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Medicinal plants for respiratory tract and infections

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 260 views

Various medicinal plants can relieve the symptoms of colds, bronchitis and other respiratory diseases. For example, buckhorn tea helps against cough without sputum (dry, irritating cough) and linden blossom tea with the onset of fever. In addition, natural medicine knows herbal remedies to strengthen the immune system, including preparations with echinacea (coneflower). Read more about effective medicinal plants for the respiratory tract and immune system here .

Prevent and alleviate

On average, adults get a cold about twice a year . In children, cold viruses usually strike much more often. A cold is usually harmless and heals quickly. However, the unpleasant symptoms can be treated with medicinal plants. Herbal medicine can also provide relief for other respiratory diseases such as bronchitis and flu (influenza). In addition, medicinal plants can naturally strengthen the immune system to prevent infections.

Well-known medicinal plants for respiratory tract and infections

There are various medicinal plants that relieve respiratory problems and strengthen the immune system.

The South African Cape geranium (Pelargonium sidoides) helps with respiratory infections such as bronchitis. Read more about the South African Cape geranium here!

The leaves of the black currant help with urinary tract and rheumatic problems. Read more about the healing power of currants !

Licorice is a proven remedy for stomach ulcers, gastritis and respiratory catarrh. Read more about the effects of liquorice !

Thyme helps especially with inflammation of the respiratory tract such as a cold with a cough . Read more about the use and effects of thyme !

The spice plant anise has a healing effect on catarrhs ​​of the respiratory tract and digestive problems such as flatulence. Read more about the effects and uses of anise !

Ivy supports the treatment of bronchitis and other respiratory diseases. Read more about the use and effects of ivy !

The essential eucalyptus oil can help with respiratory diseases and rheumatic complaints. Read more about the medicinal plant eucalyptus !

Marshmallow relieves dry, hacking coughs and inflammation in the mouth, throat and stomach. Read more about the application and effects of marshmallow here !

Spruce essential oil is used for colds, rheumatic complaints and nerve pain. Read more about the spruce !

Elderflowers are a recognized antiperspirant for colds. Read more about the use and effects of elderberry !

Pine essential oil helps with inflamed airways, muscle and nerve pain. Read more about the healing power and application of the pine !

The mountain pine has a soothing effect on inflammation of the respiratory tract, rheumatic complaints and nerve pain. Read more about the mountain pine !

Linden blossom tea is especially helpful for colds: it has a sweat-inducing, expectorant and soothing effect. Read more about linden blossom here !

Japanese mint provides mint oil , which helps with flatulence, inflammation of the respiratory tract, muscle and nerve pain. Read more about mint oil !

The primrose (cowslip) promotes mucus formation and expectoration. It therefore helps with respiratory catarrhs. Read more about the medicinal plant primrose !

Plantain helps with respiratory catarrhs ​​and inflammation of the mouth and throat mucosa. Read more about the effects of plantain !

Blackberry leaf tea helps against mild diarrhea and inflammation in the mouth and throat. Read more about the preparation and use of blackberries here!

Ground mustard seeds processed into a mustard flour foot bath or a mustard wrap – find out here what healing powers mustard has!

Onion syrup, onion socks, onions against insect bites: folk medicine uses the onion in a variety of ways. Read more about the onion !

In folk medicine, raspberry leaf tea is used to treat diarrhea, menstrual pain and inflammation of the mouth and throat. Read more about raspberries !

The respiratory tract briefly explained

The respiratory tract is responsible for the vital exchange of gases – the absorption of oxygen from the air we breathe in and the release of carbon dioxide into the air we breathe out. From an anatomical point of view, the oral and nasal cavities, the pharynx with the larynx, the trachea and the bronchial tree with its larger and smaller branches (bronchi and bronchioles) belong to the respiratory tract.

The actual sites of gas exchange are the tiny alveoli, which sit at the end of the bronchioles and are surrounded by many fine blood vessels. In addition to gas exchange, the airways have other tasks such as moistening and cleaning the inhaled air. The mucous membrane of the trachea with its so-called respiratory ciliated epithelium plays a decisive role in this.

This cell layer contains goblet and gland cells that form the bronchial mucus. This covers the ciliated epithelium and moistens the air we breathe. On the other hand, the ciliated epithelium consists primarily of cells that have fine ciliated hairs on their surface. These perform – coordinated – wave-like beating movements in order to transport dust particles or microorganisms in the direction of the throat. You can read more about the structure and function of the airways in the article Lungs and Airways.

Common problems

The common cold (“cold”) is one of the most common respiratory diseases. It is caused by viruses that infect the mucous membranes of the nose and throat. Swollen mucous membranes, sneezing and a sore throat are the usual consequences. Elevated temperature or slight fever can also occur. Medicinal plants such as sage and coltsfoot (for a sore throat) as well as linden and elderflower (for fever) can alleviate the symptoms.

A cold usually goes away quickly. Sometimes, however, the infection spreads to the lower respiratory tract – bronchitis develops. The body then tries to get rid of the virus by coughing. If there is a lot of phlegm, it turns into a productive (wet) cough. This can be supported with expectorant and expectorant medicinal plants such as ivy and primula. The dry, irritating cough that only irritates the respiratory tract is of little use. Medicinal plants such as mallow, marshmallow or buckhorn can cover the irritated mucous membranes with a protective film.

Just like cold viruses, flu viruses can also infect the mucous membranes in the respiratory tract. However, the course of influenza is much more severe. Here, too, medicinal plants can have a supportive effect and alleviate the symptoms. A weakened immune system favors colds and other infections. Medicinal plants such as echinacea (coneflowers) can be used to strengthen the body’s own defences.

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