Breathe Easy: Natural Ways to Help Your Asthma This Winter

Deep breathing provides several health benefits, such as oxygenating our cells and reducing stress. However, when it comes to asthma, breathing deeply can be overwhelming. Asthma, which affects as many as 25 million people in the U.S., is caused by inflamed airways, making them sensitive to inhaled particles and increasing inflammation. While there is no conventional cure for asthma, there are a variety of treatments such as steroids and other anti-inflammatory drugs. Let’s explore more holistic approaches to controlling inflammation and reducing sensitivity to inhaled particles.

Identify allergies

Often, lung inflammation is just one manifestation of a larger allergic reaction. This might be due to airborne allergens such as dust mites or household chemicals or a food allergy. One study found that 24% of asthmatic children had at least one food allergy or sensitivity. With the increasing prevalence of food allergies, asthma rates are expected to follow suit.

The first step should be to identify any allergies. Reducing or eliminating exposure to allergenic foods, such as dairy, soy, gluten, and eggs, as well as other common allergens, can lessen symptoms. If allergens are airborne, an air purification system can also help. Allergies and sensitivities can be detected through various tests ordered by an allergist or by selectively eliminating specific foods and observing improvements and changes.


A recent study found a link between chronic bacterial infections and asthma. Researchers examined patients with asthma or rhinosinusitis and found bacterial infections in 83% of study participants. Many of these patients had Staphylococcus aureus and other antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

These findings underscore the importance of a robust immune system when dealing with asthma. It’s the best way to address chronic infections and the inflammatory conditions they may fuel.


There are many botanicals that can help reduce airway inflammation and control asthma symptoms. Medicinal mushrooms are well-known for their ability to balance immunity, modulate inflammation, and provide numerous other benefits. Cordyceps sinensis, one variety, has been shown to reduce airway inflammation and hypersensitivity in animals.

Another issue can be vitamin deficiency, particularly vitamin D. One study found that reduced vitamin D levels were closely linked to reduced lung function. It has applications in asthma as well. In addition, vitamins A, C, and E offer lung protection.

Ginger can help treat asthma. One study found that ginger can open up airways by relaxing smooth muscle. The herb Lobelia supports breathing and the cough reflex, and it synergizes with ginger to support lung function.

Honokiol, extracted from Magnolia bark, is known for its powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capabilities. Some research shows it can reduce inflammation and oxidative stress following lung injury.

Galectin-3 is an inflammatory protein associated with cancer, heart disease, and other conditions related to inflammation and fibrosis. As such, research shows galectin-3 as a potential therapeutic target in asthma treatment. Modified citrus pectin (MCP) is a unique natural compound that addresses galectin-3 elevation. Derived from orange peels, MCP is a form of citrus pectin modified for absorption into circulation and increased bioactivity. MCP binds to excess galectin-3 to block its pro-cancer, pro-inflammatory effects, and it also safely removes heavy metals and supports immunity.

A Tibetan herbal formula is recommended for its ability to reduce inflammation and provide antioxidant support. This ancient blend of powerful herbs also supports immunity and controls inflammation, making it an excellent supplement for asthma sufferers.

A healthy diet

Many people have touted the Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes fruits, vegetables, olive oil, lean protein, legumes, and whole grains. This diet is well-known for its anti-inflammatory effects, and those who adopt it often lower their risks for heart disease and cancer.

This approach seems to work for asthma as well. A study conducted in New Zealand found that asthma patients who switched to a Mediterranean diet fared better than those who stayed with their existing food plan.

Medical practice often treats asthma in isolation, focusing on symptoms and drugs to address them. However, to truly treat the condition, we must understand its underlying causes. As asthma significantly impacts the quality of life, reducing the frequency and intensity of flare-ups by making simple diet and lifestyle changes can be life-changing. Underlying contributing factors may vary between patients, but by looking at chronic infections, allergens, and nutrition, we can find the right combination of food and supplements to mitigate symptoms. Asthma isn’t an easy condition to treat, but with extra effort, we can breathe easier and improve other areas of health as well.