A Lung Support Tea You MUST Have in Your Home Apothecary...Helps With Cough, Wheezing, and Bronchial Issues. Good for Children Too!
Using respiratory supporting herbs such as elecampane, calendula, mullein, ginger, and others in a homemade tea blend can do wonders for your lungs. Some of the issues that may be relieved include wheezing, difficulty taking deep breaths, coughs, etc. Plus, this herbal tea recipe makes a lovely blend.
Recently, one of my friends asked if I could create a tea blend along with some other remedies for a three-year-old experiencing asthma symptoms. If you've ever had a small child with difficulty breathing because of asthma or other lung congestion....well, it's scary. If you’ve ever experienced pneumonia or bronchitis, then you probably can remember how that tight chest feels. It’s not a pleasant experience.
I personally know how difficult lung problems can be. I've never smoked in my entire life, and I actually had a physician once ask me years ago as a young woman if I was a smoker. You see, my lungs had sustained a tremendous amount of damage due to several bouts of pneumonia and annual bronchitis several times a year for decades from childhood into adulthood. Being a child with this kind of cough is not only extremely painful, it is frightening too.
Before I knew how to use herbs for supporting my lungs and respiratory system, frankly, I was a sick mess. Wheezing, dry cough, and when I was ill with bronchitis or pneumonia I coughed so badly I created two hernias in my torso.
I no longer experience these kinds of issues, thank goodness. Ever since I've turned to natural methods to support my health, my body just doesn't get sick as often, and if I do experience illness or imbalance, my body heals quickly. Knowing how to use herbs for your health is a blessing, I can tell you!
Here is an herbal tea you can make that will help strengthen and support your lungs and respiratory system (as well as your child's). It helps decrease wheezing and dry cough. Plus, it's great for you, as some of these herbs, such as calendula, have high nutritive value. Best of all, it's easy to make!
You’ll find the recipe and directions for the tea in the next sections, and in the part after that, I give a rundown of the herbs I used in this tea for you. That way, you know a bit about the properties of the herbs and their strengths and uses. It’s a good idea to do your own research on any herbs you decide to take as well!
FTC Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links, so if you click through and make any kind of purchase, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Ingredients and Directions for Lung Support Tea
I use the traditional parts method of measuring herbs. This means that you can use any kind of measurement you choose as one "part." You just add the herbs in the correct ratio!
For example, if I only want to make a small amount of blended tea, such as a pint or so, I might choose to use a tablespoon as a part measure. If I plan to make a larger batch, such as quart or more, I might use a 1/8 cup or 1/4 cup measure, or perhaps one of the scoops that comes in some mixes. You get to decide how much or how little you'd like to make!
You can find directions for brewing this blend just below.
Recipe for Lung Support Tonic and Asthma Symptom Tea
Blending herbal teas is as simple as choosing the right herbs for what you need, choosing a measurement part, and blending the lovely plants together for your own loose leaf tea!
Ingredients for Lung Support/Asthma Tea:
2 parts organic dried Mullein
3 parts organic Elecampane
2 parts Marshmallow Root
1 part Calendula
1 part Echinacea
1 part Chamomile (Optional--this is mainly to help with the anxiety caused by the symptoms)
1/2 part Schisandra Berries
1/2 part Ginger Root
Just blend the herbs together well. Store in an airtight container in a dark, cool place to keep the herbs fresh for as long as possible!
NOTE: The links in the recipe are for Amazon, for your convenience. Also, don’t forget about Starwest Botanicals for excellent bulk herbs and spices at great prices and one-stop shopping!
How to Brew Lung Support Tea:
You can visit an article all about making medicinal tea infusions for more information in this link!
Place a tablespoon of the herb blend in a cup. Pour just boiled water over. Let steep for about 30 minutes to an hour. Strain out the herbs, and drink up! Here is an infuser tea cup that I just love and use all the time!
NOTE: Steeping for this long is going to give you a strong tea. Generally, the longer you steep herbs, the more of the extractives you’ll have in your drink. This is good if you want a more medicinal infusion. If taste is a large factor, you might want to go with a lighter brew.
Mason Jar or Glass Tea Pot method:
Place about 4 tablespoons or so of the herb blend in a quart size Mason Jar. Pour boiling water over, and cover with a lid. Let steep for at least 30 minutes, and for a stronger infusion an hour or longer is better. Strain out the herbs.
How Much to Drink
Drink a cup of tea two to three times a day as a tonic tea for three weeks. Then take a week off. Cycle again. For children, reduce the amount to 1/2 cup for children 6 to 12, and 1/4 cup for children 2 to 5.
If you are fighting symptoms like wheezing, coughing, etc., this tea may be used in higher amounts to help with these issues.
NOTE: This tea tastes rather bitter, so if you are using it for children (or even yourself), feel free to sweeten it with honey, molasses, natural rock sugar, or other sweetener. The taste doesn't bother me, but I just drink it down---however, others may need a little "spoon full of sugar."
Compliance for older children and adults is not too bad because they are old enough to know they want to feel better. However, young children may refuse. You can add sweetener to it, though, or even make it into an herbal syrup.
About the Herbs in this Lung Support Tea Blend:
Mullein (Verbascum thapsis):
Mullein is commonly found in many areas of the United States. It is a fuzzy-leafed biennial plant. The first year, it consists of a small rounded rosette of leaves, and in the second year, a tall stalk shoots up out of the middle. It is covered with small, yellow flowers in the late spring through late summer.
Mullein has long been used to treat coughs and respiratory issues. It may be used as a light daily tonic to strengthen and tone the lungs. Mullein has demulcent and expectorant properties, meaning it calms and soothes, while helping expel mucus. Mullein is considered a safe herb and has been widely used with no known negative effects.
Personally, I love Mullein---I gather it from our mountain wilderness, and I also grow it in my yard using seeds from native plants. The flowers are terrific when infused in oil as an ear treatment for infection as well.
Elecampane (Inula helenium):
Elecampane is a major herbal powerhouse when it comes to lung and respiratory health. Long used to treat allergy and asthma symptoms, it is great for soothing coughs and inflammation from allergy. It has been used in many ancient medicinal systems (Greeks, Romans, Ayurveda, and Traditional Chinese Medicine) for bronchitis, asthma, and other lung ailments.
Like Mullein, Elecampane has expectorant properties, helping cleanse the bronchial tubes and linings. It is also a mild stimulant as well as astringent. This means it helps dry and tone passages.
Safety Factors: Avoid if pregnant or nursing. Check with your doctor if you are taking blood pressure medication or if you are diabetic. Take care if you are allergic to members of the Asteracaea family (mums, daisies, marigolds), as elecampane is related.
Echinacea (Echinacea augustifolia; Echinacea purpurea):
Echinacea is most well known for its ability to support and improve the body's immune system. It is thought to help shorten colds and flus, especially taken at the onset of illness. Some people use Echinacea daily as a tonic support.
Echinacea also happens to be a pain reliever as well, and helps with inflammation. If you have a bad cough, therefore, it may help alleviate the painfulness and irritation of the cough.
Safety Factors: Echinacea is generally considered safe, even for children. If you are allergic to ragweed, daisies, or marigolds, you may experience an allergic reaction to Echinacea as they are in the same family.
Marshmallow (Althaea officinalis):
Marshmallow is extremely demulcent and soothing. Especially where the bronchial passages and respiratoy system are concerned, Marshmallow works wonders to calm and soothe inflamed passages. Working in tandem with Mullein and Elecampane, it's a wonder trio!
Safety Factors: Marshmallow is a safe herb for most people. However, if you are taking medications that may interact with diuretics (lithium), or if you are diabetic, you should discuss use with your doctor.
Calendula (Calendula officinalis):
One of my very favorite herbs in the whole world is Calendula! It's a lovely yellow flower that is useful for so many things. In this tea, Calendula is particularly soothing, calming inflammation and working with the other herbs to calm irritation in the respiratory system.
Safety Factors: Generally considered safe, however some people may experience an allergic reaction. Take care if you are allergic to members of the Asteracaea family (mums, daisies, marigolds), as elecampane is related.
Schisandra (Schisandra chinensis):
Schisandra is a berry that has been used for thousands of years in the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) system. It is highly anti-inflammatory and soothing. In addition, it is a liver cleanser, purifying the blood. Schisandra is highly adaptogenic, helping the body deal with stressors and therefore supporting the adrenal glands. If you have ever had an asthma attack or a cough attack where you could not stop coughing, then you know the stress this puts on the body!
Ginger Root (Zingiber officinale):
Ginger is a warming and stimulating herb. This simply means it helps improve the actions of the other herbs in the formula--not that it will give you a boost of energy like caffeine. Ginger also helps with cold/flu systems, helping open respiratory and sinus passages.
Chamomile (Matricaria recutita)----Optional in this tea
I include Chamomile in this tea when the wheezing and coughing is causing anxiety. Chamomile is a very soothing, slightly sedative herb and helps calm the stress that comes with this kind of cough and difficulty breathing.
Safety Factor: Chamomile is considered a very safe herb. However, like Echinacea, some people may experience an allergic reaction to Chamomile. Take care if you are allergic to members of the Asteracaea family (mums, daisies, marigolds), as elecampane is related.
Where Do I Get My Herbs?
I like to grow or forage many of my own herbs, like Echinacea (cone flower), Mullein, Calendula, Chamomile, and Marshmallow. However, I can't grow everything! Sometimes I have to purchase quality dried herbs.
I purchase my herbs from Starwest Botanicals. They have a huge selection of different amounts of bulk herbs (4 oz. and 1 pound) as well as choices between organic, wildcrafted, and farm grown.
Their herbs are fresh, shipping is fast, and I have never once been disappointed in this company! I highly recommend Starwest Botanicals for your culinary and medicinal herbs, tea, oils, and beauty/body needs.
Final Thoughts About Supporting Your Lungs with Herbs
Honestly, I love my herbs! I really don't know what I would do without them. Mr. V. and I do not use over the counter medications at all. Yes, sometimes my friends look at me askance when they ask if I have aspirin or ibuprofen, and I reply, "NO. But I DO have Willow Tincture, and it works better!" LOL They're always surprised at how quickly it helps, too.
Herbalism and traditional folk remedies have a place in our society, and it is just such a shame that Big Pharma, the medical industry, and our government has "re-educated" our populace to be so mistrustful of natural healing methods.
I'm certainly not saying that doctors are unnecessary and shouldn't be visited--because there is a time and place for allopathic help. But if you can learn to heal yourself naturally and in healthy ways, why not try?
If you have lungs that have been damaged over time, like mine have, either from bronchial problems, asthma, perhaps even smoking, etc., you might want to give this tea a daily try for several weeks and see how you feel!
Perhaps you are interested in learning more about herbalism? There are some great schools out there, as well as many that are not so wonderful. I enjoy classes at Rosemary Gladstar's Sage Mountain (not an affiliate) as well as The Herbal Academy of New England. I've taken several courses there, and am currently in the Advanced program---LOVING it!
I’ve also created an herbal course, The Confident Herbalist, that’s easier on the pocketbook to help beginning and early intermediate level students get started using herbs in their daily life with confidence. It provides a good foundation of knowledge, lots of remedies, and how to make different external and internal herbal preparations. You can find out more here.
You might also be interested in these related articles in my cold and flu care series:
There are lots more over on the blog, so head over and browse around for body care, health support, natural living, self-reliance, and homesteading topics!
I’d love for you to leave a comment, thoughts, questions, etc. in the comments section!
Hugs, Health, & Self-Reliance,
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Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and in no manner is any article or excerpt, stated or implied, meant to provide any promise of cure, treatment, diagnosis, or prevention of a health issue. Please see a medical professional for concerns. My opinions are just that--opinions. All statements made are simply based on my experience and studies. Every person is responsible for doing their due diligence to educate themselves about the remedies they choose for themselves and family.