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The Hot Cuppa

Is coffee good for asthma?


Coffee has been a drink that figures among the world’s favorite beverages. There is another reason why you will love your morning cuppa now – it has abilities to counter-act asthma symptoms. Several observations have indicated the beneficial effects of a cup of coffee on a person suffering an asthmatic attack. In fact, most doctors prescribe caffeinated coffee as a stop-gap treatment if someone faces a sudden onset of asthma without any medicines nearby. Caffeine is a vasodilator. By widening the tubes of the respiratory tract, it makes breathing easier and helps the asthma patient. Coffee’s effect in treating asthma is real.

The Hot Cuppa

Relationship between coffee and asthma

Theophylline is commonly used for treating asthma. This compound is a broncho-dilator that relaxes the muscles in the airways of the respiratory system. Thus, it helps breathing and relieves symptoms of wheezing and shortness of breath. Caffeine, which is the major constituent of coffee, has a structure similar to theophylline and thus, has a similar working too.

Research has shown that caffeine dilates the airways and provides relief for up to four hours. It also improves lung function for about two hours. Thus, in cases when a patient is caught in a severe bout of asthma, coffee could provide immediate, temporary relief.

However, the effect of caffeine is temporary and not as strong as theophylline. Thus, it cannot act as a substitute. There is also a catch in using caffeine. Too much caffeine can be addictive. Add this leads to the fact that the chemical similarity with theophylline could interfere and compound the side-effects of theophylline too.

There have been cases where people feel better after drinking coffee. But, they had also made changes in their lifestyle like throwing out dust-gathering rugs and replacing air -conditioners. Thus, the positive impact could not be isolated to coffee alone. All said and done, when coffee along with a placebo was given to a group of asthmatics under research, those with coffee definitely showed positive results. In moderation, caffeine definitely helps. Therefore, coffee may serve as a relieving agent only for those with mild asthma alone.

Treating asthma with coffee

Once you are convinced that coffee is good for your asthma, you can start your ‘cuppa treatment’! It has to be done in a stage-wise manner. It is quite simple and here is how you do it.

  1. The first step is to select your choice of coffee. If you visit a gourmet brand, then you have the option of creating your own blend by combination of different ingredients and seeds. Select your best taste, for there’s nothing like having a treatment that you enjoy!
  2. Whenever you are experiencing the asthma symptoms, make a cup of coffee for yourself. Do not drink it completely. Have about a third of the cup and wait for about 10 minutes. See if you feel any better.
  3. If you have not yet experienced any positive change, reheat and drink another third of the cup. Wait again for another ten minutes.
  4. If you still are not feeling better, finish the cup of coffee after reheating it. (Unless you have a medical condition that prevents intake of caffeine).
  5. If you are feeling better, it is well and good. If you are not feeling any positive change, then caffeine may not be the remedy for your asthma. If the positive feeling is only slight, maybe you should make yourself another cuppa!

If you have found coffee to be a good cure for your asthma, then there are a few things to be taken care of. It would be better to make use of organic coffee to make sure that no pesticides or other chemicals get into your body along with the caffeine.

Asthma is an auto-immune disease and thus, it is a life-long problem in many cases. Coffee can get addictive and so, if you are happy with the ‘coffee effect’, you could maybe shift to drinking tea. Just remember that, when you are on tea, you will have to drink twice as much to have the desired effect. This is because, tea has less than one third the amount of caffeine in the same amount of coffee.

In conclusion, if you are an asthmatic who is helped by your daily dose of coffee, it is good. It may even help you out of some medicines. Having said that, it is better to consult with your doctor before taking any decision.

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