Tea Can Help You Breathe Easier If You Have Asthma

While researchers say the caffeine in black and green teas can modestly improve lung function, patients often claim that herbal teas like ginger …
While researchers say the caffeine in black and green teas can modestly improve lung function, patients often claim that herbal teas like ginger and licorice make a difference.
A cup of hot tea seems to have endless healing benefits, from soothing nausea to improving mood, but can it help with respiratory ailments like asthma?

Researchers, such as the scientists behind a review published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, have adopted dozens of different herbs and natural substances used around the world for centuries, sometimes in the form of tea, to support respiratory health.

Yet few scientists have investigated whether natural remedies actually help people with asthma. When it comes to research examining tea and asthma specifically, “I couldn’t find a single study,” says John Mark, clinical professor of pediatric lung medicine at Stanford University in California.
Clearly teas can’t replace asthma medications, but experts agree there’s almost no harm in adding certain teas to your routine. Dr. “She’s used teas like licorice, eucalyptus, and ginger for her respiratory symptoms, and we haven’t seen people react adversely to them,” says Mark.
Caffeine and the Asthma Link
Some tea varieties have an ingredient that has been studied for its respiratory effects: caffeine. According to Karina Keogh, MD, a pulmonologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, caffeine can help relax smooth muscles, such as those in the lungs, and can help open the airways by acting as a bronchodilator. In fact, Dr. Keogh says caffeine shares some similarities with a drug called theophylline, which was used to treat asthma years before drugs were developed today..

The researchers note that caffeine may slightly improve short-term lung function, but more evidence is needed to understand whether this small improvement is associated with a better quality of life and to see how caffeine tolerance modifies this effect over time.
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Experts believe that asthmatic patients should avoid caffeinated beverages several hours before the breathing test to avoid skewed results.
5 Teas That Can Help Your Asthma
Asthma is a chronic disease that affects the lining of your airways, inflaming and narrowing, resulting in symptoms such as shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing and chest tightness.
Although there are many traditional treatments for asthma, some herbal teas can relieve symptoms.
Here are 5 teas that can relieve asthma…

1. Ginger tea​

Ginger tea is made by boiling the roots of the ginger plant (Zingiber officinale). This powerful spice is loaded with nutrients and bioactive compounds. It is associated with benefits such as reduced inflammation, relief of nausea, and lower blood sugar levels. Also, research suggests that ginger may help relieve asthma symptoms.
Test-tube studies using human cells show that ginger compounds, such as gingerols and shogaols, may alleviate asthma symptoms by reducing airway inflammation.
Read: ​
You can make ginger tea at home. Grate a small pinch of peeled ginger, infuse in 1 cup (240 mL) of boiling water for 10-20 minutes to your desired consistency, then strain the ginger. If you wish, you can drink ginger tea as it is or mix it with a pinch of lemon, honey or cinnamon.
2. Green tea

Green tea is a popular beverage made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant.
A study in over 1,000 people found that those who drank at least 2 cups of green tea a day had significantly better lung function than those who didn’t drink at all.
Green tea is a source of caffeine that can help relax your airways for up to 4 hours and provide temporary relief from asthma symptoms.
Read: Are tea bags beneficial? Harmful effects of consuming tea bags
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Green tea is full of antioxidants that can help reduce inflammation associated with asthma. It’s also a source of caffeine, which can temporarily relax your airways.
3. Black tea
Like green tea, black tea comes from the Camellia sinensis plant. However, it is exposed to air for oxidation, which causes the leaves to turn dark brown and intensify the flavor.
Black tea provides caffeine, a stimulant that can moderately improve lung function and provide temporary relief from asthma symptoms.
4. Eucalyptus tea

Eucalyptus tea is made from the leaves of the eucalyptus tree, which are packed with powerful antioxidants and plant compounds like eucalyptol. In particular, eucalyptol may help treat asthma symptoms.
Eucalyptus tea contains eucalyptol, a compound that may help reduce certain asthma symptoms.
You can make your own at home using dried eucalyptus leaves. Steep the dried leaves in 1 glass of boiling water for 10 minutes and strain the leaves using a cheesecloth before drinking.
5. Licorice tea
Licorice tea is made from the root of the licorice plant (Glycyrrhiza glabra) and has a distinctly sweet but slightly bitter flavor. In traditional medicine, licorice root has long been used to treat a variety of conditions, including asthma.
Be aware that large amounts of licorice root can lead to dangerous side effects. It’s best to limit your tea intake to 1 cup per day and talk to your healthcare provider if you have any medical conditions.
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