The lungs are extremely important when it comes to supporting a healthy body, as they allow you to breathe in air and pass oxygen into the blood. The problem is that the lungs are very sensitive to colds, flu infections, viruses and pathogens which can cause a build-up of mucus. This can trigger coughing and can be very painful, especially if you have a condition such as bronchitis, COPD or frequent respiratory infections during the winter for example. The good news is that there are certain natural remedies that can be used to strengthen the lungs, clear out mucus, viruses and bacteria naturally. In today’s post we will be exploring 10 of the best herbs, nutrients and remedies in the world to support healthy lungs.
1. Wild Oregano Oil One of the most powerful herbs for the lungs is wild oregano oil.
Oregano is a fresh herb often used in Italian cooking and is well known for its delicious flavour. The wild variety of this herb contains high amounts of thymol and carvacrol, two natural chemicals which have been shown to boost the health of the lungs and the respiratory system. The leaves and stems of this plant are grown in large quantities and are dried out and the concentrated oil is extracted. You can get this in small pearl capsules. Taking 1-3 of these per day can be used to fight off infections in the lungs because it works as a natural anti-biotic, anti-viral and anti-fungal agent.
Taking this periodically also boosts your immune system to protect your lungs from infections in the future.
2. Mullein Leaves “Muh Luhn” The second herb on our list is mullein.
Mullein leaves have been used by cultures around the world for centuries to fight off infections in the lungs and improve breathing. This is most commonly used as a herbal tea, which you can drink to help expel mucus from your lungs.
In the late 1800’s mullein was even used as popular treatment for Tuberculosis (TB), a bacteria which attacks the lungs. It’s also very effective for those who suffer with asthma, bronchitis or a simple cough, because it helps to bring down inflammation the tissues of the lungs.
3. Raw Coconut Oil The next remedy on our list is coconut oil In order to protect your lungs from any kind of virus, infection or damage it is prudent to first strengthen your immune system. The immune system is a collection of natural defences in the body which protect it from outside threats like bacterial or viral invaders.
Raw coconut oil is loaded with a healthy fat called monolaurin.
Scientific studies show that monolaurin destroys the outer envelope around viruses in order to kill them before they can infect the cells within your lungs. Monolaurin has also been shown to help prevent viruses from spreading through the lungs and the rest of the body by disrupting the assembly of virus particles.
Raw virgin coconut oil is actually one of the healthiest fats to use in cooking as it has a high smoke point, so using this regularly is a great way to enjoy its anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties.
Garlic is number 4.
Fresh, raw garlic is hands down one of the most powerful anti-viral agents on the planet and fights all kinds of infectious agents that could cause harm to your lungs.
Garlic is known as a broad spectrum healer as it contains rare compounds such as allicin which helps overcome respiratory infections that clog up the lungs with mucus and cause breathlessness and congestion. I recommend eating garlic raw, in soups, salads, stir fries and marinades on a regular basis to keep your immune defences strong against viruses, bacteria, mould, fungus and parasites.
The 5th herb on our list is Eucalyptus.
When it comes to healing the lungs, it’s impossible not to mention the most popular herb – eucalyptus which is widely used a natural cold remedy and is a common ingredient in cold and cough products.
This herbal leaf is concentrated into an essential oil and simply inhaling it’s aroma helps to loosen mucus in the lungs and expand the bronchioles so that more oxygen can be exchanged through the blood. The main ingredient called cineole found in eucalyptus oil is a natural anti-inflammatory agent which helps improve breathing, reduce nasal congestion and headaches. Of all the essential oils, this is believed the be one of the most effective against COPD, asthma, bronchitis, the common cold, sinusitis, flu and coronaviruses.
6. Vitamin D & Zinc.
Now we will take a look at two of the most important nutrients for the lungs, Vitamin D and Zinc. Certain viruses and health conditions can cause the small air sacks in the lungs (alveoli) to become damaged and inflamed. This can trigger ARDS (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome) a life threatening condition where the lungs start to become filled with fluid and the patient is unable to get enough oxygen into their body.
Studies show that people who suffer with ARDS usually have severely low levels of Vitamin D in the body, which plays a role in protecting the lungs. Billions of people worldwide are actually deficiency in Vitamin D, so taking a daily supplement of 10,000-20,000 IU’s per day can really help strengthen the body and the immune system.
It’s also been shown to help oxygen exchange in people who suffer with asthma by helping to remodel the lungs.
Then there is also zinc, the most important trace mineral needed to speed up the lifecycle of an infection. Zinc actively reduces inflammation in the lungs for better breathing, and activates more white blood cells that protect the body from infections in the first place. You can get more zinc in your diet by eating shellfish like mussels, oysters, clams, crab meat along with seeds and nuts.
Peppermint is up next. Another inexpensive herb that helps to strengthen the lungs is peppermint.
Part of the mint family of herbs, peppermint contains the most menthol which is well known for improving breathing. Menthol helps to relax the muscles inside the respiratory tract and also has antioxidant and anti-histamine properties. It’s often used as a decongestant and is added to cough sweets in order to clear out mucus and promote fast healing of the lungs.
The best way to enjoy peppermint is by steeping the fresh or dried leaves in hot water to make a herbal tea.
In number 8 we have annatto. There are all kinds of toxins in our environment that can cause damage to our lungs, such as mold, pesticides, radon gas and more commonly smoking. Unfortunately these can create pockets of damage and inflammation in the lungs, which the body then tries to heal in order to protect itself.
Over time this can form scar tissue in the lungs which makes it difficult to breathe and can cause conditions like COPD or pulmonary fibrosis.
This is where Annatto comes in.
It’s a natural red food colouring extracted from the seeds and fruits of the achiote tree, and it’s absolutely loaded with a type of Vitamin E called tocotrienols. Consuming this type of Vitamin E regularly has been shown to help break down and heal scar tissue in the body, especially the lungs, the heart and the liver. You can get Annatto in supplement form from health food stores across the world.
9. Olive Leaf.
Don’t underestimate the power of Olive Leaves.
The leaves of the olive tree contain natural substances called elenoic acid and calcium elonate. These have been scientifically shown to block a wide range of viruses in laboratory tests including influenza, polio, herpes, coxsackie and many other viruses than can cause harm to your body. Taking olive leaf extract in either liquid or capsule form has been shown to reduce the severity of respiratory infections and the time it takes to heal.
I also recommend consuming extra virgin olive oil regularly as this too helps in lowering inflammation in the lungs and supporting the immune system.
10. Green Tea.
Last but by no means least is green tea. Matcha green tea is well known across the world for its medicinal and healing properties. Drinking this often helps to supply certain flavonoids to the body which inhibit viral infections by blocking enzymes that allow viruses to reproduce.
It’s also a powerful lung cleanser as it helps to expel mucus, open up the airways and promote better oxygen exchange through the lungs into the blood.
Keeping The Lungs Healthy
Now that you know some of the most effective herbs and remedies for the lungs, I want to share with you a few extra tips on how to protect your lungs that you may not have thought of. For example, did you know that mental stress and worries can actually weaken your immune system and your lungs?
Whenever you feel tense and worked up, your adrenal glands release lots of cortisol and adrenaline which can put a strain on your lungs and breathing. So getting lots of exercise, sleep and taking long walks is important to maintain healthy lungs and breathing.
Mold is another issue which many people have in their homes. It’s a type of fungus that grows in moist, damp areas and can release tiny particles called spores into the air.
Breathing these in can trigger serious lung infections if you have mold allergies, so it’s important to fix any leaks in your home if you have this problem. It’s also important to stay vigilant when using pesticides around the garden. These chemicals may keep the bugs away from your lawn or crops, however if you eat, touch or breathe them in they can really harm your lungs, nerves and hormone balance.
Farm workers and others who use them are more likely to get lung problems like asthma and COPD, so be sure to use masks and goggles if you do need to use them. Eating organic grown fruits and vegetables is also an excellent way to avoid pesticides.
On a final note, simply being overweight with lots of belly fat can put a strain on your immune system and lungs because the extra weight puts pressure on the blood supply.
Following a healthy lifestyle and eating more low carb foods is an excellent way to support a healthy body.