You might already be suffering from pollution related illnesses. Or maybe you are just interested in keeping your lungs clean. These and many other herbs are being used as tea blends, supplements or ingredients in over-the-counter medicine. If they grow in the environment around you, you can use them for topical application or through inhalation. Some of the herbs are also safe for ingestion as food.
There are plants all around us that can help us to fight the negative effects that air pollution can have on the human body. Herbs, or medicine that contains herbal compounds, have the following general benefits:
⦁ Easing chest and nasal congestion,
⦁ Soothing airways that are irritated,
⦁ Suppressing symptoms such as sneezing, coughing and swelling of the glands,
⦁ Having antihistamine and anti-oxidant qualities,
⦁ Being harmful to toxins that cause problems in the upper respiratory system.
Most herbs that are promoted for their health benefits today have been in use for centuries. They include:
Lobelia is being considered as one of the most important discoveries of herbal medicine. It contains an alkaloid named Lobeline, which helps to ease congestion. Its anti-spasmodic quality causes deeper and easier breathing; therefore, it is used in over the counter medicine for treating bronchitis.
Traditional communities, like the Aborigines of Australia, have long used the leaves of the eucalyptus tree to create infusions. When inhaled, it will ease congestion, colds and fevers.
Eucalyptus owes its healing properties to cineole, the active ingredient responsible for easing coughs, fighting congestion and soothing sinus irritation. Several studies have been conducted, the results of which have supported the effectiveness of eucalyptus as natural medicine. One such study concluded that sinus complaints were reduced when 200mg of cineole was taken thrice a day.
Most over-the-counter cough and congestion treatments contain eucalyptus. It can also be bought as a supplement or an oil.
Since the 1600’s, lungwort has been used for treating respiratory illnesses and for clearing airways. Its high mucilage content makes it quite useful for treating chronic bronchitis. It can also be used to treat asthma and coughs when combined with herbs like colts-foot.
Oregano is mostly known for its use in the kitchen. It has many nutrients that boost the body’s immunity. It also contains two compounds with anti-histamine and de-congestive properties: carvacrol and rosmarinic. By rubbing a little bit of a mixture of Oregano Oil and olive oil on the temples and forehead, it can be used to relieve sinus headaches.
- Plantain Leaf
Plantain leaf was used by the Anglo-Saxons as far back as the 1500s to treat a lot of ailments including respiratory complications. It is even used in modern medicine today. You can find it in balms and medication meant for soothing the respiratory system. It is also used to manage cardiovascular problems and treating rheumatism.
German Clinical trials concluded that plantain leaf reduces irritation of lung tissue and coughs. This has led to its wide adoption in Germany as an ingredient in respiratory medications.
Elecampane has long been used by the Chinese, Indians, Greeks and Romans to relax and sooth tracheal muscles. The herb owes its healing properties to inulin, a soothing compound, and alantolactone, which is an expectorant. When the linings of the bronchial tubes are swollen and red, this can make it hard to breath. Inulin soothes the tubes, while alantolactone cleanses the congestion. And that makes it possible to breathe.
The menthol contained in peppermint soothes the respiratory tract for freer breathing. Peppermint is also an anti-histamine and anti-oxidant. It is effective for de-congesting and it fights organisms that are harmful to the respiratory system.
- Osha Root
The roots of the Osha herb contain camphor, phytosterols, saponins and other oils. It is one of the greatest remedies for supporting lung function. The herb increases circulation of air to the lungs, making it possible to breathe deeper. Its antihistamine properties will also calm irritated sinuses and soothe other respiratory irritations.
Though the air pollution situation seems critical, promoting respiratory health is still possible -thanks in part to the remedies discussed above! You still might need the use of inhalers and other respiratory and cardiovascular medications… but the frequent use of the above mentioned herbs has helped many to reduce the dependency of such medication in the longer term.
I hope you will find some helpful tips in here. And if by any chance, you happen to have any secret remedy rolled up your sleeves then please, do share it with us. We love to hear from you.