Herbal Remedies for Asthma Relief

When the side effects of your traditional asthma medication make you feel almost as bad as your respiratory symptoms, you may be tempted to try alternative remedies such as herbal treatments. And while some people find that herbal remedies for asthma can offer some relief, the latest studies warn that they can also make asthma symptoms worse for some patients.

Herbal Remedies for Asthma

The concept of relying on herbal remedies for asthma symptoms has a long history. In fact, for thousands of years people have tried this route to address weak respiratory systems. But while some asthmatics have experienced real benefits from this approach, herbal remedies can backfire in certain cases and can lead to increased asthma flare-ups instead.

The Danger of Herbal Remedies for Asthma

Do your herbal remedies make your symptoms worse? If so, you might suspect it's the herbs themselves that can be causing an allergic reaction that triggers your asthma. Yet the truth is that most of the time when people use herbal remedies for asthma, they get in trouble because they forego their other traditional medicines and their symptoms kick in due to this neglect.  

Consider the Facts

A new study performed by scientists from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York reveals that many people who use herbal remedies for asthma grow complacent and skip their more traditional treatments. These findings, which were included in the February 2010 issue of Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, are quite significant.

The scientists learned that patients who try herbal treatments are much less likely than their counterparts to follow their asthma management plan and to take their prescribed medications as directed. As a result, this can put them at risk for their condition to quickly spiral out of control and may even put them in more serious danger.

The Details

To come to these conclusions, the researchers followed more than 300 asthma patients over the course of 33 months. A full quarter of respondents said they used herbal remedies and were less likely to use their inhaled corticosteroids as directed by their doctors. It's also interesting to note that most members of this group were younger than their counterparts, and they also had higher rates of asthma hospitalizations. Further, the reason that some respondents gave for this non-compliance with their treatment plan was that it was difficult to follow the medication schedule, perhaps due to other competing obligations and demands on their time.

A Wakeup Call

These findings should certainly serve as an important warning for people who are considering trying herbal remedies for asthma. Therefore, if you want to experiment with such alternative treatments, it's crucial to always use them in conjunction with your asthma management plan, and never in place of it. It's also a good idea to check with your doctor before you try anything new to find out if he has any concerns about the remedy you want to use, or has any advice on how to use it in order to most effectively complement your regular treatment plan.


The Annuals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology