Keep your chest clear and breathe easy with our list of the best herbal teas for lung health.
Being short of breath feels miserable. Whether the cause is an upper respiratory tract infection (like the common cold), seasonal allergies, air pollution, or an underlying health condition such as asthma, anything that leaves our chests tight can badly affect our quality of life.
Fortunately, some herbs have properties that help to fight inflammation, clear mucous, and leave your lungs free to work as they should. So, if you want to support your lung health, these herbs might help.
We’ve pulled together this list of our favourites to help you get started.
Just a note before we dive in. If you experience a sudden, unexpected shortness of breath, you should ring your doctor – especially if it is accompanied by chest pain or nausea.
You should also speak to a doctor if your symptoms don’t ease within a few weeks. Feeling breathless is often nothing to worry about, but it can sometimes be a symptom of something more serious.
Finally, struggling to breathe can sometimes be a sign that you’re having a panic attack. If you’ve been feeling stressed and anxious, and there’s no other obvious reason for your shortness of breath, then you might want to look instead at our list of herbal teas that help with anxiety.
With all that in mind, let’s take a look at the best herbal teas for lung health.
1. Mullein Leaf
Mullein leaf tea is one of our favourites for supporting the lungs and respiratory tract. This tall hedgerow plant has been used to treat lung issues and other respiratory problems for millennia.
If your shortness of breath is caused by a cold or another virus, mullein can help by making it easier for you to cough up the mucous that is blocking your airways.
Mullein is also high in anti-inflammatory compounds, including verbascoside, a powerful antioxidant. This means it can soothe inflamed lungs and relax your muscles, helping to ease symptoms like wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath.
Eucalyptus is well known for its chest-clearing properties, which make it a popular herb to use in steam baths and chest rubs.
However, you can also benefit from including eucalyptus in your herbal tea. This herb is an expectorant, which means it makes it easier for your body to get rid of mucous and clear your airways.
Like mullein, eucalyptus also has anti-inflammatory properties, easing the symptoms of respiratory infections. And eucalyptus can act as an antimicrobial too, helping your body fight off pathogens that cause respiratory issues.
A natural painkiller and powerful anti-inflammatory, ginger is used for everything from soothing joint pain to settling an upset stomach. And those anti-inflammatory properties are also great news for our lung health.
By easing inflammation and relaxing our airways, ginger helps to make it easier for us to breathe freely. It has even shown potential for treating asthma attacks.
Ginger also contains compounds that are antiviral and antibacterial, meaning it can help your body get rid of pathogens. And it boosts your immune system too.
Another herb we love to use for lung support is liquorice. This is a great all-rounder to have on hand during cold and flu season, as it helps to fight infectious diseases, soothe sore throats, and give your immune system a boost.
Liquorice may also help to treat asthma. Like many of the herbs on this list, it is an anti-inflammatory and can help to open our airways by soothing swollen and irritated tissues.
When your chest feels tight or your breathing is constricted, liquorice may also help by getting rid of mucous and relaxing your airways so that air can pass through more easily.
Thyme is a popular herbal remedy for coughs, helping to relax the muscles of the throat and relieve chest congestion caused by a build-up of mucous.
The main compound in thyme, which is called thymol, can also help to protect your lung health by supporting your body in fighting off infections. Thymol is antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal.
Thyme has shown promise as a natural treatment for bronchitis – an infection of the lungs that causes coughing, chest congestion, and shortage of breath. As an expectorant, thyme helps to get rid of mucous and keep your airways clear.
When your shortness of breath is the result of an upper respiratory tract infection, such as the common cold, our recommended herbal tea blend is NutraDefence.
This tea contains herbs that help to boost your immune system, soothe coughs and sore throats, and clear your airways. NutraDefence’s ingredients include liquorice, eucalyptus, thyme, ginger, and mullein leaf.
7. Mullein Leaf & Thyme
For general respiratory health, as well as support with a persistent cough, our preferred tea is our Mullein Leaf & Thyme flagship blend.
This tea is designed to help you breathe easily with two of our favourite herbs for clearing mucous and soothing inflammation. It is one of the best herbal teas for lung health.