About 5 years ago, I was sick of needing to take my puffer all day, every day (and all night, every night), and so I turned to home remedies for asthma.
Using the healthy and simple strategies below, I’ve been able to stop taking my preventative inhaler completely, and effectively get off albuterol, too.
I’ve broken down effective home remedies for asthma into 5 separate categories (nasal health, breathing techniques, lifestyle, natural treatments and self-monitoring). Pick and chose which work best for you, and which you can implement now.
When used in conjunction with your doctor’s recommendations, these simple home remedies for asthma will help you treat many of the symptoms and causes of your asthma, right away.
(And find my Ventolin Abuse Guide here).
Home Remedy for Asthma 01 – Nasal Health
When you’re clogged up and breathing through your mouth all day and night, your nose doesn’t get to do it’s job of warming and filtering the air you breathe.
So, look for home remedies to get your nasal health under control, and you’ll be breathing so much easier. Here’s some good places to start:
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02 – Breathing Techniques
All asthma-sufferers should know some simple breathing and relaxation techniques for when they’re starting to feel short of breath.
We all know that stress triggers and worsens asthma. Learning to focus and control your breath is calming, and can also help your symptoms.
Yoga, yogic breathing, meditation and even physiotherapy all have proven health benefits, and they can help you breathe better, too. Learning to use your diaphragm can also be very helpful.
That’s why any ‘home remedies for asthma’ plan should focus on how you breathe. These asthma management videos are a good place to start.
And it’s why you should also at least be aware of the Buteyko method, even if you don’t believe all its claims. That’s because you don’t have to buy into Buteyko completely to get TONS of benefits from its methods.
If you’re like the majority of North Americans, you might not have heard of Buteyko, and that’s a shame. That’s because it was the Buteyko Method that first opened the door to personal asthma treatment for me – it literally was the catalyst that changed my life.
That’s right – as soon as I began practicing Buteyko, I immediately noticed an improvement in my asthma, and nothing has done more to treat my symptoms – learn more about how my Buteyko journey helped me quit ventolin here.
Buteyko is a breathing method developed by a doctor in the old Soviet Union who dedicated his life to understanding and treating asthma through the way that we breathe (and without medicine, which many of his patients couldn’t afford).
Through studying the levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide in his patients, Dr. Buteyko discovered that asthmatics actually have higher levels of oxygen than normal in their blood.
It sounds counter-intuitive, but people with asthma are actually overbreathing. Reducing overbreathing (otherwise know as hyperventilating) can and will greatly reduce your asthma symptoms. This is done through breathing exercises and eliminating mouth-breathing.
I love Buteyko because it’s free and effective.
In fact, of all the home remedies for asthma-sufferers, this is the only one with legions of adherents across the world who consider themselves “cured”.
It works for children and adults, and by focusing on reduced breathing, it’s also relaxing (win-win).
In fact my wife Emma doesn’t have asthma, but she often does Buteyko exercises with me, just because they’re healthy and relaxing.
Certainly we need more standardized testing of the process. Remember that one hundred years ago, Westerners didn’t know much about yoga, and probably wouldn’t have believed its many now-proven health benefits either.
If nothing else, Buteyko breathing is a free and easy relaxation method, and any asthmatic will tell you how important simply being able to relax is in relieving symptoms.
Not convinced, or are you ready to dive in? Here’s some more articles for you to explore:
This last one is important – because I bet your asthma is often worse at night, like mine was. This Buteyko trick will cost you pennies, and will finally help you get a good night sleep – try it now.
One of the only downfalls of the Buteyko Method is its complexity. It requires a commitment that can be hard to follow. Despite the profound effects I’ve seen, I still don’t practice as regularly as I could.
I’m also not a “pure” Buteyko practitioner – but there are some really good resources from popular practitioners that I highly recommend. Namely, you might want to consider these books and DVDs.
(Psst… purchasing products using our Amazon links is a great way to support us as we try to help more fellow asthmatics breathe better – at no extra cost to you!)
And last but definitely not least, check out the latest from Patrick McKeown, The Oxygen Advantage: Simple, Scientifically Proven Breathing Techniques to Help You Become Healthier, Slimmer, Faster, and Fitter. Great, great read.
03 – Natural Home Remedies
Let me be clear: I’m not suggesting that asthma medicine is evil. Black and white thinking in either Western or alternative medicine is misguided at best.
And obviously asthma medicine saves lives.
But it’s still ok to want to have to use your asthma medicine as little as possible. Using the strategies outlined in this article (and future explored here), I’ve been able to eliminate my preventative inhaler completely, as well as DRASTICALLY reduce the amount of ventolin I need.
Long story short: some ‘natural’ home remedies for asthma are, well, crap. And some actually work quite well.
And the natural remedies that work should become part of your arsenal – just like they’re a part of mine.
So far, I’ve only found a few natural remedies for asthma that I really like. In general, I don’t use any herbs or supplements (besides Omega 3 Fish Oil).
And my rule for any natural home remedies for asthma is simple: if it’s something that’s healthy in its own right, I’ll try it. If it’s not healthy in its own right, I don’t bother.
However, I still believe that asthma treatments have to be personal. You never know what will work for you, or why (that’s why you should be sure to journal your results, which I’ll explain more below).
And even if it’s just a placebo effect that means you use your inhaler less, that’s a good thing in my book.
So in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle and proper breathing, natural treatments are worth exploring – find our faves here.
04 – Lifestyle & Trigger Avoidance
You probably know that lifestyle plays a huge role in managing asthma.
It’s sad but true: junk food and couch potato-living hurts more than your waistline.
Lifestyle is one of the simplest and most effective ways to treat your asthma at home, but I get it – it can also be the hardest.
But while I love binging on pizza late at night, knowing I’ll wake up phlegmy and wheezing does lessen the appeal.
Still, eating right and exercising is difficult for everyone, not just asthmatics. That’s why I’m happy to report that lifestyle changes don’t have to be dramatic to make a difference.
For example, I’ve found that there’s nothing like consistently drinking 8-10 glasses of water a day for keeping my symptoms at bay. Staying hydrated is good for everyone – so why not give it a try?
These articles offer more simple ways lifestyle changes that work great as home remedies for asthma:
Just like with natural remedies for asthma, my approach to life strategies is: if it’s generally healthy, why not try?
All my recommended lifestyle changes in the articles I link to above are simple and (usually) easy, and they’re good for you no matter what your lungs are up to.
Starting an exercise routine is daunting, especially if your asthma can be exercise-induced like mine – but it’s so important
Indeed, when you have asthma, exercise can be a mental and emotional battle as well as a physical – who wants to start wheezing at a public gym?
But it’s a catch-22, because exercise is proven to help improve lung function.
And when I finally got serious about exercise, I started to notice drastic results in my asthma symptoms right away.
I found that an at-home exercise routine using weights and a rowing machine were the perfect place to start.
Since rowing is a total body work, as well as cardiovascular and low impact, it can replace pretty much everything at the gym, right at home.
I’ve gotten lots of questions about how I started rowing, and how I chose my rower (my beloved Concept2!). So I put together this guide to the best rowing machines to help my fellow asthmatics (don’t worry – I’ve included lots of affordable options).
So whether it’s rowing, getting to the gym, checking out Pilates, walking more, you name it … I hope that you’ll start moving your body more, so that you’ll start breathing better.
And of course, no one needs to tell you anymore that smoking is bad for asthma, right?
05 – Self-Monitoring
Keeping track of your asthma symptoms is the best way to know if your home remedies for asthma are actually working. And it’s the best way to see if you’re really getting better.
Some people find it quite helpful to also use a peak flow meter (link to Amazon), to provide even more details for journals.
We personally just follow these simple steps to creating a good asthma journal.
Whichever works best for you, make sure to not only keep a journal, but also to re-read it regularly, too. You never know which patterns might start to appear.
Learn more here:
Please share with our asthma community in the comments below – what home remedies are you using? What works for you and what doesn’t? Let’s help each other learn how to breathe (and live!) better! 🙂