The welcoming warm steam rising from a fragrant tea is perhaps one of the best sensory experiences. Certain teas can help you breathe easier and provide some relief from congestion and mild asthma. Asthma is a chronic illness causing extreme discomfort to those afflicted by it. It constricts and inflames the airways leading to shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, persistent coughing, and wheezing. Apart from using conventional and medical practitioner-recommended treatment, some natural brimming goodness is a good idea too, and teas made with certain natural ingredients help to alleviate some of the mild symptoms of asthma. Join us to understand the benefits of some teas for asthma relief:

Green Tea

Green tea is packed full of nutrients, antioxidants, and polyphenols – all the goodness required to help keep the body healthy and even provide relief from some mild symptoms of asthma. The caffeine present in this type of tea helps to ease smooth muscles – the kind found in the lungs – which in turn alleviates airway constriction. Go green!

cup full of green tea leaves

Ginger Tea

Brimming with gingerol and shogaols, and several other nutrients and compounds, ginger is amongst the best spices that nature has to offer and it has been around for years as a healing ingredient. Ginger tea for asthma relief – mild symptoms – has been proven through some studies. Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and hence assuages swelling in the chest and throat brought about by coughing. Consuming soothing ginger tea may also relax the lung muscles while breaking down mucus formed in the lungs. This, in turn, elevates air circulation in the lungs, making breathing a lot easier. Drink up, Ginger!

a cup of ginger tea

Licorice Tea

This tea has a naturally sweet taste owing to the licorice root mixed with tea leaves. The anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties of licorice root aid in alleviating upper respiratory discomfort. The glycyrrhizin extract from the licorice root is known to relieve asthma by gently soothing the airways. However, it is recommended that people who suffer from high blood pressure should choose deglycyrrhizinated licorice tea (DGL tea) since glycyrrhizin is a blood-pressure raising compound. Get to the Root!

a cup of Licorice Tea

Eucalyptus Tea

Eucalyptus has a very pleasant smell which complements its muscle-relaxing effect. It works as an anti-inflammatory agent, making it a great tea for asthma relief. A soothing eucalyptus tea will help to reduce mucus and expand the airways in the bronchi and bronchioles in the lungs. This anti-spasmodic effect of a compound called eucalyptol decreases mucus and elevates easier breathing and muscle relaxation in the lungs.

Black Tea

Black tea is derived from the same plant that produces green tea – the Camellia Sinensis plant – and hence contains caffeine. The caffeine in black tea works to relieve certain symptoms of asthma, as it helps to relax the airways. Taste the power of Black!

a cup of black tea

Peppermint Tea

Everyone seems to love this aromatic herb that belongs to the mint family! Peppermint is a cross between spearmint and watermint. This herb contains rosmarinic acid – a compound found also in rosemary and other plants belonging to the mint family. This compound is known to decrease allergic reactions including some mild symptoms of asthma. Peppermint also acts as a decongestant and contains anti-inflammatory properties. While peppermint tea is good for asthma relief, a runny nose, and itchy eyes, those with an acid reflux problem should avoid this tea. This herb relaxes the sphincter muscle (a circular muscle that normally maintains constriction of a natural body passage or orifice and which relaxes as required by normal physiological functioning - Wikipedia) causing increased heartburn.

Mullein Tea

Belonging to the figwort family, Mullein is a herbaceous plant. It has yellow flowers that look akin to tall spikes. Mullein Tea works to soothe the symptoms of asthma by reducing inflammation, which soothes the muscles in the respiratory tract. This tea is rich and aromatic, which is helpful in treating chronic coughs and colds. Mullein has several compounds that help to alleviate symptoms of asthma:

  • Saponins that have anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, and antitumor properties
  • Flavonoids with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties
  • Phenylethanoid glycosides possess anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties     and are a powerful antioxidant
  • Iridoids containing anti-inflammatory properties

In Conclusion:

While tea is certainly a soothing and healing beverage, it is necessary to remember is neither a treatment for asthma nor a replacement for the medications prescribed by a medical practitioner. Do check with your doctor before making any changes to your treatment schedule – yes, even before consuming tea. Drinking tea of any kind provides soothing and relaxes the throat while reducing mucus. Caffeine teas act as mild bronchodilators, while herbal teas act on inflammation and other asthmatic symptoms. Here’s to drinking up for health – get your tea for asthma relief today.

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