Inflammation of the lungs: is cleansing helpful?

Inflammation of the lungs is increasingly common in times of poor air quality, pollution, and higher numbers of airborne toxins.

The World Health Organization attributes the deaths of 4.2 million people each year to air pollution alone. Cigarette smoking is also the cause of death for 1 in 5 people in the United States.

Continued exposure to environmental substances has a compounding effect on the lungs and respiratory system. Since the arrival of COVID-19 in 2020, focus on the growing dangers to human airways is increasing.

Issues like asthma, which influences the behaviour of the bronchial tubes in the respiratory system can be worsened by smoke and allergens. The bronchial tubes narrow due to inflammation in the tissue lining the airways, creating dyspnea, where patients struggle to breathe comfortably.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is another example of an inflammatory disease with a growing incidence. This condition, which often manifests as emphysema and chronic obstructive bronchitis, stems from the breakdown of alveoli, and the inability to process oxygen correctly.

Cleansing Mucus to Reduce Inflammation of the Lungs

Regardless of the underlying cause of airway and breathing issues, a holistic treatment strategy is required. Lung health is essential to a patient’s overall health. While the lungs are naturally self-cleaning, they can benefit from natural cleansing therapies.

After the lungs have been exposed to pollution, such as cigarette smoke or environmental toxins, the chest often feels inflamed and congested. This is the result of mucus gathering in the lungs to trap pathogens and microbes. Though cigarette smokers can often see positive improvements in their breathing after they simply stop smoking, other conditions require more targeted strategies.

COPD and asthma patients are frequently exposed to recurring cases of mucus build-up. Cleaning strategies help to open the airways for these individuals, improving lung capacity, cleaning away toxins, and reducing inflammation.

Cleansing the lungs may also reduce the presence of additional symptoms that occur as a side-effect of respiratory conditions. Pulmonary fibrosis, for instance, can produce fatigue, dry coughs, musculoskeletal pain, and weight loss.

Holistic Solutions for Cleansing Mucus

Standard treatments for lung cleansing can be effective in reducing symptoms, but they are often not fully effective. Treatments often combine receptor antagonists, corticosteroids, and methylxanthines like theophylline. In the early stages of pulmonary disease, these medications can reduce symptoms, but pulmonary rehabilitation is often also required.

One solution for holistic lung cleansing is the draining of mucus using strategies like exercise, hot steam, and anti-inflammatory foods.

Anti-inflammatory foods

Anti-inflammatory foods rich in antioxidants can reduce inflammation in the lungs and protect lung tissue. Studies in Korea, for instance, indicate that people who drink 2 cups of tea per day had better lung functioning than people who drank none. Quercetin, olives, leafy greens, and turmeric have also been studied for their anti-inflammatory properties.

The foods with the most significant anti-inflammatory potential often belong to the mushroom family. Medicinal mushrooms  are usually more effective in supplemental form, as this improves access to the natural bioactive compounds that make each species so effective. For instance, Ganoderma Lucidum (Reishi mushroom) can significantly reduce inflammation, protect against viral diseases, and support the body in immunomodulation processes. Inflammation is an immune system response, and the proper management of the immune system can reduce swelling.

Other effective anti-inflammatory medicinal mushrooms include Cordyceps Sinensis, which reduces inflammation, protects against respiratory disease, and helps repair the body from oxidative damage.

Extracts from Polyporus umbellatus are effective at reducing inflammation, and they can also assist with draining the lungs of mucus and other substances. Among traditional Chinese medicines, the Lung Cleansing and Detoxifying Decoction (which includes Polyporus umbellatus) has shown therapeutic effects on mild and ordinary COVID-19 patients. Polysaccharides, which are highly concentrated in medicinal mushrooms, are here described as the most important ingredients in this decoction.

Agaricus blazei, like Reishi, helps with modulating the immune system, but has also been shown to have powerful anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory capabilities.

Further Strategies for Lung Inflammation

Aside from consuming the right anti-inflammatory substances, patients can also cleanse the lungs naturally with strategies such as:

  • Regular exercise: Regular exercise reduces the risk of various health conditions by focusing the muscles to work harder. This increases the breathing rate of the body, improving oxygen supply to the muscles. Though exercise can be difficult for people with chronic lung conditions, it is possible to work up to a manageable routine.
  • Steam therapy: Steam therapy and inhalation involves inhaling water vapour to drain mucus and open the airways. Many patients with lung conditions experience worsening symptoms in cold and dry air. Steam conversely improves breathing and helps to loosen mucus. One study found that steam mask therapy can effectively reduce heart rate and anxiety
  • Controlled coughing: The body naturally cleanses the lungs of toxins with coughing. Controlled coughing assists with loosening mucus and removing it from the body. People with COPD are often encouraged to follow this exercise to clear the lungs. Controlled coughing strategies must be taught with caution.

Addressing Inflammation of the Lungs

Toxins from the air which enter the lungs have a direct impact on all health and wellness. Toxins can easily become trapped inside mucus, and that mucus must be cleared to enable good respiratory health. The correct strategy for lung cleansing, including antioxidant and anti-inflammatory foods, breathing exercises, and steam therapy can protect and enhance the lung function.

Long-term, the continued use of anti-inflammatory supplements may reduce the risk of lung conditions reoccurring, and symptoms persisting.