Can your morning pick-me-up really help with your breathing? Could a cup of coffee really reduce your asthma symptoms throughout the day?
Even if it sounds like an old wives' tale, there might be some truth in this home remedy. Some research has shown that drinking coffee and tea might be able to help with your asthma.
So how does it work?
There are three main ways that coffee and tea might help you control your asthma.
Research shows that caffeine can actually open up airways. Caffeine acts just like theophylline, a medication used to treat asthma and relax your airways. Some research found that caffeine can even improve lung functions for up to four hours! So, if you swig a cup o' joe in the morning, you may find your breathing improved until lunch (when it might be time for your second cup of coffee anyway).
Many people believe that steam can help with asthma. Steam can soften mucus in the airways, potentially loosening blockages. Steam can also clear your sinuses and help you relax. Just be careful not to inhale too much! You might irritate your lungs with excess moisture in the process.
There's nothing quite like a cup of tea and a good book. If you are the kind of person who is calmed by the thought of relaxing with a mug of chamomile, then it will probably help with your asthma. Your breathing slows down when you are relaxed, reducing potential irritation to your airways. Besides, it's always good to keep a level head if an asthma attack is approaching.
But Don't Forget Your Inhaler!
No matter the benefits, particularly sensitive asthmatics should be careful to avoid very aromatic teas. The scent of strong teas alone can be enough to induce an asthma attack in some people.
Of course, drinking coffee or tea should never be your primary method of asthma management. Your doctor's orders (which may include inhaler medications) are always the best bet.
If you need help remembering to take your asthma medication, check out the Hailie™ solution. The Hailie™ solution can help you manage your asthma, track when you take your medication, and remind you when you don't.