Herbal Respiratory Remedies

Are you confused when you get into a health food store, or a drugstore, and want something for your respriatory ailment, but there are so many products? Which will be effective? Which ones could you avoid?

It would help if you knew what some of the terms you find on the packages mean. Like what exact is anti-catarrhal? Or, demulcent? Let's spell out a brief glossary here, and offer some hints for guiding your choices. I can't speak for the pharmacuitcal field, but I've learned some terms that herbalists use.

Herbal categories for respiratory remedies:

1. Anti-catarrhal - herbs with this property can take care of the mucous that has build up in your sinuses, or ears and throat. You know that phelgm that often sticks to the back of your throat? That is catarrah. Sometimes it is known as post-nasal drip, because it is coming from your nose or sinus cavaties, and you are slowly swallowing that stuff. If it is infected, you may end up with tummy problems too.

my comfrey in mid-summer

Herbs: Bayberry bark, coltsfoot, golden seal, Indian hemp, lungwort, marshmallow, mullein, white pine, sanicle, skunk cabbage, sarsaparilla, bloodroot, comfrey, fringe tree, buchu, and powdered oak bark.

2. Expectorants - are herbs that give you a boost in breaking up and clearing, and getting that phlegm or catarrah OUT of your lungs and sinuses

Herbs: coltsfoot, comfrey, elecampane, grindelia, licorice, marshmallow, mullein

3. Astringent - herbs that cut back on secretion and discharges, and tighten up the tissues that feel soggy and stretched in your head.|

Herbs: slippery elm, raspberry leaf, blackberry root, meadowsweet.

4. Demulcent - these herbs have a more reverse effect. When your throat or mouth and nasal passages are so raw and dried out that you would gladly have some moisture, an herb with a demulcent effect, will put a soothing mucilage or lubricant in those areas.

catmint

Herbs: slippery elm, comfrey root, mullein leaf, marshmallow.

5. Anti-spasmodic - you want these herbs when you have developed spasms of coughing and wheezing. They will ease down, or hold back that desperate need to cough. Athough, you should remember that if you do have an inflammed mass of mucous in your lungs, you want to cough it out, or you will only grow sicker and have pneumonia or plurisy next. So do allow yourself, or your child, to cough as much as possible if you are able to bring up the yucky mess. If not, use the expectorant herbs first, then take the anti-spasmodic ones when you desperately need to rest from the coughing.

Herbs: cramp bark, passion flower, lobelia, skullcap, valerian, boneset.

6. Anti-microbal - are the herbs that deal with infections and inflammations in your body. You want to be rid of those crazy little micro-organisms before they cause you serious problems. Not every cough or sneeze is due to pathogenic microbes, but when it is clear that is the cause, you want to use these herbs.

Herbs: echinacea, golden seal, giner, garlic, boneset, osha, usnea.

7. Anti-inflammatories - these herbs are called for when you have reached the inflammatory stage. When everything is red, hot, and truly sick.

8. Nevine relaxants - when you have been coughing and hacking away for quite a while, your chest will sometimes seize up, and you can hardly relax enough to breath. In fact, asthma shows up. This is when you need to relax your nerves so you can get some rest.

9. Diaphoretic - sometimes you need to sweat it out, to get rid of toxins and reduce fever. These herbs help you to cast off some toxins through your skin.

Herbs: cayenne, peppermint, ginger, catnip, elder flower, elecampane, garlic, yarrow.

Where to get these herbs?

That is likely your next question. It is hard to go out in the natural medows and woodlands to look for these herbs, and dry them. Especially if you need their benefits right now. Make it a long-range goal to learn more about the plants and where to find them. As I keep saying, many of them are under our feet, and beside our sidewalks.

However, it is possible to buy them ready picked and cleaned and often prepared as teas or capsules you can take painlessly. The first place I look now is an online store called Puritan's Pride They have the lowest prices and the widest selection I've found so far, and theyare metaculous about their harvesting, preparation and packaging.

To help you zero in on them, here are direct links to the herbal pages at Puritan's Pride. (Note that each one has several more pages you can continue to!)

Herbs A to E ~ Herbs F to M ~ Herbs N to Z






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Key Aloe Product Sources:
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