Alternative therapies for asthma


If you have asthma, you’re likely familiar with the chest tightness, coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath that accompany an asthma attack. While medications such as bronchodilators, anti-inflammatory drugs, or biologic therapies are commonly used to manage asthma, you might also consider natural treatments. These treatments often fall under complementary and alternative medicine categories.

Complementary treatments are used alongside traditional therapies prescribed by your doctor, while alternative treatments are used independently. Some of the options in these categories include herbs, dietary supplements, acupuncture, chiropractic therapy, massage therapy, and biofeedback. Exploring these treatments can provide additional ways to manage asthma symptoms and improve your overall well-being.

Reasons for undergoing the procedure

Many people seek natural remedies for asthma or wonder how to cure it naturally. There are numerous complementary and alternative treatments that claim to address asthma. However, due to the limited or nonexistent research studies on most of these treatments, their effectiveness and safety remain uncertain.


While there’s limited research backing the efficacy of these approaches for managing asthma, healthcare providers generally consider mind-body techniques safe. However, over-the-counter treatments and herbal supplements carry notable risks of side effects. Prior to trying any alternative therapy for asthma, it’s crucial to consult your healthcare provider. They can offer personalized guidance based on your overall health and well-being.


The following are the list of alternative therapies for asthma:

Herbal and supplemental therapy
Asthma symptoms may be alleviated by certain herbs and dietary supplements, although much of the research is still ongoing or inconclusive. It is important to note that many natural and over-the-counter products can have negative side effects. Additionally, there have been reports of medication interactions with certain herbs used for asthma treatment. For example:

  • Gingko biloba: Used to reduce lung inflammation, but can cause bleeding issues when taken with warfarin.
  • Licorice root: Used to relieve asthmatic lung symptoms, but can cause an elevation in blood pressure.

Magnesium and fish oil are products that have undergone scientific evaluation. Occasionally, vitamin C is combined with these ingredients. Inflammation and asthma symptoms may be lessened by:

  • Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)
  • Fish oil: High in omega-3 fatty acids

Tea and coffee may also help relieve asthma symptoms due to their caffeine content, a mild bronchodilator. Tea contains theophylline, a chemical similar to caffeine, which is also available in tablet form (Uniphyl) as a less common prescription medicine for asthma.

Yoga and Relaxation
Adults with asthma often opt for alternative treatments like qi gong, tai chi, and yoga to complement their exercise regimen. Proper breathing techniques are integral to yoga practice, also known as pranayama, which emphasizes deep breathing to open airways and manage stress. This can potentially aid in asthma management. Although there is currently no evidence to support the claim that yoga reduces asthma symptoms, it can still be beneficial if it makes individuals feel and breathe better.

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese procedure where extremely thin needles are inserted into specific strategic points in the skin. It is occasionally used to reduce asthma symptoms, but the effectiveness of this treatment isn’t well supported by research.

Biofeedback involves learning how to alter how your body functions. During a biofeedback session, you wear painless sensors that monitor your heart rate, respiration rate, and brain activity. Based on the results, your healthcare provider will make recommendations about how to modify those physiological signals. For several asthmatics, learning to breathe in more air during an episode has helped to lessen their worry and panic.


The key to managing asthma is avoiding triggers that worsen your condition. This involves efforts to minimize mold and dust in your home, such as keeping windows closed to prevent dust mites and pollutants from entering. Your healthcare provider may recommend using rescue inhalers or other medications during asthma attacks, alongside trigger avoidance. Developing an asthma action plan, advised by your healthcare provider, serves as a valuable tool for you, your caregivers, and your healthcare team to prevent asthma episodes from escalating.

The following advice can be used while considering utilizing alternative therapies:

  • Before using any herbal products, discuss them with your healthcare provider.
  • Notify your healthcare provider and stop using the herbal product immediately if you have any adverse reactions, such as diarrhea, rashes, anxiety, sleeplessness, fast heartbeat, nausea, or vomiting.
  • Watch out for promotional promises about the abilities of herbal products. Find information from sources that are based in science.
  • Pick your brands wisely. Buying brands should only be done if they provide the common and scientific names of the herb, the manufacturer’s name and address, batch and lot numbers, expiration dates, recommended dosages, and any possible adverse effects.