9 Herbs to Improve Lung Health

Include these natural infusions with soothing and anti-inflammatory properties into your daily routine to improve your lung health and prevent respiratory problems.
9 Herbs to Improve Lung Health
Elisa Morales Lupayante

Reviewed and approved by the pedagogue in physical education and nutritionist Elisa Morales Lupayante.

Last update: 04 August, 2022

Your lungs play an important role in your life so you need to take steps to maintain or improve their health. After all, they’re responsible for providing you with the oxygen that your cells need and expelling carbon dioxide. They’re involved in much more than just breathing. For example, they’re necessary to filter the particles and harmful contaminants you pick up from your environment.

However, the problem is they’re so complex and delicate that sometimes the accumulation of toxins and infections may compromise their health. As a result, a series of negative reactions is set offThis can cause illnesses that can really affect your quality of life.

There are several ingredients of natural origin that provide support to the respiratory system and can improve its function when you eat or drink them. Check out the following herbs whose properties can protect and improve lung health.

Be sure to try them!

1. Thyme to help improve lung health


Thyme is an herb that’s recommended to relieve irritation and congestion in your respiratory airways. In addition, thyme essential oil has an antibiotic, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory effect. It doesn’t just strengthen your immune system. Thyme also helps clean your lungs. Having it as an infusion or breathing in its steam can be a solution to eliminate retained toxins.

2. Licorice root to help improve lung health

Licorice candy and root.

Licorice root is a traditional Chinese medicinal herb that’s become popular all over the world for its many medicinal powers. Its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving compounds decrease inflammation in your airways and throat. This lets oxygen flow to your cells more easily. At the same time, it also helps soften the mucus membranes of your body, including those coating your lungs and throat.

In addition, it acts as an expectorant and anti-bacterial. It helps get rid of excess phlegm and thus manages congestion and trouble breathing. This, along with the essential nutrients of this root, means a better immune response to viruses and bacteria.

As if that wasn’t enough, it provides your body with a significant amount of flavonoids. These are antioxidants that inhibit cell damage to help prevent lung cancer.

3. Oregano to help improve lung health

Oregano leaves to improve lung health

Oregano stands out for its high content of rosmarinic acid and carvacrol. These are two antioxidants that help stop the production of histamine in cases of respiratory allergies. This spice has anti-inflammatory and expectorant qualities that help clear your airways. Naturally, this makes way for the elimination of phlegm and built-up toxins in your lungs. The essential oil made from its leaves is an effective remedy for bacterial infections like the flu or colds.

4. Broadleaf plantain

A bunch of plantain.

This is an age-old powerful remedy that helps with irritation of the mucus membranes in your lungs and throat. A 100 percent natural solution, broadleaf plantain can help treat your cough due to its antibiotic and anti-inflammatory substances.

5. Sage

Sage leaves to improve lung health

A sage drink is a natural remedy for lung irritation, especially for smokers. The antibacterial and detoxifying compounds of sage help get rid of toxins retained in lung tissue. Thus, it brings relief from congestion and difficulty breathing.

6. Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus leaves.

The refreshing aroma of eucalyptus has been used for hundreds of years as a complement for lung health. Though not all people can tolerate it, most people do find quick relief from congestion, cough, and nasal irritation. The active agent in eucalyptus, cineol, gives it an expectorant and anti-inflammatory effect. This helps treat problems like bronchitis, asthma, and the common cold.

It also provides powerful antioxidants that help strengthen your immune system.

7. Mint

Mint leaves to improve lung health

Mint and mint essential oil contain menthol, which is ideal for lung health. It relaxes the smooth muscles of your respiratory tract. In addition, it’s also an antihistamine and detoxifier so it helps your body deal with respiratory allergy symptoms.

8. Mullein

Mullein flowers for lung health.

The leaves and flowers of the mullein plant have active substances that help strengthen and cleanse your lungs. Natural mullein extracts encourage the elimination of toxins. Meanwhile, they also control excessive mucus production and inflammation.

9. Marshmallow

The active ingredients of the root of this plant (Althaea officinalis) have several lung properties. It’s anti-inflammatory, soothing, antitussive and demulcent (protective of the mucous membranes).

Boost your lung health with these medicinal plants

Are you experiencing respiratory difficulties? Don’t hesitate to try some of the herbs mentioned above to restore your lung health if so.

However, keep in mind that some conditions require more than medicinal plants or that these might be cause more damage. Thus, consult your doctor before adding them to your treatment.

This is particularly important during pregnancy and lactation, and in young children. Also if you suffer from any disease or if you take any type of medication or food supplement.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

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  • Siedentopp, U. (2008). El regaliz, una planta medicinal eficaz para la tos y las afecciones de estómago. Revista Internacional de Acupuntura. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1887-8369(08)75618-7

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.