Pamper Those Lungs and Breathe Easy – With Tea

Pamper Those Lungs and Breathe Easy – With Tea

Oxygen is human fuel, a gas that we inhale with every breath. Cells do not function without oxygen. With more than 100 trillion cells in our bodies, that’s a lot of machinery in need of constant sustenance.

We have our lungs to thank for providing us the oxygen that keeps us alive every moment of our lives. Our lungs serve as the harvester of oxygen: they isolate the gas from the breaths we take, and distribute it to the blood and those trillions of cells. They also withdraw carbon dioxide, a waste gas, from blood and each cell; every time we exhale, our lungs evacuate carbon dioxide from the body and broadcast it into the atmosphere.

Lungs also:

  • Moisturize incoming air to the proper humidity level and optimize it to the right temperature
  • Use coughing, sneezing, filtering and swallowing to protect human bodies from harmful substances
  • Support the sense of smell

They are vital, and as we all learned during the COVID-19 pandemic, their fitness helps determine our overall health — even our survival.

Maintaining stout lungs hinges in part on things to avoid: cigarettes, for example, are lung destroyers. But we can invite plenty of lung-healthy pursuits and substances into our lives as well. Exercise, for one, helps keep lung muscles strong and sturdy. The American Lung Association also recommends simple breathing exercises. One of them, breathing through the nose and out of the mouth for at least twice as long, with pursed lips, stands as a simple way to build lung strength.

Diet contributes to lung health

Teas for lungs
Tea is part of a lung-healthy diet.

And then there is diet. There’s no magic food bullet for lung vitality; most experts simply recommend a diet high in nutritious foods like dark leafy greens, beets, peppers, apples, pumpkins and a host of other nutrition-rich foods. 

Tea counts as a lung booster. One recent medical study even found that regular tea sippers suffered lowered prevalence of COPD (a group of lung diseases) than tea shunners. Another study, from 2019, concluded that “tea drinking could be a protective factor in lung cancer.”

We of course are glad to spend our days surrounded by, and sipping, lung-buttressing tea!

To help you sip your way to lung vigor, we selected a trio of teas that offer a range of flavors and effects, but share at least one quality: they could help deliver hardiness to those always-working lungs.

Teas for Lungs: Chrysanthemum Green Tea (Organic)

Chrysanthemum and green tea together are lung warriors.

You witness Chrysanthemum species all over the place every autumn — normally, we just call them mums. Lined up outside of grocery stores. Enlivening streetscapes in pots. Adding color to yards, long after so many of the summer flowers have faded and dropped.

They’re beautiful and strong — cold snaps just below freezing don’t kill them the way they do flowers like cosmos. And they also figure largely into alternative approaches toward wellness, such as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

Practitioners of TCM use earthy chrysanthemum to support lung health and reduce internal inflammation. 

But this tea offers more than one of our favorite flowers; it also rests on a foundation of sencha, the most common type of Japanese green tea. And as we know, researchers have identified green tea as lung balm; visit this compendium of green tea scholarship to begin to understand its potential effects for overall health, including for our precious lungs.

Finally, this tea also includes rose petal, for floral notes, and peppermint, which also aids lung health by stimulating nasal passages and helping to open airways. Peppermint, after all, works as a decongestant.

Teas for Lungs: Tangerine Puerh

Puerh tea in tangerine rind delivers lung benefits, and citrus flavor.

We prize puerh for its complex flavors and deep cultural roots across China. As the main form of fermented tea in the world, puerh stands apart from other styles, which lean into things like terroir, farming practices and post-harvest oxidation protocols to achieve tea’s wild diversity of flavors. Puerh also reflects all of the above, but with the added twist of fermentation. It is special.

But the tea, which normally is formed into bricks or cakes and aged before reaching the market, delivers more than deliciousness and tradition to sippers. It’s remarkably healthy, too.

And one of its vigor beneficiaries is the lungs. The Chinese even have a term, Run Fei Zhi Ke, for puerh’s effects; it roughly means suppressing coughs and nurturing lung performance.

The artisans behind this puerh, produced in Xin Hui in China’s Guandong Province, pack fermented tea leaves into tangerine rinds, which imparts a light, citrusy sweetness to the brewed tea. To elevate the tangerine flavor, put some of the rind into your tea while brewing.

Teas for Lungs: Congestion Blend

Congestion Blend tea combines lung-boosting botanicals.

We actively engage with our lungs every day, in a way that is more overt than with other organs like the heart, kidneys or liver. Those key organs mostly do their things behind the scenes, but every time we inhale and exhale we can feel our lungs working. 

We also know when they struggle: our breathing grows shallow, we cough, we clear our throats and cough up junk and wheeze.

That’s congestion, the bane of our mighty lungs. When we’re stopped up, the lungs suffer. And we do whatever we can to clear them up, and return to normal breathing.

We created Congestion Blend to help the body rid itself of gunk, and to get those lungs pumping freely again. The blend relies quite a bit on eucalyptus leaves, which even over-the-counter congestion-fighting salves and tonics leverage for the sake of lung health. Both eucalyptus and another Congestion Blend ingredient, peppermint, serve as decongestants.

But this blend also incorporates elderflower for its lung-clearing powers. Naturopathic doctors around the world tap into elderflower for many benefits, many of them having something to do with the lungs: managing sinusitis and colds, helping people get through influenza, fighting bronchitis and much more. 

Congestion Blend’s dynamic combination of botanical ingredients faces common lung foes, grapples with them, and often vanquishes them before they manage to root, constrict and block lungs and make human life unpleasant.

Here’s to your lungs! Exercise them. Nurture them. Soothe them. And don’t forget about lavishing them with healthy tea!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *