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Herbal medicines and asthma

What is asthma?
Asthma is triggered by histamine. The body produces histamine to provide antibodies to defend itself from foreign invaders. This, however, can cause mucus and spasms in the muscles surrounding the bronchi. During an asthma attack, the outward passage of air becomes constricted and the lungs become tightened and inflamed.

Herbal medicine for asthma
Herbal medicine can be effectively used to help asthmatics. Herbs can be used in a variety of ways such as through tinctures, infusions and steams. There are a number of herbal medicines that can be used by asthmatics for their anti-inflammatory properties and for their ability to calm the respiratory system and increase the fluidity of mucus so it is easier to expel. Herbal remedies and medicines can also be used to strengthen the body and treat asthma attacks. Some herbs may trigger side effects in certain circumstances so consult a practitioner before using herbal medicines.

Juniper berries
Juniper berries are a very beneficial herbal remedy for asthma. Juniper berries are used to clean the body, making it very valuable for asthma sufferers. Juniper contains a number of alcohols, sugar, sulphur and resin which are all beneficial in the treatment of asthma. Juniper berry can be prepared as an infusion, tea or tincture.

Licorice root
This is another beneficial herbal medicine for asthmatics due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Licorice root can be used to relieve inflammations of the respiratory systems. This herbal medicine promotes the production of interferon, assists adrenal gland function, decreases muscle spasms and increases the fluidity of mucus to counter a dry cough.

Wild cherry bark

Wild cherry bark is another herbal medicine that is effective for removing phlegm from the chest and throat. It works to calm the respiratory system and is also an astringent and sedative.


This herbal medicine is used in an infusion to promote perspiration and decrease the thickness of mucus in the bronchial tubes and lungs. It increases the fluidity of mucus for easy expulsion. This herb contains beneficial minerals, iron and potassium and B-complex vitamins and vitamins A, C and E.

Chamomile is a herbal medicine that is an antihistamine that also has anti-inflammatory properties. It can be used as a tea or tincture to treat conditions including asthma and a range of other complaints.  

Food choices for asthmatics
Along with herbal remedies, diet choice is very important for asthma suffers. A balanced diet of fresh fruit and vegetables should form an essential part of their daily meals. It is also important to avoid sulfites in the diet, so be sure to choose foods that are free from additives. Also avoid over-consuming other mucus-producing foods including yoghurt, ice cream, bananas, nuts and dried foods.

Eating foods and herbs with copper, manganese, magnesium, iron and vitamins B, C and E are also beneficial for asthmatics.

Find a practitioner that specialises in herbal medicine near you