Licorice Root

Licorice sticksLicorice is popular in treating several conditions right from asthma and bronchitis to menopause. The herb is often used as a harmonizing agent when mixed with other herbs and is commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine. It has anti-inflammatory properties and also acts as an adequate lubricant of the mucous membrane and the lungs. Any phlegm stuck in the respiratory tract can be removed by the loosening action of licorice root extract. It also has anti-bacterial and anti-viral effects that helps fight infections that can aggravate any lung problems. Licorice root contains components known as glycrrhizins and flavonoids which can prevent lung cancer cells from multiplying, thus making it an effective lung cancer prevention tool as well. Asthma patients can gain relief from breathing problems for a few hours by drinking tea made with licorice root. However, caution should be exercised for people with high blood pressure and long term use of this plant can cause potassium deficiency.


2 - ColtsfootAlso known as Tussilago Farfara, this member of the daisy family has been used since thousands of years in the Native American tradition to treat dry cough and throat irritation which is a common symptom of most COPDs. Its antitussive properties have seen a place in Chinese folk medicine as well for the treatment of various respiratory ailments like asthma, cough and bronchitis. The plant’s dried leaves are brewed in water to make tea which is effective in clearing out the mucus membrane in the lungs. It is also available in the form of a tincture as medication. The seeds of the plant were once used as an additional stuffing in bedding and pillows and its extracts were also previously used to add flavor to candies. However, because of its potential toxicity when ingested in big amounts, coltsfoot has legal restrictions in some countries.

Osha Root

4 - Osha Root

Also known as bear root, the root of Osha contains several compounds like camphor, terpenes, saponins, ferulic acid and phytosterois which are all very effective in treating lung and throat problems. This herb is considered the best American herb for treating COPD because it acts in such a way that additional oxygen is provided to the lungs, thus making breathing easier for COPD patients. The root is also beneficial for flushing out the mucus from the sinus and relieving congestion in the lungs. It is also commonly used for treating cold and flu symptoms and comes with no side effects. However, pregnant women and women who are nursing sould refrain from using Osha root.



The oil produced from thyme has medicinal antiseptic properties that can help fight chest congestion caused by COPD. It also has antibacterial properties that fight infections of various kinds including acne. Respiratory tract infections and the viruses from pneumonia can be treated with thyme tea. You can also use it in your cooking by adding it as a flavoring agent in most dishes.


6 - Manaca Root

Also known as Brunfelsia Unifloras, manaca is popular for treating asthma because of its components alkaloid, alscutetin and scopoletin. The root of the plant is essential used for treating conditions and it also has anti-inflammatory properties that help to treat inflammations caused by COPD. It is a powerful detox agent that can help stimulate the lymphatic system to get the natural healing process of the immune system activated. However, it should be used in small doses because larger doses can increase heart rate dangerously. The root is also a good alternative medication to control diabetes and high blood pressure.


EucalyptusEucalyptus is popularly used in cough drops because of a compound it contains called cineole. Cineole is used for its expectorant properties. This means that it helps in loosening up the phlegm caused by COPD in your lungs and makes it easier to expectorate it from the body. It also soothes the sinus passage and provides relief to promote better breathing. Several traditional medicines include eucalyptus oil along with other essential oils to prevent severe flare ups of chronic bronchitis and to soothe throat irritation. Eucalyptus also has antioxidants that give the immune system an added boost during illnesses. However, it is a very strong oil and should not be ingested orally or in high concentrations.

Lobelia Inflata

8 - Lobelia InflataLobelia inflate is considered as an “asthmador” in Appalachian folk medicine and its use is not restricted only to humans. Even horses are given this herb to promote better breathing. Lobelia contains an alkaloid called lobeline which helps in breaking down thick mucus and making it thinner. Thus, it is used to clear up congestions in humans and animals alike. It also releases a hormone called epinephrine which helps relax the muscles in the body and promotes better breathing patterns. It is commonly used in cough and cold medication and is a must have for COPD patients.


9 - SageScientifically known as Salvia Officinalis, you might have heard about this herb because of its popularity in cooking. It has a steady aroma and is commonly used to treat lung problems and respiratory diseases. The aromatic properties of this herb contain scents of thujone, camphor, terpene and salvene and these vapors can promote healing for lung diseases and calm flared up sinuses. Inhaling the steam of sage oil is highly effective in providing relief to COPD patients and it can also be brewed in boiling water to be drunk as a tea.



10 - Peppermint

Everyone’s popped a mint into their mouth and felt the soothing taste create an instant cooling effect in the throat. You also would have noticed how this clears out the nose and helps in breathing better. This effect is caused by the menthol in peppermint which is a powerful antihistamine. Menthol is also good for breaking down mucus to expectorate it through the mouth. Brewing a cup of peppermint tea can give COPD patients good relief and clear up the respiratory tract. Peppermint is also used in balms which can be rubbed on the chest area to provide relief from congestion. Its antioxidant properties will also strengthen the immune system to fight harmful bacteria that is present in the body.


11- Chaparral

This is a Native American tradition plant shrub that is used for treating chronic bronchitis. It is also popular for treating the common cold, arthritis, stomach problems and digestive problems. It contains antioxidants that fight viruses and NDGA which is known to fight histamine response. Some burn salves also contain chaparral as an essential ingredient. Patients with respiratory conditions can gain relief by drinking chaparral tea or ingesting a tincture extract of it which can clear the airways of mucus and promote better breathing.