simply say, “You have asthma, take this inhaler,” failing to truly educate their patients on what exactly their patients on what exactly this disease is, why it happens, how to manage triggers, and how to live a high-quality life with it. Failing to understand the type of asthma you have and what your underlying triggers are makes true maintenance very difficult.

Let’s talk about the most common asthma symptoms according to the Mayo Clinic:

-Shortness of breath

-Chest tightness

-Wheezing (high-pitched noise when exhaling)

-Difficulty sleeping (because of difficulty breathing, coughing, or wheezing)

-An increase in symptoms during a respiratory illness

However, those symptoms are merely the most common ones. Many other symptoms of asthma are not as commonly discussed. These are symptoms that can happen even more frequently for some than the common ones.

-Yawning

-Chronic coughs

-Faster than normal breathing

-Intolerance to exercise

-Anxiety

-Air hunger

Determining your triggers is MANDATORY. Without knowing and understanding your triggers, you will continually place yourself in a position to repeatedly have flares. It’s important to know how to manage life with asthma in a world where triggers are everywhere. Herbs can help with this too.

 

The thing about herbs is…it’s a slow game. It takes a little time and a lot of consistency to see real progress in a chronic condition like asthma. But, there are several herbs that can significantly help with asthma relief. Each one of these is a medicinal herb that contains several different health benefits. They can help support lung health and decrease some of the symptoms you may be experiencing.

 

Elecampane (Inula helenium)

Elecampane plant

Elecampane’s medicinal properties are antiseptic, bitter, diaphoretic, and expectorant. For those who have a type of asthma that produces a lot of mucus or thick, sticky secretions, Elecampane can help. It is a powerful expectorant and helps to thin the mucus and phlegm that sits in the lungs so you can easily clear it from your airways. 

The respiratory system is not the only place Elecampane clears mucus from. It can also be quite helpful in clearing mucus from the urinary and digestive systems as well.

Another wonderful benefit of this herb is what it does for the gut. It’s full of inulin that feeds the good bacteria in the gut.

 

Lobelia (Lobelia inflata)

Lobelia’s medicinal properties are acrid, anti-arrhythmic, antispasmodic, antitussive, bronchodilator, emetic, expectorant, hypotensive, nervine, and vasodilator. 

It is a powerful antispasmodic as well, that helps to open the bronchioles to help ease asthma attacks and breathing difficulties from bronchitis, and other respiratory illnesses. Historical use states that some Native Americans would smoke Lobelia for relief from asthma symptoms. 

**Use Lobelia with caution and under the direct supervision of a professional. Lobelia should not be used during pregnancy and should only be used for short periods.

lobelia plant

Mullein (Verbascum thapsus)

mullein

Mullein’s medicinal properties are demulcent, expectorant, and tonic properties. Tonic properties refer to herbs that can be used daily for a prolonged time, without adverse reactions.

For best results, Mullein should be taken daily. An herbal tea made with the leaves of the common mullein plant 2-4 times per day can be used for chronic lung problems and to support good respiratory health.

Mullein also greatly reduces the amount of free radicals in the body that are caused by oxidative stress. Taking this herb over time has been shown to help strengthen the lungs and soothe the lining of your lungs.

 

Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis)

Hyssop’s medicinal properties are antiseptic, antiviral, carminative, decongestant, emmenagogue, and expectorant. It is considered one of the best herbs for any respiratory ailment.

It is another powerful expectorant that can help clear super thick mucus.

The antiseptic property it has is particularly helpful for both acute respiratory conditions as well as cuts and scrapes in the skin.

Hyssop can be taken as a standard infusion or as a tincture. We like to include it in an herbal tea blend that can also be used as an inhalation.

**Hyssop should be avoided during pregnancy. Do not ingest the essential oil.

hyssop

Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica)

stinging nettle leaves

Stinging Nettle’s medicinal properties are anti-allergenic, anti-inflammatory, antihistamine, diuretic, mineralizer, and tonic. The anti-inflammatory compounds of this herb can help to calm airway inflammation throughout the entire respiratory tract.

Stinging Nettle is excellent for all types of asthma because of its anti-inflammatory and antihistamine properties. It also contains magnesium that can relax the smooth muscles that surround the lungs and typically swells and tenses up during respiratory allergy responses and asthma attacks.  

It is also a very nutrient-dense herb, being rich in iron, calcium, protein, and other nutrients. The blood, bones, joints, and skin all benefit greatly from Stinging Nettle.

Other dietary supplements that can be taken to help control asthma according to the ‘Prescription for Nutritional Healing’ book are:

-Fish Oil: contains fatty acids needed for the production of anti-inflammatory prostaglandins

-Vitamin b5: an antistress vitamin

-Selenium: selenium levels are typically low in people with asthma

-Magnesium Sulfate: doctors administer magnesium sulfate to patients having asthma flares. It helps to calm the smooth muscles that surround the lungs.

-Vitamin C: increases airflow and fights inflammation

-Zinc Lozenges: can shorten an attack or halt one before asthma attacks become severe

To learn more about these supplements and more, you can purchase ‘Prescription for Nutritional Healing’ here.

 

There have been various studies on the effectiveness of herbs for asthma and other chronic respiratory conditions. Many of them state that many herbs are beneficial for asthma if they contain anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, and antihistaminic, properties. It’s important to note that some herbs can have side effects or medication interactions, so it’s important to research your medications, conditions, and herbs you wish to take thoroughly.

 

 

Each one of the herbs mentioned above can be used in different ways. While some herbs, like mullein, can provide more benefits if taken as a standard infusion, others like elecampane must be taken in tincture form for best results. 

 

 

These herbs yield powerful properties that are beneficial for those with asthma symptoms, but they are not the only ones that could be beneficial to you. I encourage you to look deeper into respiratory-supportive herbs if you do not have the desired effects with the ones I’ve talked about here, until you find the right herbs for you.

 

To learn more about respiratory supportive herbs and to see them up close, check out this YouTube video.

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