Good nutrition is essential for good health, no-one can deny that. The concept of the need to detoxify your body has been around for a number of years now but, to date, only lip service has been paid to it. In today’s “modern” world it is fair to say that detoxifying your body on a regular basis is an essential adjunct to a healthy diet, due to the fact that there are tens of thousands of chemicals that we come into contact with over our lifetime (and which haven’t been independently and scientifically proven to be safe) via the foods we eat (herbicides, pesticides and GMOs), beauty products, medications, air pollution, smoking etc and which our organs need extra help in removing.
Reasons To Detox Your Lungs
The main task of the lungs, an essential respiratory organ, is to take in oxygen when we inhale and release carbon dioxide when we exhale. As your lungs never rest, it is important to keep them healthy. Cleansing the lungs on a regular basis is good practice due to the enormous array of chemicals that we come into contact with in modern times on a daily basis, as stated above.
A lung cleanse helps detoxify and cleanse the delicate respiratory linings of the bronchial passages and lungs which often have an accumulation of environmental toxins, harmful organisms and irritants. It promotes normal lung functioning, reduces any swelling and inflammation and rejuvenates lung vitality and strength. Furthermore, it helps to clear mucus from the airways and improves circulation to the lungs. It even helps treat chronic bronchitis, asthma, throat infections as well as bad breath. As you will see below, cleansing the lungs is not a particularly elaborate task. You can easily do it with some home remedies paired with lifestyle and dietary changes.
Ways to Help Keep Your Lungs Healthy
Below I list the top 8 ways to cleanse and detoxify your lungs:-
1. Castor Oil Packs
A castor oil pack stimulates waste elimination and helps draw toxins out of the lungs as well as the uterus, digestive system and liver. It even reduces inflammation and improves lymphatic circulation.
Use only organic, cold-pressed castor oil to make the pack. Soak two or three pieces of flannel in one cup of warm caster oil. Lie down on a large plastic sheet or towel. Put the soaked flannel over your chest and sides, covering the lung areas. Cover the flannels with a large plastic sheet for 1 – 2 hours. Ideally, if you have a heat pad place this over the lung area too to help keep the castor oil warm. Finally, remove the pack and rinse your body off with warm water to get rid of the residue.
Repeat twice a week for a month.
2. Oregano (organic)
Oregano is rich in compounds like carvacrol and terpenes that act as lung cleansing elements. The herb can help reduce inflammation and congestion in the lungs and improve nasal passage air flow and the health of your respiratory tract.
Drink two cups of oregano tea daily when suffering from asthma or other respiratory problems. You can make the tea by steeping fresh or dried oregano in hot water for about 5 minutes.
To detox your lungs, add a few drops of oregano oil to a glass of warm almond milk or tea and drink it at least once a day. [I have mentioned almond milk as opposed to cow’s milk due to the fact that if you have respiratory problems or asthma, milk may make your condition worse as it is mucus forming. You may also need to stay away from soya milk as soy should only be consumed in its fermented form.]
Another effective way to consume oregano, which is what I do, is by juicing fresh oregano with vegetables such as carrots, celery, apples and dark leafy greens or by sprinkling it on my salads.
Another effective herb that can cleanse your lungs is liquorice. Its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties help reduce inflammation of the bronchial tubes. Furthermore, its antibacterial and anti-viral properties help prevent and treat mild lung infections as well as reduce lung irritation due to a sore throat, a dry cough or allergen exposure.
A study back in 2002 published in Planta Medica noted the antimycobacterial and anti-legionella activity of liquorice root in the treatment of severe lung infections.
Drink 2 – 3 cups of liquorice root tea for a few days when suffering from respiratory or lung problems. To make the tea, add one teaspoon of liquorice powder to a cup of hot water, cover and steep for 10 minutes.
Another option is to mix ½ teaspoon of liquorice powder with a little honey and have it twice daily for a few days.
NOTE: This herb may not be suitable for pregnant women, infants and people who have diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney disease or low potassium levels.
Ginger is effective to detoxify your lungs because it contains several chemical compounds that help the lungs function more effectively by eliminating pollutants from the air passages before they irritate the lungs. It also improves blood circulation. Furthermore, ginger can even help in the treatment of lung cancer. A 2012 study published in the Anti-Cancer Agents in Medical Chemistry indicates the promising chemo-preventative effect of ginger extracts against lung cancer.
Drink 3 – 4 cups of ginger tea daily to enjoy strong lungs. To make the tea, boil 1 teaspoon of sliced grated ginger in 1 or 1½ cups of water. Allow it to simmer for 10 minutes, strain and add a little lemon juice and honey for taste.
Also include raw ginger in your cooking and/or as I stated above, you can also use a thumb of ginger in your vegetable juicing every day.
NOTE: People who take heart or high blood pressure medications should avoid taking ginger in excess.
Peppermint is another good option for cleansing your lungs. Peppermint and peppermint oil contain menthol that helps relax the smooth muscles of the respiratory tract. This promotes effortless breathing and helps clear symptoms of any upper respiratory congestion.
A 2010 study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology noted that the anti-congestive, anti-spasmodic and expectorant properties of peppermint oil helped relax the trachea in rats.
For strong lungs, chew 3 – 5 peppermint leaves each day.
To treat congestion, add a few drops of peppermint oil to a pot of hot water and inhale the steam.
You can also drink 2 cups of peppermint tea daily. To make the tea, add 1 teaspoon of dried peppermint leaves to a cup of hot water, cover and steep for 10 minutes.
Side Note: Peppermint tea is also very useful for disbursing trapped wind.
NOTE: Do not use this herb if you have a history of gallstones. (Please see my previous blog regarding the gallbladder and gallstones.)
6. Improve Air Quality
The air that you breath in has a huge impact on your lung health. You may not have control over outdoor air pollution but you can improve your indoor air quality where you spend a lot of your time.
Indoor air is as contaminated as outdoor places due to regular use of chemical-based cleaners, air fresheners and other scents. Indoor air pollutants include carbon monoxide, radon gas, formaldehyde, benzene, ammonia and trichloroethylene (amongst others) can cause harm to your lungs.
Ensure regular cleaning, dusting and mopping of floors to remove dirt and dust. Use a vacuum cleaner with strong suction and a good quality filter to ensure proper cleaning. Minimise the use of harsh cleaners and cleaners with strong fragrances. Switch to non-toxic options for cleaning. Avoid using aerosol sprays laden with chemicals.
Use at least two house plants such as fern, spider plant, peace lily, bamboo palm, aloe vera, English ivy and others per 100 sq ft of space. Ensure adequate ventilation.
Use a good quality humidifier to maintain proper humidity levels.
7. Lung-Cleansing Foods
Foods you eat may affect the health of your lungs. A healthy diet stimulates the body’s natural cleansing mechanisms and strengthens the immune system.
Start your day with a glass of lemon water and make sure you drink an ample amount of “clean” water throughout the day, preferably not tap water and not water out of plastic bottles – remember you are trying to detoxify your lungs. By doing this it will also aid your kidneys in doing its job i.e. to detoxify your system. Proper hydration facilitates the cleansing process, therefore, of both the lungs and the kidneys.
Eat foods rich in vitamin C (as vitamin C is regarded as the conductor of all vitamins) such as grapefruit, kiwis, bell peppers, oranges, tomatoes, strawberries, broccoli and pineapples. Include antioxidant-rich foods like garlic, onion, cayenne pepper, ginger, oregano, turmeric, apples and green tea in your diet.
Eat folate-rich foods such as lentils and black beans. [Always make sure that beans are soaked for the requisite amount of time for that particular bean.]
Opt for healthy fats such as coconut oil, olive oil (cold pressed), avocado, nuts and seeds. [Again, it is a good practice to soak nuts and seeds overnight and then use a dehydrator/low oven to dry them out as this will make them more bio-available ie help you digest them more easily.]
8. Deep Breathing
Lack of oxygen in the blood is one of several reasons for degenerative disease due to lack of oxygen in the blood and this is the reason, therefore, that it is important we learn how to breath correctly. In today’s modern life we all suffer, from time to time, more stress than our bodies have been designed to cope with which has a knock-on effect on the way we breath. If we are under stress we tend to breath through our rib-cage rather than from below our diaphragm.
Deep breathing can help improve lung capacity by delivering more nourishing oxygen to your body. This will strengthen your lungs, clear the airways and cleanse them. Furthermore, it will increase energy and reduce stress. This is why meditating is a great tool in reducing stress and an opportunity to breath correctly for short periods during the day. One way to do this is to lie flat on your back in a comfortable place. Place your hands flat on your stomach at the base of the rib-cage. Close your eyes and breath in deeply for five seconds, hold your breath for two seconds and then slowly breath out to a count of 5. Repeat this process nine or ten times per session. Whilst doing this, concentrate solely on your breathing and clear your mind of any other intrusion. Ideally, try and do this procedure twice a day. Tip: I find that if I cannot get to sleep and I implement this meditation technique, I am usually asleep within three or four deep breaths.
Saunas (especially infra-red) are one of the best ways to not only detox your lungs but your body as a whole.
Obviously, giving up smoking and avoiding exposure to second-hand smoke is vital.
Exercise daily which increases lung capacity even if it is just a brisk walk for 20 minutes every day, preferably in an open area away from pollutants such as car exhaust fumes.
Try and avoid beverages such as sodas, coffee and alcohol. There are some very good caffeine free coffee substitutes on the market as well as caffeine free teas and tasty herbal teas. Tip: I found that I slept much better when I gave up caffeine. Some food beverages that contain caffeine that some people are not aware of is green tea and chocolate.
No manufacturer or supplier has any financial interest in my business, nor do I have any financial interest in them. Although I sell/advise using various products, they are also widely available elsewhere. Always read instructions on any product. Do not neglect medical guidance or treatment. Any information contained herein is for educational advice only and does not replace medical advice.