Bacterial and viral infections affect thousands of people each year in the U.S. alone. In case you typically take antibiotics to fight viral infections, you add to the problems related to antibiotic resistance as well as you do little to address the healing mechanisms in your body to treat the problem.
Even though antibiotics help save a lot of people from dying of curable bacterial infections like pneumonia, they are usually overused or misused. It is important to understand that antibiotics help fight only bacterial infections, not viral infections.
So, you may want to rely on herbal remedies to fight infections, improve your lung health, and repair lung damage.
15 Herbal Remedies to Improve Your Lung Health
– Licorice Root
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, licorice root is present in more formulas compared to any other single herb as it helps harmonize the action of other herbs. It is a soothing herb that helps soften the mucous membranes of your lungs, throat and stomach. In addition, it also helps cleanse any inflamed mucous membrane, which requires immune system support.
This herb also has expectorant properties and helps decrease the irritation in your throat. Moreover, the saponins found in the herb help loosen the phlegm in your respiratory tract, thus causing your body to expel the mucus. This herb possesses compounds that help alleviate bronchial spasms as well as help block the free radical cells that result in the inflammation and tightening of your air ways.
Furthermore, these compounds also have antiviral and antibacterial properties that help fight off bacterial and viral strains in your body, thus preventing lung infections. That’s not all, flavonoids and Glycyrrhizin found in licorice root make it a great preventive measure against lung cancer because they help keep lung cancer cells from forming.
– Plantain Leaf
This herb has been used for centuries to help soothe irritated mucous membranes and relieve coughs. Its active constituents have powerful antitoxic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. This herbal remedy has been found to be effective against lung irritation, colds, and coughs. It also helps soothe dry coughs by spawning the creation of mucus in your lungs.
This herb is packed with menthol, which is a soothing ingredient that promotes free breathing and relaxes the smooth muscles of your respiratory tract. In addition, dried peppermint possesses cineol, methanofuran, menthyl acetate, menthone, and menthol.
That’s not all, peppermint oil is a good source of pinene, caryophyllene, pulegone, and limonene. Menthol acts as a great decongestant paired with the antihistamine properties of peppermint. A large number of people use therapeutic chest balms and many other inhalants that possess menthol in order to help break up congestion.
The therapeutic effects of sage tea for common respiratory ailments and lung problems are attributed to the essential oils of this herb. Plus, sage tea is a remarkable folk remedy for coughs and sore throats.
Moreover, the incredible aromatic properties of sage’s volatile oils of salvene, terpene, camphor, and thujone can be put to use by inhaling the vapors of sage tea to fight sinus infections and lung disorders. Another option is to brew a strong pot of sage tea and place it into a vaporizer or bowl.
This plant has been used to support respiratory health and lung detoxification. It possesses potent antioxidants that help resist irritation and NDGA that fights histamine response.
In short, NDGA helps block aerobic and anaerobic glycolysis, which is the energy-creating ability, of cancer cells. This plant also helps fight harmful organisms. It is available in tincture form and as tea. Drinking chaparral tea may help in the treatment of respiratory problems by stimulating an expectorant action to clear your airways of mucus.
It is a tree-growing lichen, which resembles lung tissue in appearance. This herbal remedy helps clear congestion, as well as helps enhance your respiratory and lung health. It possesses certain compounds that are extremely effective against harmful organisms that have a negative impact on your respiratory health
The leaves and flowers of this herb are used to make an herbal extract that could help improve your lung health. Mullein can help lower inflammation in your respiratory tract, clear excess mucus from your lungs and cleanse your bronchial tubes. You can make tea by adding 1 tsp. of the dried herb to a cup of boiled water. Or you can use a tincture form of this herb.
Eucalyptus has long been used to soothe throat irritation and enhance respiratory health. It is an ingredient commonly found in cough syrups and lozenges. Its effectiveness is attributed to a compound known as cineole.
This compound acts as an amazing expectorant, soothes irritated sinus passages, relieves a cough, and alleviates congestion. Eucalyptus helps boost your immune system during a cold or any other illness as it possesses strong antioxidants.
It has long been used to clear out excess mucus that interferes with lung function. This herb has natural antibacterial properties that help lessen infection, especially for those who are susceptible to lung infections, such as bronchitis. According to herbal practitioners, you should add 1 tsp. of elecampane per cup of boiling water, and consume it 3 times every day within a period of 2-3 weeks. This herb is also available in tincture form.
Lobelia is considered to be among the most valuable herbal remedies in the world. In fact, horses given this herb have been found to have an ability to breathe more deeply. Lobelia extracts possess lobeline that has been found to help in the treatment of drug-resistant tumor cells.
Lobeline is actually an alkaloid that helps thin mucus and break up congestion. Furthermore, this herb could also help stimulate your adrenal glands to secrete epinephrine, which helps relax your airways and makes you breathe easier. What’s more, lobelia is found in many cold and cough remedies because it helps relax smooth muscles.
Even though oregano possesses the nutrients and vitamins required by your immune system, its main benefits are attributed to its high amount of rosmarinic acid and carvacrol. These 2 compounds act as natural antihistamines and decongestants, which have a positive impact on your nasal passage airflow and respiratory tract.
Moreover, oregano oil helps fight off the harmful bacteria known as Staphylococcus aureus more effectively compared to any prescription antibiotic.
This herb helps alleviate chest congestion by producing potent antiseptic essential oils that act as all-natural anti-fungal and antibiotic agents. It can also help zap acne more effectively than prescription lotions, creams, and gels.
The consumption of thyme tea helps chase away and remove viruses and bacteria. Thyme has long been used to fight lung ailments, particularly respiratory tract infections, such as pneumonia.
– Osha Root
Native Americans have used this herb to support the function of their respiratory system. This herb is actually native to the Rocky Mountain area. Its roots possess camphor and other compounds that make it an incredible lung-support herb.
It could help boost circulation to your lungs. Plus, when seasonal sensitivities flare up your sinuses, this herb produces a similar effect to antihistamines, so that it helps calm respiratory irritation without causing side effects.
Keep in mind that the toxic breakdown of healing compounds in cannabis from burning it are avoided with vaporization.
This plant is among the most potent anti-cancer plants worldwide. It has been found to induce the activation of cannabinoid receptor in specific genes as well as mediate the anti-invasive action of cannabinoids. In addition, vaporizing this plant allows the active ingredients to stimulate the natural immune response of your body and decreases the ability of infections to spread.
What’s more, vaporizing this plant, particularly with high amounts of cannabinoids, helps open up your sinuses and airways, which makes it an excellent bronchodilator. This method helps reverse and treat asthma.
Native Americans have long used this herb to enhance their lung health. Coltsfoot helps clear out excess mucus from your bronchial tubes and lungs. This herb helps soothe the mucus membranes in your lungs. Additionally, it has also been found to help in the treatment of bronchitis, coughs, asthma, and other lung ailments. It is available as a tincture or in dried form for tea.
The above listed herbs are available in many forms, as prepared oils, nutritional supplements, and tea blends. You may want to grow your own herbs or make sure they are ethically harvested and organic for maximum benefits. Also, it is recommended to consult a Naturopathic Doctor on the frequency, right dosages, and preparation depending on your condition.
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- Balch, Phyllis. ”Prescription for Herbal Healing”;
- Buhner, Stephen. ˮHerbal Antibiotics: Natural Alternatives for Treating Drug-resistant Bacteriaˮ;