by James Rouse, N.D.
Asthma is a respiratory disorder characterized by constriction and inflammation of the air passages. Symptoms of asthma include wheezing, coughing, breathing difficulty, and/or tightness in the chest. Asthma may be triggered by allergens (mold, pollen, mites, dust), viral illness, cold air, exercise, or emotional stress. Heredity also plays a role.
Some individuals with asthma may react adversely to certain chemicals or additives in foods, including shellfish, nuts, wheat, dairy products, dietary sulfites used to preserve foods, and certain food colorings such as the yellow dye tartrazine.
Asthma sufferers may lessen their need for chemical treatments prescription medications (steroids) and inhalers through lifestyle and dietary changes and nutritional supplements.
Also talk to your doctor about herbal medicines commonly used for asthma, including:
None of the herbs mentioned here should be used by pregnant or nursing women.