Use These Herbs To Help Your Lungs, Especially If You Have Asthma
By Brandi Monasco
As someone who has had asthma for over 20 years, I am constantly on the lookout for something that can help me when I get an asthma flare up. I don’t always like to take the medications that help with an asthma attack because they have a tendency to make me nauseous and have that jittery, nervous feeling. Therefore, it’s always important for me to keep my asthma under control.
Sometimes a common cold or an allergy trigger will cause my asthma to go into overdrive, causing me to have a rough day and sometimes even a hard, sleepless night.
I have learned throughout the years that there are herbs and natural home remedies that can help improve lung function and provide relief from lung problems, which may help control my asthma better and prevent fewer attacks.
Here are a few of the top herbs that can provide asthma relief:
- Thyme contains oils such as thymol and flavonoids, which are both antioxidants that help protect your body from damage caused by free radicals. Thyme also acts as a natural antifungal and antibiotic that can help remove viruses and bacteria.
It also contains terpenes, which are the aroma components of the herb. These terpenes stimulate the cilia, which are tiny little hairs that help move mucus out of your lungs. Because of this, thyme acts as a natural chest decongestant.
- Oregano acts as an antihistamine, which is needed to fight histamine that your body creates when it comes into contact with an allergen such as dust or chemicals.
Histamine is produced as an immune response and causes inflammation. Oregano reduces histamine and aids in reducing inflammation and allergic reactions.
- Peppermint is my favorite to use. It is popular because of its many health and therapeutic benefits. Peppermint contains menthol, which is soothing and relaxing to the muscles of your respiratory tract.
It works as a decongestant and an expectorant because it aids in reducing inflammation and can help clear up any phlegm that might be in your respiratory tract. Peppermint also contains rosmarinic acid, which can work against asthma because of its anti-inflammatory properties.
- Mullein leaf acts as an expectorant and is beneficial for treating chest congestion because it helps in removing mucus from your lungs.
The expectorant properties cause you to cough, which helps to remove mucus from your lungs. It also lubricates your throat and lungs, which helps in reducing swelling and inflammation and can also help remedy irritation.
- Licorice root is soothing to the mucus membranes of your lungs and throat. It is also beneficial at reducing the inflammation of mucous membranes and also helps build your immune system. Licorice root thins and loosens mucus in your airways, making your coughs more “productive,” in other words, bringing up mucus and phlegm.
According to Herb Wisdom, “The herb also soothes soreness in the throat and fights viruses that cause respiratory illnesses and an overproduction of mucus, such as irritating coughs, asthma and chest infections.”
- Eucalyptus is another of my favorites. Eucalyptus contains a compound called cineole that acts as an expectorant that can ease your cough and help fight upper respiratory issues.
Eucalyptus also helps in reducing swelling and inflammation. It contains antioxidants that may also help strengthen your immune system to help fight against illnesses such as the cold or flu.
How To Use These Herbs
There are several ways you can reap the benefits of these herbs. Most of them (with the exception of licorice root) come in essential oil forms as well as dried herb form. You can simply place the essential oils in an oil diffuser or place 1-2 drops of oil in the palm of your hands and take a few deep breathes.
My favorite thing to do with the peppermint and eucalyptus is to place a few drops of the oil in the bathtub while I’m taking a shower. Licorice root comes in extract and root forms, which can be made into soothing teas.
Do you have any other suggestions for how to help asthma or implement these herbs into your life? Please feel free to share with us in the comments below!
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Brandi Monasco is a freelance writer, graphic designer and social media manager from Texas. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts and has recently found a new love for health and nutrition.
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