Sweet Like Honey

our family's journal of God at work

Herbs for Respiratory Health

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Here is a list of the herbs we use, that work well for respiratory infections, both as anti-virals and anti-biotics, and to soothe the airways and expel mucous.

Pau d’arco Bark. I only use it for serious or tough to heal infections, but it is a very effective anti-biotic and anti-viral herb. It is also anti-fungal so it helps prevent intestinal flora imbalance that usually results from taking anti-biotics. It is a bark so should be prepared as a decoction, which is simply putting a couple tsps in a cup of water in a pot, bringing it to a boil and then simmering it on a lower temperature for about 15 minutes. I once had strep throat and the infection was not going away. After about a weak I decided to try the pau d’arco. After the first cup the white spots and pain diminished and within a couple days I was completely better.

Astragalus Root strengthens the immune system. Use as a decoction.

Wild Cherry Bark will stop a persistent cough while at the same time act as an expectorant, so it is a good combination. This would best be prepared as a decoction.

Garlic is specific for lung infections as the volitile oil is largely excreted via the lungs. Large amounts can cause nausea and raw is especially hard on the digestive system. But if you cut it up and leave it exposed to the air, you can cook it, say on some garlic toast, and it will retain its beneficial properties but be easier to digest.

Elder flower and Elder Berries are great for upper respiratory infections of both viral and bacterial types. The flowers can be made into a tea but the berries work best as a decoction.

Chamomile is anti-inflammatory, relaxing and anti-microbial and hydrating. It is really great for allergies too as it can calm symptoms of anaphylactic shock. Use as a tea. Teas are made by steeping about 2 tsp of the dried herb in 8 oz of water and steeping for 10-15 minutes.

Mullein Flower is an expectorant, demulcent (soothing), anti-inflammatory and excellent for a hard cough with soreness. Use as a tea. The leaves can also be used.

Plantain Leaf is expectorant, demulcent, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory. I like to mix mullein and plantain together. This combination is so wonderful for all the aches and pains associated with flues, coughs, infections, etc. I sometimes add supportive herbs but these two always take center stage in the mix. Use as a tea.

Nettle Leaf is a nutritive herb and it is very effective at strengthening the lungs, which can be weakened by infections. Restrengthening the lungs is very important because not doing so can make you more susceptible to infections in the future.

There are many other herbs that are anti-viral and antibiotic. Some of these include lemongrass and lemon balm. They taste wonderful too. Nutritive herbs are useful as well and I like to use rosehips, hibiscus, lemon peel, orange peel, roses, and chickweed in my tea mixes. Amla berry is loaded with vitamin C and can be added to your decoctions. Some people really enjoy peppermint.

My current tea mix includes plantain, mullein, roses, chamomile, chickweed, lemongrass, rosehips, hibiscus, nettles, lemon balm, elderflower and lemon peel. It tastes nice with some honey and helps keep everything draining well, which encourages healing, and is soothing, pain relieving, and anti-viral and antibacterial.

My current decoction mix I am making for my son has pau d-arco bark, amla berries, rosehips, elder berries and astragalus root.

Teas or tinctures made from these herbs can be drunk 3 x a day or diluted and drunk more often.

Lymphatic drainage massage is wonderful to use along with these herbs, plenty of fluids and lots of rest. Here is the link for some good lymphatic massage videos http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDEF532905455E4CD&feature=plcp

Avoid sugar and processed foods during sickness and when there are many illnesses going around. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, and include some healthy fats in the diet such as organic butter, olive oil, coconut oil and cod liver oil. As you said, high vitamin A foods are very important. Organic grass fed beef is useful as well as yellow fruits and vegetables that you eat with some fat like butter. The fat converts beta-carotene into vitamin A.

When sick it is a good idea to eat only easy to digest foods. Avoid dairy if you can, as this can make the lymph system sluggish. Keep warm. Do footsoaks or baths with epsom salts or magnesium chloride flakes, or you can dissolve some in water (equal grams of flakes to equal ml of water) and massage into the body. This helps the body fight off the infection, stimulates the lymph system, and eases aches and pains. It helps rebuild the body’s mineral stores which usually becomes depleted during sickness.

It is a good idea to take strong probiotics during illness, or eat probiotic foods like saurkraut.

A good way to clear the lungs is to take a deep breath in through the nose and hold this air in your lungs for a few seconds and then cough. This should be done several times a day.

The key with all of these things is consistency.

I am thankful that God made all these plants for our blessing. And ultimately it is God who heals us.

Blessings!

Cassie

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Author: Cassie

Follower of Jesus, wife and mom to the most wonderful family I could ever ask for.

6 thoughts on “Herbs for Respiratory Health

  1. Thanks so much for sharing this, Cassie! It’s very helpful & much appreciated.

  2. Hi I’m Heather! Please email me when you get a chance, I have a question about your blog! LifesABanquet1(at)gmail.com

  3. Hi Cassie, I know it has been a while since our last conversation, as we share a number of symptoms (previously discussed, see Answering a question about chemical sensitivity and detox.) I thought you may be interested in my recent health revelations. I’ve finally found a medical condition that is a near perfect match for my almost lifelong (60 years) problems: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endothelial_dysfunction, reference: prevention & treatment section.
    I have tried the Arginine (taken with a spoonful honey to get it to absorb properly, needs to be digested with sugar to work apparently) with great success.
    I have managed this disease for about 8 years thus far with Potassium alone, but needed another tool to manage the presently overwhelming symptoms.
    I hope this is may be of some help for you as well.
    God bless, Colin

    • Thanks for thinking of me, Colin. I am glad you have found something that is helping you! I am using iodine, potassium, magnesium and eating low sodium. I have looked into arginine before because of genetic mutations (NOS–nitric oxide related) I have that can lead to low arginine and nitric oxide. Have you done the 23andme genetic testing? That was helpful for my family and for me. I am actually suspecting diabetes insipidus and want to get tested for that. That is why I decided to go on a very low sodium diet, and it is helping very much.

      God bless, Cassie

  4. Hi Cassie,
    We may not be suffering with exactly the same symptoms, so I recommend a quick investigation of all the diseases listed on the Channelopathy page of Wikipedia (26 choices) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Channelopathy. Most of these can be dismissed quickly, two hours should confirm or eliminate all, or most of them.
    I’m now 99% sure Endothelial Dysfunction is a perfect fit for my 60 years of suffering.
    I am going to see a Neurologist & a Endocrinologist for investigation soon, meanwhile I’m having fantastic response to the treatments suggested on Wikipedia.

    God bless, Colin

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