Restore Free Breathing with the Power of NatureJanet McKenzie, BSN, MBA, ND March 1, 2012
We’ve all been laid low by the occasional cold or respiratory infection. Some of us are continually challenged to breathe easily because of allergies, asthma, chronic bronchitis or emphysema.
Fortunately, nature offers many alternatives to steroids and pharmaceutical bronchodilators when we need support for our respiratory systems.
Botanicals are like the “green” version of pharmaceuticals and many drugs are initially developed from plant extracts. When used in their natural form, herbs tend to have fewer side effects than drugs because of the balancing effects of their numerous constituents. Caution is still warranted when using botanicals, however, since some have the potential to be toxic at certain dose levels.
Peppermint – a herb commonly used in many products for its wonderful flavour, has antimicrobial properties and relieves muscle spasms such as those that can occur in airways during coughing. Menthol is a highly active constituent of peppermint, known for its ability to suppress cough and produce cooling in inflamed tissues.
Eucalyptus – is also a herb traditionally used to ease respiration. It is known to have antimicrobial properties as well as analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects.
Mullein – botanically known as Verbascum thapsus, is a herb with antimicrobial properties. It seems to be particularly effective against viruses.
Elecampane – has historically been used for treatment of respiratory illnesses because of its antiviral, antifungal, antiparasitic, expectorant, bactericidal, and antiseptic activities.
Rosemary – is not only a delicious culinary herb, it is also used medicinally in the treatment of respiratory conditions characterized by coughing and seems to have antibacterial and antifungal activities.
Camphor – is another traditional cough remedy. It eases air flow and reduces fits of coughing.
In summary, nature provides many herbs that can assist in better respiration. Fortunately, Omega Alpha’s Resprit includes the best of these and all in one great-tasting liquid formulation. Resprit can be taken daily or as required and is available at natural health retailers everywhere.
Steam inhalation is also very helpful when your breathing is impaired because of an infection. Pour some boiling water into a shallow bowl and cover your head and the bowl with a towel. Inhale the steam in slow, controlled deep breaths. If you’re recovering from a respiratory infection, do this several times a day, especially prior to periods of sleep, to help clear your passages and promote more restful sleep.
Breath is life – make each breath the best it can be.
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