Home
Helpful Hints
Dowsing
Dowsing Uses
Wisdom & Humor
Useful Links
About Me
Contact Me




About Herbs
Arthritis
Cancer
Cardiovascular
C.O.P.D.
Diabetes
Mental Health
Other Disorders
Glossary & Lists
Site Map










General Information, Herbal Remedies, Folk Remedies

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease


Disease Symptoms

    Breathing should be a mostly unconscious act.  When we have respiratory, pulmonary, disorders this is no longer possible.  When you cannot get enough oxygen a lot of physiological actions take place.  Starting in the brain and carotid arteries, sensors monitor the blood level of carbon dioxide and send signals to our diaphragm to increase the depth and rate of our respiratory system.  Usually this is where we start to become conscious of the process we call breathing.

    Some of the changes that our body experiences when we run out of breath are an increase in heart rate, feelings of suffocation, panic and if this condition is one we live with daily, probably depression.

So what is the purpose of breathing?

     Every cell and most of the chemical reactions that occur in our body require oxygen.  The mechanism of breathing is our body’s way of getting oxygen to our blood to be distributed to the cells and organs, and carbon dioxide, a waste product of cellular functions, out of our blood and body.  Keep in mind when you refresh yourself on the mechanism of breathing that oxygen and its utilization is the end goal and not just the movement of air.

How do we breathe?

     Signals from the sensors in the base of the brain tell the diaphragm to contract.  As the muscle of the diaphragm contracts, the ribcage expands creating a low-pressure condition that draws in air, containing oxygen, in through our nose and nasal cavities.  The linings of the nose and nasal cavities are coated with mucous to trap any bacteria or allergens entering with the air.  Filtration begins with this first step of inhalation, the trapped particles are swallowed or expelled and leave the body without doing much harm.

More on filtration and movement

    Filtered air passes the pharynx and larynx, voice box, and enters the trachea.  The trachea is like the trunk portion of a tree and is also covered in mucous to filter the air further.  Connected to the trachea are the bronchial tubes, two of them, and all of their branches, collectively called the bronchial tree.  Further branching into smaller stems are the bronchioles.  Bronchial tubes and bronchioles are covered with hair like cells, cilia, which move the mucous up and out away from the lungs. The place of exchange is where filtered air enters a balloon called the alveolar sac and which number in the millions.  Areoles are delicate tissues that are surrounded by capillaries from our circulatory system.  Oxygen passes through this one cell thick tissue and enters the red blood cells for delivery to the cells of our body.  Carbon dioxide passes from the blood into the air chamber of the areoles and is forced out of our body when the diaphragm relaxes.  The chest cavity collapses forcing the air back to the outside world and we call this exhalation.  Breathing has completed its cycle and purpose when oxygen has entered and carbon dioxide has left our blood.

What is C.O.P.D.?

   Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease usually refers to chronic bronchitis or emphysema or a combination of both.  Either disorder limits the body from getting needed oxygen to the blood.  Restricted airflow and the resultant deficiency of oxygen can cause a loss of mobility and function to our lives.  Increased risk of heart disease is another byproduct of this disabling disorder, as if loss of freedom and movement were not enough.

Acute and Chronic Bronchitis

   Bronchial tubes and the bronchioles become inflamed and airflow is restricted. Environmental or chemical pollutants and bacterial or vital infections are the most common causes for this inflammation. This inflammation usually causes an increase in mucous secretions that further restrict the free movement of air.  Acute in any disorder refers to a rapid onset and shorter duration condition. Chronic refers to a long term and more continuous state of a disorder, but the symptoms will be the same.

Persistent, deep cough with grey, green or yellow phlegm

Shortness of breath

Chest pain that gets worse when coughing

Possible fever

 

Emphysema

     The thin and delicate tissues of the alveolus become inflamed or damaged causing both collapse and loss of function or scarring and diminished efficiency.  Both of these conditions result in a loss of oxygen levels in the blood and reduced efficiency in cellular processes. The medical community considers this a nonreversible condition.  Some herbs are included for their tissue healing action or their oxygen utilization enhancement to slow down or possibly attain some improvement on tissue condition and efficiency.

 

Persistent dry cough

Blood in phlegm or sputum

Shortness of breath

Persistent chest pain

Symptoms of C.O.P.D.

Shortness of breath

Wheezing

Persistent cough, dry or with phlegm

Blue or purple complexion

Difficulty in exhaling

Swollen ankles or legs may indicate heart failure

Note:  The low blood oxygen levels can increase pressure in the pulmonary arteries, which can cause the right side of the heart to work harder and can lead to early heart failure.  Also when the pulmonary tissues are in a damaged or inflamed state our body is more susceptible to infections.  Supporting our immune system can reduce the risk of infection and enhance tissue healing.

Asthma


    Asthma is thought to be caused
by the overreaction of the body to an allergen in the bronchial airways.  This overreaction causes the muscles in the bronchial tubes to contract, which shuts off or diminishes the airflow to the alveoli sacs.  Treatment of asthma centers on herbs that relax the bronchi or reduce the spasmodic action of the bronchial tubes.  Immediate and frightening as well as life threatening are terms that apply to this disorder.

Sudden difficulty breathing

Rapid shallow breaths

Feelings of suffocation

Inability to speak due to lack of air

Bluish tint to face

Mental confusion

Feeling of exhaustion

 

 


Back

Asthma

Amor Seco (Desmodium adscendens) native people of South America use this herb to renew lost love.  Our interest is more for the lungs than the heart.  This plant seems to inhibit the reaction to allergens in asthma called anaphylactic reaction.  This is thought to be a cause of the sudden constriction of the airways in an asthmatic attack.  Besides being credited with magical powers this is also used for treatment of malaria.
Remarks:  Amor Seco is shown to be very effective in low dosage with no side effects.  Large doses are not more effective.
From:  Amazon region, Nicaragua and Brazil
Plant part used:  aerial parts and leaf
Suggested dosage:  4 grams to 5 grams per day

Bronchitis and Emphysema

Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis) is called the flying herb in the Taoist philosophy because of the belief that it helps to raise one above the daily routine and see a broader perspective.  It is said to promote a feeling of love, peace and patience as well.  For us the other actions are of more interest.  The root of asparagus removes toxins from the body while helping improve the basic functions of our lungs and with long-term use our skin tone.
Remarks:  Used in China as a lung tonic especially whit dry conditions.
From:  Asia
Plant part used: root
Suggested dosage:  40 grams to 60 grams per day

Bronchitis and Emphysema

Bisort (Polygonum bistorta) has been in use since the middle ages to treat malaria and fevers.  Now it finds use for its ability to stop internal bleeding and to reduce mucous secretions in the lungs and bronchial airways.  Other properties of Bisort may be helpful in treating varicose veins and bleeding gums.
Remarks:  Bisort has been used in China for treating gray hair and to improve mental functions.
From:  Europe and Asia
Plant part used:  leaf and dried rhizome
Suggested dosage:  used as a tea, one cup up to three times daily

Bronchitis and Inflammation

Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) is used topically for joint pain and inflammation.  Internally this plant helps to treat mucous secretions due to inflammation, which may be of some help with airway restriction due to mucous buildup.
Remarks:  may help prevent drug-induced ulcers common with some medications.  Do not apply topically near the eyes.
From:  Europe and U.S.A.
Plant part used
:  flowers
Suggested dosage:  2 grams to 4 grams up to three times daily                                  Back

Asthma, Bronchitis, Arthritis and Gout

Chickweed (Stellaria media) is the source of birdseed commercially.  The actions of interest are chickweeds rich source of vitamins and minerals as well as its anti-inflammatory properties in both digestion and respiration.  This calming effect on the lungs can aid in managing asthma and bronchitis.  The diuretic action has been shown to be somewhat effective in the rheumatoid form of arthritis and gout.
Remarks:  new findings have shown diuretics to be as effective as the other drugs used to treat high blood pressure.  Chickweed may have some benefit it treating this condition.
From:  Eurasia
Plant part used:  leaf and flower
Suggested dosage:  1 gram to 3 grams per day

Asthma, Bronchitis, Arthritis and Cancer

Chuchuhuasi (Magtenus krukowit) has been tested by the Italians in the 1960’s and 1970’s and by the Japanese in the 1990’s to try to find the mechanisms of its beneficial actions.  Used in the Amazon for treating arthritis and cancer as well as asthma it has been found to contain alkaloids that might explain its uses by indigenous peoples.  These components seem to be very antioxidant and anti-inflammatory in action by inhibiting an enzyme, protein kinase C that is believed to be involved in the inflammatory process.  It is thought that asthma and bronchitis have an inflammatory component.
Remarks:  please do not confuse with Catuaba, which is called chuchuasa.
From:  Amazon region
Plant part used:  bark
Suggested dosage: as a tea, one or two cups per day

Bronchitis, Depression, Psoriasis and High blood pressure

Coleus (Coleus forskohlii) has many beneficial properties believed to be due in part because of a unique chemical called forskolin found only in this plant.  The actions of coleus are varied and include being a digestive stimulant that can aid in weight loss, increases the cAMP levels are thought to inhibit the runaway skin cell growth of psoriasis, are also a bronchial dilator to open the airways in bronchitis as well as a blood pressure lowering effect.
Remarks: used as a supportive treatment in some forms of heart disease but may have a lowering action on blood sugar so not recommended for hypoglycemia
From:  Nepal, India and Thailand
Plant part used:  whole herb and root
Suggested dosage:  50 mg two to three times per day

Bronchitis and Emphysema short term

Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara) has been used for treating coughing, skin sores and as tobacco historically.  With a phlegm reducing and anti-inflammatory action it is used for acute not chronic bronchitis.  It also contains vitamin C and the mineral zinc.
Remarks:  Use only in small doses and not for more than two to four weeks per year.  Coltsfoot can be toxic to the liver.
From:  Europe, North Africa and Western Asia
Plant part used
:  flower and leaf
Suggested dosage: 600 mg to 2 grams up to three times per day short term only

Chronic lung disease, Vascular disease, Impotence and Arrhythmia

Cordyceps (Cordyceps sinesis) is used in China to treat lower back, knee and ankle pain as well as kidney and lung disease.  The properties of this fungus of interest to us are the healing and protective actions for the lungs.  It has been shown to help in both function and protection against infection of this organ system.  Other properties that are of interest are its ability to strengthen the walls of our capillaries and veins.  It has been shown to have a beneficial action on heart rate regulation as well as the regulation of blood pressure.
Remarks: This herb is used as longevity herbal remedy in China and to treat impotence and frigidity, as well as treatment and preventative of lung cancer and other cancerous tumors.  It is thought to be very protective of kidney function against drug-induced damage to this vital organ system. It is also thought to help lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels and to help prevent coronary and vascular disease.
From
:  China and Tibet
Plant part used:  caterpillar fungus
Suggested dosage:  3 grams per day                                                                      
Back

Respiratory infection and Immune system

Echinacea (Echinacea officinalis) comes from the Native American people of North America.  This now popular plant has a stimulating effect on the overall immune system but is found to be very effective for infections of our upper respiratory system.  Echinacea is a peripheral dilator that helps the circulation while protecting against viral and bacterial infections and also has a restorative action beneficial to inflamed tissues.
Remarks:  may help with urinary infections
From
Central North America
Plant part used:  rhizome
Suggested dosage:  1 gram up to three times daily

Tuberculosis and Respiratory infection

Elecampane (Inula helenium) is used in Europe to rid the body of intestinal worms.  Being an immune system stimulant this has been shown to kill the tuberculosis virus and makes elecampane a very protective addition to herbal medicine.  This root has an expectorant action that will help clear the respiratory passages and help treat persistent coughs.
Remarks:  this is a remedy of the early American pioneers but is not recommended for use in large amounts.
From:  Eurasia
Plant part used:  root
Suggested dosage:  1-½ grams to 4 grams up to three times per day

Congestion, Cancer and Tuberculosis

English Plantain (Plantago lenceolata) is used in Latin America for treatment of cancer and in China for the treatment of tuberculosis.  Here we include it for its ability to help expel the mucous build up, phlegm, and for its anti-inflammatory properties.
Remarks:  seed husks are used as a laxative as they will absorb twenty-five times their weight in water.
From
:  Eurasia
Plant part used:  leaf
Suggested dosage:  as a tea, one cup several times per day as needed.

Asthma attack only

Ephedra (Ephedra sinica) is used in China and misused in America.  This is like a medicine in action and stronger and more dangerous than most herbs.  Misused in America for weight loss and energy this herb can cause hallucinations and cognitive dysfunction in as little as three days usage.  For acute asthma attack, the rapid bronchial dilating action of Ephedra can be a lifesaver.  The use should only be for acute and immediate needs and not as a therapeutic remedy.  This herb has a 5,000-year history of use in China because they respect its actions.  Here there are many safer products to lose weight so please do not use this herb for energy or weight issues.
Remarks: is not for continuous use or in large quantities.
From:  China
Plant part used:  whole plant
Suggested dosage:  15 mg to 30 mg per day not to exceed 300 mg per day

Cough and Bronchitis

Fennel (Foenichiculun vulgare) helps with digestion and is supposed to increase the male libido.  Fennel has been used to promote lactation and to help with menstruation and birth for women.  The properties that interest us are the abilities to reduce the secretions of mucous membranes in the upper respiratory system and the reduction of inflammation.
Remarks:  Fennel has been shown to have some estrogenic activity.
From:  Europe and Mediterranean
Plant part used:  seed, leaf and stem
Suggested dosage:  5 grams to 7 grams per day

Renews lung tissue

Flaxseed (Linum usitatissimum) is a plant source of the essential fatty acids our body needs for many functions and overall good health.  The daily use of flaxseed can help prevent blood clotting and improve overall cardiovascular health.  This oil is thought to aid in the removal of heavy metal buildup in our tissues as well as the replacement of damaged tissue in our lungs.
Remarks:  cold pressed the oil is called flaxseed and when hot pressed it is called linseed oil.
From:  Europe and Asia
Plant part used:  seed
Suggested dosage:  use as directed                                                                        
Back

Emphysema overall health

Frankincense (Boswellia carteri) has a biblical and historical use as a valuable trade good.  The Egyptian beauties used a charcoal byproduct for painting the eyes.  Being a catalyst for cellular regeneration makes this a noteworthy addition for the damage of this crippling lung disease.  Detoxifying in nature and stimulating for regeneration of tissue give frankincense a useful place in our life.
Remarks:  this resin works similar to Guggul but has a greater attraction to the tissues of the lugs.
From:  India and Africa
Plant part used:  resin
Suggested dosage:  250 mg to 1 gram per day

Bronchitis, Vascular, Cholesterol and Infection

Garlic (Allium sativum) has a use in more than our diet.  Being called nature’s penicillin gives this an important part to play in our overall health.  Shown to be beneficial for the health of our vascular system and heart as well as the ability to clear the mucous, phlegm, buildup in our bronchial tubes and lungs makes this a natural addition to our daily life.
Remarks: a famous French herbalist to treat asthma used Garlic in a footbath.  Shown to have some blood sugar and blood pressure lowering actions so may interact with cardio, cholesterol or blood pressure medications.
From:  Central Asia and U.S.A.
Plant part used:  root bulb
Suggested dosage:  one clove once or twice daily, 900 mg per day as a powder

Sinus congestion, Nausea and Blood clotting

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) works better in tests than the motion sickness drug Dramamine but is of interest to us for its many other actions.  Ginger is an effective digestive stimulant that helps with the breakdown of cholesterol into gastric acid helping to lower our dietary intake.  With a blood thinning action and its help in the muscle of the heart to utilize oxygen better gives this a place in keeping our vascular system clear and healthy.  The component of ginger that helps with congestion is its rapid decongestant actions that can be felt in as little as one-half hour.
Remarks:  discontinue use if surgery is planned and notify your physician of use if on heart or blood pressure medications.
From:  China, India, Nigeria and Haiti
Plant part used:  root
Suggested dosage:  500 mg up to four times per day

Oxygen usage, Circulation and Brain function

Gingko (Ginkgo Biloba) is a very popular herb that is also misused in America.  It’s dilating action on our arteries and especially on our peripheral capillaries and veins while building up the strength of the arterial wall can have a healing effect on our body.  Ginkgo has been found to improve the oxygen usage at a cellular level that should help with emphysema and the low efficiency of oxygen uptake by the damaged lung tissue in this disease.
Remarks:  this is the oldest living species of tree.  Notify your health care practitioner of use if surgery is planned or you are on heart or blood pressure medications.
From:  Central China
Plant part used:  leaf
Suggested dosage:  120 mg to 240 mg per day in divided dosage

Connective tissue repair and Memory

Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica) is believed to be one of the ingredients used by an herbalist in China who lived to be 256 years old.  He must not have shared the secret of long life with his wives though because he was with his 24th wife at the time of his death.  This is an herbal that is much used in India and has been shown to help with deep tissue regrowth as well as memory improvement.  The tissue strengthening ability of Gotu Kola is truly remarkable and should be of help with the repair of the damaged tissues in emphysema.
Remarks:  tests in India have shown a measurable improvement in memory with the use of this plant.  Also shown to help with varicose veins and to reduce scarring
From:  India
Plant part used
:  leaf and stem
Suggested dosage:  600 mg up to three times per day

Emphysema, Bronchitis and hypothyroidism

Guggul (Commiphora mukul) is a resin that can help if you have a problem with low thyroid production, hypothyroidism, high cholesterol, works better than satin class drugs, or chronic inflammatory condition.  The anti-inflammatory effect is similar to the drug ibuprofen in action.
Remarks:  this resin comes from the mukul myrrh tree mentioned in the bible.
From
:  India and Arabia
Plant part used:  resin
Suggested dosage:  500 mg up to three times daily                                     
             Back

Bronchitis, Cough, Inflammation and Infection

Gumweed (Grindelia robusta) was used historically for disorders of the bladder and to treat whooping cough and other disorders of the lungs.  Today we use this plant for its anti-inflammatory actions on the mucous membranes of the lungs and its antibacterial actions.
Remarks:  Gumweed has a sedative action that resembles atropine.
From:  Western U.S.A.
Plant part used:  leaf and flowering tops
Suggested dosage:  4 grams to 6 grams per day

Bronchitis, Croup, Asthma and Liver

Horehound (Marrubium vulgarius) was used as a tea to help many lung disorders and to flavor cough drops in America.  The help with stimulating bronchial secretions of the mucous membranes can help with the inflammation present in bronchitis.  This plant has been found to be liver protective and in small quantities to help regulate rapid heart beat.
Remarks:  thought to help increase stomach bile secretions for better digestion.
From:  Europe, North Africa and Asia
Plant part used:  leaf
Suggested dosage:  1 gram to 2 grams per day

Emphysema, Osteoporosis and Tendons

Horsetail (Equisetum arvese) contains silicon that has been shown to help in tendon, bone and tissue regeneration.  I have included this herb because of its help with connective tissues.
Remarks:  Horsetail can interfere with the vitamin B1 thiamine, and so purchase from a Canadian source as they remove this property, it may also interact with cardiac medications so consult your physician.
From:  Eurasia and North America
Plant part used:  leaf
Suggested dosage:  up to 6 grams per day

Bronchitis and Infection

Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis) has been around for a long time to treat infections and lung related problems.  The beneficial actions of this herb are antibacterial and antiviral in nature and should help protect against respiratory infections.  Hyssop has expectorant and some sedative action that should help with bronchitis and even flu symptoms.
Remarks:  this is not recommended for pregnancy or those with high blood pressure.
From:  Southern Europe
Plant part used
:  leaf and flower
Suggested dosage:  800 mg up to two times daily

Inflammation

Irish moss (Chondrus crispus) can lower blood cholesterol levels and blood pressure.  Irish moss has an anti-inflammatory action that is useful to the smooth mucous membranes of the bronchial tubes and the intestines.
Remarks:  not to be used for infants or small children
From:  North Atlantic Coast
Plant part used:  leaf and dried plant
Suggested dosage
:  as a tea, one cup up to three times daily

Bronchitis and Laryngitis

Ipecac (Cephaelis ipecacuanha) was brought to Europe in 1680 and used as a patent medicine for dysentery there.  Bought by the French government in 1688 and made public at that time.  This plant is useful for its expectorant actions in the treatment of bronchitis and laryngitis.
Remarks:  not for use in large doses and may interact with some cardiac medications so consult with your physician.
From
:  Brazil and Bolivia
Plant part used:  root
Suggested dosage:  .4 ml to 1.4 ml of syrup followed by water

Bronchitis, Asthma and Diabetes

Jatoba (Hymenaea courbaril) is used as a tea in South America to help with diabetes and respiratory conditions.  This drink is used to help with the treatment of upper respiratory conditions and cardio pulmonary disorders.
Remarks:  used as a stimulating tonic and to promote energy
From:  Amazon Region
Plant part used:  bark and leaf
Suggested dosage:  as a tea, one cup up to three times daily                                    
Back

Cholesterol, Weight control, Bronchitis, Coughs, Cardiac and Stroke

Jiaogulan (Gynostemia pentaphyllum) is used in China to treat bronchitis, persistent coughs, high blood pressure and strokes and cerebral damage caused by strokes.  This is an immune system enhancer and has been shown to increase coronary arterial blood flow.  Jiaogulan has a blood sugar and blood pressure lowering property and is protective on our vascular system.
Remarks:  helps to lower blood cholesterol levels and is thought to help in weight control.
From:  China
Plant part used:  not found
Suggested dosage:  500 mg up to twice per day

Asthma, Emphysema and Coronary blood flow

Khella (Ammi visnagal) increases coronary arterial and heart blood flow and may improve the oxygen utilization of the heart.  This increase in blood flow and oxygen efficiency may be of some help to protect against heart failure and possibly impotence due to restricted circulation.
Remarks:  also called Bishop’s weed and is not recommended in large doses.  May raise liver enzymes
From:  Europe, Russia and Asia
Plant part used
:  dried fruit
Suggested dosage:  use an extract at 20 mg per day

Emphysema, Cholesterol and Alcoholism

Kudzu (Pueraria Montana) is used in China to treat hangovers and alcoholism.  Some tests have suggested that it may alter the way the body metabolizes alcohol.  It is listed here because of the isoflavone puerarin that has been shown to strengthen capillary walls that will be important in emphysema.  Kudzu has been shown to lower cholesterol and help with arrhythmia.
Remarks:  may lower blood sugar level so if you are hypoglycemic or diabetic please monitor glucose levels.
From:  China and the South U.S.A.
Plant part used:  root and flower
Suggested dosage:  150 mg up to three times daily

Asthma, Bronchitis and Menopause

Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) is used to flavor many of our foods and candies but for us the anti-inflammatory and bronchial dilating properties are more useful.  For asthma it is a tea to be used when you have trouble breathing that will give you about four hours of relief.  The actions of licorice are much like cortisone without the side effects.  With oestrogenic properties women may find it helpful with symptoms of menopause as well.
Remarks:  Long-term use of licorice can cause potassium depletion so supplement potassium.  May raise blood pressure so consult with your physician if you have this problem. Great herb for women but it will lower testosterone levels in men if used often.
From:  Mediterranean and Pacific Northwest in America
Plant part used:  root and runners
Suggested dosage:  1 gram to 4 grams per day

Emphysema and Bronchitis

Lungwort (Sticta pulmonaria) has a long historical use for treating problems of the respiratory system.  Besides containing vitamin C and mucilage this herb can help with lung and throat irritation.  Lungwort has been shown to help with cell regrowth and is thought to help with urinary and kidney functions as well.
Remarks:  Lungwort helps to expel phlegm and the resemblance of its leaf to phlegm is how it got its name.
From
:  Europe
Plant part used: Ariel parts
Suggested dosage: as a tea, one cup as needed

Asthma, Cancer, Diabetes and High blood pressure

Manaca (Brunfelsia unifloras) has some alkaloids, alscutetin and scopoletin, that have an analgesic and anti-asthmatic action.  Being both antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory make this a useful tool to manage asthma.  Shown to be stimulating to the central nervous system and hypoglycemic as well as hypertensive can help high blood pressure and diabetes.  Manaca helps to stimulate the lymphatic system and should be of use in detoxification.
Remarks:  do not use in large doses as it may increase heart and respiration rate.
From:  Amazon Rainforest
Plant part used:  root
Suggested dosage:  4 grams to 5 grams per day                                  
                     Back

Asthma, Cough and Infection

Maracuja (Passiflora edulis, incarnata) is called passion fruit in Brazil and is a favorite drink to calm the nerves.  It is used there to calm a hyperactive child.  Maracuja has a sedative action that has been shown to be helpful with asthmatic conditions and being anti-fungal and antibacterial makes our chance for respiratory infections less.
From
:  South America
Plant part used:  fruit
Suggested dosage:  as a juice when desired

Inflammation and Mucous membranes

Marshmallow (Althea officinalis) has been with us a long time and has mostly been used as it is today.  This botanical is soothing to the mucous membranes and helps to reduce the reactions to irritants.  Marshmallow stimulates the immune system while reducing inflammation.
Remarks:  root sugars were used to flavor early medicines.  Please take separately from other medication or herbs as it can affect their absorption.
From:  Europe
Plant part used:  roots, leaf, seed and flower
Suggested dosage:  up to 5 grams of root and up to 2 ½ grams of leaf

Asthma and Bronchitis

Mullaca (Physalis angulata) is used locally to treat diabetes as well as rheumatism and malaria but there is not much scientific information on these uses.  The place it has here is for its expectorant and sedative action that should be of help with many respiratory disorders.  Mullaca stimulates the immune system.
Remarks:  shown by tests to be effective against the polio and HIV virus as well as having antibacterial properties.
From
:  Peru, Brazil and the Amazon Basin
Plant part used:  whole plant and root
Suggested dosage:  as a tea, one cup twice daily

Tuberculosis, Emphysema and Asthma

Mullen (Verbascum thapsus) is used in Ireland to treat tuberculosis and was used by the Native Americans topically to treat arthritis and joint pain.  This plant is used today for its healing effects on the tissues of the lungs.  It has diuretic properties and may be of some use in detoxification of the body.
Remarks:  Mullen has shown some antiviral activity against the herpes simplex and the influenza virus and is used as a pain killer for arthritis and headaches.
From:  Europe and Asia
Plant part used:  flowers, leaf and stem
Suggested dosage:  up to 2 grams per day

Asthma, Bronchitis, Insomnia and Hysteria

Mulungu (Erythrina mulungu) is an herb that I could not find much scientific evidence on.  It is included for the local use in treating asthma, bronchitis as well as liver disorders and insomnia.  Mulungu is supposed to promote sleep and is used to treat hysteria.
Remarks:  used by the indigenous people to treat hepatitis as well as a disinfectant
From:  Peru, Northern Brazil and Central America
Plant part used:  bark
Suggested dosage:  one half cup of tea one to three times per day

Bronchitis, Insomnia and Easter eggs

Pasque Flower (Anemone pulsatilla) is a beautiful flower that also has a mild anti-depressant effect that may help with insomnia.  The antibacterial action on the mucous membranes and the relaxant effects on the bronchial tubes are why it is included here.
Remarks:  In the 1500’s this plant was used to color Easter eggs.  Pasque flower is not recommended for continuous use.
From
Northern Europe
Plant part used:  flowers, leaf and stem (dried only)
Suggested dosage:  120 mg to 300 mg up to three times daily

Infection and Inflammation

Pau d’ Arco (Tabeluia impetiginosa) is a victim of marketing; so only buy a standardized extract from a trusted supplier to ensure you get what you pay for.  This plant has some anti-inflammatory properties and is one of the better antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and antiparasitic plants around.  Pau d’ Arco also has shown anticancer activity in tests.
Remarks:  not for continuous use and has some blood thinning actions so consult your physician if on medication for circulation problems or heart disease. Also used as treatment for herpes I and II virus and Hodgkin’s and Parkinson’s disease
From:  South America
Plant part used:  bark and heartwood
Suggested dosage:  1 gram to 4 grams per day

Bronchitis, Asthma and Lymphatic system

Pleurisy Root (Asclepias tuberose) helps to detoxify while opening up the bronchial tubes for easier airflow.  Being a bronchial dilator and a lymphatic stimulant that can improve our immune system by detoxifying this eliminatory channel of the body make this a useful plant.
Remarks:  Pleurisy has some estrogenic activity but should not be used in large doses.  May interact with heart medications
From:  Eastern and Southern U.S.A.
Plant part used:  root, shoot and flower
Suggested dosage:  none found so check with supplier                                            
Back

Expectorant and Antispasmodic actions

Red Clover (Trifolium pratense) is used in China and Russia to treat respiratory disorders because of its antispasmodic and expectorant actions.  Red Clover has some anti-tumor actions and a tea, made from the flowers, has been used to treat breast cancer.  The anticoagulant actions can help with coronary thrombosis.
Remark:  not recommended for use during pregnancy or with anti-clotting medications.
From
:  Europe
Plant part used:  flowered top
Suggested dosage:  4 grams up to three times per day

Asthma and Bronchitis

Red Root (Ceanothus americanus) used as a tea substitute during the revolutionary period in American history.  Today we are more interested in the expectorant and sedative properties of this plant to help with the management of asthma and bronchitis.
Remarks:  also called New Jersey tea this was used by the Cherokee people as a wash for skin cancer.
From:  Central and North Eastern America
Plant part used
:  root, bark and leaf
Suggested dosage:  as a tea, one cup two to three times per day

Respiratory disorders and Immune system

Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) is a very useful mushroom that modulates our immune system and has been shown to help lower both blood pressure and cholesterol levels to help our cardio-vascular system.  In China this is considered a longevity tonic with good reason.  Very antioxidant and immune regulating it is shown to help fight infections and build general good health.  Reishi is thought to help in many cellular functions including regrowth of tissue.
Remarks:  may inhibit HIV virus but might have a lowering effect on blood sugar levels.  This herb may help with some chemotherapy treatments.  Check with your physician for possible interaction with cardio-vascular medications.
From:  Europe and China
Plant part used:  fruit
Suggested dosage:  1 gram to 1 ½ grams per day

Emphysema and High blood pressure

Rue (Ruta graveolens) was reportedly used by Leonardo de Vinci as eyewash for tired eyes.  This herb has been used historically to treat colic and epilepsy but is included here to help emphysema.  With a vasodilatation action and a capillary strengthening property as well and may find a helpful place in your treatment plans.
Remarks:  dried leaf is used as a nontoxic insecticide and an antibacterial wash for wounds. Not recommended for use during pregnancy.
From:  South Eastern Europe
Plant part used:  aerial parts
Suggested dosage:  500 mg to 1 gram per day

Bronchial Obstructions, Cancer and Immune system

Samambaia (Polypodium decumanum) is used locally to treat chronic coughs, healing the pancreas and as a treatment for cancer.  This fern seems to have an immune modulating action and offers some help in gout and rheumatism.  Being an expectorant gives it some use in treating chest colds, bronchitis and other conditions of bronchial obstruction.
Remarks:  Shown to have fatty acids and other phyto-chemicals that might be helpful to psoriasis.
From:  Peru, Brazil, Guyana and Mexico
Plant part used:  rhizome and aerial parts
Suggested dosage:  3 grams to 5 grams per day

Diabetes and Liver Emphysema and Immune system

Schisandra (Schisandra chinensis) is a Chinese herbal that has much to recommend it.  This herbal is usually used as a tonic tea that helps to enhance the action of our immune system as well as concentration.  Schisandra is a mild antidepressant and can help lower cholesterol levels.  The use for emphysema, besides better general health, is its ability to improve the absorption of oxygen, which is needed with this lung dysfunction.
Remarks:  called the fruit of five flavors this plant also can lower blood sugar levels and well as to help protect the liver.
From:  China
Plant part used
:  whole plant and berries
Suggested dosage:  100 mg twice per day or as a tea

Mucous and Tendons

Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum spp.) has a long history of use and is just now coming back into modern attention.  It is still used in Chinese medicine to treat lung disorders and conditions of chronic cough or fever.  The unique actions of this herb are a moistening effect on the mucous in our lungs while tightening the ligaments and tendons of our joints.
Remarks: This herb is not for use in large doses or for long term.
From
:  Europe and Asia
Plant part used:  rhizome
Suggested dosage:  6 grams to 15 grams per day

Chronic cough and Tissue regrowth

Spikenard (Aralia racemosa) used in the past for rheumatic conditions but today is more useful for its pulmonary actions.  This is a useful expectorant that helps with chronic conditions and is thought to help stimulate new tissue growth.
Remarks:  I could not find information on long term use so check with your supplier if you consider using this herbal.
From:  North America, New Zealand and Japan
Plant part used
:  root
Suggested dosage:  as a tea, one cup as needed                                                       Back

Asthma, Allergies and Internal bleeding

Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioca) contains many vitamins including vitamin K, which helps blood to clot.  Nettles are thought to stimulate circulation while stopping internal bleeding.  During the Civil War in America the Confederate surgeons used nettle juice to stem the blood loss of the wounded.  Anti-inflammatory action and some sedative properties combine to make nettle a useful remedy for some specific conditions.
Remarks:  Not recommended for use during pregnancy or with people taking blood-thinning medications.
From:  North America
Plant part used:  leaf
Suggested dosage:  770 mg twice per day

Expectorant and Infection

Sweet Bay (Laurus mobilis) is used in cooking from France to the Cajun people of New Orleans.  Bay has expectorant actions to help the lungs as well as antiseptic properties to fight infections.
Remarks:  Bay is shown to be a digestive aid as well.
From:  Mediterranean
Plant part used:  leaf
Suggested dosage:  none found

Asthma, Bronchitis and Inflammation

Sweet Violet (Vioila odorata) was used for its smell by the early Persians and Greeks.  Now we will use the anti-inflammatory and pain relieving actions to help with disorders of the lungs.  Having an expectorant action makes this a beneficial herb for congestive conditions involved in many lung disorders.
Remarks: Used in many potpourris for its fragrance.
From:  North America, Europe and Northern Asia
Plant part used:  leaf and flowers
Suggested dosage
:  as a tea, one cup three times daily

Emphysema, Diabetes and Inflammation

Suma (Pfaffia paniculata) is called Brazilian ginseng for its energizing actions and is used there as a general tonic.  With an anti-inflammatory property that helps and a generally beneficial action to the whole body this is a good herb to use.  We are interested in it for its ability to increase the oxygen usage at the cellular level and this should help with the decreased oxygen supply present in emphysema.
Remarks:  Suma works only against inflammatory pain and is called “para todo” or for all things locally.
From:  Amazon Basin
Plant part used:  root
Suggested dosage:  4 grams to 5 grams per day

Bronchitis and Infection

Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) is more than a kitchen flavoring with its calming action on the bronchial tissues and an antiseptic action that can help fight infection.  With any lung disease the risk of infection is higher so prevention is a worthwhile endeavor. Remarks:  Bees like the flowers of this plant.
From:  Western Mediterranean
Plant part used:  leaf and flower
Suggested dosage:  1 gram to 2 grams per day

Bronchitis, Cancer and Inflammation

Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is the yellow color in the Indian spice curry.  This spice is rich in potassium and iron as well as being a very effective anti-inflammatory.  The actions of Turmeric are many as it fights cancer at all stages and helps to dissolve blood clots in our veins and arteries.  It has been shown to help lower both blood pressure and cholesterol levels while improving circulation. Recent research has shown the rate of Alzheimer’s is one fourth what it is in the USA. They believe it is due to a neuro- protective effect of this spice.
Remarks:  Turmeric may have a blood thinning action so check with your physician if you are planning surgery or are on heart or blood pressure medication.
From:  India, Southern Asia and commercially in China
Plant part used:  rhizome
Suggested dosage:  1 gram to 3 grams per day in divided dosage

Expectorant and Antiviral

Vassourinha (Scoparia dulcis) is used by the native people of South America as a wound healer and antiseptic as well as for the treatment of menstrual problems. Vassourinha has an expectorant action that together with its antiviral properties should help keep lung tissue healthier.
Remarks:  Used locally for diabetes and may lower blood pressure
From
:  Ecuador, Peru, Brazil and Guyana
Plant part used:  whole plant and root
Suggested dosage:  2 grams to 3 grams per day                                                      
Back

Cough and Discomfort

Wild Cherry (Apium graveoleus) is the flavor of cough drops.  This flavorful remedy is used mostly for symptom relief.  Historically wild cherry has been used to treat whooping cough, bronchitis and other lung disorders as well as for pain and cancer.
Remarks:  not recommended for large doses.
Plant part used:  root
Suggested dosage:  as a liquid extract of 5 to 12 drops in water up to three times per day.

Asthma and Tuberculosis

Wild Honeysuckle (Lonicera periclymeum) has been with us for hundreds of years as a treatment for asthmatic conditions as well as for disorders of the spleen.  Today it has been shown to have antibacterial action that is effective against the tuberculosis bacteria.  Wild Honeysuckle is also antiviral as well.
Remarks:  not as popular in use today so may be harder to find.
From:  temperate zones and cooler tropic zones
Plant part used:  flowers, leaf and seed
Suggested dosage:  none found so follow suppliers’ recommendation

Inflammation, Circulation and Detoxification

Wild Pansy (Viola tricolor) is much more than a pretty flower with its soothing and cleansing properties.  This plant has been shown to help remove toxins from our body while improving our circulation.  The anti-inflammatory effects have been shown to help chest and lung disorders as well as to have a strengthening action on our blood veins.
Remarks:  store away from light as it can destroy some of the active ingredients.
From:  Arctic Region in Europe, North Africa and India
Plant part used:  leaf and flower
Suggested dosage:  as a tea, one cup up to three times per day

Detoxification, Weight loss and General health

Yerba Mate (Ilex paraguariensis) is used in South America as a general tonic to improve health and also to improve the functions of the mind.  With a balancing action on the nervous system, without over stimulation, it may help with weight loss, depression and general overall feeling of wellbeing.
Remarks:  not recommended for large doses or continuous use. Yerba is believed to be effective in helping cleanse the blood of toxins.
From
:  Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina
Plant part used:  leaf
Suggested dosage: 2 grams to 4 grams per day or as a tea, one cup up to three times per day

 

Yerba Santa (Eriodictyon californicum) is used in folk medicine as an antispasmodic, and tonic as well as to flavor foods.  Now it has been shown to be a treatment for tuberculosis, asthma and the chronic form of bronchitis.
Remarks: often used topically for treating bruises and sprains
From:  California and Northern Mexico
Plant part used:  leaf
Suggested dosage
:  as a tea, one cup up to three times per day


Back

From California comes this simple one for asthma.  Take a teapot and bring to a boil after adding a few drops of Eucalyptus oil.  Put towel over your head and breath.  This probably helps because the oil of Eucalyptus helps to thin or loosen mucous in the respiratory channels.

From Michigan is one for the exertion caused form of asthma attacks.  Take a coffee break.   This is a pretty simple remedy and with some medical validation.  Coffee is a bronchial dilator that can possibly help stop the onset of an asthma attack.

Some remedies to help asthma and bronchitis as well as a persistent cough, have used all the following:

Ginger tea has helped some to breathe easier.

Fresh horseradish and lemon juice seems to clear the sinuses for others.

Pine needles added to boiling water and used as a steam inhalant is one for camping or if you live in the forest.

Licorice root tea is a big help for asthma and bronchitis giving about four hours of relief.  My son uses this one. Licorice tea is good for women as it elevates estrogen levels but continued use by men will lower testosterone and stop use a couple of days before any blood test as it will alter some markers.

Sage tea used as a gargle is supposed to help with cough and bronchitis.

Garlic has a long history of helping many with asthma both as internally and as a footbath.  I hope your family likes the smell of garlic.

Honey and lemon juice is a favorite combination for some to get rid of a nagging cough.

Onions sliced mixed with honey and then simmered for about twenty minutes seems to be effective for bronchitis. 

Fenugreek tea tastes a little medicinal but is supposed to help you breath better.  Take one cup per hour the first day and four cups per day until your asthma goes away is the claimed recipe.

A few drops of Tabasco in water is a handy rescue in you are traveling.  The chili pepper in Tabasco is probably doing all the work.

Spicy foods are given credit by many for improving all respiratory conditions.  There are scientific reasons for this but the best one is the flavor.

Grandmother knew best when she made you eat her chicken soup.  The amino acid cysteine is released when chicken is cooked.  This acid is very similar in action to the drug acetylcysteine given by your doctor.  Grandmother always knew she was right; it was science that took so long to catch up.

___________________________________

Back

All information is for informational or educational use not to treat or diagnose any disease or condition, please consult the health care professional of your choice.                                  
Copyright © 2003-2008 by That Green Stuff Inc.  All rights are reserved.  No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted or stored, by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage or retrieval system, without the written permission of the author.