For people suffering from allergies, asthma or other breathing concerns, the changing of seasons are often a difficult time to breathe. If you’re one of the many people suffering from breathing problems or seasonal allergies, here are 7 natural lung-healing remedies to help boost your breathing.
Coltsfoot is an excellent herb for clearing out excess mucus from the lungs and bronchial tubes. It’s Latin name, Tussilago farfara, means cough dispeller, so you probably won’t be surprised when I tell you that coltsfoot clears catarrh, helps soothe coughs, and protects and soothes mucous membranes. It has proven itself useful for bronchitis, chronic and acute coughs, asthma, whooping cough and emphysema. It combines well with horehound. You can use one to two teaspoons of dried herb per cup for an infusion (herbal tea) and allow to steep for 15 minutes or use a half to 1 teaspoon three times a day in tincture form.
Elecampane has been used by Native Americans for many years to clear out excess mucus that impairs lung function. The root of the elecampane plant helps kill harmful bacteria, lessens coughs, expels excess mucus, and, as an added bonus, helps alleviate stomach problems.
In the respiratory system, it gradually alleviates any fever that might be present while battling infection and maximizing excretion of toxins through perspiration. If you have a tickling cough or bronchitis, elecampane may be able to help. In 1885, an herbal authority known as Korab showed that elecampane was even effective against tuberculosis bacteria. He was clearly on to something since modern research published in the journal Planta Medica found that elecampane significantly inhibited the growth of Mycobacterium tuberculosis—the bacterium responsible for the serious and often deadly disease that has been making a comeback in recent years.
Because of its action on excess mucus and toxins in the respiratory tract, it is often helpful with emphysema, asthma, bronchial asthma and tuberculosis. In addition to the effects on the respiratory tract, it also helps a sluggish digestive system. You can use one teaspoon of herb per cup of water in an infusion or one-half to one teaspoon of tincture, three times a day.
While you may prefer the candy from this bitter herb, it is the dried leaves that are best for their medicinal properties. They relax the muscles of the lungs while encouraging the clearing of excess mucus. Due to its antispasmodic properties, it is also good for bronchial spasms and coughs. Thanks to its highly bitter nature (which is why it is frequently blended with sugar) it is also good for digestive difficulties. The same bitter nature stimulates bile flow, thereby helping to cleanse the digestive tract by initiating normal elimination from the intestines.
Horehound combines well with coltsfoot, mullein and lobelia to effectively clear the lungs. Take one teaspoon of dried herb per cup of water or a quarter to a half teaspoon of tincture three times a day.
Lobelia is an excellent herb for lung concerns, coughs, infections, bronchial asthma and excessive phlegm. It helps alleviate bronchial spasms, making it useful for asthmatics. It contains natural compounds that thin mucus, making it easier to cough it up. It is an extremely strong herb and should therefore be used with caution. Follow package directions. Because lobelia is an incredibly powerful herb and not suited to every person, check with your health care provider before using and do not exceed recommended dose.
Lungwort clears catarrh from the upper respiratory tract, nose, throat and upper bronchial tubes, while helping the body soothe the mucous membranes in these regions and lessening coughs. It is also good for bronchitis. Lungwort combines well with coltsfoot, lobelia and horehound. As an infusion, mix one to two teaspoons of dried herb per cup and drink one cup three times a day. Alternatively, take a quarter to one teaspoon of tincture three times a day.
Mullein spreads like wild fire in the hot, arid area where I live, which is a good thing because it is an area that has seen its fair share of wild fires and the herb helps deal with smoke inhalation. The leaves and flowers of the mullein plant soothe mucous membranes in the respiratory tract while clearing excess mucus. It lessens inflammation and pain, including within the nasal lining, throat, bronchial tubes and digestive tract. Mullein is also mildly cleansing for the urinary tract.
It is helpful for asthma, coughs, sore throats, bronchitis, whooping cough and emphysema. It lessens pain and inflammation in the mucous membranes including those in the nasal lining, throat, lungs and bronchial tubes, helping to make breathing easier and less painful.
As early as 1995, research in the Journal of Pharmacology found that this lung-promoting plant has anti-viral activity, which could explain some of its lung healing ability, but also might make it a good option if you’re suffering from flu-related lung issues. Use one to two teaspoons of dried herb per cup of water to make infusions. Drink one cup three times a day. Alternatively, take a quarter to one teaspoon of tincture three times a day.
You’ve probably trampled this lung healing herb found on most lawns on more than a few occasions. While many herbalists employ this herb as part of a natural anti-cancer program, it has also demonstrated its ability to heal the lungs. It reduces bronchial congestion, laryngitis, lung irritation and inflammation, and coughs, making it an excellent choice to improve your lung health.
Plantain has been found in research published in the medical journal Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy to have both antibacterial and antiviral properties, which could give it its ability to heal the lungs and improve lung conditions. Fresh plantain leaves can be chopped and added to salads, steamed or sautéed like spinach, while dried plantain leaves can be made into a tea (use one teaspoon of dried herb to one cup of boiled water, let steep for 10 to 15 minutes, strain and drink 3 times daily for best results). Work with an herbal guide to ensure you have the correct plant and pick them only in unsprayed areas away from roadsides.
Asthma, chronic coughs, other breathing disorders and skin conditions are a few of the traditional uses for sea buckthorn, although the herb has found many more uses in recent times, including: cancer, skin conditions and weight loss.
According to James Duke, author of The Green Pharmacy, thyme has been approved by the German government as a treatment for coughs, respiratory infections, bronchitis and whooping cough. Flavonoids found in the plant have been found to relax muscles in the trachea linked to coughing and inflammation. To make a cough-eliminating tea, add 2 teaspoons of crushed fresh or dried thyme leaves to 1 cup of boiled water. Let the tea steep for 10 to 15 minutes, strain and drink 3 cups a day for best results.
Always check with a qualified health professional before taking herbs to ensure they are right for you and that any medications you’re taking won’t interact with them.