With the new research out of Cardiff University in Wales, asthma attacks may eventually become a thing of the past. But, while researchers are testing medications to block the CaSR calcium receptor, asthmatics everywhere need effective ways to stop an asthma attack. Albuterol is an effective medication, and sometimes I simply have to use my inhaler. However, most of the time one of these herbal remedies works just as well.
Lobelia Extract – Lobelia is also called Indian Tobacco, or Pukeweed. It’s effective in calming the airway spasms that occur with asthma. Be sure to follow the directions on the bottle exactly, as too much lobelia can cause you to vomit.
Licorice Root – This is my favorite herbal asthma remedy, and the one I personally use the most. You can either use licorice extract, or chew on a the whole root. It’s effective, and tastes good. If you have high blood pressure, use licorice root sparingly because it can increase blood pressure.
Mullein is often used for asthma because it is an effective expectorant.
Yerba Santa Leaf is available in extract form in most herbal and natural health shops. This herb acts a bronchodialtor and expectorant. It’s also used to calm coughs and ease breathing with bronchitis and pneumonia.
Wild Cherry Bark calms coughs, so it’s a useful herb when asthma symptoms are accompanied with a cough. Oftentimes wild cherry bark is combined with licorice, mullein, or Yerba Santa for asthma.
Thyme leaf is another good cough suppressant. It can be combined with any of the herbal bronchodialtors.
Coffee can be used to calm an asthma attack. It contains theobromine, which acts as a bronchodialtor and stimulant.
Although it’s not an herb, it’s important to know that magnesium is a smooth muscle relaxer, and will help calm an asthma attack. I’ve even been given IV magnesium in the emergency room. Be cautious though, taking too much magnesium can cause heart problems. I recommend my clients only use magnesium under professional supervision.
Naturopathic Handbook of Herbal Formulas 4th Edition, by Herbal Research Publications, INC. 1995