Bacteria, viruses, allergies, asthma, and even inhalation of various pollutants may cause upper respiratory problems. Symptoms of respiratory problems can include chest congestion, difficulty breathing and irritated nasal or throat passages. If you, or someone you’re close to, has experienced these symptoms, you know they can be very disruptive.
Your respiratory system is constantly working. All day, every day, it is the vehicle for oxygen to enter your body. Unfortunately, it can also be an entry point for pollutants, irritants, dust, mold, fungus, harmful organisms, and other toxins. Unless you’re living in a bubble, the constant assault from impurities can take its toll. Fortunately, whether you’re experiencing the negative effects of inhaling toxins, or simply want to ensure your lungs are always at peak performance, nature has provided a number of herbs and botanicals that provide deep nutrition for the respiratory system.
How are Herbs Beneficial for the Respiratory System?
Herbs that support lung health typically do so by offering one or more of the following benefits:
- They may be an expectorant — which helps break up and expel chest congestion.
- Soothe irritated nasal passages and airways.
- Relax the muscles near the upper respiratory system to quell a cough.
- Calm the release of histamines.
- Fight the harmful organisms that can produce upper respiratory problems.
- They may be a source of antioxidants and reduce oxidative damage and redness.
Let’s take a look at the nine best herbs for respiratory health!
Credit: Image courtesy of Medical University of Vienna
Science Daily reports, “With infectious diseases, it is often not the pathogen itself, but rather an excessive inflammatory immune response (sepsis) that contributes to the patient’s death, for instance as a result of organ damage. On intensive care units, sepsis is the second-most common cause of death worldwide. In patients with a severely compromised immune system specially, life-threatening candida fungal infections represent a high risk of sepsis.” (more…)
Lungwort, also known as lung moss or lobaria pulmonaria, is a lichen that has been used around the world for a variety of respiratory ailments including coughs, colds, bronchial detoxification and catarrhal problems. Lungwort is found in native damp habitats and coastal areas in Europe, Asia, North America, and Africa. Because it’s very sensitive to environmental toxins, the areas in which it is found are typically unpolluted old forests, and thus, the presence of lungwort is often a good indicator of an ecosystem’s health.
A Brief History of Lungwort (more…)
A recently published study reports that zinc is important for lung health in children. Zinc is an essential mineral required for over 100 enzymes in the body. Zinc plays a role in immune function, cell division, normal growth and development, protein synthesis, and taste and smell. (more…)
A recent study investigated the role of the antioxidant coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) in healthy breathing in human subjects. The study also looked at copper and zinc levels as previous research has shown altered copper-to-zinc ratios in subjects with breathing challenges. (more…)
The other day, my office got a frantic call from Jane. The night before she had suffered a frightening bout of breathlessness. You see, Jane had been a pack-a-day smoker for much of her life. And, although she quit more than 10 years ago, she was left with a devastating case of COPD.
Long-time tobacco smokers like Jane have the highest risk of developing COPD, also called Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. It’s a major cause of disability, affecting at least 12 million people, and the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. (more…)
Australian researchers have identified a clear link between vitamin D deficiency and inhibited lung function. Published in the American Thoracic Society’s American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, the new study reveals that inadequate circulating blood levels of vitamin D are responsible for both altered lung structure and decreased lung function.
Dr. Graeme Zosky, a research fellow at the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research in Subiaco, Australia, and his team compared two groups of mice, one with vitamin D deficiency and the other with normal levels. After evaluating microscopic lung tissue samples and air flow in and out of the lungs, the team determined that vitamin D deficient mice had increased airway resistance and significantly reduced lung volume compared to control mice. (more…)