With continuous exposure to harmful bacteria, viruses, and harmful pollutants, lung health has never been more of a concern. Whether you suffer from afflictions of the lungs or not, you can still take precautions to boost lung health and protect yourself for the long term.

Start your journey to better lung health today by using the following natural remedies to find relief from common ailments as well as to strengthen and protect your lungs.

Become more mindful of your diet and you can significantly decrease your risk of lung disease and improve many symptoms that affect your lung function.

Your diet plays a role in your body's mucus production, therefore, when you're sick, you can relieve congestion by altering your diet accordingly.

For example, you'll want to avoid dairy as it causes more mucus production while fruits and vegetables will cleanse and clear your lungs out. Knowing this will help you balance your diet accordingly. If you're congested, consume plenty of beneficial fruits such as plums, lemon, citrus, and peaches. Due to their high Vitamin A content, leafy greens like kale and spinach may help reduce your chances of lung disease. Vitamin A deficiency is believed to put you at higher risk for lung disease.

Research suggests that Vitamin D may protect the lung function of smokers. Sundried shiitake mushrooms, cod liver oil, and egg yolks are great sources of Vitamin D.

Research suggests that flavanoids -- for example, catechins found in green tea and epicatechins found in blueberries -- may protect the lungs of both smokers and ex-smokers. Flavanoids have been shown to fight damage from smoking and even inhibit cancer cell growth. Brussel sprouts, onions, beans, and apples all contain important flavanoids.

Manuka Honey, Cinnamon, and lemon is an old, but useful remedy to soothe a dry, irritating cough. Honey and cinnamon contain antiviral and antibacterial properties while lemon loosens and breaks up phlegm. Grab a dose of natural relief next time you wake up hacking by having a cup of warm water with a teaspoon of each mixed in. You can prepare and refrigerate the mixture beforehand and take a teaspoon as needed.

Cayenne pepper boosts lung and immune system function while also promoting overall good health. It has a potent natural anti-inflammatory effect on the lungs and protects the tracheobronchial system from damage.

Echinacea has medicinal and protective properties, including lowering your risk of cancer. It promotes healthy functioning lungs while at the same time boosting your immune system. Echniacea also works as a powerful treatment for the flu, colds, pneumonia, and bronchitis.

Mullein is a great remedy for many different lung problems. It removes mucus and congestion from the lungs. This plant is often used to treat symptoms of COPD-related conditions, bronchitis, emphysema, colds, coughs, flu, and laryngitis. Mullein also prevents the spread of influenza and combats bacteria. Make mullein tea by adding two teaspoons of the dried flowers and leaves to one cup of boiling water. Three to four cups daily is recommended. Use mullein in combination with thyme to treat more chronic conditions.

Oregano is a natural decongestent with the power to relieve an irritating cough. Oregano's vitamin content has enough health benefits that regularly use will improve the health of your immune system, respiratory tract, and sinuses. Keep pure oregano on hand and use it frequently in dishes like lasagna, salads, breads, dips, and salsa. You can also take pure, wild oregano oil for a potent cough remedy.

Comfrey is known for its numerous healing powers. This herb stimulates the immune system and is commonly used as a remedy for lung problems, including ulcers of the lungs.

Eucalyptus works as an expectorant, meaning it breaks up mucus in your sinuses, allowing it to drain quicker. Eucalyptus also packs an added punch since it fights congestion, soothes irritation in the throat, and improves the health of your respiratory and immune system.

Licorice root is a basic ingredient in Traditional Chinese Medicine and it should quickly become a staple in your regimen for lung health. Licorice root has an anti-inflammatory effect that soothes and softens mucous membranes within the throat, stomach, and lungs. It loosens phlegm in the respiratory tract and provides relief from bronchial spasms.

If licorice root hasn't earned its place in your medicine cabinet yet, just remember that you can use it to fight off everything from lung cancer cells to virus and bacteria, including those that cause lung infections.

Bloodroot is a remedy for virtually all respiratory ailments, whether you're suffering from the common cold, laryngitis, or bronchitis. Even more serious conditions like emphysema and pneumonia benefit from bloodroot. Bloodroot has anti-inflammatory effects, relieves bronchial spasms, and hydrates mucus membranes.

Geranium essential oil strengthens the respiratory system and improves its functionality while at the same time detoxifying the body of harmful substances. Geranium promotes healthy cells and the regeneration of new ones. This herb can also be used to treat infections of the sinuses, throat, and respiratory tract. Taking a daily tonic with a few drops of geranium oil will provide you with bacterial protection and a stronger respiratory system.

Ginger breaks up phlegm and stimulates circulation, plus it contains Vitamin C and B to encourage a healthier immune system. Use fresh ginger regularly for relief from congestion and to stave off colds and flu.

Coltsfoot strengthens the lungs and acts as a natural cough suppressant, expelling mucus from the lungs and bronchial tubes while soothing irritated mucus membranes. Research has shown that coltsfoot displays an antimicrobial effect and can be useful for bronchitis, asthma, dry coughs, and headache. Coltsfoot leaves can be taken as a warm tea, made using the leaves.


Mylinh Nguyen, Jennifer Ramil, and Faith Wydra

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