As hot and humid summer days gave way to dry, crisp Autumn air, now it is the season to nourish and tonify the lung, especially if you or your child/children have asthma, chronic cough and susceptibility to bronchitis and pneumonia in the cool months ahead.
According to TCM, lung needs proper moisture in order to have the optimum function, which in turn aids in building strong immune system.
Herb to nourish and tonify the lung
Mullein (Verbascum Thapsus): I have special relationship with Mullein because it heals my son’s chronic dry coughs ( more like hacking coughs) every year at the beginning of Autumn.
I love it so much that I started growing it in my herb garden this year.
Mullein is moistening and cooling and is excellent for both dry and wet coughs when formulated with other herbs with lung affinity.
To nourish and tonify the lung, use Mullein infusion.
Mullein infusion: 1 ounce dry Mullein leaves in 4 cups of boiling water. Infused at least 4 hours or overnight. Drain ( make sure to use tight weave cloth to catch the hairs so as not to irritate the throat). Drink 1/4 – 1 cup, 3x per day.
Herbs for acute situations such as coughs, bronchitis and pneumonia:
Licorice ( Glycyrrhiza glabra ), Elecampane ( Inula helenium), Horehound ( Marrubium vulgare) which is extremely bitter, Hyssop ( Hyssopus officinalis), Colsfoot ( Tussilago farfara), Grindelia ( Grindelia spp), Lobelia ( Lobelia inflata), Wild Cherry bark ( Prunus serotine), Marshmallow ( Althaea officinalis), Plantain ( Plantago major) & Anise ( Pimpinella anisum L.).
Essential oils are mostly drying and can be very effective as expectorant in acute situations.
Stimulating oils high in 1,8 cineole such as Rosemary ct verbenone ( Rosmarinus officinalis ct verbenone), Eucalyptus radiata ( Eucalyptus radiata), Spike Lavender (Lavandula latifolia) & Ravintsara ( Cinnamomum camphora ct 1,8 cineole) can facilitate the mucus expulsion from the lung. Oils such as Thyme ct linalool ( Thymus vulgaris ct. linalool) can be very helpful in preventing infection. Green myrtle ( Myrtus communis ) is another excellent oil with lung affinity to calm the coughs and expel mucus.
Calming oils such as Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) , Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) , Anise (Pimpinella anisum) , Clary Sage ( Salvia sclarea) and Roman Chamomile ( Chamaemelum nobile) can be applied successfully to relieve dry, spasmodic and heart wrenching coughs.
Methods of Applications
Aroma inhalers are a convenient and effective way to get essential oils quickly and frequently into your body. Essential oils can be blended into cream and lotion for the chest complaints. Nebulizer delivers pure essential oils’ molecules directly into lung via airways.
In case of infection, rectal suppositories are the most effective way to combat bacterial and thin the thick mucus.
Essential oils can be added to herbal tinctures to enhance each other’s potency and facilitate faster healing.