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7 Herbs for Respiratory Infection

7 Herbs for Respiratory Infection

The respiratory system is at work all the time, every single day. It is the pathway for oxygen to enter your body. But, at the same time, it is an entry point for harmful microorganisms and toxins. Over time, infections may manifest, leading to difficulty in breathing and recurring asthma. If you are looking for a natural remedy, here are herbs for upper respiratory infection.

Lagundi as Herbal Medicine for Cough and Asthma

What Are the Benefits of Herbal Supplements?

Herbal supplements are used to address certain conditions and improve overall health. Here are some of their purported benefits:

  • Decrease inflammation and redness due to antioxidant compositions
  • Relax respiratory muscles
  • Act as an expectorant to break up congestion
  • Soothe irritation in the nasal airways
  • Combat harmful bacteria that may cause infection

Here are 7 Herbs for Respiratory Infection


Having to endure recurring asthma attacks is already difficult. What more if you struggle with additional respiratory issues? Many believe that gingko contains properties that can prevent asthma attacks and other breathing problems caused by wheezing and coughing. By releasing inhibitors, this herbal plant provides respiratory relief so you can breathe normally.


Peppermint contains menthol, an ingredient that effectively relaxes and clears your breathing. It also soothes inflammation and combats free radicals to prevent the onset of allergies. In fact, peppermint is among the most popular herbs for respiratory infection.

With the peppermint’s antihistamine effect, any problem progression is relatively slowed down. This herbal alternative may come in the form of tea or essential oil, which you can rub on your chest for instant cooling relief.


Another well-known herb that provides respiratory relief is thyme. It contains anti-fungal, antiviral, and antibiotic properties to address respiratory problems that you may have.

Thyme may be taken in its natural form by adding it to your meals. For a more potent approach in clearing up infections, you can also use thyme essential oil.


The lungwort is a perennial herb that actually looks more like lung tissue. Aside from looking the part, the lungwort herb works best in providing a natural remedy for various respiratory illnesses. It is believed that even in the early 1600s, lungwort helped promote respiratory health and helped clear congestion.

With its beneficial compounds, lungwort is considered to be among the most powerful herbs for respiratory infection.

7 Herbal Supplements to Boost Immune System


Oregano is a popular kitchen staple that many people use to add spice to various Asian dishes. This herbal alternative also contains nutrients and vitamins, including carvacrol acid that effectively boosts the immune system. This acid content and other compounds are primarily natural decongestants, providing positive effects on your nasal passageway and respiratory tract.

You can take this herbal plant in its natural form by crushing the leaves and drinking the extract. Some also create essential oils using oregano for a more potent result.


Just like peppermint, eucalyptus also contains menthol which promotes optimum respiratory health and relieves throat irritation, among many others. With a refreshing aroma, you will instantly feel decongested.

Most cough syrups and lozenges contain eucalyptus due to its cineole property. The compound cineole acts as an expectorant to release stubborn phlegm. It also eases cough and relieves congestion to soothe sinus airways. This herbal plant also works as an antioxidant to boost your immune system, especially during an illness.

Plantain Leaf

Included in the list of herbs for respiratory infection is the plantain leaf, a common backyard plant in the Philippines and other Asian countries. Based on clinical trials, the medical community found that the plantain leaf can soothe mucous membranes and relieve lung irritation.

The plantain leaf works best when you have dry cough since it has properties that effectively expel mucus in the lungs.

8 Natural Filipino Cough Remedies

What Are the Risks and Side Effects?

At the moment, there is not enough information as to the side effects or risks in taking herbs for respiratory infection. Although these herbal alternatives are relatively safe to use, check with your physician first.

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, apply special precautions if you wish to take herbs for respiratory infection. We recommend visiting your doctor before use of herbal supplements.

For chronic respiratory problems, see a specialist immediately as recurring health issues may compromise your immune system in the long run.

Herbs for Respiratory Infection: Forms

These herbal alternatives may be used in their natural form by extracting their juice or by grounding their leaves to make tea. For stronger potency, try an herbal infusion. Many manufacturers have also come up with essential oils infused with herbs, and even capsules for easier intake.

Key Takeaways

If you have been experiencing respiratory problems for a while, it does not hurt to try herbs for respiratory infection. So long as you have your doctor’s go signal, herbal supplements are healthy alternatives to help alleviate your symptoms and condition.

Learn more about Herbals & Alternatives here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


Top 10 Herbs for Respiratory Tract Infection, https://www.theayurveda.org/ayurveda/top-10-herbs-for-respiratory-tract-infection, Accessed May 11, 2020

Healing Herbs for Respiratory Infections, https://www.lung.net/2016/10/3-healing-herbs-for-respiratory-infections/, Accessed May 11, 2020 

 Herbs for Lung Cleansing and Respiratory Support, https://globalhealing.com/natural-health/9-best-herbs-lung-cleansing-respiratory-support/, Accessed May 11, 2020

 6 Best Home Remedies for Respiratory Tract Infections, https://doctor.ndtv.com/living-healthy/6-best-home-remedies-for-respiratory-tract-infections-1824332, Accessed May 11, 2020


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Written by Desiree Gabasa Updated Jul 27, 2020
Expertly reviewed by Stephanie Nicole Nera, RPh, PharmD