LUNG DETOX: Natural Foods & Herbs for Stronger, Healthier Lungs

Breathing in air pollution, cigarette smoke, and other toxins can damage the lungs and even cause health conditions.

Maintaining the health of the lungs is essential for keeping the rest of the body healthy.

The only function of the lungs is to allow the exchange of gases in the body and it works hard in collaboration with circulation to release oxygen in the blood and remove carbon dioxide from the body.

Mucus that is produced in the lungs is important and needs to be the right consistency, as it helps to trap and keep toxins, microbes, and pollutants out. All problems start when the consistency of mucus thickens or the mucus production increases.

Here are the best foods that are good for your lungs that experts recommend:

1.Drink Herbal Tea

The harmful effects of cigarette smoke – oxidative stress, inflammation, programmed cell death (apoptosis) and lung injury – were prevented by an infusion of black tea. Like many other food sources that can help improve lung health, it seems to be the tea’s high antioxidant content that provides the benefits.

Read The Health Benefits of Drinking Premium Teas

Herbal tea

Tip: Choose black tea over black coffee as a morning warm-up or an afternoon pick-me-up.

Green tea

Having herbal green tea before going to bed is a great way to keep your lungs healthy and pure. If you are a smoker you must opt for this solution daily. This is an option that works wonder for the lungs.

2.Practice Eucalyptus or peppermint oil Steaming

Both oils act as an antioxidant and fights harmful organisms. These help to ease a cough, fight against congestion and soothe an irritated sinus passage. Clearing the mucus lining will help in the cleansing of lungs, the ability to relax muscles of the respiratory tract and promote free breathing. 

Eucalyptus oil helps soothe airways, loosen and expel mucus from the lungs and relax the brain and body. There are a few different ways you can incorporate eucalyptus steaming into your life:
The first choice would be to steam with a nebuliser, but if you don’t have one of those, do not fret. 

– Hang fresh eucalyptus in the shower and make it super steamy.

-Add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to a bowl of boiling water (place a towel over your head to make a tent to contain steam) then close your eyes and slowly breathe in the vapours for 10 minutes.

The American Cancer Society points to peppermint oil for treating ailments of the lungs, while recent research shows that the herb may help athletes breathe better. Peppermint essential oil improves respiratory rates because the mint relaxes bronchial muscles.

Tip: Add 3 to 4 drops to hot water for inhalation, which is the dosage recommended by the American Cancer Society.

3.Consume a Large Quantity of Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an essential micronutrient. It helps maintain the electrochemical balance of the body, provides anti-oxidants and – most importantly – enhances and empowers the immune system.

It does this by supporting the epithelial barrier function (preventing pathogens from getting in via thinner skin in the nose, mouth and around other orifices), protecting the body from oxidative stress and preventing microbial infestation. It also plays a role in controlling the production of different immune cells and may even help regulate gene expression. So it’s pretty powerful.

Some of the most notable are: 

Immunity boost

Oranges: An oldie but a goodie, and it’s an orange season! 100 grams of orange (or 100ml of cold-pressed orange juice) provides 88% of your recommended daily allowance (RDA) for vitamin C.

Baobab: Although slightly more scarce and a little less palatable, baobab is one of the richest sources of vitamin C in the world – with just 10g of the powder providing half your recommended RDA.

Lemon juice: You can take one-two glass of lemon juice before you go to bed. Apart from other health benefits of lemon juice, it plays a crucial role in detoxifying your lungs.

• Moreover, pineapple is known for the reduction of swelling and coughing. Additionally, it contains the enzyme bromelain which eliminates the debris from the lungs and detoxifying it naturally.

• An apple a day may keep lung problems at bay. Those who had five or more apples per week had slightly better overall lung function. Quercetin, an antioxidant found in apples, may help protect the lungs against smoke and other pollutants.

4. Eat/ drink immune-boosting foods

Juicing is an incredible way of getting in an abundance of bioavailable live nutrients deliciously and conveniently.

Also read: Low carb immunity-boosting foods

Here are a few foods to incorporate to keep your immunity strong:


Mushrooms: Besides containing selenium, which can help prevent the development of severe flu, mushrooms also contain B vitamins, niacin and riboflavin, which help keep the immune system healthy. Mushrooms such as reishi also function as adaptogens, helping your body find full homeostatic balance by working intelligently on hormonal, endocrine, nervous, immune and organ systems. 

Ginger: This root is full of antioxidants, zinc, calcium and magnesium.

It’s often something we turn to once we’re already sick, but prevention is the name of the game right now, and a study proved FRESH ginger had immune-boosting and anti-viral properties against respiratory ailments.

Garlic: This has been proven to boost the immune system and lessen the severity of cold and flu symptoms. One of the major components of garlic that helps with this is allicin, a type of sulphur, which strengthens immunity and aids digestion.

Turmeric: This contains the compound curcumin, which is what gives the spice its bright, vibrant yellow colour. Curcumin has been proven to have anti-inflammatory properties and boost immune cell function.

Try our tasty turmeric latte recipe

Dark leafy greens, and green vegetables in general, provide minerals such as calcium, zinc, folates and antioxidants. Green veggies also have lots of great fibre that help our gut stay balanced and healthy. (Think broccoli, spinach and kale)

Fermented foods: Probiotics are very important for keeping the gut healthy – and if the gut isn’t healthy, the immune system won’t be strong. So eat lots of fermented foods like sauerkraut, raw apple cider vinegar, kimchi, yoghurt and miso.


Add these Indian fermented to your daily diet

5.Eating bee products like Honey, Pollen, etc

While this one may not be so popular but we can’t ignore the power of bee products in boosting immunity. From the more common honey to the rarest of propolis, the bee kingdom has an abundance of natural miracles to offer:

Honey: A traditional home remedy for any kind of fluey ailment, the soothing and anti-microbial properties of honey helpline the throat and kill any invaders in the mouth.

Also, read the interesting facts about honey


Bee Pollen: Known as complete survival food, the power of pollen lies in its nutritional diversity. Because one bottle of this bee magic is made from the pollen of hundreds of different species of flowers, each with its amino-acid profile, it’s a nutrient dream packed with the widest variety of plant proteins of any food. If you’re super lucky you’ll find something called ‘bee bread’ which is the pre-digested form of pollen that the bees have fermented inside the hive.

Propolis: This is a sticky black resin that bees lay down at the entrance of their hives and pack in any cracks to keep invaders out. As it enters, each bee rubs itself on the layer of resin coating the entrance. This functions as an anti-bacterial/fungal/viral bath, killing any pathogens they may have picked up. Propolis is made from a combination of tree resins, pollen and honey and makes a potent pathogen killer for humans, too.

6.Try out other Healing Herbs

Basil: Basil is a key ingredient in cough syrups. In India, this herb is considered auspicious and it has many medicinal properties, one of which is to reduce congestion and clear up the lungs.

Oregano: The active components (Carvacrol and Rosmarinic acid) present in oregano helps in detoxification as they act as natural decongestants and thus, have a cleansing effect on the respiratory tract.  

Also read: 9 Warning Signs You Have Poor Gut Health

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