If you have ever had a severe asthma attack, you know how much it can cause you to panic. The wheezing and tight feeling you experience can feel as though you are fighting for every breath. Asthma attacks typically occur because an irritant of some sort has entered the bronchi, which are the passageways that carry air to the lungs. Irritants can be something such as allergens, smoke, stress or even a severe cold. During an attack, there really is not time to debate the merits of herbal drugs over conventional medicine. The best course of action is to use your prescribed inhaler to open your airways. For a severe attack it is always recommended to go to the emergency room. While conventional medicine has the prominent place in treating asthma, herbal remedies can augment conventional treatment. Chronic allergies and other underlying conditions often contribute to the existence of asthma, and this is where the benefits of herbs really come in. Work with your doctor to determine the best treatment for your asthma, and always consult your doctor before adding any herbal remedies.
Grindelia is an herb that acts as an antispasmodic, helping to relax the smooth muscles in the airways. Because of this action, it works well in preventing the bronchial tubes from constricting. It also acts as a bronchodilator, so it opens up passageways that are already constricted. Look for grindelia tincture in most health food stores. A recommended dose is to take 20 to 30 drops of the tincture two to three times a day.
Boswelia helps to boost your immune system’s response. It helps to calm, soothe and keep the thickness and congestion that sometimes goes along with asthma; from building up in the respiratory tract. Look for boswelia in most health food stores and take two or three 150 mg. capsules twice a day for 6 months or more to see an effect. Again, always consult your physician before adding an herbal remedy.
Ginkgo works well for asthma by relaxing the smooth muscle in the lungs and decreasing inflammation. Take one 40 mg. capsule two to three times a day and see if you experience improvement in a month or two.
Red raspberry leaves when combined with alfalfa in a tea can help if your asthma symptoms get worse during menstruation. You can grow your own raspberries and harvest the leaves along with the berries. You will need one tablespoon each of dried raspberry leaves and alfalfa in one cup of boiling water. Steep for ten minutes, strain and drink one to two cups of this tea during your period.
Green tea also has strong ant-inflammatory properties, and can be useful in treating asthma. Drink one cup a day for as long as you like, and more often when you are experiencing severe asthma symptoms. Make the tea have a medicinal effect by steeping for at least ten minutes.
Cayenne is another possibility when it comes to treating asthma. It helps to improve circulation and enhances the dilation of bronchial passages. While you wouldn’t want to drink cayenne tea, you can sprinkle a small amount of cayenne in green tea or chamomile for a tolerable yet effective drink.