Preventively and in the fight against lung infections, medicinal herbs prove to be extremely effective. The Corona pandemic has made many aware of the importance of supporting our health and nature has a lot to offer for this purpose. Not only are many foods rich in nutrients and can improve lung function and help with cleansing and regeneration. Certain breathing exercises can also strengthen the lungs. And if, in addition to this, you also regularly perform a pampering program with herbs, you can perfectly strengthen the lungs, arm yourself against Covid-19 and other viruses, and in this way prevent or alleviate lung problems. So, how can you strengthen the lungs with herbs? We have summarized some beneficial medicinal herbs for you below.
Table of Contents
- Strengthen lungs in a natural way – medicinal herbs vs. antibiotics
- Strengthen and heal lungs – Which herbs for lungs?
Strengthen lungs in a natural way – medicinal herbs vs. antibiotics
To fight infections of any kind, many doctors prescribe antibiotics. This is also the case for viral infections. In serious cases, this is also the better choice, but it does not always have to be the first. Firstly, because antibiotics can come with side effects – the intestinal flora is weakened and fungal infections can occur. In addition, you don’t give your body the opportunity to take on the pathogens itself first, which in turn weakens the immune system instead of strengthening it. As a result, you will be more susceptible to another infection the next time.
Secondly, you should know that an antibiotic is not effective against viral, but against bacterial diseases. If there is a viral infection, antibiotics can therefore only be effective against so-called secondary infections caused by bacteria (e.g. inflammation of the sinuses, lungs or middle ear). The virus itself remains intact. So to avoid the need to administer antibiotics in the first place, you can prophylactically strengthen the lungs or relieve initial symptoms by making use of medicinal herbs.
The healing power of natural herbs
So, an antibiotic kills the bacteria (and not only the “bad” ones, but also the good ones), but has no healing and soothing effect. This is what makes the medicinal herbs special. Because, in contrast, they contain active ingredients that, depending on the plant, have antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, expectorant, decongestant and regenerative effects. And by combining several herbs, you can even get several of these active ingredients at once. Perfect, then, if you want to strengthen the lungs or help them heal (and not just for lung disease).
So which medicinal plants are good for lungs and bronchi? You will now find out!
Strengthen and heal lungs – Which herbs for lungs?
One herb that probably everyone already has at home and ready to hand when needed is thyme (Thymus vulgaris). Perhaps you have noticed that many cough syrups contain this medicinal herb? The reason is that these are expectorant herbs that are very beneficial for respiratory infections and also strengthen the lungs. Antiseptic essential oils are what have this effect and for this reason are considered natural antibiotics. However, unlike the traditional antibiotic, this plant has a significant advantage. And that is that it acts not only against bacteria, but also against viruses.
So if you want to strengthen and heal lungs and bronchi, you make a wonderful choice with thyme. And this was already known in ancient times. Whether you want to use the herb to strengthen the lungs or to help them heal due to an infection, thyme can exert its positive effects perfectly both as a lung tea and as an ingredient in homemade cough syrup. And this is how the tea is prepared:
For 200 ml of water, you need 1 to 2 teaspoons of thyme. Heat the water and pour it over the medicinal herb. After 5 to 10 minutes of infusion, the lung tea is ready. You can drink 2 to 4 cups of it daily. A tincture of thyme also proves to be very effective.
Healthy lungs with eucalyptus
Especially for lungs and respiratory tract eucalyptus (Eucalyptus) is very popular as a medicinal plant and especially effective (thanks to the active ingredient “Cineol”). That is why it is also often a component of cough syrups. Apart from the fact that eucalyptus improves lung function in general, it is also good for the throat and relieves any discomfort. It is, as an essential oil used locally, also analgesic (for example, in rheumatism) and even acts against fungal infections . Another important plus to mention is that it is also effective against bacteria, some of which are already resistant to antibiotics. So with eucalyptus you can wonderfully strengthen and heal the lungs.
The mentioned substance cineol has an expectorant, cough suppressant, anti-inflammatory and decongestant effect, which are extremely beneficial for any respiratory diseases. In turn, if you want to strengthen your immune system and thus your lungs at the same time, eucalyptus supports you in the best way possible thanks to its large amounts of antioxidants. Perfect for preventing colds. How about a tea for lungs made from eucalyptus? Here’s how it’s made:
Grind two tablespoons of dry eucalyptus leaves (preferably combined with equal parts of thyme and anise) and pour them over 150 to 200 ml of hot water. After 10 to 15 minutes of infusion, the tea is ready and can be poured off and drunk. Small sips are recommended. You can drink up to 5 cups and the tea is also suitable for gargling against sore throat.
Much more effective is eucalyptus in the form of an essential oil – for inhalation or in the form of capsules for absorption through the digestive organs. However, the oils are not suitable for babies and young children!
Bird’s knotweed (Polygonum aviculare) can also be used to strengthen the lungs, as it strengthens the lung tissue and bronchial tubes and makes them more resistant to pathogens due to its high content of silicic acid. Thus, as a preventive measure, it is perfectly suitable as a tea (3 cups per day for several months). This is also true if you suffer from chronic lung diseases. However, in the fight against a disease of the respiratory tract, its effect is relatively weak, so then it is best to combine it with other medicinal herbs such as licorice, thyme, anise and mullein, if you want to strengthen and heal the lungs. Prepare the tea according to the package instructions or those of your pharmacist.
Strengthen lungs with sage
Sage (Salvia officinalis) is known to be healing in many ways. In terms of lungs and respiratory system, it’s antibacterial essential oils (thujone, cineole and camphor). In turn, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and analgesic effect of tannins of sage, whereby the medicinal herb promotes healing (not for irritable cough, because drying, or if, then in combination with mucosa-protecting plant). For a tea, pour 150 ml of hot water over 1 tsp of dry and crushed leaves. After 10 minutes, pour off and drink slowly. The tea is also suitable for gargling in case of sore throat and for inhalation. Sage essential oils are also suitable for inhalation.
What cleanses the lungs – mullein
If you want to clean the lungs with herbs, you make a really good choice with mullein (Verbascum). Due to its mild taste, it is also very suitable for children. It has the great property of loosening excess mucus and transporting it out of the lungs, thereby cleansing the bronchial tubes. This is especially good for the lungs in case of inflammation. The medicinal plant has a protective effect thanks to its plant mucilages. Namely, these lay on the respiratory tract, preventing bacteria from settling on the mucous membranes, and also relieve irritable cough and soothe inflamed and dry mucous membranes. This also makes mullein perfect if you want to strengthen the lungs against air pollution, dust and cigarette smoke.
Licorice acts against bacteria and viruses
Licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra) has several properties that can help you achieve healthy lungs. Here, it not only has a preventive protective effect on our respiratory organ, but also relieves symptoms of diseases and infections. On the one hand, licorice makes the mucous membranes in the throat and stomach supple and thus has a nurturing effect on them. If you suffer from a dry cough, you can also use the medicinal plant to strengthen the lungs, as it has an expectorant effect and helps to expectorate with the help of the saponins it contains.
The plant also has a decongestant effect on the bronchi, relieving cough irritation. Its anti-inflammatory properties are due to its ability to block free radicals and thus prevent hardening of the respiratory tract due to inflammation. By regularly taking this medicinal plant, you can even prevent lung cancer and support the lungs in their fight against cancer. Responsible for this are the contained secondary plant compounds glycyrrhizin and flavonoids .
For a lung tea, boil 2 tablespoons of licorice for 20 to 30 minutes in 500 ml of water and drink the finished tea throughout the day (3 to 5 cups per day).
The fact that lungwort (Pulmonaria) can be used to strengthen and heal the lungs is suggested by its name. Like bird’s knotweed, the herb contains silicic acid, but also mucilage. These substances provide protection to the mucous membranes and soothe them when they are already inflamed. They also have an expectorant effect, so lungwort can both preventively strengthen the lungs and have a healing effect when they are diseased.
Strengthening the lungs with ribwort
The ribwort plantain (Plantago lanceolate) is also a true all-rounder when it comes to protecting the lungs. And here it not only has a wonderful healing effect in the case of an acute illness, in that it has an expectorant, cough-soothing, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial effect. Its mucilage also covers the mucous membranes, providing good protection against pathogens. Especially if you are prone to respiratory illnesses, you can strengthen and protect your lungs in this way.
As a preventive measure for frequently recurring and also acute respiratory diseases, echinacea also proves to be very effective, as it has an antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and immunostimulant effect. Thus, the plant not only acts against viruses and fungi, but also heals wounds and all this even not only in the lungs, but in general. Furthermore, the coneflower is considered to have anti-cancer properties .
Thuja as a medicinal plant is extremely effective, but in excessive quantities it is toxic, so caution is advised. Do not exceed the amount of 1 to 2 g at most three times a day for tea or 1 ml three times a day if you use a tincture. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should stay away from thuja altogether. It is best to ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice. Otherwise, however, the medicinal plant is really best suited if you are prone to respiratory diseases and want to strengthen the lungs. The plant is also beneficial for the heart. People with heart problems are also more susceptible to lung infections, against which Thuja can again have a preventive effect.
Strengthen lungs against allergies with astragalus
In general, this medicinal plant strengthens the immune system and is thus a great helper in cases of immune deficiency, among others. Among numerous other applications, astragalus also proves to be very effective against allergies such as hay fever, as studies have shown. The plant alleviates symptoms and you can breathe easier.
Other medicinal herbs:
- Comfrey leaves (Symphytum officinale) – calm and nourish the lung tissue
- Rose petals – positive effect on the heart and thus also on the lungs
- Marigold flowers (Calendula officinalis) – soothing and strengthening for the lungs
- Peppermint – cools, soothes and refreshes the respiratory tract; not for infants and young children
- Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) – soothes and softens the respiratory tract