Many natural remedies are touted to relieve asthma symptoms. But few or no research studies have been done on most types of alternative medicine for asthma, so the effectiveness and safety of many are unknown.
Here are some natural asthma remedies:
- Herbs and dietary supplements. Many have been used with asthma, including Tylophora (Indian ipecac), butterbur, ephedra (ma huang), katuka, grapeseed, boswellia, and dried ivy. Since none have been definitively shown to help symptoms, they are generally not recommended. Ma huang (ephedra), a common herb in dietary supplements, has been used for years as a bronchodilator. The FDA banned ephedra. Studies looked at vitamin C supplements and omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil), but there is not enough evidence to recommend them.
- Yoga. Often, stress triggers asthma symptoms. Breathing exercises used in yoga have helped some people with asthma control their breathing and relieve stress, a common asthma trigger.
- Asthma diet. Restricting dairy products and sugar has reportedly helped some children with asthma.
- Acupuncture. This Chinese medicine technique uses needles on pressure points to relieve symptoms. While some people with asthma have found that acupuncture can significantly reduce asthma attacks and improve lung function, studies are not conclusive.
- Biofeedback. Learning to increase the amount of air inhaled has reduced fear and anxiety during an asthma attack for some people.
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