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Can ginger help treat asthma symptoms?

Ginger

 (iStock)

For the millions of asthma sufferers around the world, the familiar, typical symptoms of wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath are a common occurrence.

The prevalence of asthma in children and adults has steadily increased over the last several decades, as scientists and researchers look for answers.  

So a keen interest in natural remedies that may serve to help treat this often persistent, and chronic, lung condition.

A recent study looking at the chemical components present in ginger, and their possible effect in working together with traditional asthma medicine, found the age-old remedy may help reduce tightening of muscles around breathing passages.

The study, published in the American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology, was performed in a laboratory and not in humans. This finding adds to growing evidence from other studies in mice that also found that ginger might reduce inflammation and swelling in respiratory passages.

Ginger can be found as a pure root, powder or in capsule form and has generally been popular as a remedy for an upset stomach.

Bottom line: Stay tuned – it is not known whether this ubiquitous root may actually be beneficial in humans with asthma. Further research is needed so the best advice is to speak to your doctor about the best ways to treat your symptoms.

Medical disclaimer: Do not rely on this information as a substitute for your own individual medical and professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should consult your own health care professional, and any information provided on this site is for educational purposes only.

Dr. Clifford Bassett is an adult and pediatric allergy specialist, and diplomat of the American Board of Allergy and Immunology. He is the medical director of Allergy and Asthma Care of NY.  Bassett is a clinical assistant professor of medicine and on the teaching faculty of NYU School of Medicine and NYU Langone Medical Center and assistant clinical professor of Medicine and Otolaryngology at SUNY LICH. Follow him on Twitter.

 

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