What are some natural options for pulmonary fibrosis?
Q. Dear Terry, “What are some natural options for pulmonary fibrosis?” – Charlene C., Nashville, TN
A. Dear Charlene, Pulmonary fibrosis is a complex, chronic condition that can be caused by certain medications, environmental exposures, autoimmune issues, and many other factors. The lung tissue becomes damaged and scarred, which interferes with the lung’s ability to function optimally. I highly encourage you to keep your healthcare team in the loop with any supplementation you are considering. With that being said, I think there are some natural options that can help with lung function.
My favorite botanical for supporting the lungs is boswellia. Boswellia works on a specific inflammatory pathway in the body called 5-LOX, which has a major role in lung conditions and diseases. When there is excessive inflammation in the lungs, scar tissue can build up and make the lungs less able to expand and fill with oxygen. Fortunately, boswellia is able to open the airways, reduce bronchial and sinus swelling, and help you to breathe easier.
When choosing a boswellia extract, I believe an extract standardized for AKBA content (acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid) is essential. This is one of boswellia’s most powerful components, which is why it is so often the focus of research. However, there is another compound in boswellia that is actually pro-inflammatory, which is called beta-boswellic acid (BBA). The boswellia extract I recommend is standardized to high levels of AKBA and virtually free of BBA.
In addition to boswellia, there are a few herbs that can work synergistically with boswellia to alleviate some of your symptoms.
Thyme stops spasmodic coughing, relaxes the airways, and strengthens the activity of the cilia (tiny projections in the sinus cavities and respiratory system). Cilia are very important in the respiratory system because they help keep mucus moving out of the body. Ravintsara is a strong antibacterial and helps to relieve inflammation and oxidative stress. Myrtle is an antiseptic and antibacterial shrub that is excellent for helping to reduce bronchial and lung infections. It also helps to stimulate the cilia to more effectively clear mucus from the lungs.
I would take a combination of boswellia, ravintsara, myrtle, and thyme two to three times per day.
Additionally, you may also want to consider a combination of thyme and climbing ivy. These botanicals function as expectorants (helps to cough out phlegm) and mucolytics (breaks up congestion). I suggest taking these ingredients three times a day.
Terry . . . Naturally