Natural products to assist asthma sufferers

Kids with asthma are unnecessarily prescribed antibiotics: Study
Kids with asthma are unnecessarily prescribed antibiotics: Study

Dear Sandra, my daughter suffers with asthma, which is often attached to chest infections. Having a natural product to assist her would be ideal, after years of antibiotics & nebulizers. Is there anything you can suggest?

Thanks for your question. Asthma can take a huge toll on children and parents alike. It is the leading cause of sleep disturbance, missed school days and hospital admissions in children. New Zealand has some of the highest rates of childhood asthma, with more than one in four children diagnosed with some form.

Common symptoms include wheezing, coughing, breathlessness and tightness in the chest. Recurrent chest infections and respiratory illnesses tend to affect the asthmatic child at a much greater rate than the non-asthmatic; so supporting the immune system is an essential part of effective asthma management.

Plant medicines, if used regularly, can safely and effectively assist with symptom relief whilst helping to prevent the respiratory tract infections that can trigger and worsen asthmatic attacks. I do not recommend plant medicine as a substitute for a prescribed inhaler. Plant medicines can be used alongside conventional medication to support and alleviate symptoms and improve overall health. This will lead to improved asthma management over the longer term.

Moving beyond symptom relief, it is a good idea to work out a treatment plan together with your leading medical healthcare provider and a registered medical herbalist to help the child grow into a healthy adult.

Important plant medicines for asthma include:

Thyme (Thymus vulgaris): approved by the Commission E monograph of the German Ministry of Health as a broncho-spasmolytic (reduces spasm in the bronchial tract as experienced in asthma), it is expectorant and antibacterial to help prevent and treat respiratory infections such as bronchitis, coughs and whooping cough that can aggravate asthma.