Living in a polluted city or with a smoker in the house?
Suffering from a lung condition?
Looking to cleanse your lungs?
If so, herbal supplements are the way to go. The respiratory system is a complex structure that provides oxygen to the cells of the body and removes carbon dioxide from them.
Our lungs are also responsible for removing bacteria, particles, toxins, and other substances from the air as it enters the body.
If our lungs are not sufficiently capable of performing these tasks, it can lead to serious health problems such as asthma, COPD, pneumonia and even lung cancer.
This article will discuss 10 natural herbs that can help you detox your lungs!
1. Marshmallow Leaf
What is Marshmallow leaf?
Marshmallow leaf is a herb that has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine as a way to help treat respiratory system problems such as Chronic Bronchitis, laryngitis, and asthma.
The popular candy called “marshmallows” got its name from this medicinal plant due to how manufacturers used marshmallow’s sap for flavouring.
Nowadays though, most chocolate-flavoured ones don’t have any actual roots inside them–they consist mainly of gelatine with some water mixed in as well as artificial flavours or colours added
Scientific name: Althaea Officinalis.
How does Marshmallow leaf work?
- The high mucilaginous content of marshmallow leaf is effective in relieving coughs due to colds, Chronic Bronchitis, or respiratory system diseases with the formation of mucus.
- Marshmallow appears to act as an enzyme to loosen mucus and inhibit bacteria.
- Furthermore, marshmallow leaf also contains the amino acids tryptophan and aspartic acid, which are both important for fighting inflammation.
- Additionally, Marshmallow leaves have been shown to reduce tumor size and lung metastasis in animal studies for lung cancer.
2. Stinging Nettle
What is Stinging nettle?
Stinging nettle is an herb that can be found in many different regions all over the world such as North America, Europe, and Asia.
Stinging nettle plants contain small hair-like structures called “spines” which release irritants onto our skins cells when touched by them.
Chemical substances in stinging nettle cause mild discomfort to touch but studies have shown that the same substance could also reduce inflammation because they travel through tissue more easily than other treatments do.
Scientific name: Urtica Dioica.
How does Stinging nettle work?
- Stinging nettle contains a variety of compounds that aid in the treatment of asthmatic lung inflammation, mucus conditions of the lungs, and chronic coughs.
- Polyphenols in stinging nettle reduce the inflammatory condition by reducing leukocytes (White Blood Cell) rates to their normal value and decreasing the recruitment of eosinophils (type of disease-fighting White Blood Cell) in the lung tissue.
- What’s more, compounds from stinging nettle have also been shown to prevent the formation of lung nodules which may become cancerous.
3. Asparagus Root (Shatavari)
What is Shatavari?
Asparagus (also known as Shatavari) is a plant that can be found in regions of Central Asia and India. The stalks are cut, dried, and then powdered to create an herbal supplement.
It has also been used as an herbal remedy for conditions such as chest pain, coughs, fever, vomiting, burning sensation in the colon, inflammation of the uterus, and improving overall lung function.
Scientific name: Asparagus Racemosus.
How does Shatavari work?
- Flavonoids present in Asparagus are effective in treating dryness in lungs and throat caused due to pollution.
- It also thins and loosens rheum deposits within the chest and nasal cavities and hence eases breathing which helps the body to get rid of mucus.
- Daily intake of this herb fortifies the lung tissues and augments lung health.
4. Lotus Rhizome
What is Lotus Rhizome?
Lotus Rhizome, commonly known as the Sacred Lotus is a plant that is native to Asia. The whole plant is edible and can be consumed either raw or cooked.
Lotus Rhizome has various medicinal properties and is used in the treatment of diarrhoea, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, and COPD symptoms
Scientific name: Nelumbo Nucifera.
How does Lotus Rhizome work?
- Lotus rhizome has been traditionally prescribed in ayurveda for lung ailments, such as tuberculosis, asthma, and coughing.
- Active compounds in lotus rhizome dissolve and eliminate excess mucous, easing congestion in the lungs over time.
- What’s more, elements in lotus rhizome have been proven to promote healthy immune response and could help balance histamine levels, which has been shown to decrease lung carcinoma cells.
- In addition, lotus rhizome contains a substance called nuciferine which is believed to be an effective lung-protecting agent.
4. Inula Racemosa (Puskarmool)
What is Inula Racemosa?
Inula Racemosa (also known as Puskarmool) is a perennial plant is commonly found in India.
The leaves are harvested during the summer season and are dried. It is then ground up into an herbal supplement that can be consumed in a variety of ways such as in a tea, capsule, or tablet.
This herb has traditionally been used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat conditions such as cough, asthma, and fever.
Scientific name: Inula Racemosa.
How does Inula Racemosa work?
- Inula Racemosa is used in Ayurveda for the treatment of lung cancer.
- Volatile compounds present in Inula Racemosa helps to keep the lungs in good condition and acts as a rejuvenating tonic for the lungs.
- It works by protecting the natural antioxidants in the body and helps them to function in a better way.
- Furthermore, Inula Racemosa also helps in the treatment of asthma, bronchitis, cough, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
6. Pine Bark
What is Pine bark?
Pine bark is taken from the tree Pinus Gerardiana. The pine tree can be found in many different regions of the world.
They are particularly plentiful in areas where there is a lot of moisture such as rainforests and wetlands. Pines grow very large and can grow to be approximately 250 feet tall.
The bark on the pine tree has been used for centuries as a natural home remedy for anything from pain to inflammation, to lung health.
Scientific name: Pinus Gerardiana.
How does Pine bark work?
- Active compound proanthocyanidins in pine bark extract has been shown to be effective in treating chronic lung disease.
- It reduces the platelet aggregation caused by cigarette smoke and reduces the risk factor for cardiovascular diseases.
- Pine bark extract is also effective in treating lung cancer.
- Studies have shown it to be a potent solution for lung cancer as it does not treat the disease directly but rather works to balance out your body’s immune system which helps fight off lung cancer cells naturally.
7. Liquorice Root (Mulethi)
What is Liquorice Root?
Liquorice (Mulethi) is a sweet plant that has been used for centuries in herbal teas and candies.
It was first discovered in China and was primarily exported to the Middle East.
Scientific name: Glycyrrhiza Glabra.
How does Liquorice Root work?
- Liquorice has many antimicrobial antitussive and anti-inflammatory properties effects due to which it may aid upper respiratory conditions such as coughs.
- The active ingredient Glycyrrhizic acid helps relieve asthma, especially when added to modern asthma treatments.
- Additionally, liquorice is an effective natural remedy for Chronic Bronchitis because it loosens mucus in the respiratory system while helping to heal lung tissues.
8. Red Clover
What is Red Clover?
Red Clover is a perennial plant that can be found in many regions of the world.
This plant can grow up to a height of 3 feet and has oval-shaped leaves that often reach 6 inches in length. The plant blooms with clusters of bright red or pink flowers during the summer months.
Historically, this herb has been used to provide relief for conditions such as arthritis and to treat COPD
Scientific name: Trifolium Pratense.
How does Red Clover work?
- Red Clover has various biological attributes such as antioxidant and anticancer effects.
- In herbal medicine, red clover is typically used to treat respiratory issues such as asthma, whooping cough, and Chronic Bronchitis.
- In some studies it red clover was shown to shrink lung tumors or stop them from growing.
9. Vasaka Leaves
What is Vasaka leaf?
Vasaka is a perennial plant found in India, Nepal, Srilanka, Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia, and China. In the past, this plant has been used for centuries as both an herbal tea as well as a spice.
The traditional use of this plant is to provide relief for conditions such as arthritis and respiratory problems as well as food allergies.
Vasaka provides unique flavours like sweetness with its taste and smell similar to peppermint.
Scientific name: Adathoda Vasica.
How does Vasaka Leaf work?
- It works as a strong stimulator of the bronchial system thereby eliminates excess phlegm from the throat, clear the lungs and improves bronchodilation, and treats bronchitis, tuberculosis, and other lung function disorders.
- Studies have shown that the chemical compound in this plant, alkaloids, can also be used to treat lung cancer.
- Vasaka leaves are often mixed with honey or ginger extract and consumed orally.
- The active ingredient of these plants is a potent bronchodilator which alleviates asthma symptoms by relaxing muscles around the airways thereby allowing for better airflow
10. Black Pepper
What is Black pepper?
Black pepper is an herb from India, Southeast Asia (particularly Sumatra), and southern China. The plant grows up to 6 feet tall and has dark green leaves that make it easy to identify.
The black pepper fruit can be 3-4 inches long and 2-3 inches wide. It is commonly used in cooking and can be found in many different dishes ranging from Indian curries to French pasta sauces.
People in the past have used this spice for many years to provide relief for conditions such as arthritis and respiratory problems as well as food allergies.
Scientific name: Piper Nigrum.
How does Black Pepper work?
- Active compound Piperine in black pepper has many antioxidant properties which aid in suppressing inflammation in the airways caused by asthma and seasonal allergies.
- It also has analgesic properties which can work as a pain reliever for lung ailments.
- Research suggests that piperine may have the potential to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
The Bottom Line
All these herbs along with a healthy diet can help you improve your lung health. It should also be taken in the correct dosage for maximum benefits.
If you are pregnant, lactating, or prone to any food allergies, or have any medical conditions, consult your healthcare professional before using these herbs.
There are many supplements in the market which provide these herbs. Always opt for supplements that use Standardized and concentrated extracts as these can yield more benefits.
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