Top 9 Herbs to Cleanse the Lungs

Young woman has a flu. Coughing.

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Every day we inhale things that cause damage to our lungs. Whether it’s from the toxins we use to clean the house and car, the fumes at the gas station, or the air pollution that’s in the air, our lungs sure take a beating.  Also, if you are one of the many people who already suffer from a respiratory condition such as COPD or asthma, this only complicates matters further.

Asthma affects millions of Americans and COPD causes thousands of deaths every year. You can help manage respiratory conditions naturally by consuming herbs that Mother Nature provides us with to support and cleanse the lungs and will help you to breathe easier.


1. Plantain Leaf

Plantain has fruits that look very much like bananas and the leaf of this plant has been used for ages to soothe irritated mucous membranes as well as ease coughs.

Recent clinical trials have found that it works well to stop colds, coughs, as well as stopping lung irritation. Plantain leaf is also a good way to stop a dry cough and it’s a natural expectorant as well.

Photo credit: bigstock

Photo credit: bigstock

2.  Chaparral

This plant is native to the Southwest area of the United States and has been used by Native Americans for centuries to detoxify the lungs and for the support of healthy function.

Chaparral contains powerful antioxidants that fight against irritation and NDGA, which is known to fight allergic reactions.

You can buy chaparral as a tea or tincture in most health food stores.

Photo credit: bigstock

Photo credit: bigstock

3. Lobelia

Horses are often given lobelia because it helps them to breathe more deeply. It can do the same for you as well!

Some people believe that lobelia is one of the most valuable herbs on earth! Active ingredients in lobelia thin mucus and can break up congestion. This herb also stimulates your adrenal glands to release a hormone called epinephrine, which relaxes the airways so you can breathe easier.

Many cough syrups contain lobelia as it relaxes muscles to relieve coughs.


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4. Osha root

This herb, found in the Rocky Mountain area, was used by Native Americans for respiratory problems.

The roots contain camphor which makes it great for supporting lung health. Osha root also increases circulation of blood to the lungs, which will make it easier to breathe.

This herb can also calm respiratory irritation and if you suffer from seasonal allergies, it might help lessen your symptoms.

Photo credit: bigstock

Photo credit: bigstock

5. Oregano

Two of the active compounds in oregano, carvacrol and rosmarinic acid, can stop seasonal allergies and improve airflow through your nose.


SEE ALSO: 15 Herbs that Boost Lung Health



It’s a natural decongestant that just happens to work as a great food flavor enhancer. You just can’t go wrong with oregano!

Photo credit: bigstock

Photo credit: bigstock

6. Elecampane

The Romans, Chinese, Greeks, and Indian Ayurvedic medicine have all used respiratory support.

This herb has been used since the 1800’s in the form of lozenges and cough drops to help relieve symptoms.

Elecampane relaxes the tracheal muscles, soothes bronchial passages, and has a natural expectorant action.


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7. Peppermint

If you have ever sucked on a peppermint candy and felt your sinuses clear, that’s the natural action of peppermint at work.

The menthol in peppermint relaxes respiratory muscles, which eases breathing difficulties and it loosens congestion. Read more about benefits of peppermint.

Buy peppermint tea or put some peppermint essential oil in a room diffuser for a sweet smell as well as support for your respiratory system.

Eucalyptus Still Life

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8. Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus is well known for its ability to open sinus passages, combat congestion, and reduce throat irritation.

The main component in eucalyptus is cineole, which has soothing traits that can ease breathing.

Eucalyptus essential oil in a room diffuser is a great way to help everyone in the room breathe easier! Find out 10 benefits of eucalyptus oil.

Photo credit: bigstock

Photo credit: bigstock

9. Lungwort

As the name implies, lungwort is super beneficial to the lungs.  Studies show that lungwort has more antioxidants than 20 other herbal extracts! The protective acids in this herb are extremely effective in protecting the lungs, aides in proper breathing, and have expectorant qualities.

All of the above herbs are readily available in various forms such as tea blends or as capsule supplements. If possible, grow some in your own garden so that you can rest easy knowing the source is a safe one and the products are organic. Don’t assume a product is organic just because it’s sold at a health food store. Ask questions and read labels. Always get the best product possible.




  1. Paula Zimmerman

    Dec 22, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    Chaparral is dangerous, it can cause problems with liver function.

  2. Mary

    Dec 30, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    Excellent article. Eucalyptus is my favorite; I do love its smell.