10 Herbal Remedies for Respiratory Problems
The classification of respiratory problems actually covers a wide range of ailments and disorders affecting the lungs and respiratory system. Two broad categories within this are upper and lower respiratory problems. Upper respiratory problems include things as simple as the common cold, or any other affliction of the nose, sinuses, mouth and throat.
These are usually easier to treat than lower respiratory issues, which affect the bronchial tubes and lungs. Most people suffer from one or two respiratory infections each year, which are typically non-serious, but irritating and disruptive of normal life. Some common symptoms and problems of the respiratory system include laryngitis, coughing, sore throat, breathing difficulties, chest pain, poor appetite, fever, wheezing, sinus pressure, runny nose, ear aches, and all the other unfortunate cold and flu symptoms.
While the majority of these problems don’t progress to a serious level, chronic respiratory problems can increase your chances of developing pneumonia and long-term damage to your respiratory tracts. While many people suggest antibiotics for respiratory infections, extensive use of antibiotics in recent years has resulted in many antibiotic-resistant strains that are particularly hard to neutralize. This has led many people to turn to natural or herbal remedies for these issues; the anecdotal and traditional evidence for many of these solutions is well documented, and for those looking for a natural option to clear up respiratory problems, pay attention to these 10 herbal remedies for respiratory problems.
10 Herbal Remedies for Respiratory Problems
1. Licorice: One of the best all-around remedies for respiratory issues is licorice root, due to its antibacterial, antiviral, expectorant, anti-inflammatory, and soothing properties. The presence of saponins helps to expel mucus from the tracts, which is where many of the bacterial and viral pathogens can be found. Furthermore, the antioxidants prevent oxidative stress in the blood vessels and reduce inflammation of the airways to help you breathe while suffering from a respiratory issue.
2. Echinacea: Research has linked the antioxidant potential of echinacea with a reduction in chronic bronchitis (COPD), which can severely weaken your lungs and respiratory system. By adding some echinacea tea to your weekly or daily regimen, you can quickly clear your tracts and soothe inflammation, thus easing the urge to cough and further inflame the system.
3. Ginkgo: If you suffer from an actual respiratory disorder, such as asthma, then additional respiratory problems or illnesses can become very serious. Ginkgo extract has been linked to preventing asthma attacks by inhibiting a certain chemical factor (PAF) in the body, thus calming the instinct to cough and wheeze, providing relief for those who already struggle to breathe normally.
4. Mullein: Although not the most commonly consumed or prescribed herb, mullein leaves contain an extract with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant abilities that help to eliminate mucus (expectorant) and soothe the raw, inflamed tracts of your system, including your throat. The most popular way of consuming mullein is by brewing a strong tea from 1-2 grams of dried mullein and drinking this once a day.
5. Peppermint: Menthol, the most important active ingredient in peppermint, is able to clear breathing passageways, soothe inflammation, neutralize free radicals, and prevent allergic attacks (antihistamine effects). This comprehensive approach to treating respiratory problems and infections makes peppermint one of the most popular herbal remedies. Peppermint tea is the easiest and most effective strategy, or a chest rub with peppermint essential oil.
6. Thyme: With antibiotic, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties, there is very little that thyme can’t do in relation to your respiratory issues. By adding this herb to your meals, you can partially clear up the infections, but a more potent and direct approach would be using thyme essential oil, which is very powerful and trusted as a breathing aid.
7. Oregano: Similar to thyme, oregano has important essential oils and acids that make it effective for respiratory issues. The rosmarinic acid found in oregano has powerful antihistamine effects and is a decongestant, along with strong antibacterial properties. This can not only eliminate the mucus, but also kill the bacteria causing the infection in the first place, quickly speeding up recovery.
8. Cannabis: Although cannabis is illegal in certain countries, studies have linked the cannabinoids within this plant to lowered rates of cancer, increased immune system functioning, and bronchodilation (particularly when cannabis is vaporized). This means that your tracts are expanded, making breathing easier, due to the natural anti-inflammatory nature of this powerful plant. Use of cannabis is banned/restricted in many countries, so consult your health specialist before use.
9. Elecampene: For people prone to lung or respiratory infections, elecampene has long been a traditional solution. For thousands of years, elecampene essential oil and simple tinctures where leaves are allowed to steep in water, have been prescribed to loosen mucus and eliminate the chest pain and tightness associated with these conditions.
10. Chaparral: Chaparral is an herb commonly found in the southwest United States, but the tinctures and tea made with this plant have powerful antibacterial, decongestant, and antihistamine properties that have made it a popular and easily accessible remedy for a wide range of lung and breathing issues.
A Final Word of Warning: Chronic respiratory issues can greatly compromise your immune system and respiratory system integrity, making you more vulnerable to more serious, and even life-threatening problems. If you continue to suffer with chronic breathing issues, be sure to see a doctor and ensure that an antibiotic approach is not necessary to ensure long-term health and wellness.