10 Top Herbs for Healing the Lungs and the Respiratory System

Herbal treatment is an effective approach towards health complications affecting the lungs and the respiratory system. It may not be a universal cure, and it will not rid you of cancer, but it will help to alleviate numerous symptoms associated with common complications that affect the lungs and the respiratory system.

Companies often claim the herbs they use in their supplements are effective treatments for numerous medical conditions. While these herbs may be effective, some are not healthy. Remember, even cocaine is a 'gift' from Mother Nature.

Which healthy plants are almost guaranteed to improve your heart and respiratory system, without putting your health at risk?


1) Osha Root (Ligusticum porter)

Osha Herb - Photo Credit www.thechalkboardmag.com

Osha Herb - Photo Credit www.thechalkboardmag.com

The Osha root possesses various therapeutic health benefits that have been used to cure anything from sore gums to throat and lung infections. Although other parts of the herb are also used to make herbal medicine, the most potent part of the plant is the Osha root.

You can chew the root or boil it into a tea.  Drinking this herbal tea will help you fight congestion, flu and cold symptoms, as well as sore throat and lung and throat infections. Osha root uses extend beyond throat and lung treatments and can also be used to treat air and motion sickness by increasing oxygen intake into the body.


2) Nettle Leaf (Urtica Dioica)

Nettle Leaf - Photo credit www.mederifoundation.org

Nettle Leaf - Photo credit www.mederifoundation.org

This is a highly nutritional herb with many medicinal benefits. In extract form, nettle leaf can provide antihistamine-like effects. It can also help manage inflamed tissues. Most effectively, it serves as a tonic to the lungs and helps to treat and fight off chronic coughing, lung mucus disorders, and more.


3) Eyebright (Euphrasia)

Eyebright - Photo credit www.dyhr.com

Eyebright - Photo credit www.dyhr.com

Eclectic physicians preferred to prescribe eyebright to patients when they experienced either nasal or ocular membrane congestion. This herb is a powerhouse, with anti-inflammatory, astringent, anti-catarrhal, and antiseptic properties. This means it's a highly effective herbal ingredient for a lung or respiratory system supplement. Its antihistamine properties also assist with reducing allergic reaction symptoms as they reduce chemical release in the immune system during a reaction.


4) Licorice Root (Glycyrrhiza Glabra)

Licorice Root and Herb - Photo credit www.kombuwholefoods.com.au

Licorice Root and Herb - Photo credit www.kombuwholefoods.com.au

Licorice root is a common ingredient in herbal supplements. The saponins in the licorice root are responsible for softening phlegm within the respiratory tract. This makes it easier for the body to flush out mucus, as well as lower the risk of airways becoming restricted. It also helps to treat bronchial spasms as they occur. In addition, lung cancer cells are less likely to develop because of the flavanoids and glycyrrhizins that are found in licorice root.


5) Marijuana (Cannabis)

Cannabis Herb - Photo credit www.harvestoftempe.com

Cannabis Herb - Photo credit www.harvestoftempe.com

 This may get some hate, so I will put it in the middle of the top 10 rankings. Cannabis is a healthy and safe herb to use for medicinal purposes. However, the application must be justified. Patients with serious lung condition such as lung cancer, may be prescribed medical marijuana to alleviate their symptoms. While smoking cannabis will negate much of the respiratory benefits, using a vaporizer or eating cannabis edibles will eliminate the downfalls of cannabis for herbal therapy.


6) Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara)

Coltsfoot - Photo credit www.naturalmedicinalherbs.net

Coltsfoot - Photo credit www.naturalmedicinalherbs.net

Do not let the name scare you, Native Americans have used this herb for millenniums. It's primarily purpose is to improve the strength of the lungs. In supplement form, this herb can help flush out mucus from the bronchial tubes and the lungs. It softens the lung mucus membranes, breaking down the mucus for an easier removal. Studies indicate that this herb also helps with alleviating asthma, bronchitis, chronic coughing, and other lung disorders.



7) Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)

Surprisingly, thyme is used as a herbal treatment for many different medical complications. It can be used to eliminate acne better than prescription acne treatment products. Most importantly, it can help to prevent and treat infections of the respiratory tract and bacterial infections that cause pneumonia. It's most effective for killing off bacteria and viruses, which can come in handy when dealing with a range of lung conditions.



8) Mullein (Verbascum)

Mullein flowers and leaves can be extracted and used for herbal treatment to improve lung strength. The herb can help rid the bronchial tubes and lungs of excess mucus. It can also help lower inflammation in the respiratory tract.



9) Lungwort (Pulmonaria)

As the name implies, this herb comes from one of the healthy plants that can really benefit the lungs. The lungwort plant grows into a tree that looks similar to lung tissue. For nearly 500 years, individuals have used lungwort as a way to naturally improve the health of one's lungs and their respiratory system. Certain damaging organisms can be combated through lungwort supplementation, as well.



10) Oregano (Origanum vulgare)

 Everyone has oregano in their kitchen, but many don't know that it can double as medicine. As this herb has nutrients and vitamins that the immune system needs, it is viewed as being a beneficial herb to take as a dietary supplement. However, it is mostly recommended for the fact that it contains carvacrol and rosmarinic acid. These are compounds that get recognition for their ability to naturally relieve congestion. Its anti-histamine properties contribute towards improved health of the respiratory tract and the sinuses.



As you can see, there are numerous natural herbs that are effectively used in herbal therapy. Some are effective at promoting a fresh breath, and others at a healthy lung function. Studies have been underway for many years to better determine which herbs actually work; folklore and Native American tales don't go far to truly tell which herbs are effective and which are symptomatic.

Take the time to find the right herbal supplement for you. There is endless information online on each natural ingredient and their benefits and side-effects. It's just a matter of time before you find the right herbal blend. Don't fall short and become a victim of a commercial 'natural' supplement that will apparently help your lungs or respiratory system. Instead, find a few specific ingredients that are sure to work and make a super-supplement from them, or try each supplement on it's own and see which ones work best for you.

Either way, investing in some type of natural herb supplement to treat your lung or respiratory issues is definitely a good idea. There are many different herbal supplements on the market, but the scientific studies behind each herbal ingredient will make it easy to shortlist the most effective products.

Lastly, remember to discuss the herbal ingredients in your lung and respiratory supplement solution with your doctor. If you have any medical conditions, you want to be careful that the herbs you use won't accidentally worsen your health.

-Shem Ruszczyk