What is a Lung Cleanse?
A lung cleanse aims to detoxify the lungs through a structured regime of herbs, exercises and breathing techniques. The idea of detoxifiying ones lungs might seem strange to most at first, but rest assured a lung cleanse will dramatically boost your immune system and improve your overall health and wellbeing.
Why Should I Cleanse My Lungs?
Our lungs accommodate the process of respiration, and are responsible for sourcing oxygen from our surrounding environment. Pollutants such chemicals produced from our cars, homes, businesses, roads, farming, foods, cleaning products, smoke, dirt and dust can be absorbed directly this way into the bloodstream. Cells that line our airways are damaged, making it more difficult for the bronchi in our lungs to absorb the oxygen we need. Other factors that may also affect mucous production in our lung tissue include stress, anxiety and a consistently poor diet.
Lung cleanses are designed to clear the toxins hindering the rate of oxygen absorption. The cleanse does so by stimulating the production of additional mucous, which is eliminated in coughing it up.
Useful Herbs for Lung Cleansing
Lung cleansing herbs may be used in teas, cooking, pasted as a plaster on your lung area or breathed in from a steam infusion. Some of these herbs include:
- Black Peppercorns - Stimulate circulation.
- Chlorella – Remove toxins by cleansing the system from heavy metals.
- Comfrey – detoxifies the lungs and soothes dry coughs.
- Cordyceps – trigger the body to produce antioxidants.
- Extract of Turkey Tails Mushroom – Supports the the lungs and reduces phlegm.
- Fenugreek – dissolves mucous and kills any lung infection.
- Ginger root- helps loosen and expel phlegm from the lungs
- Grindelia – Sooths the respiratory system.
- Horehound – helps dilate lung arteries and relieve congestion.
- Lobelia – relaxes the lungs.
- Long Pepper fruit – Stimulates circulation and the lungs.
- Lotus root – widely used in Chinese medicine to support lung function.
- Lungwort Lichen – Soothes bronchitis, asthma and other lung infections.
- Mullein leaf-- helps alleviate symptoms of asthma and other respiratory conditions.
- Pleurisy root – An excellent expectorant that helps to expel phlegm from bronchial and nasal passages. It also stimulates the lymphatic system.
- Sweet Violet Flower and Leaf- Soothes inflamed lungs.
- Wild American Ginseng Root – Soothes, moistens and cools the lungs.
Exercising to Cleanse the Lungs
Exercise is key in strengthening and cleansing the muscles of the lungs. Deep breaths needed in workouts such as running, swimming, seaside strolls or yoga, increase the lung’s overall capacity and gives easier access for the herbs and oxygen to do their jobs.
Breathwork to Cleanse the Lungs
Breathwork is a particularly useful during a lung cleanse. It can clear the air that has been stuck deep within your lungs by replacing it with fresh oxygen. Sitting somewhere close to a fresh source of oxygen, take in a deep, slow breath, hold it for as long as you can, and exhale longer than you think you need to. With up to five breaths you will soon notice an obvious difference.
Foods to Avoid when Lung Cleansing
It is also advisable to avoid certain mucous producing foods throughout the lung cleanse. These generally include those containing gluten, dairy products and cold foods taken from the freezer or refrigerator.
Who Benefits from a Lung Cleanse?
Smokers and reformed smokers benefit the most from a lung cleanse. The lungs of a smoker contain a build up of toxic tar, which is unable to clear on its own like a healthy lung. A lung cleanse clears the tar, allowing a natural detoxification process to take place, relieving the common smokers cough and breathlessness as it does.
When to do a Lung Cleanse
Lung cleanses should be done over a 1-3 week period which is required for an efficient cleansing process to take place. If you are considering a lung cleanse, please consult a naturopathic physician before you begin.