Our lungs work overtime for us every day, ensuring that we have sufficient oxygen to power every bodily function. With increasing levels of pollution in our air and our tendency to breathe shallowly, it can be helpful to give our lungs a boost. Breathing deeper is the first step. Additionally, you can give your lungs a boost with herbs. Here are a few of my picks:
Coltsfoot has been traditionally by Native Americans for thousands of years to strengthen the lungs. It clears out excess mucus from the lungs and bronchial tubes. It soothes the mucus membranes in the lungs, and has been shown in research to assist with asthma, coughs, bronchitis, and other lung ailments. Coltsfoot is available in dried form for tea or as an alcohol extract known as a tincture.
Elecampane has been used by Native Americans for many years to clear out excess mucus that impairs lung function. It is known as a natural antibacterial agent for the lungs, helping to lessen infection particularly for people who are prone to lung infections like bronchitis. Herbal practitioners often recommend one teaspoon of the herb per cup of boiling water, drunk three times daily for two to three weeks but elecampane is also available in tincture format for ease.
Both the flowers and the leaves of the mullein plant are used to make an herbal extract that helps strengthen the lungs. Mullein is used by herbal practitioners to clear excess mucus from the lungs, cleanse the bronchial tubes, and reduce inflammation that is present in the respiratory tract. A tea can be made from one teaspoon of the dried herb to one cup of boiled water. Alternatively, you can take a tincture form of this herb.
This information is provided for educational purposes only. As with all herbal remedies, it is best to consult a qualified herbal practitioner before using these or any other herb to treat serious health conditions. Consult an herbal practitioner if you are pregnant or nursing before using any herbs.
Adapted with permission from the best-selling book, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan by Michelle Schoffro Cook, DNM.