Clearing Phlegm from the Lungs
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Helen
Posted on: May 12, 2001

I just recently had surgery. During surgery, my lung partially collapsed. Now I am trying to build up my lung. They said I had some emphysema. Do you have a herb that I could use to help pull the phlegm out? I read that eucalyptus essential oil is good. Do you have oils? Let me know. And how much?

In emphysema, there is a loss of elasticity in the lungs so that the lungs are permanently expanded and the breathing rate accelerates to try to take in sufficient oxygen.

Important factors in easing breathing difficulties are weight loss if overweight and clearing mucous build-up from the lungs. Mucous forming foods such as dairy products, fatty meats, eggs and processed foods must be avoided. Infection of the lungs must be avoided to prevent further mucous formation and damage.

Herbs that can help are garlic as an anti-infective and to loosen phlegm, echinacea to boost immunity, thyme to help clear the mucous, soothe the cough and boost anti-bacterial activity in the respiratory system , fenugreek to soothe the mucous membranes, coltsfoot or licorice to help expel mucous and clear inflammation, horsetail (Equisetum arvense) to repair lung tissue. Elecampane is an antiseptic expectorant, which help to clear mucous from the lungs and prevent infection.

Eucalyptus oil is a good lung antibiotic, antiviral, anti-spasmodic that is useful for clearing infection from the chest area. It is usually used externally: mix 2-3 drops of the pure essential oil in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and rub on chest; or as a steam inhalation: mix a few drops of the essential oil in a bowl of boiling water, place a towel over your head and the bowl, and inhale the steam until the mixture cools. It can be taken internally: mix 2 drops of a food grade essential oil in honey, and take 3 times a day, before meals,for one or two days.

Richters carries eucalyptus oil. You can view prices in the online catalogue at

Back to Medicinal Herbs and Their Uses | Q & A Index

Copyright © 1997-2023 Otto Richter and Sons Limited. All rights reserved.