1. ASTRAGALUS. Perhaps one of the most treasured Lung tonics commonly used in Chinese medicine, also used for strengthening and tonifying Qi (our energetic system) and immune system. In Chinese Medicine, the lungs and the colon make up the majority of the immune system, hence its immune enhancing properties. Astragalus works by building up the Wei Qi (immune defenses) and is great for colds, the flu, any difficulty breathing (such as asthma).
2. OSHA ROOT. One of Rocky mountain’s greatest medicines. Osha supports the thinning and expelling of mucus, which is very appropriate for dry, hacking coughs. It increases oxygenation in the lungs, acts as a diaphoretic, which causes sweating and helps to break a fever. This aids in the elimination of toxins which is especially useful in the first phase of an infection.
3. REISHI. One of the greatest tonic herbs on earth. It assists the lungs, heart, liver, kidneys and blood. Recognized as a medicinal mushroom for over 2000 years, and its powerful effects have been documented in ancient scripts and in modern scientific articles for its ability in promoting health and longevity. Along with many functions, its known to particularly strengthen the respiratory and immune system.
4. MULLEIN (easy to find all over California!) An infusion of mullein is a useful remedy for dry, irritated lung conditions or a dry, raspy throat. The leaf encourages secretions in dry mucus membranes.
5. WILD CHERRY BARK (also easy to find in the woods!) Wild cherry bark is a respiratory sedative and antitussive agent. It can be very helpful in alleviating rapid or shallow breathing that results from asthma or a bronchial infection. It helps to relax and strengthen the respiratory system in cases of infection, and is often used in cough syrup and other cough formulas.
6. ELECAMPANE ROOT (also easy to find in the woods!) Elecampane can be used as a respiratory tonic and can also help to speed the recovery process for lingering lung infections. It is specific for respiratory conditions with excessive bronchial secretions, such as bronchitis, and for irritation of the trachea and bronchi that results in persistent and irritable coughing. Elecampane has a soothing action, but also acts to reduce excess mucous.
There are so many, many more excellent herbs and roots that assist the lungs powerfully. Classics that you find in your pantry are Thyme and Parsley! Aromatic herbs tend to have a restorative lung quality to them. Consume them daily to build lung strength.