How to Use Turmeric For Asthma

A common upper respiratory tract disease affecting many people including children is asthma. An asthma attack causes inflammation of the lining of the lungs and airways.

Phlegm or mucous may also get trapped in the airways. This in turn makes breathing difficult. Medications such as steroids, expectorants and bronchodilators are generally used to relieve the inflammation.

But, they cause side effects in few people. A safe natural herb to relieve symptoms of asthma is turmeric. Use of turmeric for asthma offers quick relief.

Turmeric is root of the perennial plant Curcuma longa. It has thick brown skin and orange colored flesh. Turmeric that is similar to ginger is used as food and as a therapeutic agent. It is also known as Indian saffron or haldi. Turmeric is being used since centuries in Chinese and Indian medicine.

Properties of turmeric

  • Yellowish orange in color.
  • Strong odor.
  • Peppery and slightly bitter taste.
  • Possess anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant property.
  • Rich source of minerals manganese, potassium and iron, vitamins B6 and fiber.

The anti-inflammatory action of curcumin relieves inflammation of the air ways and tightness of chest associated with asthma.

How to use turmeric for asthma?

Turmeric can be used to treat symptoms of asthma in various ways.

  • Relieving congestion of bronchi: To relieve blocked bronchi turmeric has to be taken with salt mixed in hot water. Licking one teaspoon of turmeric along with ½ tsp of honey also offers relief from congestion of bronchi.
  • Eliminate phlegm: Mix turmeric powder, banana ash and barley powder in equal proportions along with honey. Have this paste four to five times in a day to get rid of phlegm.
  • Relieve irritation of bronchioles: Mix turmeric powder, ghee and black pepper powder to make a paste. Massage the chest and throat region using the paste to reduce irritation of the bronchioles.
  • Burn turmeric till red hot and inhale the smoke. The smoke serves as a strong expectorant.
  • Breathing problem commonly observed in asthma patients can be relieved by taking turmeric that is partially roasted and later ground using hot water.
  • Boil a small piece of turmeric in milk. Now, sweeten the milk with jaggery and have it to obtain relief from asthma.
  • Intake of 1/4tsp of turmeric along with a small glass of hot water helps prevent asthma attacks.

Recommended dosage of turmeric for asthma relief

Use of turmeric supplements in children is not yet studied. Hence, there is no recommended dosage for children. For adults the turmeric dosage depends on the form of turmeric being taken.

  • 1.5 – 3 g of cut root per day.
  • 1 – 3 g of dried and powdered root per day.
  • 400 – 600 mg of curcumin powder 3 times per day.
  • 30 – 90 drops of fluid extract (1:1) per day.
  • 15 – 30 drops of tincture (1:2) 4 times per day.

The dosage requirements may vary depending on your health status and tolerance levels. Hence, consult the physician before taking turmeric for asthma in any form to prevent complications.

Turmeric treatment for Asthmatic Bouts

Asthmatic bouts are a difficult period, especially if they occur very frequently. Turmeric can be effectively used for the same. I was reading a book by K H Krishnamurty, a well known writer on natural cure and herbal remedies. He suggests the following use of turmeric for Asthmatic bouts:

  • Take 3 gms of turmeric powder and mix it with powder of 7 grains of black pepper. Mix this with pure mustard oil. Patient should lick this paste in the morning.
  • Grind ~110 grams of Calotropis (also known as milk weed) and ~55 grams of turmeric. Use approx. Add 110 grams of any bitter oil in the mixture and then cook it till watery portion vanishes and only oil remains. Bring down the vessel and then let it cool. Strain the oil using a clean cloth and store the oil. This all has to applied to back, chest, belly and front throat through sprinkling it and through fomentation also.

Both of the above have to be carried for a week and monitor the condition. Several dietary precautions also need to be taken along with the treatment so to avoid any digestion related stress. Patients should:

  • Not eat excessive fried and spicy food
  • Should avoid consuming food such as jaggery, curd, black gram etc.
  • Should avoid eating stale food
  • Eat as much as green leafy vegetables, rice, wheat, etc. – basically very light meal

Selecting and storing of turmeric

If you suffer frequently from upper respiratory tract infections then it is highly recommended to store turmeric at home. To retain the medicinal value of the herb and to prevent mold infestations it has to be stored appropriately.

Consider purchasing turmeric from herbal stores renowned for offering genuine herbs. As mistaken by many color of turmeric is not an indicator for quality of the herb. If genuine turmeric powder cannot be found in the local stores then make turmeric powder from fresh roots by boiling, drying and grinding the dried roots.

If you can get organic turmeric, that will be best. Here are some tips to choose good quality turmeric powder.

Store turmeric powder in sealed tins and place them in dry, dark and cool place. Store the fresh root in refrigerator.

Lastly, use of turmeric for asthma should offer relief in ten minutes. If you do not find relief seek immediate medical attention.

About the Author


Turmeric for Health's writer team consists of passionate writers from the fields of biotechnology, pharmacy, nutrition, Ayurveda & microbiology.Our writers are highly qualified with many having Ph.D., M.Tech & MSc degrees while others having B.Tech, BSc, B.Pharm. Our differentiation lies in researching and presenting ONLY FACTUAL SCIENTIFIC information. We spend 10s of hours to write a single article. Info of our articles is sourced from reliable scientific sources which are also provided as a link alongside for readers to refer if they want. You can read more about our team in the " About us" section.

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  1. You should not be advising people with any lung condition to inhale the smoke of anything whatsoever. Nothing alive should inhale smoke, which is burnt carbon particles, of any kind, ever!

  2. I just started taking turmeric capsules to help with my chronic asthma, are they as effective? I just feel if I take caps daily I will get it everyday vs adding it to my food etc. The caps are 135mg and recommendations on bottle recommend 3 tabs a day, does this seem adequate?

    1. Roxanna, the capsules will help you but for the dosage it is best to consult a health practitioner. Turmeric has more than just curcumin which is the compound you find in capsules and also adding turmeric to your diet takes care for the absorption. Adding turmeric to your diet has different benefits for your system altogether.

  3. hi I had a viral illness Monday and now I have a cold and a cough associated with asthma.i cant seem to get any sleep since any recommendations as to what to do?

  4. Does ginger need to organic? How do you mak a turmeric ash? Can u do it on the home stove?
    Thank you

    1. Just so curious, since when did the chinese used tumeric in their food or medicine? Indians used it for centuries yeah,but chinese, i highly doubt it.