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  • Writer's pictureFeather & Leaf Acupuncture

7 Herbs for Lung Support

It's the cold and Flu season. The best time to support our respiratory and immune systems. More importantly, it is the perfect time to strengthen and protect the Lungs.

The Lungs in Western and Eastern Medicine play an incredibly important to our life but also our vitality. In Western medicine, the Lungs are responsible for breathing and providing oxygen to the body through primary respiration.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the Lungs are seen as a single unit, so it would be consider just singular, "the Lung". In TCM, this organ is similarly responsible for oxygen production but also viewed to regulate the water passages and dispersing the Qi or energy force throughout the body.

In both perspectives of medicine, the Lung(s) are viewed to play a necessary role with our health. I mean, we have to breathe, right? We need the oxygen and energy they provide to keep us going. So with saying that, it just goes to show how imperative it is to support the Lungs during the time when illness can affect them the most.

So here are 7 herbs you can incorporate to keep these oxygen producing and Qi circulating organs going!

1) Marshmallow Root

Marshmallow root is known for its mucilage (sticky substance) properties that lubricate the airways and Lungs. This herb is great for times of dry cough or dry throat. It has also been known to help with dry mouth as well. It also acts as a decongestant, which helps to open the passageways in the chest, nose, and mouth.

2) Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus helps to open the lungs by decreasing mucus production, relieving nasal congestion, and breaks up mucus, bringing it upwards to get rid of it. Its great at reducing irritation and swelling throughout the nasal passages, creating a free flow of air. It can also fight off microorganisms that are bacterial and fungal.

3) Peppermint

This is my go-to herb when it comes to nasal and chest congestion. Its properties are similar to that of Eucalyptus but its distinct menthol aspect is what makes it great for many inflammatory symptoms. Just the inhalation of peppermint oil helps to increase lung capacity. It does so by reducing swelling in the airways, membranes, and lungs, allowing a free flow of air.

4) Mullein

This helpful herb is one that is kept a bit hidden when it comes to the herbal remedies for the respiratory tract. Mullein is a great herb to have on hand during the cold and flu season. It helps to loosen and eliminate mucus. It is also great to reduce cough, pain, and acts as an anti-inflammatory.

One note about this herb, it is best to use it after an infection or the actual cold. It is used as a remedy to resolve the after effects when an upper respiratory infection has decently resolved.

5) Chamomile

Chamomile is such a lovely herb. It is so gentle but helps in generous ways. It is great to support the Lungs by being an anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, and anti-spasmodic herb. So it can assist with reducing sore throats, coughs, asthma, and overall bacterial invasion.

6) Echinacea

This flower has been known for its immune boosting properties. It's seen in most stores and is raved about when the cold and flu season approaches. It is also an anti-inflammatory that reduces swelling and inflammation in the upper respiratory tract. This allows better airflow but also suppresses the histamine response, which is the main biological reaction with seasonal allergies and asthma. Echinacea relaxes the respiratory muscles that would typically become irritatants during allergy and asthma peak seasons.

7) Ginger

Ginger is a great ally to have during every cold and flu season. This well known herbs protects the lungs by breaking down mucus, reduces inflammation, and provides antioxidant properties.

Each herb has it unique ability to protect and strengthen the Lungs. It's important to keep the Lungs clear, the energy moving, and air flowing easily. Throwing in one or more of these herbs can help to keep you and your Lungs ready for any invaders or triggers of irritation.

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