There are numerous medicinal herbs for bronchitis that can be used as a treatment and relief.
The primary goal of these herbs is to restore the movement to the cilia (the tiny hairs that operate as filters in the bronchial tubes) and reduce the inflammation and swelling in the bronchial tubes.
Most medical professionals will explain that bronchitis is classified as a pulmonary disease. It is typically caused by the onset of some type of inflammation in the bronchial tubes, which are the air passages that lead to the lungs.
The inflamed bronchial tubes swell and thicken which makes the tiny hairs that operate as filters in the tubes become paralyzed.
Additionally, the inflammation brings on thick mucus and very often a wheezing cough. One usually feels some difficulty in breathing, and there is a constant urge to cough out the mucus.
It is vital to consult a physician, herbalist, naturopathic physician, or other healthcare practitioners before starting using medicinal herbs for bronchitis.
Common Herbs for Bronchitis
Echinacea (Echinacea angustifolia, Echinacea purpurea ) is a plant native to North America. It was used quite liberally by Native Americans, specifically the Nations of the Great Plains. It is probably the most popular herbal remedy for bronchitis.
Many researchers have found that the echinacea herb provides strong immune system support. Supporting the immune system during times of illness allows the body to better fight off infections more rapidly.
There are also some researchers who have suggested that it has strong antiviral properties. One of the reasons it is recommended as an excellent herbal remedy for bronchitis is that it seems to promote respiratory cellular activity. (1)(2)
Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) is another herb for bronchitis. Native Americans used it for many hundreds of years.
The Cherokee used it to help fight local inflammations, while the Iroquois used it to heal diarrhea, liver disease, whooping cough, and pneumonia.
Goldenseal is native to North America and but has in recent years become an endangered species in its natural habitat.
Goldenseal contains berberine which many herbalists have found to be beneficial in fighting off infections caused by some bacteria, fungi, and yeast.
There is also some who believe that it stimulates the heart and can be effective in reducing fevers. (3)
Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) grows naturally in the Mediterranean region of Europe and is now cultivated in abundance in the US.
This wonderfully fragrant herb has been used in connection with a number of conditions but it is best known as an herbal remedy for bronchitis. However, there has also been a success in using this herb for the natural treatment of coughs (including whooping cough and spasmodic coughs), indigestion and infections. (4)
Its oil has been used throughout history to treat topical fungal infections and can even be found in some toothpaste to help fight gingivitis.
In Germany, the regulatory agency for herbs, Commission E, has now allowed thyme to be labeled to treat symptoms of both bronchitis and whooping cough.
Additionally, researchers in both England and Germany are reporting that a combination of cowslip (Primula veris L) and thyme was as equally effective for the natural treatment of bronchitis as some of the more common synthetic medications.
Coltsfoot’s Latin name Tussilago farfara, means expelling coughs. Coltsfoot has been used traditionally for centuries to treat ailments associated with the respiratory system.
This herb is regarded to have styptic, expectorant, expectorant, antitussive, and diuretic properties.
The herb’s soothing expectorant effect makes it useful as a medicinal herb for those suffering from respiratory problems, such as chronic emphysema, chronic or acute bronchitis, irritating cough, whooping cough, and asthma. (5)
Lobelia (Lobelia Inflata) has been used traditionally as an herbal remedy for several different respiratory ailments, including bronchitis.
The herb acts as a bronchodilator and has antispasmodic and expectorant properties making this herb helpful in helping to expel mucus from the lungs. (6)
The essential oil extracted from oregano (Origanum vulgare) has very strong antibiotic properties which make it a good choice as an herbal remedy for flu prevention and bronchitis.
The main active ingredient found in the plant is carvacrol, a phenol with an anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory effect that can be useful in getting rid of congestion. (7)
Oregano oil can be taken in capsule form. Some herbalists recommend around 250 to 300 milligrams taken twice a day.
Other Herbs Used for Bronchitis
- Anise – (Pimpinella anisum)
- Garlic – (Allium sativum)
- White Horehound – (Marrubium vulgare)
- Horseradish – (Armoracia rusticana)
- Slippery Elm – (Ulmus rubra)
- Ivy Leaf – (Hedera helix)
- Common Plantain – (Plantago major)
- Mugwort – (Artemisia vulgaris)
- Hyssop – (Hyssopus officinalis)
- Elecampane – (Inula helenium)
- Dandelion – (Taraxacum officinale)
- Agrimony – (Agrimonia eupatoria)
- Lavender – (Lavandula angustifolia)
- American Ginseng – (Panax quinquefolius)
- Sweet Orange – (Citrus sinensis)
- Dwarf Milkwort – (Polygala amarella)
- Bletilla – (Bletilla striata)
- Hepatica – (Anemone hepatica)
- Balloon Flower – (Platycodon grandiflorus)
- Galangal – (Alpinia officinarum)
- Barberry – (Berberis vulgaris)
- Licorice – (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
- Marshmallow Root – (Althea officinalis)
- Saw Palmetto – (Serenoa repens)
- Great Mullein – (Verbascum thapsus)
- Stinging Nettle – (Urtica dioica)
- Myrrh – (Commiphora myrrha)
- Grindelia – (Grindelia squarrosa)
- Juniper – (Juniperus communis)
- Malabar Nut – (Adhatoda vasica)
- Pleurisy Root – (Asclepias tuberosa)
- Andrographis – (Andrographis paniculata)
- Flaxseed – (Linum usitatissimum)
- Borage – (Borago officinalis)
- Common Mallow – (Malva sylvestris)
- Styrax Benzoin – (Styrax benzoin)
- Pipsissewa – (Chimaphila umbellata)
- Devil’s Bit Scabious – (Succisa pratensis)
- Henbane – (Hyoscyamus niger)
- Burnet Saxifrage – (Pimpinella saxifraga)
- Angelica – (Angelica archangelica)
- Hedge Mustard – (Sisymbrium officinale)
- Bay laurel – (Laurus nobilis)
- Asarabacca – (Asarum europaeum)
- Camphor Tree – (Cinnamomum camphora)
- Knotgrass – (Polygonum aviculare)
- Hudson J. B. (2012). Applications of the phytomedicine Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower) in infectious diseases. Journal of biomedicine & biotechnology, 2012, 769896. doi:10.1155/2012/769896
- Hudson, J., & Vimalanathan, S. (2011). Echinacea—A Source of Potent Antivirals for Respiratory Virus Infections. Pharmaceuticals, 4(7), 1019–1031. doi:10.3390/ph4071019
- Croaker, A., King, G. J., Pyne, J. H., Anoopkumar-Dukie, S., & Liu, L. (2016). Sanguinaria canadensis: Traditional Medicine, Phytochemical Composition, Biological Activities, and Current Uses. International journal of molecular sciences, 17(9), 1414. doi:10.3390/ijms17091414
- Basch, Ethan & Ulbricht, Catherine & Hammerness, Paul & Bevins, Anja & Sollars, David. (2004). Thyme ( Thymus vulgaris L.), Thymol. Journal of herbal pharmacotherapy. 4. 49-67. 10.1300/J157v04n01_07.
- Kacaniova, Miroslava & Hleba, Lukas & Petrová, Jana & Felšöciová, Soňa & Pavelková, Adriana & Rovná, Katarína & Bobková, Alica & Čuboň, Juraj. (2013). Antimicrobial activity of Tussilago farfara L. Journal of Microbiology, Biotechnology and Food Sciences. 2. 1343-1350.
- Zentralbl Veterinarmed A.. Lobeline-induced hyperpnea in equids. Comparison with rebreathing bag and exercise. Art T, Desmecht D, Amory H, Lekeux P. 1991;38(2):148–52
- Pahlavan, Y., Sepehri, G., Sheibani, V., Afarinesh Khaki, M., Gojazadeh, M., Pahlavan, B., & Pahlavan, F. (2013). Study the antinociceptive effect of intracerebroventricular injection of aqueous extract of origanum vulgare leaves in rat: possible involvement of opioid system. Iranian journal of basic medical sciences, 16(10), 1109–1113.
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