Our respiratory system plays a vital role in providing the body with oxygen. Along with oxygen, the pollutants, irritant, dust, mold, fungus, harmful organisms, and other toxins enter our body that effect the functioning of lungs. As the chemical vapors, gases and mists reach the alveoli in the lungs, they also pass into the blood and are distributed throughout the body. Smoking also fills the lungs with toxin substances like nicotine and tar. Our lungs are a very important organ that powers our breath. It is important to choose foods and herbs that cleanse the lungs and reduce the chances of lung diseases like asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia and cystic fibrosis.
Nature has provided a number of herbs and botanicals that provide deep nutrition for the respiratory system and naturally cleans the lungs. The herbs are available as nutritional supplements and in tea blends and must be integrated into our diets.
Peppermint oil is one of the best lung cleansing remedy as it contains all lung healing compounds like caryophyllene, limonene, Pinene and pulegone. It can be rubbed directly on the chest or diffused in the air for maximum benefits. The herb peppermint has a compound named Menthol which is an anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory compound that helps in relaxing the respiratory tract and promoting free breathing and is known to clear symptoms of upper respiratory congestions. Peppermint is an antioxidant and fights harmful organisms. It is a fantastic decongestant.
Eucalyptus has been the first choice to soothe throat irritation since ages. It is the most common ingredient being used in cough lozenges and syrups because of its effective compound called cineole. Eucalyptus promotes respiratory health, eases cough, fights congestion and soothes the irritated sinus passages. It is highly effective in treating asthma, bronchitis, COPD, pneumonia, and even tuberculosis. It also contains antioxidants and supports the body’s immune system.
One can mix eucalyptus essential oil with jojoba oil and rub it directly on the chest or diffuse the oil and inhale it for faster results.
Lungwort got its name due to its resemblance to lung tissue. It is a flowering rhizomatous that is used to promote lung and respiratory health and also clear congestion. Lungwort aids in production of serous mucus in the body, this liquid helps in digestion and respiration, and it thins out the phlegm and thus makes breathing much easier. It is an herb useful for reducing irritation and providing soothing qualities.
Lungwort is also known to help fight bacteria and boost immunity. It is recommended herb in serious health problems like asthma and bronchitis and also for other respiratory ailments like colds, cough, catarrhal problems and bronchial detoxification. One can take lungwort as a tea two to three times in a day to clear the lungs. It can be taken as a tincture too.
Oregano is the herb well known to boost our body’s immune system. It contains carvacrol and rosmarinic acid content which makes it beneficial for the lungs. Both the compounds found in Oregano are natural decongestants and histamine reducers that have direct, positive benefits on the respiratory tract and clears the nasal passage. Rosmarinic acid reduces fluid build up and even swelling during the allergy attack. Oregano helps in alleviating allergy related sneezing and calms down the excess mucous production.
Oregano oil can be directly consumed to clear up the lungs or it can be diffused to breathe in the beneficial properties.
Licorice is an herb that contains strong anti-inflammatory properties that helps loosen and release mucus, thereby clearing the air passages and making them wider so that oxygen can flow in more freely. The natural sweetness of the licorice root helps in soothing the throat and relieving irritation. Licorice root also has antibiotic properties which kill bacteria and viruses in the system.
It is recommended to drink licorice tea at least three times a day to cure cough, asthma and congestion. One may add ginger and lavender to the licorice tea for better results.
6. Plantain Leaf
This spiky green weed is very helpful for the lungs. Plantain leaves are known to stimulate mucus production thus helping with dry cough, cold, lung irritation and throat irritation and easing bronchitis symptoms.
One can consume plantain leaf tincture or steep three spoons of the dried herb in water and boil it for 15 minutes and then drink it as a tea.
Mullein is an effective plant that contains a compound known as saponins which helps in breaking down the mucus in the lungs and hence clearing the lungs from mucus, phlegm and relieving inflammation. It acts as an expectorant and helps the body remove excess mucus from the lungs and soothes the mucus membranes with its emollient properties. Mullein is known to help with bronchitis, heavy coughing, chest colds and asthma. This herbal plant has been used throughout the years as a remedy for serious respiratory problems like tuberculosis and pneumonia.
One can make Mullein as tea by adding 2 spoons of dried Mullein leaves or flowers and steeping it in water for 15 minutes. It can be added to the oils too or smoked/inhaled in small doses to clear lungs. One can breathe in the steam of Mullein tea for a while and even add coltsfoot herb to the mix for better results.
Other natural herbs that helps in cleaning the lungs of the toxins are Elecampane, Lobelia, Thyme, Chaparral, Osha Root, Coltsfoot, Indian tobacco, Lobelia, Chaparral, Sage, Chickweed, Marshmallow Root and Elecampane.
Quiting smoking and doing regular exercise in fresh air are the key to healthy life style. Many products used in our homes can also interfere with the proper lung functioning. These include household cleaners, talcum powder, fabric softeners, colognes, air fresheners, scented candles, dust, animal dander etc. All these, in the air we breathe in, can cause damage to the lungs. So, it becomes necessary to strengthen and revitalize the lung’s health irrespective of any visible symptoms.