How to Make an Herbal Tea Blend for the Lungs...Helps With Cough and Wheezing. Good for Children Too!
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.
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, but 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, my body heals quickly. Knowing how to use herbs 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 have high nutritive value. Best of all, it's easy to make!
You may also be interested in these related articles in my cold and flu care series: How to Prevent a Cold/Flu Naturally, What Herbs & Remedies to Take if You Feel a Cold or Flu Coming On, How to Deal With Symptoms of Cold & Flu if You Do Happen to Get Sick (Fever, Congestion, Cough, Sore Throat, etc.), and How to Recover Quickly and STAY Recovered. Also, here is an article for children specifically: How to Boost Your Child's Immune System. If you are specifically worried about a cough, here's a recipe for a natural and easy to make very effective cough syrup.
FTC Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links, so if you click through and make any kind of purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions are my own. --Thank you, Heidi
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!
If I don't grow or wild harvest my herbs, I buy them from Starwest Botanicals. I have found their herbs to be high quality, organic or sustainably wild harvested, their customer service/shipping is excellent. You can also purchase ready made herbal tea blends from them too!
Recipe for Lung Support Tonic and Asthma Symptom Tea
Ingredients for Lung Support/Asthma Tea:
2 parts organic dried Mullein
3 parts organic Elecampane
2 parts Marshmallow Leaf
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!
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!
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 is better. Strain out the herbs.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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? Just saying.
If you have lungs that have been damaged over time, like mine have, either from smoking, illness, asthma, 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!
If you enjoy articles about creating herbal remedies and general homesteading tips, sign up for our newsletter! It's free, and I'll be sending you three eBooks to enjoy, too: Using Herbs to Relax, Essential Oil Blends, and How to Start Your Homestead No Matter Where You Live! You'll also get tips and information not found on the blog too!
Hugs & Self-Reliance,
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.