Before prestigious medical schools and white coat ceremonies came to be, humans relied on nature and the environment to heal. What we now call “holistic medicine” was the foundation of human life in the past.
Our Latino culture is known for always having a home remedy for any ailment. Whenever I would complain that I didn’t sleep well the night before, my abuelita would immediately offer me té de valeriana to be able to sleep later on.
None of us knew where this home remedy came from, but it definitely helped me get a good night’s rest. I learned that valeriana relaxes your nervous system, allowing you to sleep more easily.
Asthma is a condition that affects your lungs. It is very common in children, which is why you can often see children sporting inhalers, and moms always have a backup in their purse for those untimely asthma attacks. Your initial thought to an asthma diagnosis won’t be to ask your abuelita if there are any remedies she knows about because it is a long-term lung disease. However, you would be surprised that there are, in fact, home remedies for asthma in the Latino community.
Here are some Latino home remedies for asthma with ingredients you probably already have lying around at home.
Remember, it is best to err on the side of caution, as home remedies should not be a substitute for your doctor’s instructions.
Instead, use these remedies as an additional home aid to help relieve your symptoms.
Ah, the famous penca. It seems that every time I look into home remedies, this thick, leafy plant comes up. Asthma is an inflammatory condition caused by the chronic inflammation of one’s airways. Aloe vera is known to have anti-inflammatory properties, so our Latino parents believe that when aloe vera gel is ingested orally, it soothes asthma symptoms by reducing the inflammation of our airways.
Your warm cup of morning coffee is also known to be a home remedy for asthma. Coffee contains caffeine, which studies have shown is a bronchodilator, meaning it can help improve your airway function by widening your respiratory airway. This, in turn, can make breathing easier.
Now, this does not mean you can start going to Starbucks every day in the name of your health. It is best to brew yourself a plain cup of coffee instead of a sugary drink filled with syrups and whipped cream.
Chamomile and Eucalyptus
Chamomile has anti-inflammatory properties and helps with bronchospasm. This, paired with eucalyptus, which soothes your sinuses, is one of the most common home remedies for asthma in a Latino home.
Together, they can help alleviate that tight feeling in your chest when you have difficulty breathing. Make a nice, warm tea from these two herbs and drink it at breakfast and right after dinner.
Make a note of these remedies so you ensure your pantry is always stocked up on these ingredients!