5 Lung-Loving Herbs Every Ex-Smoker Needs (and How to Use Them)
Written by: Steve Fillmore
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that approximately 6 million people are killed by tobacco each year, with 600,000 deaths from exposure to secondhand smoke.
There are more than 7,000 highly dangerous and toxic chemicals, including 60 carcinogens that are known to cause cancer in tobacco smoke, says the American Cancer Society.
The tobacco leaves used in cigarette production contain radioactive materials that can build up over time and predispose a smoker to higher chances of cancer.
How are herbs beneficial for the respiratory system?
Herbs that support lung health typically do so by offering the following benefits:
- Expectorant – Helps break up and expel chest congestion.
- Soothing – Helps to soothe inflamed nasal passages and airways.
- Calming – Calms the release of histamines.
- Antioxidant – May be a source of antioxidants and reduces oxidative stress.
Let’s take a look at 5 natural herbs to detox the Lungs.
1. Eucalyptus – Native to Australia, eucalyptus has been used by native people in Australia for millennia. The main compound in Eucalyptus is cineole. Cineole has many benefits – it’s an expectorant, can ease a cough, fights congestion and can soothe irritated nasal passages. It also supports the immune system during a cold or other general illnesses.
To Use: Take a high therapeutic grade essential oil and apply one drop onto your finger tip and place it under your nose. You can also place one drop in the palm of your hand and cup it over your nose and breathe. Essential oil can also be placed onto your chest in replacement of commonly know Vapo Rub.
2. Lungwort – Lungwort is a flowering rhizomatous that resembles the lung tissue in appearance. Lungwort contains compounds that are powerfully effective against harmful organisms that affect respiratory health.
To Use: Can be used as a tincture in tea.
3. Oregano – The two main components that make oregano effective for lung health are carvacrol and rosmarinic acid. Both compounds are natural decongestants and histamine reducers.
To Use: Apply one drop under your nose and inhale.
4. Lobelia – Lobelia contains an alkaloid known as lobeline, which thins mucus and breaks up congestion. It also stimulates the adrenal glands to release epinephrine, which relaxes the airways for easier breathing.
To Use: Commonly used as a tincture in teas.
5. Osha Root – Osha root contains many beneficial detoxifying components – camphor, terpenes, saponins, phytosterols and ferulic acid. This root promotes the cleansing of mucous from the lungs and sinuses while also protecting against respiratory infections. It also increases blood flow to the lungs, which increases overall health function.
To Use: Can be used as a tincture in teas.
Now, it’s always a personal choice on whether or not you want to quit smoking, but – especially considering the high rates of lung cancer and the toxicity of smoking – making the choice to quit is a powerful, life-enhancing decision.
If you choose to quit, not only will you be saving money and detoxing yourself from all the damage left behind by the habit, you will find that you’ll be able to breathe that much easier as you make a monumental leap towards a life of health and vitality.
Steve Fillmore is a 2-time cancer THRIVER! His motto in life is: Love, Laugh, Live - Love yourself first; Laugh through all the crazy times; Live for life right now! Through proper diet, exercise and mindfulness, Steve has been able to recreate his body to work with and for him.
For fun, you can find Steve either teaching a Zumba class, or creating websites for clients.
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