Without air we die, it’s a simple fact. We breathe in air anywhere from 15 to 25 times per minute without even thinking about it in fact we breathe so regularly that it is easy to take our respiratory system for granted.
The respiratory system comprise of the lungs, trachea, bronchioles, mouth, and nose. Whilst all components play their role in the intake of air, it is the lungs that perform a range of life sustaining functions. First essential function is taking carbon dioxide out of the body exchanging it for oxygen. Other functions are cleansing, nourishing with nutrients, calming, and restoring balance.
Reasons to Support the Lungs
When our lungs become compromised due to disease, pollution or smoking, a range of conditions arise and so too our ability to inhale life giving air or exhaling toxins.
Supporting out lungs before illness or disease strikes or after quitting smoking can assist the rejuvenation of this precious system.
Whilst complete lung regeneration is usually minimal if they are badly damaged for example, in the case of Emphysema, some lung regeneration can occur with the right support and especially after you quit smoking. Lung regeneration is one of the most important benefits of quitting smoking:
- Twelve hours after stopping, almost all nicotine is out of the system
- After 24 hours, the level of carbon monoxide in the blood will have dropped dramatically, meaning your body can take and use oxygen more efficiently
- After two days, the senses of taste and smell start to return
- After two months, blood flow to the hands and feet improves
- After one year, the risk of heart disease rapidly drops
- After 10 years, the risk of lung cancer is halved
[Source Cancer Council Australia]
Supporting the Lungs The Natural Way
There are many ways we can support healthy lungs and I prefer the natural way. While the effectiveness of herbs has not been studied conclusively it is fair to say the same for many pharmaceutical drugs. In fact, pharmaceuticals have been designed throughout the ages to mimic the compounds found in naturally occurring plants and herbs.
Check the list below of useful herbs that will boost, repair and rejuvenate the respiratory system and the health of your lungs. All of these are readily available as an herb in your pantry or as an essential oil.
Liquorice is loaded with antibacterial and antiviral properties to boost the immune system and fights off lung infections. It also soothes and softens the mucous membranes of the throat and the lungs and acts as an expectorant.
Not just for seasoning food, Thyme produces antiseptic oils useful as a naturally antibiotic, antibacterial and antifungal. Thyme is also a powerful agent in fighting chest congestion as well as treating respiratory infections and pneumonia.
Oregano is a useful herb adding flavour to cooking but it is also packed with vitamins and nutrients necessary for a healthy immune system as well as aiding nasal passage airflow. The essential oil from the oregano plant is known to assist as a decongestant and as anti-histamine.
Eucalyptus is known to many as a common ingredient in lozenges and cough syrups. It is great for soothing a sore throat and relieving blocked nasal passages. Eucalyptus is packed with antioxidants and as a natural expectorant eases coughing and congestion.
Sage is a beautiful herb with a strong aroma and helpful for general lung and respiratory issues.
Peppermint, and peppermint oil, contains menthol which is soothing to the respiratory tract enabling congestion and breathing difficulties due to blocked nasal passages. It is packed with antioxidants boosting the immune system.
You can brew your herbs as a tea or use the essential oils to inhale or apply to the skin.
Information in this article is for educational purpose only, and should not be used in place of medical advice. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet. There are no guarantees with this diet.