Supplements for asthma are a go-to for many people looking to treat their symptoms at home, naturally.
If I’m being honest, I think an overall healthy diet and lifestyle is the most important thing in treating your asthma. But, with a big stack of asthma books and resources at my disposal, I know there’s lots of supplements for asthma recommended by legitimate sources.
So, I’ve compiled them into one handy blog post I hope you enjoy.
Herbal Supplements for Asthma
Asthma: The Complete Guide to Integrative Therapies is a wonderful, thick and meaty resource if you like thick and meaty resources. It covers just about everything there is to know about asthma in a pithy 502 pages.
This book has the usual caveat, which is also ours – herbal supplements are unregulated and you shouldn’t assume they’re inherently healthy. Do you research and watch out for side effects.
Still, the authors recommend 5 good herbal supplements for asthma that have at least some research speaking to their efficacy. Coleus forksholii can open up the airways, and Ginkgo biloba can reduce the sensitivity of the airways and protect against exercise-induced asthma. Saiboku-to is a Japanese drug which might help reduce dependency on steroids. Lobelia inflata and Ephedra sinica are also listed as potentially helpful.
They also recommend ‘Cannabis sativa,’ which you might know by its less medical name! This ‘supplement’ clearly has many side effects, so you didn’t hear this recommendation from us!
Holistic doctor, Andrew Weil, seconds using traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic treatments like the above. We haven’t explored this option yet, but we’ll be sure to share any future experiences here on our blog. WebMD has also reported on kampo, a Chinese herb that in initial studies relieved daily asthma for almost all participants. Worth watching!
We love Dr. Berkowitz’s guide, Asthma: Relax, You’re Not Going to Die, in part because Dr. Berkowitz has asthma himself. He offers simple and medically-sound advice for getting your asthma symptoms under control. He wants evidence-based research, but he also knows that the most important thing for asthmatics is how we feel.
And to feel better, he has one word: antioxidants.
Dr. Berkowitz points to a growing body of literature that suggests vitamins can help alleviate asthma symptoms. People with asthma are often antioxidant deficient, and our environments are increasingly toxic.
For this reason, while diet should be our main source of antioxidants, Dr. Berkowitz suggests taking two antioxidants and a multivitamin as part of your routine. He says this can help your asthma and your overall health.
You need to research which unique combination is best for your unique body and family history. Dr. Berkowitz says he takes Vitamin C and Coenzyme Q10. Other options include Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B6, folic acid, Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and Vitamin E.
Finally, a note of caution. Each of these vitamins has specific functions and side effects. Make sure you do your research and talk to your doctor before taking any new supplements.
Buteyko Approved Supplements for Asthma
If you follow our blog (or better yet, if you’re on our mailing list!), you know that we’ve integrated parts of the Buteyko method into our treatment for asthma. It’s got its detractors, but its simple breathing techniques are a main reason I’m no longer dependent on my asthma medication. So, I should point out that Buteyko practitioners are have some go-to recommended supplements for asthma.
First, some Buteyko practitioners believe that chronic hyperventilation can lead to loss of magnesium in the body. And loss of magnesium leads to more hyperventilation (similar to how using too much ventolin can make you need more ventolin). Magnesium also naturally opens the airways.
So, they recommend a liquid magnesium supplement to treat your asthma. Also note that magnesium is found in whole grains, nuts, avocado, beans and dark green vegetables. So make sure you’re getting lots of these in your asthma diet.
Taking Vitamin B5 is also recommended, as it affects stress hormones in the body and can become deficient when the adrenal glands are week. You can also find Vitamin B5 in whole grains, peanuts, eggs and watermelon.
Because it’s a common remedy for colds and the flu, and because those illnesses can have such a negative impact on our breathing, Echinacea is also recommended.
Omega-3 Supplements Are Good For Asthma
Omega 3 is vital to everyone’s health, not just those with asthma. It can help repair damaged lung tissue, and Dr. Berkowitz points to several studies that suggest omega three and six are both beneficial to asthma.
This supplement for asthma is so critical that Buteyko, Dr. Berkowitz and Dr. Weil ALL insist we get enough in our diet.
As I’ve already mentioned, an omega supplemen is the only actual supplement for asthma that I’ve taken. I like the Dr. Tobias fish oil, which is well reviewed on Amazon and moderately priced (win, win).
I can’t tell you if Omega 3 had a specific impact on my symptoms, but a healthy diet high in good fats and low in bad ones definitely makes me feel better (see my complete diet for asthma here).
Final Thoughts On Asthma Supplements
Supplements will work best when you keep track. Hopefully you’re actively recording your asthma symptoms anytime you try a new home remedy. Do the same thing when you start supplements for asthma. Give each new supplement a 4-6 week trial period and see if your symptoms improve. Everyone is unique, so just because it worked for someone else doesn’t mean it will work for you.
And now, like always, please reach out in the comments below. Have you tried any of these supplements for asthma? Any luck? We hope you’ll share that we can all start to manage our symptoms better.