BOOST your lungs health naturally: 15 Herbs that help kill Viruses and Clear Mucus from your lungs

BOOST your lungs health naturally: 15 Herbs that help kill Viruses and Clear Mucus from your lungs

NordenBladet – While most people turn to conventional medicine to address bacterial and viral infections, this only adds to the problem related to antibiotic resistance. If you are interested in boosting lung health, healing infections and even repairing lung damage naturally, read on!

1. Licorice Root
Liquorice or licorice is the root of Glycyrrhiza glabra from which a sweet flavour can be extracted. The liquorice plant is a herbaceous perennial legume native to the Middle East, southern Europe, and parts of Asia, such as India. Licorice is said to harmonize the activity of other herbs. It has a soothing effect and it is capable of softening the mucous membranes of the throat, cleansing inflamed mucous membrane, and reducing the irritation in the throat. Licorice is a potent antiviral and antibacterial agent which helps fight of viral and bacterial strains in the body. There are more than 300 different compounds in licorice, some of which have antiviral and antimicrobial properties. Licorice is available in many forms, including herbal teas, candies, capsules of dried herb, and liquid extract.

ATTN: Liquorice extracts have been used in herbalism and traditional medicine. Excessive consumption of liquorice (more than 2 mg/kg/day of pure glycyrrhizinic acid, a liquorice component) may result in adverse effects, such as hypokalemia, increased blood pressure, and muscle weakness.

2. Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara)
The leaf is used to make medicine. Despite serious safety concerns, people take coltsfoot for lung problems such as bronchitis, asthma, and whooping cough (pertussis). They also take it for upper respiratory tract complaints including sore mouth and throat, cough, and hoarseness. Coltsfoot has been long used to strengthen the lungs and clear out excess mucus from the bronchial tubes and the lungs. It also soothes the mucous membranes in the lungs an assists with coughs, asthma, bronchitis, and other lung ailments.

ATTN: Tussilago farfara contains tumorigenic pyrrolizidine alkaloids. Senecionine and senkirkine, present in coltsfoot, have the highest mutagenetic activity of any pyrrolozidine alkaloid, tested using Drosophila melanogaster to produce a comparative genotoxicity test. There are documented cases of coltsfoot tea causing severe liver problems in an infant, and in another case, an infant developed liver disease and died because the mother drank tea containing coltsfoot during her pregnancy. In response the German government banned the sale of coltsfoot. Clonal plants of coltsfoot free of pyrrolizidine alkaloids were then developed in Austria and Germany. This has resulted in the development of the registered variety Tussilago farfara ‘Wien’ which has no detectable levels of these alkaloids.

3. Cannabis
Cannabis, also known as marijuana among other names, is a psychoactive drug from the Cannabis plant used for medical or recreational purposes. The main psychoactive part of cannabis is tetrahydrocannabinol, one of 483 known compounds in the plant, including at least 65 other cannabinoids. Vaporizing cannabis stimulates body`s immune response and reduces infections` ability to spread. Vaporizing high amounts of cannabinoids opens up the airways and sinuses and even helps treat and reverse asthma.

ATTN: Medical cannabis (or medical marijuana) refers to the use of cannabis and its constituent cannabinoids, to treat disease or improve symptoms. Cannabis is used to reduce nausea and vomiting during chemotherapy, to improve appetite in people with HIV/AIDS, and to treat chronic pain and muscle spasms. Cannabinoids are under preliminary research for their potential to affect stroke. Short-term use increases both minor and major adverse effects. Common side effects include dizziness, feeling tired, vomiting, and hallucinations. Long-term effects of cannabis are not clear. Concerns including memory and cognition problems, risk of addiction, schizophrenia in young people, and the risk of children taking it by accident.

4. Osha Root (Ligusticum porteri)
Osha root helps increase circulation to the lungs, which in turn helps the person to take deep breaths easier. While it isn’t an actual antihistamine, it also helps produce a similar effect and calms respiratory irritation when seasonal sensitivities flare up the sinuses.

ATTN: Osha grows in the same habitat in areas of the Mountain West of North America with poison hemlock and water hemlock, highly poisonous members of the same family. Osha particularly resembles poison hemlock, but is easily distinguished from it by its “spicy celery” odor, hair-like material on root crowns, and dark chocolate-brown, wrinkled root skin. Hemlock roots are white and fleshy and thin-skinned; they are typically heavily branched rather than carrot-like, but this is not always the case. Poison hemlock roots have little or no odor; the plants themselves smell “musty” or “mousy” or rank. Osha leaves have an intense fragrance when bruised and are typically larger than those of poison hemlock. Most poison hemlock plants have purple blotches or shading on the lower stem if they are fairly mature, but again, this is not always the case. Unlike its poisonous cousins, osha does not tolerate overly moist soils (because it depends on mycorrhizal fungi) and is never found growing in standing water. Nevertheless, osha and poison hemlock can be found only a few feet from each other.

5. Thyme
Thyme is a potent antiseptic, anti-fungal, and antibiotic, which helps fight and eliminate bacteria and viruses. It has been long used as lung remedy to both prevent and treat respiratory tract infections and bacterial infection pneumonia.

Oil of thyme, the essential oil of common thyme (Thymus vulgaris), contains 20–54% thymol. Thyme essential oil also contains a range of additional compounds, such as p-cymene, myrcene, borneol, and linalool. Thymol, an antiseptic, is an active ingredient in various commercially produced mouthwashes such as Listerine. Before the advent of modern antibiotics, oil of thyme was used to medicate bandages.

6. Oregano
Oregano is packed with nutrients needed by the immune system to function at optimal level. Its natural compounds act as natural histamine reducers and natural decongestants, positively affecting the respiratory tract and nasal passage airflow.

Oregano contains polyphenols, including numerous flavones. The essential oil of oregano is composed primarily of monoterpenoids and monoterpenes, with the relative concentration of each compound varying widely across geographic origin and other factors. Over 60 different compounds have been identified, with the primary ones being carvacrol and thymol ranging to over 80%, while lesser abundant compounds include p-cymene, γ-terpinene, caryophyllene, spathulenol, germacrene-D, β-fenchyl alcohol and δ-terpineol. Drying of the plant material affects both quantity and distribution of volatile compounds, with methods using higher heat and longer drying times having greater negative impact. A sample of fresh whole plant material found to contain 33 g/kg dry weight (3.1 g/kg wet) decreased to below a third after warm-air convection drying. Much higher concentrations of volatile compounds are achieved towards the end of the growing season.

7. Lobelia
Lobelia stimulates the adrenal glands to release epinephrine, which promotes easier breathing, relaxes the muscles, and helps treat coughs and cold remedies. It is an extremely powerful healing agent, and should be a part of everyone`s respiratory support protocol.

ATTN: Many members of the genus are considered poisonous, with some containing the toxic principle lobeline. Because of lobeline’s similarity to nicotine, the internal use of lobelia may be dangerous to susceptible populations, including children, pregnant women, and individuals with cardiac disease. Excessive use will cause nausea and vomiting. It is not recommended for use by pregnant women and is best administered by a practitioner qualified in its use. It also has a chemical known as lobellicyonycin, which may cause dizziness.

8. Elecampane
Elecampane (Inula helenium, also called horse-heal or elfdock) is a natural antibacterial agent which helps reduce infection, especially for those who are prone to lung infections. It is recommended to take a teaspoon of the herb per cup of boiling water and drink three times a day.

9. Eucalyptus
Eucalyptus contains cineole, a compound which acts as an expectorant, alleviates a cough, soothes irritated sinus passages, and fights congestion. Additionally, its antioxidant content boosts the immune system during a cold or other ailment.

10. Mullein (Verbascum)
Mullein helps clear excess mucus from the lungs, reduces inflammation in the respiratory tract, and cleanses the bronchial tubes. You can either make it into tea or take a tincture form of it.

11. Lungwort (Pulmonaria)
Lungwort has been long used to clear congestion and promote respiratory and lung health. It contains potent compounds that work against detrimental organisms that impact respiratory health.

12. Chaparral
This plant is packed with antioxidants that fight irritation and resist NDGA, known to combat histamine response. The benefits of chaparral are most available in a tincture extraction.

13. Plantain Leaf (Plantago major)
Most of the active ingredients in this plant exhibit antimicrobial and antibacterial properties as well as antitoxic and anti-inflammatory. It helps relieve a dry cough and lung irritation y spawning mucus production in the lungs.

The leaves are edible as a salad green when young and tender, but they quickly become tough and fibrous as they get older. The older leaves can be cooked in stews. The leaves contain calcium and other minerals, with 100 grams of plantain containing approximately the same amount of vitamin A as a large carrot. The seeds are so small that they are tedious to gather, but they can be ground into a flour substitute or extender.

Plantain is found all over the world, and is one of the most abundant and accessible medicinal herbs. It contains many bioactive compounds, including allantoin, aucubin, ursolic acid, flavonoids, and asperuloside. Scientific studies have shown that plantain extract has a wide range of biological effects, including “wound healing activity, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antioxidant, weak antibiotic, immuno modulating and antiulcerogenic activity”.

14. Peppermint (Mentha)
Peppermint contains menthol, an ingredient that relaxes the smooth muscles of the respiratory tract and allows easier breathing. Dried peppermint typically contains cineol, menthol, menthone, menthyl acetate, and menthofuran.

Peppermint has a high menthol content. The oil also contains menthone and carboxyl esters, particularly menthyl acetate. Dried peppermint typically has 0.3–0.4% of volatile oil containing menthol (7–48%), menthone (20–46%), menthyl acetate (3–10%), menthofuran (1–17%) and 1,8-cineol (3–6%). Peppermint oil also contains small amounts of many additional compounds including limonene, pulegone, caryophyllene and pinene.

Peppermint contains terpenoids and flavonoids such as eriocitrin, hesperidin, and kaempferol 7-O-rutinoside.

15. Sage (Salvia)
Sage`s essential oils, including thujone, camphor, terpene and salvene are the source of the countless benefits of sage tea for lung and respiratory ailments. You can either brew a strong pot of tea or inhaling sage tea’s vapors to dispel lung disorders.

Note: Please do take into consideration that this site is for information only. You are still supposed to consult your doctor for further medical advice/treatment.
Featured image: Pexels/Pixabay

Read also:
Helena-Reet: Growing, collecting and drying herbs for the winter + a LITTLE guide to the effect of various herbal teas!

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