6 herbs that can improve your respiratory health

Each of us understands that, in principle, air pollution causes illnesses and even deaths. But does it personally endanger me? One of the sad aspects of modern life is that air pollution affects almost all countries and societies on our planet and will continue to do so for generations to come.

The World Health Organization Ambient Air Pollution Database measures PM2.5 levels in about 3,000 cities in 103 countries. More than 80% of people living in cities that monitor air pollution are exposed to air which do not meet the WHO’s guidelines. That rises to 98% for people living in large cities in low and middle-income countries. In 2016, the WHO estimated that in general 92% of the world’s population lives in places where air quality levels exceed healthy limits. Air pollution causes millions of premature deaths a year worldwide, 80% of those deaths are due to heart diseases and strokes, another 20% from respiratory diseases and cancers. This facts puts really large number of people at risk of being affected by unhealthy levels of air pollutants.

Can herbal remedies reduce harmful effects of air pollution?

Every day we had to inhale harmful elements, and this depresses the work of the respiratory system and harms our lungs. The problem is that our lungs are very complex and sensitive organs, whose health take a turn for the worse because of accumulated toxins or infections.

Fortunately, there are natural remedies that can strengthen the health of the lungs and help them to fight the negative impact 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,
  • soothe the oral and nasal passages that are irritated,
  • suppressing symptoms such as sneezing, coughing and swelling of the glands,
  • they have antihistamine and antioxidant qualities,
  • they are harmful to toxins that can be the cause of diseases of the upper respiratory system,
  • are the source of antioxidants.

Which herbs can help and how?

Below we will take a look on 6 herbs that can help us to keep our respiratory system healthier.

1.   Thyme

This medicinal plant eliminates congestion and soothes airway irritation. Essential oils in thyme are excellent antibiotics, have antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties, strengthen the immune system and stimulate purification processes in the lungs. You can use thyme for both tea and inhalation. That will allow you to stimulate the removal of toxins from the respiratory system.

2.   Licorice root

The root of licorice has been used in Chinese folk medicines for centuries. Gradually this herb became popular all over the world. It is not surprising, because licorice root draws a wide range of medicinal properties. Its anti-inflammatory agents and analgesics help to calm the inflammation of the throat and airways. Thanks to the root of licorice, the supply of oxygen to our body cells is improved. Licorice is very soothing and softens the mucous membranes, including those that cover the surface of the lungs and throat. That in turn is making it easier to breath and helping our body to remove mucus from the airways. Thanks to these properties of licorice and the nutrients contained in it, our immunity becomes stronger, and it becomes easier for our body to protect itself from viruses and bacteria. The root of licorice also contains flavonoids – antioxidants, which fight oxidative processes in cells, and help to lower your risk of lung cancer.

3. Oregano

This fragrant spice contains a large amount of rosmarinic acid and carvacrol – antioxidants, which reduce the production of histamine. Therefore, oregano is useful to people who suffer from different allergies. Oregano has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and expectorant properties. The natural oil of oregano, derived from its leaves, is an effective treatment for various viral and bacterial infections, such as cold and flus.

4. Sage

Drinks with sage serve as a wonderful natural cure, which is used to treat common respiratory and lung ailments. Sage is a natural source of flavonoids and polyphenolic compounds possessing strong antioxidant and antibacterial activities. It stimulates a natural detox reaction, releasing accumulation of toxins in the tissues and organs.

5. Plantain Leaf

Don’t confuse the plantain being discussed here with the banana-like fruit plant of the same name. This green, weedy plant is native to most of Europe and nothern and central Asia, which has long been used for treating inflammations and irritations of respiratory system. Many of its active constituents show antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, as well as being anti-inflammatory and antitoxic. Plantain leaf has been used for hundreds of years to ease cough and soothe irritated mucous membranes.

6. Peppermint

Peppermint and its essential oil contain menthol, a popular ingredient for the treatment of respiratory diseases. Menthol relaxes the smooth muscles of the respiratory tract and normalizes breathing. It is an effective antihistamine that helps to cleanse our bodies from toxins that cause respiratory allergies. Together with the antihistaminic effect of peppermint, menthol is a fantastic decongestant. That’s why lozenges, inhalers and chest balms so often use menthol to break up mucus and relieve your throat. And peppermint is also a great source of antioxidants.

How to use these herbs?

While it is important to verify the air quality in your region and avoid spending much time outdoors on days with poor air quality, it is also important to know how to keep your immune system strong. Herbs can not only boost your health but also have the ability to heal infections and repair your lungs. All of the above herbs are available in various forms: food additives, essential oils or tea blends. They can be dried up or fresh, which is even better. As with any medicine, herbal remedies can have serious side effects for some people, so always consult your doctor before using any treatments.

Watch out for the next article! We will present some very interesting recipes showing how before mentioned herbs can be used. If you use already this herbs and want to tell our readers don’t be shy! Share your recipes and post.

Photographs: Pinterest

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