Any "Natural" Remedies for Asthma Out There?

Updated on August 20, 2008
M.H. asks from Chesapeake, VA
24 answers

Hello, I have a 17 month old who is on a nebulizer 2-3 times a day (more when he sounds bad) he is also on an allergy medicine that he takes at night. I'm concerned that we are relying too heavily on drugs and was wondering if there are any natural remedies out there that anyone has found successful.

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O.M.

answers from Washington DC on

My grandmother treated my mother's asthma with wild cherry bark tea. It was very effective but it would probably be better to wait until he is older due to the fact that that it he may out grow it. My first thought is to take him to holistic medical pediatrican to have him tested for all causes of asthma. If you treat the cause whether which may be dietary he may not need treatment for asthma anymore.

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M.S.

answers from Washington DC on

You could also look into changing his diet--eliminating dairy foods or wheat, for example, which may not be triggers, but could be exacerbating the condition.

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M.P.

answers from Washington DC on

M.,
I suffer from asthma as well as some of my children. I remember how frustrating it was and what a struggle it was to give my tiny son "treatements" to help him breath. We also tried to give him a inhailer, by cutting a small hole in a plastic cup and then placing the cup over his face to force him to breath the treatment as we placed the inhailer in the cup. I hope that at least for you, your treatment times are fun and not as stressful as ours were.
After my struggle myself with the side effects of the drugs, I began - Just like you - to search for natural alternatives to help our family.
I caution you - as you begin to research into some eye opening areas of life. I also challange you to find out as much information as you can on what can help your and your family.
There are so many alternatives that you can do!
If you would like to talk further, know more about what we have tried - send me a private message and I would be more than happy to write back and forth or even talk on the phone, make a play date for the kids, whatever to help you through this transition in life to seek better, safer things for your precious gift...
Hope to talk soon...
Jenn
Mama to Bryce~10 Austin~7 and Taylor~2

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L.B.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi M.,
I am a pedicatrician and would advise to keep giving the meds right now. There are no natural remedies, but a couple of proactive things to do. I have a lot of info I can give you..Names 0f the chemicals to avoid etc.
[email protected]____.com
L.

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J.M.

answers from Dover on

Hi M.,

Do you burn candles in your home? If you are burning paraffin candles, this can trigger asthma. Paraffin is petroleum based and when you burn this in your home it is like burning diesel fuel. That is why you get the black soot on the jar, your walls, furniture, your skin and you breath this too. My son is 26 and has asthma since he was an infant and I always have burned candles. I never thought about it and I would just wash the black off the top of the jar and light it again. In just the past couple of years I learned about this because I had purchased a candle that was all natural vegetable wax and got no black soot. I investigated and did some searches on line and found out this information. Now my son's wife can burn these candles and they do not bother his asthma and he has it so bad that he carries an epi pen with him at all times.
www.greatestgourmetcandle.com

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S.T.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi M.,

I totally understand where you are coming from. All three of my children have asthma and use nebulizer along with oral steriods and daily preventative meds. Along with that, my children get pneumonia at least 1-2 times a year.
I've seen the emergency room more then I can count. We've
tried everything but it's important to get a humidifier.
During the winter months I have to sometimes take my
kids outside at night, the cold clean air is good for there lungs and I often detox my house by opening the windows for awhile during winter months. A doctor told me about that during a ER visit. They have been to ENT specialists and have tubes in there ears and had adenoids removed. My middle child was born with RSV then later turned into asthma. My son is 11 and he has nose bleeds in the mornings especially if the air is too dry. The qaulity of the air in your home is so important. I've learned that having carpet holds alot of allergans and contribute to there problems. They get a lot of ear and sinus infections as well. Thankfully my two older children are outgrowing it but my two year old still suffers with asthma on a monthly basis. I am more concerned about the constant need for antibiotics! I keep hand sanitizer and have them wash there hands often to avoid germ sharing. The steriods saved my middle childs life at 5 months , she stopped breathing constantly and there was nothing we could do, tough to hear from a doctor but we had to be very careful and did not get much sleep. She could NEVER lay flat so we had to sleep with her in a chair most nights. I worked for the government and had to be on Unpaid Family Leave for two years. She's improved dramatically and we've learned how to live with it. Keep your child hydrated and Milk is NOT good for them to drink when they are congested. Mucinex fast melts for cough and congestions works really well. My kids are active and happy and although they can't
go outside much during allergy season, I don't deprive them of there childhood either. My son is allergic to grass so allergy seasons are not cute in my house but I allow them to enjoy being kids and just keep preventative meds such as Claritin D on a daily basis. It helps! Meds are costly, especially if you don't have health insurance!

Not sure if this helps but I totally understand your concern and it's valid. Although my children have chronic asthma problems it's improvinging, I know other parents with children who symptoms have been more severe so I am THANKFUL! I remind myself to count my blessings when I have 3 kids calling mommy in the middle of the night. It requires a lot of PRAYER and PATIENCE to say the least. Best wishes to you and your family. OH I Never open my car windows in the summer time! Pollen is a huge enemy with asthma! Steriods are a MUST! No way around it, there lungs NEED it. I am a witness they that your son will grow out of it. My 5 year old uses nebs now maybe once a year and she was in the hospital OFTEN during the early years.

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S.G.

answers from Norfolk on

There a tons of "natural remedies" out there for asthma, however, most children with asthma also have allergies. The problem with using natural remedies is that most people with allergies are allergic to the ingredients. (chamomile if they have a rag weed allergie, etc.).
Stick with the meds. I understand what you're going through. My son started on asthma meds and neb. treatments at 4 months old after his first bout with RSV and continued on them until 2 years ago. (he's 9 now) The silver lining in this cloud is that usually, children who are diagnosed at such a young age, out grow their asthma.
Hang in there. You're doing the right thing with the meds.

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G.C.

answers from Washington DC on

M.,
I'm a Naturopathic Doctor and I have used the ELISA/ACT LRA. Since your son is under the age of 2, you would be the one to be tested since he has not developed his immune system completely from yours yet. To identify what is causing his immune system to become so hypersensitized and then eliminating those substances (tested from your immune system) is the way to reset the immune system and reduce, if not eliminate, the asthma. My name is Noel Weller and I am in Alexandria. I have had several clients (adult and children) who have done well with identifying delayed hypersensitivities and then resetting the immune system to be calm (tolerant) as it should be.

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K.C.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi M.!

Well, I don't have any natural remedies per say, but I can tell you that you're on the right track. The first step would be to get the chemicals out of your home that you are using to clean with. Those chemicals could really be aggravating your little one's asthma.

I know of a company that I have been getting my products from for almost 2 years now that are safer and healthier to use in our homes. We have had wonderful success helping families with asthma, allergies, and even ADD and ADHD.

You can check out my website for more information and then just let me know if you want to hear more about us. You can request info right from my page or you can send me an email.

I hope this helps and you find a solution!
K. C
[email protected]____.com
www.OurGreenerChoice.com

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A.E.

answers from Norfolk on

Hi. I have asthma before due to allergies. Its hereditary for me. My mom gave me honey with garlic (fresh) to take. Maybe you can try. Simmer the honey with crushed garlic then try if he'll love it. Plus I take a herbal juice that taste like orange. We call it vita plus. You can research on the effectiveness of the power juice.

Hope he'll get well soon.

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H.D.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi M.:
I would be patient and do what the doctor prescribes for now. Our son was on the same medicine (albuterol/singulair) since he was about the same age. I gradually reduced the amount I gave him over the months/years. Now he is 4 and rarely needs his neb, maybe once a year. And we give him the singulair as needed. He slowly grew out of it. Thank God! Maybe the same for your son. Good luck. H.

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M.P.

answers from Norfolk on

M. do you have a air perifier in you house this will help. You should continue his medication as the Docter prescribes. If he is 17 mos. He will probably grow out of it. Having problems breathing is scare to and you, if you have ever been short of breath before and paniced you would see the need for the medication. Old home remadies are not so good for anybody with asthma because it can interfer with medication. I'm not being smug, I have asthma and other respitory problems and have where oxygen. I am also a Registered Nurse and have been in nursing for 40 some years.

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A.C.

answers from Washington DC on

M.,
I feel your pain, my son is only 15 months and he relys on the nebulizer as well. A nighttime remedy that has worked well for us is using two different types of air systems in his bedroom. One is an air purifier, and the other is an allergen and pollen remover. We run both of these systems simutaneously because one is pulling all of the bad agents out of the air, and one is ensuring that he's breathing clean air. We use the nebulizer less often now, but still occasionally when he has has chronic wheezing. I hope this works for you.

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J.H.

answers from Washington DC on

I would try to find his triggers and manage those. Have you had your home tested for air pollution like mold? Do you have pets you could keep out of the bedrooms? Have you had your son tested for food allergies, or noticed that when he eats certain things his asthma gets worse? (Sugar can be a trigger, too.) Do you have an allergenic cover on his mattress? Have you tried limiting the cleaning chemicals used in your home? Whole Foods and My Organic Market have plenty of cleaners that don't have the typical chemicals that can pollute the air in your home. More expensive remedies are to have your carpet replaced or ripped out altogether and having your vents cleaned. I think that treating the causes of your son's attacks is the best "natural" remedy there is! Good luck!

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N.B.

answers from Washington DC on

Yes, M., there are natural ways to deal with asthma. I work with a wellness company and have witnessed dramatic improvements in the health of SO many people. The woman who introduced me to the company is a registered nurse; 3 out of her 4 children have assthma - they have not used an inhaler for 2 years! Her other son has eczema, which is so quiet now, it is a non-issue! I hope that I can help you.
N. B.

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V.B.

answers from Lynchburg on

We have 2 boys that were on nebulizers since birth. We got an air purification system (let me know if you want the name) and haven't had to use the nebulizer once! We have albuterol and pulmecord collecting dust.....

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M.S.

answers from Washington DC on

I don't know if you are giving your baby formula or what, but many people whom have had alergies/ breathing issues have found that cutting out the processed cows milk - going back to completely organic milk has affected them in a very positive way. If you give your baby cows milk you could try this. The 1% organic tastes very sweet and compares closely to 2% on the regular shelved milk. The kids love it. There can be way to many steroids and who knows what else in the processed milk. Good luck. Hope you have time to read this.

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M.B.

answers from Charlottesville on

Hi M.,
I can definitely relate to your concerns because I have an 8 year old that has asthma and allergies and we found out when he was 2. He also had to have the nebulizer very often when he was younger, sometimes every two hours at night when he was sick and unfortunately that started some sleep problems because I would just sleep in bed with him because it was so scary for me at the time.
No, I haven't found any natural remedies that work and I have a friend that has always encouraged me to do so but I was always afraid he might get worse if I took him off what I knew was working for him. He is also on singulair, a nose spray, pulmicort, and albuterol as needed.
The good news is that it does get better as your child gets older and we rarely have to use the albuterol now and my son is now on the inhaler rather than the nebulizer which is much better. Also, even after all this time I want to reassure you there have been no negative side affects from all of the medication. My son is very active in sports and his asthma does not slow him down.
I don't want to sugar coat it because it was very difficult and stressful when he was younger and even now a simple cold for other children is much worse for my son but the key for us has been prevention. As soon as he shows signs of getting sick, we slow down and take care of it even if it means missing school because missing one day actually can prevent missing an entire week. We keep a close eye on triggers and stay away from them such as cigarette smoke and cats for my son. Also, some years are so much better than others, for instance last year was a good year with his asthma and allergies and he rarely missed school but this year has been bad so far.
Sorry, I don't have any natural remedies to share but I hope it helps knowing there are others who have gone through what you are going through and it does get better as our children get older. I am a single working Mom of an eight year old and a nineteen year old and I'm fortunate my job as a Realtor allows me the flexibility to take the time needed to prevent the asthma from getting worse when my son gets sick.

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M.W.

answers from Norfolk on

Hi M.,
My name is M. Wyatt and I am the mother of a 5 year old and 3 year old. I am also an Independent Reliv Distributor. In case you have never heard of it Reliv is a food science company, specializing in soy-based nutritional supplements. I have been on the products for almost 8 years and have gotten great results with constant allergies and sinus infections. I have only had one sinus infection in 8 years. My whole family takes these products and my kids have been on them since they were conceived and have had great health results.
I know many people who have seen great results in their asthma on our products. I would love to introduce you to some of these people on the phone and tell you more about reliv to see if you would be interested in trying it on your son. We have a 30 day money back guarantee on our products so you can use them for a month and see if it helps him and get all your money back if you are not completely satisfied. Reliv is a nutritional supplement, it is not a cure for anything or a medicine, so I can't guarantee you specific results. I would love to share more with you, if you are interested. Email me at [email protected]____.com if you would like more information.

M. Wyatt,
I am a navy wife and mother or two children a 5 year old boy and a 3 year old girl. I stay-at-home with my kids and work my Reliv business around our everyday lives. I enjoy being a Reliv Distributor because I get to help people every day enjoy a better quality of life through good nutrition and an excellent business opportunity.

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M.W.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi M.,
I've lived with asthma most of my adult life, and have seen many "natural" remedies come and go. None really were as effective as the medications that are prescribed by a physician, and some were proven to actually be harmful in high doses. Asthma medications are mostly modifications of molecules that are found naturally in our bodies, so they are derived from our own "natural" remedy. And one of the oldest asthma medications, theophyllin, is found in black tea. If you want to try a natural product, and some drugs that we use now started as a natural product that were used for centuries, I would consult with your son's physician first to make sure that what you are giving him does not interfere with his medications or that it is harmful when given along with them. Medical science has learned the hard way that these natural products can be counterproductive or outright dangerous when used along with some medications. It is best to investigate before starting to use a natural product, especially in a child. Many times eliminating or controlling the agent that triggers an asthma attack is just as useful as taking a medication.

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D.S.

answers from Washington DC on

Check out melaluca (sp?) they have great natural cleaning supplies. Has your child been allergy tested? Follow all suggestions. A good cleaning and allergen free items in your home will help. Best!

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J.S.

answers from Colorado Springs on

I do know of many things you can do that are more natural and i have tons of testimonials saved in my yahoo files if you would like me to forward those your way. just email me at [email protected]____.com and remind me in that email that you're interested in natural help for asthma! i know you'll love the details! talk to u soon.
J.

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A.M.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi M.,

I would recommend speaking w/a trusted person at a local health food store, ask around among friends, etc. for someone you know. Having said that, I did that a few years ago for my son, in the same boat. We found that astragalus is a great help. It is considered a "tonic" for the lungs and respiratory system. At the time, I did some reading on it and it seemed safe to use so we gave it a try. Do read up on it, because I don't remember all the particulars, but it seems that you use it for two weeks at at time, surrounding the time of a respiratory virus/event. It can be found in health food stores, and is sometimes combined w/ecchinacea. It comes in a dropper and my kids seemed to like the taste of it just fine. What I am not sure of is the age at which it is considered safe to use. My son was over two years old, and I have also used it w/my youngest at over two years old. I found that using it regularly really did help w/both of them. Again, do your own research and ask questions of trusted people before using w/your 17 month old. Hope this helps, A.

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S.C.

answers from Norfolk on

I'm going to assume that you have seen allergist & pulmonologist regarding your son. Is he on any preventative nebs like pulmicort? Also have you had him food allergy tested? I am the mother of two boys with asthma ages 7 and 4. My youngest was hospitalized at 16 weeks the first time. Not only was he allergic to environmental stuff he turned out to be allergic to eggs & garlic. Yes, garlic! That was triggering his asthma. The only safe natural remedy for a small child is cutting out his triggers (scents, dust, mold, smoke, animals, foods, etc.). Herbs and such can be beneficial for adults but dangerous for kids. Follow your pulmonologist's advice. Don't be overly concerned about using the medications while you work to discover his triggers. Once those are controlled THEN worry about the meds. Wish you luck.

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