Looking for ways to support your lungs and keep your airways clear? Our list of herbs for respiratory health is here to help.
Whether you are struggling with chronic respiratory issues, such as asthma or allergies, or are looking for short-term support to help you get over a respiratory infection, there are several herbs that can help.
These natural remedies work in different ways to support your body’s own healing systems. Some help to keep your airways clear by thinning mucous or reducing inflammation. Others help to soothe a dry cough and protect irritated tissues. And some have antimicrobial properties that address the underlying infection.
We’ve compiled this list of our favourite herbs for respiratory health to help you choose the best options for your particular needs.
Mullein is a demulcent, which means it contains high levels of mucilage – a gel-like substance produced by many plants. This mucilage helps to form a protective lining over the mucous membranes of your respiratory system, soothing irritation and reducing further damage.
If you are struggling with chest congestion and high levels of mucous, mullein can also help. It acts as an expectorant, assisting your body in getting rid of excess mucous.
Not, sadly, the sugary treat but the plant that it is named after. Like mullein, marshmallow is high in mucilage and a tea made from the root is traditionally used to treat a range of respiratory conditions, including bronchitis and asthma.
Marshmallow’s mucilage content also makes it a popular herbal remedy for coughs and sore throats, as it helps to soothe irritated tissues and calm that annoying dry tickle that can keep you awake at night.
The protective coating that marshmallow root tea can create on the tissues of your respiratory system can also help to prevent infections by forming a barrier against pathogens. And it has anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties too.
Another popular herb for respiratory health is thyme, which is often used to soothe coughs and relax the respiratory muscles.
Part of the reason that thyme is so prized for treating respiratory conditions is that it acts as an antispasmodic, relaxing muscle constrictions and opening your airways. This is great news when you have a persistent dry cough, but also makes thyme a natural remedy for asthma.
Thyme is also an expectorant, supporting your body in getting rid of mucous so that your lungs stay clear. And it has antimicrobial properties that can help to fight off the pathogens that cause respiratory infections like the common cold.
Liquorice root tea is used for numerous conditions, including those that affect the upper respiratory tract. This essential herb is an anti-inflammatory and shows promise for the treatment of conditions like asthma.
Liquorice also has antimicrobial properties, which is good news if you are struggling to banish a cold or the flu. It can help to suppress a cough too, so can be useful when you have a persistent dry cough, especially when it is keeping you from sleeping at night.
Like many of the herbs on this list, liquorice is a demulcent, soothing irritated tissues and protecting your respiratory system from further damage.
We love to use ginger in our herbal tea blends for its warming spice and its many health benefits. When it comes to your respiratory health, ginger is particularly good because it helps to relax the muscles of your airways, making it a potential herbal remedy for asthma.
Ginger is a potent anti-inflammatory and studies demonstrate that it can help to prevent damage to the lungs from infections. It also contains compounds that help to boost the immune system and fight off microbes.
As a natural expectorant, ginger also helps to rid the lungs of excess mucous, relieving congestion and soothing the symptoms of infections like bronchitis.
Herbal Teas for Respiratory Health
We’ve developed two different herbal tea blends that include many of these ingredients, so you can enjoy the benefits of the best herbs for respiratory health with ease.
First, our premium NutraThroat blend is designed to support the upper respiratory tract and protect your mucous membranes. It includes marshmallow root, liquorice, and ginger, as well as other herbs that support the immune system and soothe sore throats.
Second, our Mullein Leaf & Thyme tea offers a classic combination of herbs to keep the lungs clear, soothe persistent coughs, and support your overall respiratory health.