The average human breathes in and out between 12 and 20 times a minute – and the human body cannot go more than just a few minutes without oxygen without suffering brain damage or even death. And yet, until something grows wrong, many people probably don’t think about their lungs at all. Keeping the lungs healthy, however, is incredibly important. Indoor and outdoor air pollution, cigarette smoke, high pollen and mold counts and exposure to artificial scents and perfumes can all irritate and take their toll upon the lungs. These organs are also vulnerable to conditions like pneumonia, asthma and COPD. It is very important, then, to baby the lungs as much as possible and to help support their continued healthy function. And fortunately, the herbs listed below give people an excellent opportunity to do this naturally.
Eucalyptus is a popular remedy for respiratory problems and its medicinal value comes from a compound called cineole, which is able to break up congestion and make phlegm easier to cough up. It is also able to soothe down irritation in the lining of the respiratory tract and this makes it valuable for many different respiratory ailments such as bronchitis and asthma. (1)
This popular Mediterranean herb is not only valued for its amazing flavor! It contains two chemicals called carvacrol and rosamarinic acid which act as natural antihistamines and decongestants and are especially useful for treating allergies, hay fever and sinusitis. (2)
This herb has earned its name due to the fact that it has been used since at least the 1600’s to help improve the health of the lungs. It, too is a natural decongestant and can help clear out the lungs and airways from excess phlegm and mucus. It has also been shown to have natural anti-microbial properties, make it useful for treating lung infections caused by bacteria, viruses or fungus. (3)
Don’t confuse this with the common garden weed! The plant in question is closely related to the banana and has been used as a respiratory tonic for hundreds of years. It is valued for its ability to soothe down inflammation and irritation of the airway linings and to suppress coughs so that people can get some sleep while they are trying to recover! (4)
Any who rides and takes care of horses is probably familiar with lobelia, since it is a widely-used respiratory tonic for horses. However, it can work just as well on human beings! It is able to stimulate the adrenal glands to release norepinephrine, a hormone which is able to relax the muscles around the airways and expand them. It is also a natural expectorant and decongestant. (5)
Any of the herbs listed above can support and nourish the respiratory system in healthy and natural ways, allowing people to literally breathe easy! And the good news is that they are widely available at health food stores around the country and are generally much more economical than many mainstream medications.