Q. I want to thank you for helping me out of a medical emergency. I was flying across country and had packed my asthma medicine in my carry-on luggage. The flight was too full and there was not enough room for my case so the flight attendant checked it.
During the flight I began to have an asthma attack. They didn’t have my medicine in the first aid kit and I started to panic. Luckily I remembered reading in your book, The People’s Pharmacy, that coffee can help in such a situation. I drank four cups and my breathing gradually improved. I am so grateful.
A. We are delighted that the coffee remedy helped you out of a jam. Obviously, you had planned well in packing your asthma medicine to be with you on the plane. But sometimes good plans go awry.
Caffeine was recognized as an effective asthma treatment as long ago as 1859. It is chemically related to theophylline, a time-honored medication for asthma. Studies have shown that approximately 3 cups of strong coffee can open airways and provide relief for a mild attack. By the way, research proving that the caffeine in coffee can ease asthma symptoms was published in no less a journal than the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine.