The 9 Best Herbs for Lung Cleansing and Respiratory Support

herbs for healthy lungs

By  Dr. Edward F. Group

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

Your respiratory system is constantly working. All day, every day, it is the vehicle for oxygen to enter your body. Unfortunately, it can also be an entry point for pollutants, irritants, dust, mould, fungus, harmful organisms, and other toxins. Unless you’re living in a bubble, the constant assault from impurities can take its toll.

Fortunately, whether you’re experiencing the negative effects of inhaling toxins, or simply want to ensure your lungs are always at peak performance, nature has provided a number of herbs and botanicals that provide deep nutrition for the respiratory system.

How are herbs beneficial for the respiratory system?

Herbs that support lung health typically do so by offering one or more of the following benefits:

  • Acting an expectorant — which helps break up and expel chest congestion.
  • Soothing irritated nasal passages and airways.
  • Relaxing the muscles near the upper respiratory system to quell a cough.
  • Calming the release of histamines.
  • Fighting the harmful organisms that can produce upper respiratory problems.
  • As a source of antioxidants, reducing oxidative damage and redness.

Let’s take a look at the nine best herbs for respiratory health!

1. Osha Root

Osha is an herb native to the Rocky Mountain area and has historically been used by the Native Americans for respiratory support. The roots of the plant contain camphor and other compounds which make it one of the best lung-support herbs in America. One of the main benefits of osha root is that it helps increase circulation to the lungs, which makes it easier to take deep breaths. Also… when seasonal sensitivities flare up your sinuses, osha root, which is not an actual antihistamine, does produce a similar effect and may be help calm respiratory irritation!

2. Eucalyptus

Native to Australia, eucalyptus isn’t just for Koala bears! Aborigines, Germans, and Americans have all used the refreshing aroma of eucalyptus to promote respiratory health and soothe throat irritation. Eucalyptus is a common ingredient in cough lozenges and syrups and its effectiveness is due to a compound called cineole. Cineole has numerous benefits — it’s an expectorant, can ease a cough, fights congestion, and soothes irritated sinus passages. As an added bonus, because eucalyptus contains antioxidants, it supports the immune system during a cold or other illness.

3. Lungwort

Lungwort is a tree-growing lichen that actually resembles lung tissue in appearance. However, this natural remedy doesn’t just look the part. As early as the 1600”²s, lungwort has been used to promote lung and respiratory health and clear congestion. Lungwort also contains compounds that are powerfully effective against harmful organisms that affect respiratory health.

4. Oregano

Although oregano contains the vitamins and nutrients required by the immune system, its primary benefits are owed to its carvacrol and rosmarinic acid content. Both compounds are natural decongestants and histamine reducers that have direct, positive benefits on the respiratory tract and nasal passage airflow. Oregano has so many health benefits that a bottle of organic oregano oil should be in everyone’s medicine cabinet.

5. Plantain Leaf

Plantain leaf has been used for hundreds of years to ease cough and soothe irritated mucous membranes. Clinical trials have found it favorable against cough, cold, and lung irritation. With anti-inflammatory and immune benefits,  Plantain leaf has an added bonus in that it may help relieve a dry cough by spawning mucus production in the lungs. Good stuff!

6. Elecampane

The Greeks, Romans, Chinese, and even Indian Ayurvedic medicine have cited elecampane for respiratory support and, since the 1800’s, lozenges and cough drops have been produced from elecampane root. The reason? Elecampane has a relaxing effect on smooth tracheal muscles. There are two active compounds in elecampane root that provide the beneficial effect — inulin, which soothes bronchial passage, and alantolactone, an expectorant with antitussive action.

7. Lobelia

Did you know that horses given lobelia are able to breath more deeply? Its benefits are not limited to equestrians. Lobelia, by some accounts, is thought to be one of the most valuable herbal remedies in existence. Lobelia contains an alkaloid known as lobeline, which thins mucus, breaks up congestion. Additionally, lobelia stimulates the adrenal glands to release epinephrine, in effect, this relaxes the airways and allows for easier breathing. Also, because lobelia helps to relax smooth muscles, it is included in many cough and cold remedies. Lobelia should be part of everyone’s respiratory support protocol!

8. Chaparral

Chaparral, a plant native to the southwest, has been appreciated by the Native Americans for lung detoxification and respiratory support. Chaparral contains powerful antioxidants that resist irritation and NDGA which is known to fight histamine response. Chaparral is also an herb that fights harmful organisms. The benefits of chaparral are most available in a tincture extraction but chaparral tea may support respiratory problems by encouraging an expectorant action to clear airways of mucus.

9. Peppermint

Peppermint, and peppermint oil, contains menthol — a soothing ingredient known to relax the smooth muscles of the respiratory tract and promote free breathing. Paired with the antihistamine effect of peppermint, menthol is a fantastic decongestant. Many people use therapeutic chest balms and other inhalants that contain menthol to help break up congestion. Additionally, peppermint is an antioxidant and fights harmful organisms.

Supplementing with lung support herbs

All of the above herbs are available, in various forms, as nutritional supplements and in tea blends. Additionally, many people grow herbs in their garden and simply consume them as food. That’s not a bad idea! If you grow them yourself, you can rest easy knowing the source is organic, contains no pesticides, is ethically harvested, given clean water, etc. Of course, you’ll need to do your homework to determine the appropriate dosage for you and your individual health circumstances. These are not factors for which you can assume the best — ask questions and verify that you’re getting the best product possible at the correct dose. To make it easy, at Global Healing Centre we’ve made our  own blend  Allertrex, which contains all the herbs listed above — organic and wildcrafted — as well as orange peel, menthol crystals, and nascent iodine.

Have you used any of these natural remedies to support your respiratory health? What benefits did you notice? Please leave a comment below and share your experience with us!

– Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM

Previous articles by Dr. Group:

References  for this article  include:

About the author:

dr-edward-group-iiiDr. Edward F. Group  founded  Global Healing Center  in 1998 and is currently the Chief Executive Officer. Heading up the research and development team, Dr. Group assumes a hands-on approach in producing new and advanced degenerative disease products and information.

Dr. Group has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.

 

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  • http://Website Carole-Anne Tanguay

    Hi Dr. Edward,

    I’m asthmatic and I’ve been making a lot of research on herbs/plants and how they can help me fighting that disease (at the same time discovered a passion for that subject). I noticed, that in your article, you forgot to mention one of the most important herb: The Coltsfoot.
    It was actually names ‘nature’s best herb for the lungs and her most eminent thoracic.’ (see reference at the end).
    I’ve also discovered in my research that the marshmallow, Verbascum Thapsus, poppy and the sweet violet are also know for their pectoric properties. Is there a reason why you didn’t mentioned these particular plant, when their benefits surpasses some of the one you chose?

    For those interested, I would also like to share a recipe called in french ”tisane aux quatres fleurs” which is really good for the inflammation of the respiratory airway. This pectoral herbal tea at the beginning was actually made of 4 different flowers, but went up to 7 later on to enhance the the efficacy of the mixture. All you need to do is mix in a glass container (that you can seal after to keep the freshness of the herbs):

    15 grams of Verbascum
    15 grams of red poppy
    15 grams of marshmallow
    15 grams of mallow
    15 grams of Antennaria Dioica
    15 grams of Coltsfoot
    15 grams of sweet violet

    Just mix 1/2 tea spoon of the herbal mix in a cup of boiling water. Infuse for 10 minutes. Add a spoon of raw honey. Enjoy!

    Reference: http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/c/coltsf88.html

  • http://www.WorldWideWavez.com carmen allgood

    Schweet — great article – THANKS for sharing …

  • http://Website Anonymous

    The plantain leaf good for one’s lungs is a small temperate climate forb,Plantago major. The plantains that have banana-like fruits are tropical shrubs of the Musa genus (hybrid plantain cultivars grown commercially are designated Musa × paradisiaca). (Actually the only difference in plantains and bananas is in the sugar content ; both are Musa spp. hybrids). Please correct your article.

    • Sherra

      I noticed this too and lost faith that they are doing any more than coping other people’s articles.

  • http://Website Leah Schofield

    Very interesting and informative article. Just so you know, it is just ‘Koala’ not ‘Koala bear’. Koalas are not bears, they are marsupials!

  • http://Website Peter Laughton

    Quite a big error to state the plantain leaf (Plantago major) has a fruit similar to the banana! This is incorrect as they are two completely different plants. Especially from the CEO of the Global Healing Centre.

  • http://Website Leila Wedd

    Olive Leaf Extract is a brilliant anti-oxidant, anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal treatment, especially beneficial for respiratory problems.

  • Graduatesoul

    Very helpful and will be researching how many of these I can grow in my clime. Thanks!

  • http://Website me (required)

    Do cigarettes count as peppermint

  • Deb

    You don’t mention what to do with each of these items… eat them, put them in tea, make a paste..???