The respiratory system is likely to be one of the systems most sensitive to the action of medicinal herbs for the lungs. Many forms of phytotherapeutic treatments exert a beneficial action on the respiratory organs, for instance, the following:
- Hot infusions or decoctions of pectoral plants, which first act locally when passing close to the larynx and the upper areas of the high airways. Then their active components pass to the digestive tract, from there to the blood, and reach the lung and bronchial cells.
- Syrups: This method of preparation is traditionally employed for respiratory afflictions. Sugars usually have a balsamic action for the bronchi, especially notable in honey. Syrups should be thus prepared with honey whenever possible. They are especially recommended for children since the flavor masks the likely lousy taste of the plants they are made of.
- Inhalation of essences: Aromatherapy, that is, the use of essences or essential oils, is one of the great rediscoveries of modern phytotherapy. The simple inhalation of an essence exerts medicinal actions on the respiratory system: antiseptic, bronchodilator, and mucolytic (thinning of the bronchial mucous). By breathing the aroma of eucalyptus or that of a raw sliced onion, a cough is calmed and bronchi cleared.
- Vapor inhalations: Water vapor is one of the most effective mucolytic substances known. The inhalation of water vapor, adding to the water some drops of an essence to achieve better effectiveness, combines the therapeutic effects of the water with those of the employed herbs for the lungs.
- Baths, poultices, and fomentations with herbs for the lungs. These are other effective methods of use for treating the afflictions of the respiratory system.
All respiratory organs gain significant benefits from the use of medicinal herbs for the lungs. Their action is not limited to neutralizing the symptoms of any disease, but they exert an actual cleansing action for excessive mucus in the interior of the airways. Besides, some plants such as nasturtium or thyme also contain antibiotic substances which prevent bacteria growth in the remanding mucus.
Every day we breathe about one thousand liters of air into our lungs. In cities, this air contains smoke, germs, and small polluting particles. Our bronchi have an effective cleansing mechanism, their interior being covered by a mucous layer that catches and expels the polluting particles and germs, which the air we breathe contains. Under normal conditions, this mechanism is enough to keep the bronchi clear.
However, due to the action of tobacco smoke, other smokes or irritant substances, certain harmful germs, or bad respiratory habits, the bronchi cleaning mechanism stops working effectively, and then we suffer from bronchitis. Medicinal herbs for the lungs can then act by restoring the effective working of the bronchial mucous membrane. Obviously, the primary condition to repair it is for the cause of the dysfunction to disappear. Applying the best phytotherapeutic – or other kinds of – treatments would be almost useless if the patient kept on smoking or breathing polluted air.
Top Herbs for The Lungs
George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. Ed. Francesc X. Gelabert. Vols. 1 San Fernando de Henares: Editorial Safeliz, 2000. 281. Print.