18 Ayurvedic Herbs for the Bronchi and Lungs
The respiratory system regularly encounters airborne particles such as microorganisms, pollutants, pollens and dust, and protects delicate body tissues. As a result, the functions of the lungs and bronchi can be affected.
Bronchial Formula is an Ayurvedic combination of 18 herbs that nourish the lungs and bronchi and helps support the respiratory system. This formula, developed in concert with Indian Ayurvedic masters with herbs direct from India, provides nutrients necessary for respiratory health and function.
- Adhatoda vasica leaf extract
- Glycyrrhiza glabra root extract
- Alpinia galanga rhizome extract
- Clerodendrum indicum root
- Inula racemosa root extract
- Myrica nagi bark extract
- Verbascum thapsus leaves
- Phyllanthus emblica fruit
- Hedychium spicatum root
- Picrorrhiza kurrooa root extract
- Pimpinella anisum fruit
- Pistacia integerrima gall
- Zingiber officinale rhizome
- Ocimum sanctum leaf extract
- Tylophora asthmatica leaf
- Abies webbina leaf
- Elettaria cardamomum seed
- Ferula assafoetida gum.
Supports the respiratory system. Supports bronchial function. Nourishes the lungs and bronchi. Is a balancing formula to minimize respiratory irritation.
Bronchial Formula is an herbal combination based on Ayurvedic healing principles for treating bronchial and respiratory problems. Bronchial Formula contains herbs that relieve congestion in the bronchioles, lungs, sinuses and throat. Bronchial Formula also dilates the bronchial tubes, soothes inflamed tissues, strengthens mucous membranes, fights infection, and improves poor digestion by stimulating the production of digestive fluids and enzymes. Poor digestion is frequently the cause of respiratory congestion and constriction (i.e. undigested proteins can activate allergic responses, which cause the release of histamines).
Bronchial Formula is particularly beneficial for asthma, bronchitis, colds, coughs, digestive problems, excessive phlegm, inflamed mucus membranes, and respiratory and sinus congestion.
Abies webbina belongs to the family of fir trees which have been used medicinally for their expectorant properties in the treatment of colds and coughs, and to stimulate blood flow and urination.
Adhatoda vasica , known in India as “Vasaka,” which means “Little Dweller” or “Protector of the dwelling place,” is a traditional Ayurvedic remedy for chest problems. Vasaka dilates bronchial passages, reduces inflammation, normalizes excessive menstrual flow, and acts as an antiseptic and expectorant. Vasaka is also used in Ayurvedic preparations as a topical treatment for joint inflammation associated with rheumatism. Vasaka has been used for arthritis, asthma, bronchitis, coughs, excessive menstruation, neuralgia, shortness of breath, and tuberculosis. Vasaka is not recommended during pregnancy.
Alpina galanga , commonly known in India as “Galangal,” relieves inflammation of the mucous membranes, enhances digestion, soothes abdominal pain, prevents vomiting, calms the nerves, and strengthens the heart. Improved digestion has been shown to reduce blood allergens which contribute to asthma, bronchitis, and respiratory congestion. Galangal has a warming effect on the body, similar to ginger. Galangal is typically used for abdominal pain, diarrhea, dyspepsia, flatulence, hiccups, intermittent fever, motion sickness/nausea, rheumatoid arthritis, and vomiting. Galangal also exhibits antibacterial and antifungal activity. Research studies show galangal to be effective against a variety of pathogens (disease-causing agents), including anthrax and Candida albicans.
Clerodendrum indicum is used in Ayurvedic medicine for various respiratory conditions, including asthma, coughs, lung problems, and tuberculosis.
Elettaria cardamomum , simply referred to as “Cardamom,” has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine to relieve digestive ailments such as abdominal pain, anorexia, dyspepsia, and gas, as well as debility and kidney stones. Research conducted in the 1960’s isolated a volatile oil in cardamom which exhibited strong antispasmodic properties, thus confirming the herb’s effectiveness in relieving gas and treating colic and abdominal cramps. Ayurvedic physicians have also utilized the herb’s aromatic qualities to treat asthma and bronchitis.
Ferula assafoetida , commonly known as “Asafoetida,” relaxes muscle spasms, relieves abdominal pain, expels phlegm, calms the nerves, reduces blood pressure, thins the blood, and acts as a laxative. The volatile oil of asafoetida soothes indigestion and contains disulphides which have an expectorant action. Asafoetida is helpful for abdominal distension (bloating), asthma, bronchitis, bronchial asthma, colic, constipation, convulsions and epilepsy, croup, flatulence, hysteria, indigestion, infantile convulsions, palpitation, paralysis, rheumatism, spasmodic nervous conditions, whooping cough, and worms. A paste made of asafoetida powder is often applied topically for painful, swollen joints. Asafoetida is not recommended for high fever, hyperacidity, rash, urticaria, or pregnancy.
Glycyrrhiza glabra, better known as licorice, dilates bronchial passages to ease breathing and promote expectoration of phlegm, increases the production of digestive fluids and bile, soothes mucus membranes (especially in the stomach), relieves pain and inflammation, relaxes muscle spasms, strengthens the adrenal glands and stimulates the adrenal cortex, lowers cholesterol, and acts as a mild laxative. Licorice is particularly beneficial for asthma, bronchitis, colds, coughs, duodenal/gastric ulcers, laryngitis, respiratory congestion, and sore throat. Additionally, licorice exhibits antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial, antiviral, and possible anticancer properties.
Hedychium spicatum contains essential oils which relieve fever, rhinitis, and swelling of the mucous membranes.
Inula racemosa focuses most of its action on the chest, eliminating excess moisture in the lungs by expelling phlegm, and strengthening the lungs. Inula racemosa alleviates coughs, as well as soothes indigestion, balances the female reproductive system, relieves muscle pain, and destroys parasites and worms. Inula racemosa is helpful for asthma, bronchitis, chronic lung problems, colds, coughs, emphysema, pleurisy, respiratory congestion, and whooping cough. Ayurvedic sources also indicate inula racemosa is used to control diabetes.
Myrica nagi relieves excess mucus and sinus congestion, cleanses the lymphatic system, tightens tissues, fights infection, stimulates circulation, promotes perspiration to reduce fever, alleviates pain and inflammation, and induces vomiting. Myrica nagi is a rich source of vitamin C and is commonly used for asthma, chronic bronchitis, colds, coughs, diarrhea, dysentery, fever, flu, hemorrhages, infection, inflammatory conditions of the gastrointestinal tract, intestinal flu, jaundice, laryngitis, sinus congestion, sinusitis, sore throat, tuberculosis, and wounds. The powdered herb is also snorted into the nose to relieve head colds and headaches.
Ocimum sanctum , which means “Holy Basil,” is considered a sacred plant in India. Holy Basil strengthens the immune system, expels phlegm, relaxes muscle spasms, reduces inflammation and fevers, soothes abdominal pain, increases breast-milk production, stimulates the adrenal cortex, lowers blood pressure and blood sugar levels, and improves vitality. Indian research has confirmed the herb’s use for treating some cases of diabetes. Holy Basil is also regarded as an adaptogen and employed for conditions resulting for excessive stress. Holy Basil is often used in aromatherapy applications for clearing the mind, improving memory, and relieving depression, mental fatigue, nervous exhaustion, and uneasiness. Holy Basil has a long tradition of being used for asthma, bronchitis, colds, constipation, coughs, dysmenorrhea, enteritis, fever, gastrointestinal catarrh, headache, indigestion, pleurisy, respiratory infection, stomach cramps, vomiting, and whooping cough. In Ayurvedic medicine, the juice, called “tulsi,” is used externally for canker sores, ear infection, insect bites, itching skin, ringworm, and snakebites.
Phyllanthus emblica, or “White Galls,” reduces inflammation and improves digestion. Improved digestion has been shown to reduce blood allergens which contribute to asthma and respiratory congestion. This herb also exhibits antibacterial, antiviral, and diuretic activity. White Galls acts as a central nervous system depressant and relaxes muscle spasms to reduce coughing. White Galls has been used for asthma, bronchitis, coughs and other respiratory problems, dysentery, and gonorrhea, and is also regarded as a rejuvenative tonic.
Picrorhiza kurroa stimulates circulation, enhances liver function, and improves digestion and absorption of nutrients. Improved digestion has been shown to reduce blood allergens which contribute to asthma and respiratory congestion. The herb’s cooling properties are also used to reduce fever. Picrorhiza kurroa is recommended for anemia, asthma, bronchitis, diarrhea, dyspepsia, dysentery-like disorders, hepatitis, and jaundice. Picrorhiza is also used to treat chronic nutritional impairment in children.
Pimpinella anisum , better known as “Anise,” relaxes muscle spasms, relieves abdominal pain and nausea, expels phlegm, and improves digestion which, in turn, decreases blood allergens that contribute to asthma and respiratory congestion. Anise’s antispasmodic and expectorant properties confirm the herb’s use for asthma, bronchitis, whooping cough, and other spasmodic coughs. Anise has been used for more than 2,000 years for abdominal distension (bloating), asthma, bronchitis, cholera, colic, coughs, dyspepsia, flatulence, headache, insomnia, morning sickness, nausea, and water retention.
Pistacia integerrima gall shrinks inflamed tissues, relieves coughs, and reduces water retention in the lungs.
Sida cordifolia , called “Bala” in India, is regarded as a rejuvenative and strengthening tonic for the heart function. Bala has also been shown to strengthen the nerves, relieve pain and inflammation, and promote urine flow. Bala has been used by Ayurvedic physicians to help arthritis, asthma, chronic fever, chronic infectious diseases, convalescence, cystitis, dysentery, emaciation, exhaustion, facial paralysis, heart disease, insanity, leukorrhea, muscle cramps, neuralgia, numbness, rheumatism, sciatica, and sexual debility.
Tylophora asthmatica contains the alkaloid tylophorine, which has been shown to exhibit anti-inflammatory and antitumor properties. Tylophora asmatica has long been used in ayurvedic medicine to induce expectoration and vomiting and to treat dysentery and rheumatic conditions. Thorough laboratory and clinical research in India has established tylophora asmatica as an effective remedy for asthma. Several clinical trials conducted in the 1970’s demonstrated that a majority of asthmatic patients taking the herb for only 6 days experienced relief from their asthma for up to 3 months. Tylophora asmatica has also been shown beneficial for cases of hay fever, and is prescribed for acute allergic conditions such as eczema and urticaria (nettle rash). Recent research suggests tylophora asthmatica may be useful as a treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome, other immune system disorders, and possibly cancer.
Verbascum thapsus is highly valued for use with coughs and congestion, and is specifically recommended for treating bronchitis and tracheitis. Verbascum thapsus reduces mucus production and stimulates the expectoration of phlegm, relieves pain, relaxes muscle spasms, soothes and shrinks inflamed tissues, promotes urine flow, heals wounds, and provides a mild sedative effect. Verbascum thapsus has an excellent reputation for helping asthma, bronchial inflammation, colds, coughs, diarrhea, dysuria, excessive gastrointestinal mucus, hay fever, hemorrhoids, hoarseness, nephritis, respiratory/sinus congestion, sore throat, tonsillitis, tuberculosis, urinary tract infections, water retention, and whooping cough.
Zingiber officinale, better known as ginger, is called “Vishwabhesaj,” which means “the Universal Medicine.” Ginger expels phlegm, improves circulation, reduces cholesterol and platelet aggregation, lowers high blood pressure, alleviates pain and inflammation, induces perspiration to cool fever, stimulates the production of digestive fluids and saliva, relieves nausea and vomiting, relaxes muscle spasms, and soothes abdominal pain. Ginger has been shown to reduce inflammation by acting as a prostaglandin inhibitor, in much the same way as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) work. Studies show ginger relaxes muscle spasms and relieves pain and inflammation associated with rheumatic conditions. Studies have found ginger produces a strong stimulating effect on muscular contractions of the heart, validating ginger’s use for improving overall circulation. Ginger has been used for centuries throughout the world for arthritis, asthma, bronchitis, cold hands/feet, colds, coughs, diarrhea, fevers, flatulence, headaches, high blood pressure, hypercholesterolemia, indigestion, morning/motion sickness, nausea, poor circulation, respiratory congestion, and vomiting.