It’s not easy to quit smoking – in fact, it is estimated that sixty to ninety percent of all smokers are unable to kick the butt so you should be proud of yourself for quitting. However, smoking causes long-term lung damage so the first thing you could do, as an ex-smoker, is to try a lung cleanse for smokers to get rid of all the tar and chemicals that have accumulated over the years. Cleansing your lungs will speed up your body’s natural healing abilities, as well as reduce your risk of respiratory ailments.
Ayurvedic herbs can be used to cleanse and strengthen the lungs and respiratory system. There are several ways in which these herbs work – while some of them help to loosen hardened tar within the lungs, others prevent and treat respiratory ailments, which are a common problem for smokers and those who have recently quit. Cleansing your lungs is not a one-time undertaking; you will need to use these remedies for a prolonged period in order to undo the damage caused by years of smoking. Here are a few natural remedies to clean your lungs.
Lung Cleanse for Smokers with Ayurvedic Remedies
1. Vilayati Pudina to Get Rid of Tar Buildup
Vilayati pudina (Mentha piperita) is an herb from the mint family. Vilayati pudina contains forty chemical compounds including menthol, menthone, and menthyl acetate. These natural chemical compounds have expectorant properties – this means that they increase the secretion of sputum in the lungs. Sputum lubricates the lungs and also loosens tar so that it can be expelled from the body along with the sputum.
2. Manjistha to Purify Your Lungs
Cigarette smoke contains more than just tar; cigarette smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals. Many of these chemicals pass from the lungs into the blood. Manjistha (Rubia cordifolia) is mentioned in several Ayurvedic texts as a rakta sodhaka (blood purifier). Several studies show that this herb contains glucosides known as Manjisthin and Purpurine which help to purify the blood. Using this herb regularly will help to cleanse your blood as well as your lungs and improve your respiratory health.
3. Adrak to Reduce Lung Inflammation
Lung inflammation is a common problem for smokers and it increases their risk of respiratory infections. Adrak (Zingiber officinale) or ginger is one of the best natural remedies for smokers and ex-smokers as it helps to reduce and prevent inflammation of the lungs. The functional ingredients in ginger include gingerols, shogaol, and paradols which may also help to prevent various cancers.
4. Neem to Prevent Respiratory Infections
Neem (Azadirachta indica) or Indian lilac is one of the most revered herbs and is prominent in several schools of ancient Indian medicine including Ayurveda, siddha medicine, and Unani formulations. Neem has strong antifungal, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial properties and can help prevent respiratory infections, which pose a higher risk for people who have recently quit smoking.
5. Black Tea to Prevent Lung Injury
Green tea has become the latest health fad (for good reason), but now that you’ve quit smoking you should stick with a cup of black tea every morning. Preliminary tests show that black tea may help to prevent lung injury caused by exposure to cigarette smoke and could possibly aid in recovery too.
Cup of black tea
6. Rasagenthi Lehyam to Prevent Cancer
Cancer is every smoker’s worst fear! You’ve quit smoking and that’s going to significantly reduce your cancer risk, but you can reduce your risk even further. Rasagenthi Lehyam is an ancient Ayurvedic cancer treatment has been passed down from one generation to the next. Recent research shows that this ancient formulation, which contains 38 different botanicals has anti-cancer properties that may help to prevent and treat lung cancer, as well as other types of cancer.
Healthy Habits for a Natural Lung Cleanse
Pranayama or breath control is a yogic principle that employs breathing techniques in order to restrain or extend an individual’s life force. Pranayama helps to control the rhythms of pranic energy in order to promote mental and physical health. Research shows that pranayama is effective as a rehabilitative tool for people with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) which is a common health ailment in smokers. Practicing pranayama on a daily basis helps to improve lung capacity as well as increase mucus production within the lungs which ensures lung health.
2. Nasya Chikitsa
Nasya Chikitsa is one of the therapies of Panchakarmas. During this therapy, herbal oils and liquid medicines are administered through the nostrils. This therapy is highly effective in treating respiratory complications. When performed on a regular basis, nasya chiktsa cleanses and opens the respiratory passages and improves respiration; it also increases the process of oxygenation of the blood. Nasya Chikitsa also helps to loosen tar and hardened mucus within the lungs so that it can be expelled from the body which makes it ideal for ex-smokers.
3. Steam inhalation
Steam Inhalation is a simple but effective way to clean your lungs. The warmth and moisture of the inhaled steam helps to soothe the respiratory tract and improve mucosal secretions. Ayurvedic texts also mention turmeric powder as a remedy for respiratory problems and scientists recently found that curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, has significant health benefits for those with respiratory ailments. In addition to using curcumin in the water you use for your steam inhalation, you can also have curcumin supplements regularly as studies show that the oral consumption of curcumin may reduce the effects of cigarette smoke.
Man doing steam inhalation
The damage caused by cigarette smoke is not restricted to the lungs as the chemicals from cigarette smoke travel throughout the body and cause widespread damage. Cleansing your lungs will help your body heal faster but in order to improve your overall health, it is advisable to adopt an Ayurvedic approach. Ayurveda is a holistic system that will help you undo a lot of the damage caused to your body by smoking and allow you to lead a full and healthy life. An Ayurvedic lifestyle includes a healthy diet and lifestyle based on your individual dosha type, regular exercise, and sufficient sleep.
- Meamarbashi, Abbas. “Instant Effects of Peppermint Essential Oil on the Physiological Parameters and Exercise Performance.” Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine 4.1 (2014): 72–78. Print.
- Samy, Ramar Perumal, Peter Natesan Pushparaj, and Ponnampalam Gopalakrishnakone. “A Compilation of Bioactive Compounds from Ayurveda.” Bioinformation 3.3 (2008): 100–110. Print.
- Mashhadi, Nafiseh Shokri et al. “Anti-Oxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Ginger in Health and Physical Activity: Review of Current Evidence.” International Journal of Preventive Medicine 4.Suppl 1 (2013): S36–S42. Print.
- Alzohairy, Mohammad A. “Therapeutics Role Of Azadirachta Indica (Neem) and Their Active Constituents in Diseases Prevention and Treatment.” Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine : eCAM 2016 (2016): 7382506. PMC. Web. 29 June 2018.
- Banerjee, Shuvojit et al. “Black Tea Prevents Cigarette Smoke-Induced Apoptosis and Lung Damage.” Journal of Inflammation (London, England) 4 (2007): 3. PMC. Web. 29 June 2018.
- Ranga, R S, et al. “A Herbal Medicine for the Treatment of Lung Cancer.”Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry., U.S. National Library of Medicine, Dec. 2005, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16311913.
- Gupta, Anupama et al. “Pranayam for Treatment of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: Results From a Randomized, Controlled Trial.” Integrative Medicine: A Clinician’s Journal 13.1 (2014): 26–31. Print.
Suzuki, M, et al. “Curcumin Attenuates Elastase- and Cigarette Smoke-Induced Pulmonary Emphysema in Mice.” American Journal of Physiology-Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Apr. 2009, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19168576.