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10 Best Herbs for Lung Health

Published : Jun 08, 2021 7 mins read Updated On : May 23, 2024

Lung health is essential for overall well-being, as our lungs play a vital role in supplying oxygen to the body and expelling carbon dioxide. With increasing pollution, allergens, and respiratory infections, maintaining healthy lungs has become more critical than ever. While modern medicine offers various treatments for lung conditions, incorporating natural herbs into your diet can be a powerful way to support and improve lung health.

10 Best Herbs for Lung Health

Herbs like turmeric, black seed oil, ginger, oregano, tulsi, peppermint, plantain, garlic, and pippali have been traditionally used for their therapeutic properties. Let's explore how these herbs can benefit your lungs and how you can include them in your daily routine.

1. Turmeric

What is Turmeric? Turmeric, a bright yellow spice derived from the root of the Curcuma longa plant, is renowned for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

How Does It Help Lung Health? The active compound in turmeric, curcumin, has been shown to reduce inflammation in the airways, making it beneficial for conditions like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Curcumin also has antibacterial and antiviral properties, which can help protect against respiratory infections (1).

How to Incorporate It into Your Diet? Turmeric can be added to curries, soups, and smoothies. For better absorption, combine it with black pepper and healthy fats. Golden milk, a mixture of turmeric, milk, and honey, is a popular way to consume turmeric.

2. Black Seed Oil

What is Black Seed Oil? Black seed oil is extracted from the seeds of Nigella sativa, a plant commonly used in traditional medicine.

How Does It Help Lung Health? Black seed oil has potent anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties. Studies have shown that it can help reduce the severity of asthma symptoms and improve overall lung function (2).

How to Incorporate It into Your Diet? Black seed oil can be taken in capsule form or added to foods such as salads, yogurt, or smoothies. Start with a small dose and gradually increase it to avoid digestive issues.

3. Ginger

What is Ginger? Ginger is a root that has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties.

How Does It Help Lung Health? Ginger has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects that can help reduce inflammation in the lungs. It also helps break down mucus, making it easier to expel (3).

How to Incorporate It into Your Diet? Ginger can be added to teas, soups, stir-fries, and smoothies. Fresh ginger tea with honey and lemon is particularly soothing for the respiratory system.

4. Oregano

What is Oregano? Oregano is a herb commonly used in cooking, known for its strong flavor and aroma.

How Does It Help Lung Health? Oregano contains carvacrol and rosmarinic acid, compounds with antiviral and antimicrobial properties. These compounds can help reduce respiratory infections and improve lung function (4).

How to Incorporate It into Your Diet? Oregano can be used fresh or dried in various dishes, including pasta, pizza, and salads. Oregano oil can also be taken as a supplement, but it should be diluted with a carrier oil to prevent irritation.

5. Tulsi (Holy Basil)

What is Tulsi? Tulsi, also known as holy basil, is an aromatic herb highly valued in Ayurvedic medicine.

How Does It Help Lung Health? Tulsi has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and adaptogenic properties. It helps reduce congestion, fight respiratory infections, and improve overall lung function (5).

How to Incorporate It into Your Diet? Tulsi leaves can be chewed fresh, added to teas, or used in cooking. Tulsi tea, made by steeping the leaves in hot water, is a popular remedy for respiratory issues.

6. Peppermint

What is Peppermint? Peppermint is a hybrid mint, a cross between watermint and spearmint, known for its refreshing flavor.

How Does It Help Lung Health? Peppermint contains menthol, which helps relax the respiratory muscles and promote easier breathing. It also has antibacterial and antiviral properties that can help prevent infections (6).

How to Incorporate It into Your Diet? Peppermint can be added to teas, desserts, and salads. Peppermint oil can also be used in a diffuser or applied topically (diluted) to the chest to relieve congestion.

7. Plantain

What is Plantain? Plantain is a broadleaf herb often used in traditional medicine for its healing properties.

How Does It Help Lung Health? Plantains have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and mucilage properties that soothe irritated mucous membranes and help clear mucus from the lungs (7).

How to Incorporate It into Your Diet? Plantain leaves can be used in teas, salads, or cooked as a vegetable. Plantain tea is particularly beneficial for respiratory issues.

8. Garlic

What is Garlic? Garlic is a bulbous plant known for its distinctive flavor and numerous health benefits.

How Does It Help Lung Health? Garlic has potent anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral properties. It helps boost the immune system, reduce inflammation in the airways, and protect against respiratory infections (8).

How to Incorporate It into Your Diet? Garlic can be added to a variety of dishes, including soups, stews, sauces, and dressings. Raw garlic is particularly potent, so consider adding it to your diet in small amounts.

9. Pippali (Long Pepper)

What is Pippali? Pippali, or long pepper, is a fruit used in Ayurvedic medicine for its medicinal properties.

How Does It Help Lung Health? Pippali has anti-inflammatory and expectorant properties that help reduce congestion and promote the expulsion of mucus. It is also known to enhance lung function and treat respiratory conditions like asthma and bronchitis (9).

How to Incorporate It into Your Diet? Pippali can be used as a spice in cooking or taken as a supplement. It can also be added to teas and herbal concoctions designed to support respiratory health.

10. Licorice Root

What is Licorice Root? Licorice root is derived from the Glycyrrhiza glabra plant and is known for its sweet flavor.

How Does It Help Lung Health? Licorice root has anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and expectorant properties. It helps soothe irritated airways, reduce coughing, and clear mucus from the lungs (10).

How to Incorporate It into Your Diet? Licorice root can be used to make tea or taken as a supplement. It is also available in tincture and extract forms. However, it should be used with caution, as excessive consumption can lead to side effects like high blood pressure.


Maintaining lung health is crucial for overall well-being, and incorporating herbs like turmeric, black seed oil, ginger, oregano, tulsi, peppermint, plantain, garlic, pippali, and licorice root into your diet can provide significant benefits. These herbs offer anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and expectorant properties that help protect the lungs, reduce inflammation, and improve respiratory function.

By including these natural remedies in your daily routine, you can support your lung health and enhance your quality of life. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new herbal regimen, especially if you have underlying health conditions or are taking medication.


1. What are the best ways to keep my lungs healthy?

Maintaining lung health involves several proactive steps:
Avoid Smoking: Smoking is the leading cause of lung disease, including cancer and COPD. Avoiding smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke is crucial.
Exercise Regularly: Regular physical activity strengthens the respiratory muscles and improves overall lung function.
Maintain Good Air Quality: Minimize exposure to pollutants by using air purifiers at home, avoiding outdoor activities on high pollution days, and wearing masks if necessary.
Stay Hydrated: Drinking plenty of water helps keep the mucous membranes in your lungs thin, aiding better lung function.
Practice Good Hygiene: Regular hand washing and avoiding close contact with sick individuals can prevent respiratory infections.

2. How can I tell if my lungs are healthy?

Healthy lungs generally exhibit the following signs:
Easy Breathing: No difficulty in breathing during everyday activities.
Absence of Chronic Cough: A persistent cough might indicate an underlying lung issue.
Normal Oxygen Levels: Pulse oximeters can measure oxygen saturation levels, which should typically be above 95% for healthy lungs.
No Shortness of Breath: You should not experience shortness of breath during mild to moderate physical activity.
Clear Airways: No persistent wheezing, chest tightness, or excessive mucus production.

3. What symptoms indicate that something might be wrong with my lungs?

Symptoms that may signal lung problems include:
Chronic Cough: A cough lasting more than eight weeks could indicate a lung issue.
Shortness of Breath: Difficulty breathing or feeling breathless during routine activities.
Wheezing: A whistling sound when breathing, suggesting airway constriction.
Chest Pain: Persistent chest pain, especially when breathing deeply or coughing.
Frequent Respiratory Infections: Recurrent bronchitis or pneumonia.
Coughing Up Blood: This is a serious symptom and requires immediate medical attention.

4. How does air pollution affect lung health?

Air pollution has several detrimental effects on lung health:
Respiratory Infections: Pollutants can increase the risk of infections like bronchitis and pneumonia.
Asthma Exacerbation: Pollution can trigger asthma attacks and worsen symptoms.
Chronic Lung Diseases: Long-term exposure to polluted air can contribute to chronic conditions like COPD.
Reduced Lung Function: Continuous exposure can impair lung development and function, especially in children.
Lung Cancer: Certain pollutants, like tobacco smoke and industrial emissions, are carcinogenic and can increase the risk of lung cancer.

5. What lifestyle changes can improve lung health?

Several lifestyle changes can enhance lung health:
Quit Smoking: Avoiding tobacco products is the single most effective way to improve lung health.
Healthy Diet: Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and antioxidants helps protect the lungs from damage.
Exercise Regularly: Engaging in aerobic activities like walking, running, and swimming strengthens the lungs.
Avoid Pollutants: Reduce exposure to indoor and outdoor pollutants by using air purifiers, avoiding heavily trafficked areas, and wearing protective masks when necessary.
Hydration: Keeping well-hydrated helps maintain the mucosal linings in the lungs.
Breathing Exercises: Practicing techniques like diaphragmatic breathing and pursed-lip breathing can improve lung capacity and efficiency.

Vaishnavi Gadi
Vaishnavi Gadi
Women Health & Nutrition

Vaishnavi is passionate about health and nutrition supplements. She takes serious efforts to update her knowledge about health and wellness, especially women health requirements. She writes article... Read More

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