Many people today are rightly alarmed by the use of heavy duty drugs like me!), and so they are looking for herbs for asthma that will prevent or reduce the number of severity of attacks. For centuries, herbs were commonly used in the treatments of all kinds of ailments, but they fell into disfavor around the turn of the 20th century. In our arrogance, we believed that drugs were the only way to go and traditional medical personnel sneered at herbs and other such ‘primitive’ medicine.
Fortunately, we are beginning to rethink this foolish attitude and herbal remedies for asthma are once again stirring great interest, due to their low risk, compared to long term drug use.
In Asia, herbal remedies have been used for asthma and countless other diseases for thousands of years. So we owe the Asians a debt of gratitude for much of our herbal knowledge comes from them. However, we have our own Western traditions, primarily from midwives, and some herbs that benefit asthma by strengthening the lungs and the entire respiratory system are:
Useful Herbs For Treating Asthma
- Tussilago (coltsfoot) was brought from Europe to this country by early settlers and was used to treat coughs- today it is commonly used in cough syrups.
- Lobelia was known to the Penobscot Indians and was widely used in New England specifically as an anti-asthmatic herb and a cough expectorant, particularly useful in treating bronchitis. It is used in inflammatory disorders and is a great relaxant for the body.
- Capsicum (cayenne pepper) is used as a stimulant and was used in Europe specifically for asthma.Its stimulant properties increase circulation throughout the body, thus providing energy to fight off infection and invaders.
- Verbascum Thesis (wooly mullein) is traditionally used in lung difficulties: congestion; emphysema; asthma, bronchitis. By the end of the nineteenth century, mullein was given in Europe, the United Kingdom, and the United States to tuberculosis patients.
- Elecampane was mentioned in the literature of Rome, so it has been used for at least 2,000 years. According to an herbal it is, “In herbal medicine it is chiefly used for coughs, consumption and other pulmonary complaints, being a favorite domestic remedy for bronchitis. It has been employed for many years with good results in chest affections, for which it is a valuable medicine as it is in all chronic diseases of the lungs asthma and bronchitis”.
- Yerba Santa is used for bronchial and laryngeal troubles and in chronic pulmonary affections like asthma and hay-fever. It is an expectorant that is used to heal coughs and was used by the Indians in South America for centuries.
- Nettles are an herb to avoid touching because many species are stinging plants. Yet they have been used for centuries for for allergies, sinus and inflammatory conditions. It also stimulates digestion and kills germs.
- Ma Huang, (Ephedra): this controversial herb was used to treat asthma five thousand years ago in China. Ephedra was temporarily banned by the FDA, but is allowed once again and is known to be effective in treating breathing disorders.
As you can see, these are herbs for asthma that have been used for hundreds or thousands of years. Will each herbal remedy work for every asthmatic? Certainly not. But experimentation will tell you which, if any, will work in your case. One thing is certain: they are cheaper and less risky than using drugs for years.