Disorders and ailments of the lungs are ever-prevalent in society, especially in this day and age when we are dealing with a viral pandemic that affects the lungs. It is important to focus on strengthening the lung tissue and bronchioles as the lungs are a plethora of oxygen and blood and are one of the 5 responsible organs for survival. One of the ways we can improve our lung health is to call on the wisdom of Ayurvedic medicine, including understanding the best Ayurvedic herbs for the lungs.
Disorders of the Lungs in Ayurveda
In Ayurveda, common issues of the lungs are a result of problems relating to the Kapha dosha. When we think of the lungs and the breath, there is a direct relation between prana and Vata dosha, as Udana vayu is vata’s governing action of upward movements, including the breath and speech. The lungs being the seat of kapha however reflects Avalumbaka kapha, which is the lubrication between the tissues of the lungs as well as the surrounding area of the heart.
The imbalance of Udana vayu and Avalambaka kapha results in breathing problems, inflammation, congestion, coughing, and more.
However the inflammatory responses associated with issues like allergies, viruses, infections, or asthma can be directly related to the aggravation of pitta, vata, and kapha dosha, depending on the individual, imbalances, and triggers.
There are several types of immune responses that trigger the lungs, the triggers can include:
- Viral infection
- Bacterial infection
- Allergens (pollen, pet dander)
- Stress (and the related hormones)
Ayurvedic Herbs for the Lungs
Ayurveda boasts several herbal formulas that help treat, invigorate, and encourage healing of the sub doshas to increase immunity and strengthen and alleviate lung disorders.
Chyawanprash contains numerous herbs which fortify the lungs as well as the immune system. PIOR’s own Chyawanprash formula is a powerful, but gentle Rasayana that, when taken daily, aids in restoring and toning the deeper tissues of the lungs, in addition to other parts of the body. Read how Chyawanprash strengthens immunity and lung function.
This ancient remedy is in every household in India as a staple for respiratory issues. It is specific for infections (viral, bacterial), and acts as an expectorant, as well as treats fevers and sore throats. It is highly effective when used in more “wet” infections. It is a churna, containing five powerful yet subtle ingredients. It is also excellent for acute allergic reactions.
A slightly stronger churna than sitopaladi, talisadi contains a more heated formula that better expels issues relating to kapha-type asthma and disorders. When infections are more severe, talisadi is called upon, as it treats more flu or pneumonia-like symptoms along with the typical virus issues. Both sitopaladi and talisadi have the same ingredients, although talisadi has an added few that intensify the formulas and add a heated effect:
- Black pepper
In addition, talisadi also contains:
- Indian silver fir
This exceedingly powerful plant is an ancient Ayurvedic remedy that works to help clear the polluted blood and oxygen in the lungs. When combined in formulas (which is often necessary due to it’s formidable effects), vasaka is superb in strengthening the prana vaha srotas, relaxing the lungs, and aiding in easier breathing, making it an essential remedy for allergies, asthma, and viral infections. It is recommended in syrups or honey.
This powerful and heating churna is the combination of three potent herbs:
- Long pepper
- Black pepper
Eaten with honey, or consumed otherwise in powder form, trikatu dispels kapha-related disorders from the lungs, helping with issues regarding to mucous, warming the lungs, and treating numerous ailments of the respiratory system. It has been suggested in Ayurveda for centuries in helping to alleviate symptoms of asthma, acting as a natural and subtle type of “steroid.”
These are some of the best Ayurvedic herbs for lungs, but as with any medicine, it’s important to consult a qualified practitioner to learn which remedies make sense for you.
Ceanna Saatsaz is a Licensed Master Esthetician, Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner, and Certified Professional Herbalist, from Seattle, WA.