Expectorant Herbs, Hay Fever, Elecampane

HERB 201

Expectorants

"Strictly speaking, expectorants are herbs that stimulate the removal of mucus from the lungs, but the term is also often used to refer to respiratory system tonics. There are two basic categories of expectorant herbs . . . Stimulating expectorants . . . . Relaxing expectorants . . . "

Quote from pg. 245 of: Hoffman, D. (2003). Medical Herbalism. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press.

The Respiratory System

The blood carries fresh oxygen throughout the body. When the blood returns to the alveoli, carbon dioxide and other gases pass from the blood into the alveoli. These gases leave the body in the exhaled air. In a larger sense, the ebb and flow of the breath also draws life energy into the body. Thus, if respiratory disturbances inhibit gas exchange, they can lead to a lowering of the body’s vitality . . . "

Quote from pg. 316 of: Hoffman, D. (2003). Medical Herbalism. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press.

Hay Fever

"Hay fever, or allergic rhinitis, is a form of allergy that affects the lining of the nose and, often, the eyes and throat. As the name implies, the condition is an allergic response to the pollen of certain grasses, but the term is also used to describe similar reactions to a wide range of pollens and the spores of some fungi . . ."

Quote from pg. 339 of: Hoffman, D. (2003). Medical Herbalism. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press.

Treatment

" . . . Various essential oils can help with symptoms of hay fever . . . Oils recommended by aromatherapists include . . . Blue chamomile, lemon balm, and lavender. If steam inhalation makes the patient feel even worse, suggest that the person put some oil on a tissue to sniff whenever needed. A massage with any of these oils can also be helpful . . ."

Quote from pg. 340 of: Hoffman, D. (2003). Medical Herbalism. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press.

Expectorant

"These are herbs that facilitate or accelerate the removal of bronchial secretions from the bronchi and trachea. However, this is another carelessly used terms that in practice often simply means a remedy that ‘does something’ for the respiratory system . . . "

Quote from pg. 511 of: Hoffman, D. (2003). Medical Herbalism. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press.

Stimulating Expectorants

"Stimulating expectorants act in different ways to produce the same effect. It is not always clear how specific remedies work, but current thinking suggests the following processes . . . .Irritate the bronchioles to stimulate expulsion . . . Liquefy viscid sputum so that it can be cleared by coughing . . . Most stimulating expectorants contain alkaloids, saponins, or volatile oils. However, not all chemicals in these groups or plants that contains these constituents have this activity"

Quote from pg. 511 of: Hoffman, D. (2003). Medical Herbalism. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press.

Relaxing Expectorant

"Stimulating expectorants act in different ways to produce the same effect. It is not always clear how specific remedies work, but current thinking suggests the following processes . . . .Irritate the bronchioles to stimulate expulsion . . . Liquefy viscid sputum so that it can be cleared by coughing . . . Most stimulating expectorants contain alkaloids, saponins, or volatile oils. However, not all chemicals in these groups or plants that contains these constituents have this activity"

Quote from pg. 511 of: Hoffman, D. (2003). Medical Herbalism. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press.

Elecampane – Inula helenium L.

"Elecampane is a specific for irritating bronchial coughs, especially in children. It may be used whenever copius catarrh is present – for example, in bronchitis or emphysema. It can be helpful in asthma and bronchial asthma, and has been applied for the treatment of tuberculosis . . ."

Quote from pg. 560 of: Hoffman, D. (2003). Medical Herbalism. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press

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