This survey of 48 multicultural parents of children with asthma identifies and compares alternative and complementary treatments used for asthma, and compares any potentially effective or harmful effects. Thirty-nine (81%) of the parents used at least one form of alternative or complementary therapy to treat their child's asthma. Nontraditional therapies included prayer, over-the-counter medications, herbal teas, vitamins, and massage. African-American parents were more likely to rely on prayer, and Hispanic parents were more likely to use herbal and massage therapies. Use of over-the-counter medications and vitamins was similar among groups. Three herbal remedies were potentially toxic: lobelia, possible pennyroyal mint, and tree tea oil. Medical histories for all patients should include inquiries into the use of alternative therapies.