Nutrients That Heal Your Lungs
Better Nutrition|March 2019

Get help for a nagging cough and combat air pollution with natural therapies for healthy lungs, from applying a mustard poultice to going for a walk in the woods

Emily A. Kane, ND, LAc

Q: My lungs seem weak. I live in a fairly large city, and the pollution really bothers me. I cough a lot, but it’s not like I have a cold or flu. How can I strengthen my lungs?

—Joni E., Cleveland

a: Good question! For starters, always inhale through your nose when possible. The nose hairs help filter out particulate matter, something that is unavoidable when you’re breathing in city air. At the most basic level, the lungs are responsible for delivering oxygen into the bloodstream, and they provide a very fancy filtration system. Coughing is a functional response to clearing irritants. Asthma and hay fever are the two major types of lung distress that do not involve infection. If a person’s immune system can’t handle a noxious insult to the lungs, bronchitis can develop. If not resolved, this can further deepen into pneumonia.

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