From the bountiful harvests to the changing colors of trees around us, autumn is a beautiful time of year. For people suffering from fall allergies, asthma, or other breathing concerns, it is often a difficult time to breathe. If you’re one of the many people suffering from breathing problems or autumn allergies, here are 7 natural lung-healing remedies to help boost your breathing (adapted from my book The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan).
Coltsfoot is an excellent herb for clearing out excess mucus from the lungs and bronchial tubes. In addition to clearing catarrh, it helps soothe coughs, protects and soothes mucous membranes, and increases the flow of urine to help with urinary tract toxins. It has proven itself useful for bronchitis, chronic and acute coughs, asthma, whooping cough, and emphysema. It combines well with horehound. You can use one to two teaspoons of dried herb per cup for an infusion (herbal tea) and allow to steep for 15 minutes or use a half to 1 teaspoon three times a day in tincture form.
The root of the elecampane plant helps kill harmful bacteria, lessens coughs, expels excess mucus, and helps alleviate stomach problems. In the respiratory system, it gradually alleviates any fever that might be present while battling infection and maximizing excretion of toxins through perspiration. If you have a tickling cough or bronchitis, elecampane may be able to help. Because of its action on excess mucus and toxins in the respiratory tract, it is often helpful with emphysema, asthma, bronchial asthma, and tuberculosis. In addition to the effects on the respiratory tract, it also helps a sluggish digestive system. You can use one teaspoon of herb per cup of water in an infusion or one-half to one teaspoon of tincture, three times a day.
While you may prefer the candy from this bitter herb, it is the dried leaves that are best for their medicinal properties. They relax the muscles of the lungs while encouraging the clearing of excess mucus. Due to its antispasmodic properties, it is also good for bronchial spasms and coughs. Thanks to its highly bitter nature (which is why it is frequently blended with sugar) it is also good for digestive difficulties. The same bitter nature stimulates bile flow, thereby helping to cleanse the digestive tract by initiating normal elimination from the intestines. Horehound combines well with coltsfoot, mullein, and lobelia to effectively clear the lungs. Take one teaspoon of dried herb per cup of water or a quarter to a half teaspoon of tincture three times a day.
Lobelia is an excellent herb for lung concerns, coughs, infections, bronchial asthma, and excessive phlegm. It helps alleviate bronchial spasms, making it useful for asthmatics. It is an extremely strong herb and should therefore be used with caution. Follow package directions. Do not exceed recommended dose.
Lungwort clears catarrh from the upper respiratory tract, nose, throat, and upper bronchial tubes, while helping the body soothe the mucous membranes in these regions and lessening coughs. It is also good for bronchitis. Lungwort combines well with coltsfoot, lobelia, and horehound. As an infusion, mix one to two teaspoons of dried herb per cup and drink one cup three times a day. Alternatively, take a quarter to one teaspoon of tincture three times a day.
The leaves and flowers of the mullein plant soothe mucous membranes in the respiratory tract while clearing excess mucus. It lessens inflammation and pain, including within the nasal lining, throat, bronchial tubes, and digestive tract. Mullein is also mildly cleansing for the urinary tract. It is helpful for coughs, sore throats, and bronchitis. Use one to two teaspoons of dried herb per cup of water to make infusions. Drink one cup three times a day. Alternatively, take a quarter to one teaspoon of tincture three times a day.
Asthma, chronic coughs, other breathing disorders, and skin conditions are a few of the traditional uses for sea buckthorn, although the herb has found many more uses in recent times, including: cancer, skin conditions, and weight loss. For more information about sea buckthorn, check out my blog, Sea Buckthorn: Ancient Healer and Modern Superfood.
Always check with a qualified health professional before taking herbs to ensure they are right for you and that any medications you’re taking won’t interact with them.
For more information about making your own natural remedies, consult The Herbal-Medicine Maker’s Handbook by James Green.