The lungs are arguably one of the hardest-working organs in the body. On average, a person breathes in and out between 12 and 20 times every single minute, to bring new oxygen into the body and to exhale carbon dioxide along with other waste products. And while the body can get along for a while without food or water, it cannot go more than a few minutes without air. So it is imperative to the health of the whole body to have a pair of lungs that are healthy and in good shape. Herbal therapy is one way to ensure this. Read on to find out more about some of the herbs which are best for cleansing the lungs and supporting the respiratory system.
The Native American tribes living in the Rocky Mountains region valued osha root for centuries as a respiratory tonic — and modern science is beginning to understand why. Osha root contains camphor, a compound long known to support respiratory health and it has also been shown to increase blood circulation to the lungs, making it easier to get deep, refreshing breaths. (1)
Even people who are not very familiar with different natural therapies know about eucalyptus and how good it is for respiratory health. There is a good reason why it is such a common ingredient in cough drops, throat lozenges and other products meant to help people through respiratory infections! Its active ingredient, cineole, is able to soothe down a cough while at the same time making it more productive so that the body can rid itself of phlegm. (2)
Lungwort was named under the Doctrine of Signatures, a medieval belief that plants would resemble the body part they are able to treat. In this case, lungwort is a tree-growing lichen named because it does resemble lung tissue. It has been used at least since the 1600’s a lung and respiratory tonic both because it can clear congestion and also fight off organisms causing respiratory infections. (3)
Oregano contains two powerful compounds, rosemarinic acid and carvacrol which are great for respiratory support. These compounds decongest the lungs and respiratory tract naturally and also contain histamine blockers to help reduce irritation and inflammation of the lining of the entire respiratory tract. (4)
Most people see plantain as an annoying weed in the backyard, but there is far more to it than that! Plantain has a long history of use as a lung tonic. It can ease a hacking, nonproductive cough so that it is easier to sleep and recover and it also has be ability to soothe down irritation in the delicate respiratory tract lining. (5)
In short, all of the herbs above work in different ways to ensure that the lungs are working their very best. And a healthy respiratory system will, in turn, support and nourish the health of the entire rest of the body.
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