My mother has COPD and her symptoms, especially mucus production, worsen during the winter months.
Q. Dear Terry, “My mother has COPD and her symptoms, especially mucus production, worsen during the winter months. Are there any plant-based medicines that could help lessen her symptoms?” – Cristina V., Renton, WA
A. Dear Cristina, My favorite plant-based medicine for helping with respiratory issues is boswellia. Boswellia is a specific inhibitor of the 5-LOX enzyme, an inflammation trigger almost no other medicine (conventional or natural) can touch. This makes boswellia effective at treating lung problems, many of which are associated with excessive 5-LOX activity. Boswellia stops bronchial inflammation, opens bronchial airways, and helps them remain open. It may also reduce the damage to bronchi that occurs over time due to chronic respiratory inflammation.
The boswellia I prefer is standardized to contain high levels of the key compound, AKBA, which gives boswellia many of its health benefits. While most of the compounds within boswellia are anti-inflammatory, there is one compound that is actually pro-inflammatory. Therefore, I recommend a boswellia that is low in beta-boswellic acid, which can actually cause inflammation.
There are a few other natural compounds that work synergistically with boswellia to help with respiratory conditions. Thyme helps stop the spasmodic coughing and “tickling” in the throat, relaxes the airways in the lungs, and strengthens the activity of cilia to help loosen phlegm and keep mucus moving so you don’t feel clogged up. Ravintsara reduces inflammation and oxidative stress, which can benefit any type of respiratory disease or condition. Myrtle is excellent for treating bronchial and lung infections because it is a strong antioxidant, antiseptic, and antibacterial agent.
I would take boswellia, thyme, ravintsara, and myrtle two or three times per day.
Terry . . . Naturally