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This guest post was written by Elisha of My Health Maven. She is deeply passionate about educating people and empowering them to lead healthier lives. We encourage you to check out her blog and follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!

Chest congestion occurs when fluid and mucus buildup in the lungs, causing tenderness, pain, coughing and difficulty breathing. Chest congestion can produce a productive wet cough or a dry cough. Anyone who has had lung congestion will tell you that it can be painful and exhausting as constant coughing plagues your body.

Common causes of lung congestion

lung-congestion-oregano

Bronchitis can be caused by either viral or bacterial inflammation of the primary airways in the lungs or bronchial tubes. It can develop from a cold, or other respiratory infections.

Pneumonia can be caused by bacterial, fungal, parasitic or viral infections in the lungs. Pneumonia can vary from very mild to life-threatening.

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Natural Decongestant: Properties of Herbs

The amazing aspect of herbs is the variety of healing properties they offer. By matching the correct herbal properties with the symptoms you want to treat, your natural remedies can be very successful. 

Please note that only a few herbs are mentioned here; a discussion with your herbalist or healthcare practitioner will yield the best results based on your symptoms.

  • Analgesics – Are used to relieve pain. Some examples include wild yam, lobelia or skullcap.

  • Antibiotics – These destroy or inhibit the growth of bacteria and viruses. Some examples include echinacea, goldenseal or thyme.

  • Anticatarrhals – These herbs eliminate the formation of mucus. Examples include black pepper, mullein, and wild cherry bark.

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  • Antispasmodics – Help to prevent or relax muscle spasms. Examples include raspberry leaves, valerian, and blue cohosh.

  • Demulcents – These are soothing herbs such as slippery elm, licorice root, and burdock.

  • Expectorants – These herbs help the body to expel mucus and include mullein, wild cherry bark, and anise.

Oregano Benefits: A Natural Remedy for Congestion

natural decongestant, oregano tea

Many people may think of oregano as a herb for cooking. Its medicinal properties, however, are quite extensive.  With its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits, some of its uses may surprise you. It is frequently associated with respiratory and immune health. [1] 

Oregano is a great source of vitamins A, C, E, and K, as well as an excellent source of fiber. This herb is also high in folate, iron, manganese, magnesium, potassium, calcium and B6.

Oregano oil as potent as antibiotics

While there are many benefits to oregano, its antibacterial properties are a healthier alternative to traditional antibiotics for minor infections, which can lead to decreased vitamin absorption, antibiotic resistance, as well as the killing of beneficial gut bacteria. [2]

There are many components that make oregano such a potent and healing herb. Two of the more potent chemical compounds are thymol and carvacrol. The PubMed database references over 1,000 studies involving carvacrol and just under 3,000 for thymol. Why are these two components so important? Carvacrol is effective against numerous bacterial infections, and thymol boosts your immune system and encourages healing. In fact, this study showed significant and immediate improvement in symptoms of upper respiratory illnesses. [3] 

When to use oregano

It’s always best to take proactive measures. As soon as you begin to feel a cold or flu coming on, sip on some oregano tea. Oregano will boost your immune system, as well as relieve congestion and fatigue that can be associated with a cold or flu. Oregano is also a great fever reducer.

How to make oregano tea

Ingredients

  • 4-6 tablespoons of dried organic oregano leaves

  • 2-3 cups of water

  • 1 slice of organic lemon

  • Organic raw honey to taste

Instructions

  1. Put filtered drinking water in a small pot.

  2. Bring to a boil on the stove.

  3. Turn off heat. Add oregano leaves and steep for three to five minutes and cool.

  4. Strain the leaves and add honey and lemon to taste, if desired.

  5. Drink warm throughout the day.

Additional oregano options

If you don’t like oregano tea, it can also be purchased in tincture and supplement forms.

Using organic oregano oil

  1. Add 3-4 drops of oregano oil to a glass of water. Drink 2-3 times a day to boost your immune system.

  2. Add 3-4 drops of oregano oil to a glass of water and sip for a sore throat.

  3. Add 2-3 drops of oregano oil to your vaporizer or a diffuser, inhale deeply to relieve nasal congestion and help with lung infections.

  4. No vaporizer? Simply add a few drops of oregano oil to a pot of steaming water and inhale the vapor.

Looking for some additional ideas for dealing with respiratory illness? Give Himalayan salt a try.

[1] Dahiya, P., & Purkayastha, S. (2012, September). Phytochemical Screening and Antimicrobial Activity of Some Medicinal Plants Against Multi-drug Resistant Bacteria from Clinical Isolates. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23716873

[2] Antibiotic / Antimicrobial Resistance – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017, April 06). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/drugresistance/about.html

[3] Ben-Arye, E., Dudai, N., Eini, A., Torem, M., Schiff, E., & Rakover, Y. (2010, November 1). Treatment of upper respiratory tract infections in primary care: A randomized study using aromatic herbs. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21052500

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Elisha McFarland
Health Expert
Elisha McFarland