ALJTime-Proven Herbal Decongestant and Expectorant

ALJ is a respiratory formula containing boneset, fenugreek seed, horseradish root, mullein leaves and fennel seed. Like the other NSP formulas ending with the letter ‘J’, AL-J was formulated by herbalist Jeanne Burgess. Jeanne created this formula for allergies, severe congestion in the lungs, and as a digestive aid (The ‘A’ and ‘L’ stand for Allergy and Lung). It was so effective that within months of its introduction, it became a best-selling product and has remained so for almost twenty years.

ALJ not only reduces the redness and swelling around the nose and eyes associated with allergic reactions, it also works for severe lung problems. It helps clear congestion (fluid and mucus) from the lungs in colds, coughs, pleurisy, bronchitis and even pneumonia. It breaks up hardened mucus and helps remove it from the lungs and sinuses.

Jeanne was well aware of the connection between the respiratory system and the digestive system. Improper digestion and poor elimination contribute to mucus congestion in the lungs and sinuses by congesting the lymphatic system. For this reason, ALJ was also designed to improve digestion.

When taken before meals, this combination aids digestion. It is even said to cleanse the colon. It certainly was not formulated for that purpose, but the claim makes sense, given the lymphatic connection between the colon and the lungs. Even better results are achieved if ALJ is used with PLS II.  Here’s are the ingredients in ALJ and what they are for.


Boneset is an old Indian remedy, with aromatic and bitter qualities, which was quickly adopted by European settlers. It is reported to be a laxative, diaphoretic, febrifuge and expectorant. Historically, it has been used for all kinds of fevers, influenza, catarrh, constipation, night sweats, bronchitis, sore throat and chills. It got its name from its use in cases of “bone break fever” which was a type of influenza where the bones felt like they were going to break. It is very helpful for colds and flu accompanied by pain in the muscles and bones.


The seed of fenugreek has affinity for the lymphatic and respiratory systems. It is excellent to use for conditions involving excess mucus or phlegm. It has bitter principles, called saponins, which are emulsifiers and have dissolving and loosening properties. This may explain why it has been used to dissolve thick or hardened mucus and aid in its expulsion from the body. It may also help expel toxic waste from the lymphatic system—the source of many mucous secretions. The mucilage component of fenugreek is also helpful in absorbing toxins in the digestive tract.


The spice, horseradish, is a pungent, heating aromatic in the same energetic category as capsicum and ginger. It contains a mustard-like (sulphurous) oil which gives it powerful circulatory stimulant and antibiotic properties. It also stimulates the flow of digestive secretions and causes an increase in blood flow to the extremities. The Chinese used this herb to aid in the digestion of fats. Horseradish also appears to have a strong stimulating effect on the respiratory membranes causing them to expel mucus. Hence, it has been used historically for bronchitis, catarrh, constipation, coughs, hoarseness, pulmonary complaints, sinus troubles, wheezing and whooping cough.


This valuable plant combines the expectorant action of its saponins with the soothing effect of its mucilage. It has a strong affinity for lung tissues and the lymphatic system. It is one of the major herbs the Indians used for lung problems. It appears to loosen mucus and move it out of the body. It also appears to nourish and strengthen the lungs, making it useful for respiratory problems. Mullein hydrates lung tissue and is very helpful for chronic weakness of the lungs. It has been used to help reduce swelling in the lymph nodes and improve lymphatic drainage.


Fennel is an aromatic herb used in herbal folklore to improve eyesight and promote weight loss (its Greek name ‘marathon’ reportedly derives from the verb meaning “to grow thin.”) It also has a long history of use in overcoming colic, gas, and other digestive disturbances. In addition, it contains volatile oils which appear to stimulate the lungs and allow them to eliminate phlegm, which is known as an expectorant action. Fennel also has diuretic properties. Historically, it has been used in cases of persistent cough and bronchitis. It is also reported to have anticonvulsive properties.

Suggested Use

ALJ works best in doses of 2-4 capsules repeated every two to four hours. The amount and frequency of the dose depend on the severity of the problem. For serious lung problems, 4 capsules every one to two hours may be required. ALJ is also available in a liquid form, which can be administered in small doses (1/4-1/2 teaspoonful) as often as every 30-60 minutes. It combines well with High Potency Garlic for pneumonia and infections in the lungs. For colds and flu, it combines well with Ultimate Echinacea or Echinacea/GoldenSeal.

Selected References

The Comprehensive Guide to Nature’s Sunshine Products by Tree of Light Publishing.
Handouts from Jeanne Burgess.
Nutritional Herbology
 by Mark Pedersen.
New Guide to Health
 by Samuel Thomson.

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