Have you ever suffered from a cough or congestion that keeps you up at night?
Although occasional coughs and congestion are usually not serious, they can be seriously disruptive.
Especially if they’re causing you to lose sleep, miss work, underperform, or create uncomfortable aches and pains.
Fortunately, there is a natural, age-old solution to help ease congestion, thin mucus, and calm coughing.
They’re called natural expectorants, and they come in the form of home remedies and traditional herbs.
In this article, you’ll discover seven traditional Ayurvedic expectorants that can help with occasional coughing and congestion and support a healthy immune system.
What are Expectorants?
Expectorants are natural or synthetic substances that help thin and loosen mucus and support clear airways.
They work by increasing water within mucus secretions, making it easier to break up and expel.
Expectorants can include:
Prescription and over-the-counter cough medicines and decongestants,
Home remedies, such as steam and hydration,
Or expectorant herbs.
Expectorant herbs have been used throughout the traditional wellness systems of the world.
Hyssop and Wild Cherry Bark have been used extensively in the West.
Bulbus Fritillaria Cirrhosae (BFC), or “Chuan-Bei-Mu” and Chinese Asparagus are staples in Traditional Chinese Medicine.
And in Ayurveda, herbs like Licorice, Fennel, and Ginger are often called upon to support respiratory health.
With awareness increasing about the benefits of herbs, many people are turning to natural expectorants for relief.
However, it can take some trial and error. And sometimes, a combination of herbs is most effective.
The following are 7 Ayurvedic expectorant herbs to support clear airways and respiratory health.*
7 Ayurvedic Expectorant Herbs for Lung Support
In Ayurveda, excess mucus production is viewed as an imbalance of Kapha, resulting in thick phlegm or toxicity of the sinuses, resulting in thin, watery mucus.
Pungent, bitter, and astringent foods and expectorant herbs are typically recommended to balance this, along with avoidance of mucus-producing foods such as dairy products, sweets, and fatty, cold, and fried foods.
The following are some common pungent, bitter, and astringent expectorant herbs used in Ayurveda.
#1: Trikatu (ayurvedic tri-herb formula)
Trikatu is not a single herb but a warming herbal formula of Black Pepper, Long Pepper, and Ginger.
Its name roughly translates into “three peppers” or “three pungents,” and it’s used extensively in Ayurveda to ignite and maintain digestive fire in the upper GI tract, promote lymphatic drainage, and to support the expulsion of toxins, including mucus.
Licorice is one of the most prized herbs in Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese medicine because it is so versatile.
Not only can licorice support the health of the adrenals, digestive system, heart, skin, and immune system, but it’s also an expectorant.*
In other words, if you could only choose one herb to help sustain your energy while supporting and nurturing your entire body—including your immune and respiratory systems, Licorice may be your best bet.
However, this ancient bitter herb has been used throughout Eastern wellness systems for centuries and has undergone over 800 studies.
Andrographis is also known as “King of Bitters,” “Indian Echinacea,” or Chuān Xīn Lián and has been traditionally used to support inflammatory response and respiratory, immune, digestive, and heart health.
It’s also popular as a detoxification herb and for multi-organ support.
Research has shown that Andrographis is safe and effective for supporting respiratory health, providing comfort for cough and sore throat, and may reduce the duration of cough and discomfort.
Andrographis can be found as a single herb, but it’s typically combined with complementary herbs, such as those previously discussed.