athlete stopping to catch his breath

15 Home Remedies for Shortness of Breath That Work Fast

Not being able to catch your breath can be a terrifying experience. It can be caused from a number of different health conditions, some of which can be quite serious. Having knowledge of and being prepared armed with a number of home remedies for shortness of breath, you can calm yourself and be breathing easier fast.

Prolonged or chronic shortness of breath is likely due to more serious health problems for which you need to consult a health care professional. Don’t count on these remedies to be all inclusive cures.

15 Home Remedies for Shortness of Breath That Work Fast

1. Get Away from Smoke

Smoke from cigarettes or cigars or in any other form can aggravate your symptoms, therefore, getting away from smoke of any sort is at the top of our list of home remedies for shortness of breath.

What to do:

  • If you are a smoker or others around you are smoking, get rid of the irritant.
  • Get away from other sources of smoke with irritants and other toxic chemicals.
  • Steer clear of areas where you expect to encounter smoke.

abstract smoke background

 

2. Fennel Seeds

Fennel seeds are one of the most effective home remedies for shortness of breath which comes from Ayurvedic medicine. Properties in fennel seed help to open up the bronchial tubes and make it easier to catch your breath.

What to do:

  • Make tea from 1 tsp of fennel seeds in a cup of boiling water.
  • Cover and steep the tea for 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Add raw honey and drink this 2 to 3 times a day.
  • For a quick fix, chew on roasted fennel seeds.

3. Relaxation

Learning some relaxation techniques is essential to get breathing under control and is one of the most highly prized home remedies for shortness of breath. Yoga and meditation can help increase blood and oxygen flow as well as relax the muscles in your chest and throat allowing you to breathe easier.

What to do:

  • Consult an expert in yoga and learn the breathing techniques necessary to ensure that you are getting enough oxygen into your lungs.
  • Learn meditation techniques to relax whenever an episode hits.

4. Exercise

Exercise might not seem like the right treatment in the moment that shortness of breath hits, but it is still one of the best home remedies for shortness of breath. By adding regular exercise into your daily routine, you can start to decrease the episodes of shortness of breath.

What to do:

  • Take up walking or cycling.
  • Set a goal of walking or cycling to a certain point each day and back.
  • Increase that distance a little bit every two to three days.
  • 2 to 5 minutes of exercise should coincide with every hour of sitting.

5. Diaphragmatic Breathing

One of several ways to regain instant control of your breathing is through the diaphragmatic breathing technique. This is one of the quickest and most reliable home remedies for shortness of breath. It is particularly effective to sufferers of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

What to do:

  • Lie down on your back and place your hands on your abdomen.
  • Draw breath in through your nose, making sure that you expand your abdomen as you fill your lungs with air.
  • Hold your breath for 2 to 3 counts and then slowly empty your lungs through your mouth.
  • Repeat this for 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Do this exercise 2 to 3 times per day.

6. Black Coffee

Believe it or not, a cup of black coffee is one of the best home remedies for shortness of breath. The caffeine in coffee helps reduce muscle fatigue in the respiratory system, which will help to open up the airway. It can also help reduce symptoms of asthma.

What to do:

  • Drink one or two cups of black coffee to reduce symptoms.
  • DO NOT use this remedy if you have problems with tachycardia because the caffeine will cause your heart to speed up.

black coffee in cup with beans next to it

 

7. Steam

You can also make use of steam as an effective item among the home remedies for shortness of breath. Steam can open up nasal and bronchial passages to help rid you of any congestion or closed off airways. Additionally, it can help to dissolve mucus in order to help clear it from your respiratory system.

What to do:

  • Boil a couple of quarts of water in a large pot.
  • Remove the pot from heat, add a few drops of eucalyptus or peppermint oil.
  • Place your face over the bowl and place a towel over your head to help direct the steam.
  • Inhale the steam, using deep breaths for several minutes.
  • Repeat this several times per day as necessary.

8. Ginger

Also on our list of home remedies for shortness of breath is ginger. This herb is an excellent decongestant and expectorant which will help open up nasal and bronchial passages to facilitate breathing. It also helps moisturize your dry throat if you have some sort of respiratory tract infection.

What to do:

  • Add 1 Tbsp of freshly chopped ginger root to 2 cups of boiling water.
  • Cover and allow it to simmer for 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Strain out the ginger, add honey and sip the tea slowly.
  • You can also get instant relief by chewing on a piece of fresh ginger instead of a throat lozenge.

ginger and ginger lemonade

 

9. Pursed-lip Breathing

Another fast acting item on our list of home remedies for shortness of breath is the pursed-lip breathing technique. This technique is especially effective for helping to restore normal breathing through relieving stress and anxiety, which are often what cause the symptoms to begin with.

What to do:

  • Be seated and attempt to relax your neck and shoulder muscles.
  • Keep your lips pressed together except for a small hole in the center.
  • Inhale through your nose and exhale by blowing through your pursed lips while counting to 4.
  • Continue this for up to 10 minutes to regain control.

10. Sitting and Leaning Forward

Another among our home remedies for shortness of breath is a technique for relieving stress through sitting down and leaning forward. This relaxed position helps to open up airways and make it easier to breathe.

What to do:

  • Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  • Lean forward and place your elbows on your knees while your support your chin in your hands.
  • If a table is available, you can also lean forward onto the table with your hands on top of each other and resting your head on your forearms.
  • Repeat this as often as necessary throughout the day to help relax your breathing and regain control.

11. Standing with Supported Back

If sitting is not an option, you can still benefit by standing and supporting your back. This is another of our home remedies for shortness of breath which will help you to relax the muscles which control your airway.

What to do:

  • Stand with your back pressed flat against a wall.
  • Keep your feet shoulder width apart and let your hands drop to your thighs.
  • Lean back into the wall to add its support and use diaphragmatic or pursed-lip breathing technique mentioned above.

12. Mustard Oil

Mustard oil is among the best home remedies for shortness of breath. That's because mustard oil has analgesic properties which will help to relax the muscles which are constricting your airway.

What to do:

  • Massage warm mustard oil between your shoulder blades and on your throat.
  • Apply a warm moist towel to help it penetrate and breath normally.
  • You can repeat this several times a day as necessary.

13. Honey

Honey is another great performer among the most popular home remedies for shortness of breath. It acts as both an expectorant and a decongestant to help open up constricted airways.

What to do:

  • Add 1 Tbsp of honey to 6 to 8 oz. of warm water and drink it.
  • You can also sprinkle cinnamon over a Tbsp of honey and consume it like cough syrup to help speed relief.
  • Repeat these as often as necessary.

14. Onion

Everyone knows that slicing onions will make you cry, but they also provide one of the best home remedies for shortness of breath. The sulfenic acids in onions work as a natural expectorant and decongestant in order to open up your constricted airways.

What to do:

  • Extract the juice of a fresh onion.
  • Mix the juice with 1 Tbsp of honey in 6 to 8 oz. of warm water.
  • Drink this a couple times a day to help keep airways clear.

15. Mint Tea

A much more flavorful solution on our list of home remedies for shortness of breath is mint tea. Mint not only encourages circulation, but sipping mint tea soothes and relaxes constricted muscles in your airway, allowing you to breathe easier and more relaxed.

What to do:

  • Brew a handful of fresh mint leaves in 2 cups of boiling water.
  • Remove from heat, cover and allow to steep for 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Strain the leaves and sip this tea with honey.
  • Repeat this 2 to 3 times a day.

Conclusion

The best solution to shortness of breath is to condition your respiratory system to prevent it, but our home remedies for shortness of breath can also help you regain control whenever one of those frightening episodes hits. Practice and keep these remedies in mind for the next time you have an attack. If you have questions or success stories with these remedies or some of your own, please feel free to add them below.

Images from depositphotos.com.

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