Natural Relief for Asthma

Natural Relief for Asthma

The CDC estimates that over 25 million people suffer from some form of asthma. There are also many others that are either borderline asthmatics or undiagnosed. Respiratory difficulty is a serious condition and most people will work with a medical doctor for prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) remedies. 

Sometimes, with the consent of your physician, there is natural relief for asthma that may help you breathe a little freer. From natural modalities to specialized herbs and some unexpected remedies, staying ahead of an asthma attack without or in conjunction with medication might be easier than you think.


Before you decide that needles are not your thing it should be stated that acupuncture needles are hair-thin, sterile, and essentially painless. That said, when it comes to treating asthma, this four-thousand year old practice actually has some good modern studies behind it.

Acupuncture has been particularly helpful for a condition called ‘allergic asthma’ which is respiratory compromise caused by allergens such as dust, pollen, and even certain foods. 

The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) cited several studies of acupuncture for allergic asthma stating, 

“In a randomized controlled trial of 1,445 patients, acupuncture provided lasting relief for six months…Acupuncture was provided for a maximum of 15 treatments over a three month period.

Patients receiving acupuncture demonstrated significant relief from allergic asthma at all data points, including the six month post-treatment follow-up data point.”

If you work with an acupuncturist make sure they are licensed and work with packaged, sterile needles. 

Breathe Ginger-ly

The pungent, spicy herb ginger has been an ancient “fixer” with real scientific street cred to boot. Turns out that the body often responds well to a dose or two particularly when it comes to breathing.

Combined research out of Columbia University and the London School of Medicine published in the American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology stated,

“We have shown for the first time that isolated components of ginger (Zingiber officinale) directly relax pre-contracted ASM [airway smooth muscle] from both guinea pigs and humans within 30 minutes…Our present work agrees with that of Ghayur and colleagues (10) in establishing the relaxing effects of crude, food-grade ginger.”

Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory which may help support respiratory health. It can be delivered in several forms including as a lozenge, elixir, or even chewed raw.

Coffee or Tea, Breathe Free

The stimulant caffeine found in coffee, tea and other sources such as chocolate could be a good go-to if you are having a tough breathing day.

The National Library of Medicine posted a small study titled ‘Caffeine for Asthma’ which showed results as,

“Six trials involving a total of 55 people…The studies were all of cross-over design and of high quality. In comparison with placebo, caffeine appears to improve lung function for up to two hours after consumption”

Make sure you are not sensitive to caffeine or take meds that contraindicate this drug before consuming.

Add a Little Salt

There is a special treatment that may help improve lung function. It is called speleotherapy which involves sitting in a salt room or other area with an abundance of salt to expose the lungs to airborne salt crystals which some report, opens breathing passageways.

The Journal of Medicine and Life (JML) published a study of speleotherapy which concluded,

“…exposure to environment of salt-mines in Turda, Cacica and Dej [Romania] favor the in-vitro acquisition of FIBRO cells and lung a fibroblasts [fibroblasts play a key role in the maintenance and alteration of tissue structure]”

According to a company that offers salt room sessions, this is a description of a visitor’s experience.

“After taking salt room treatments, their breathing becomes easier, symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, and shortness of breath are alleviated, and clients no longer have to take large amounts of prescription medications.”

Salt rooms and other salt/saline environments can be sought out and utilized. Many progressive urban centers offer this treatment. 


Experimenting with different essential oils could enhance breathing and may help avoid an asthma or allergy attack. These are top essential oils that may help support respiration:

  • Clove
  • Rosemary
  • Eucalyptus
  • Lavender
  • Peppermint
  • Bergamot
  • Lemon

It is important not to mix up distilled and topical essential oils. Distilled are produced to be heated into the air and topical are specifically for skin applications. Be careful not to touch eyes when applying and always try to dab on pulse points such as the wrists, neck, ‘third eye,’ temples, and earlobes. 

Natural relief for asthma can be found with these and many other remedies. Try various applications as maintenance tools to stay ahead of asthma compromise.