These respiratory heroes are pros when it comes to cold weather woes:
1. TAG TEAM RESPIRATORY SUPPORT
Quercetin is a powerful antioxidant flavonoid found in a wide range of foods and plants including apples, various berries, green tea, red grapes, onions and ginkgo biloba. Quercetin’s antioxidant effects help promote immune health and studies also indicate that it may support healthy respiratory function.1,2
Quercetin is often combined with bromelain in supplements, since bromelain may enhance the absorption of quercetin. Bromelain is derived from the fruit of pineapples and features an impressive range of proteolytic enzymes. Bromelain has been studied for its potential benefits for sinuses.3 Together, quercetin and bromelain are a winning combo for respiratory support.
2. ASTRAGALUS FOR AIRWAYS
Loaded with over 100 active compounds, including saponins, polysaccharides, amino acids, flavonoids and more, astragalus is packed with helpful nutrients. Studies indicate that taking an astragalus supplement may give the respiratory system a boost and help soothe the airways.4
3. COMBAT SEASONAL BLAHS WITH BERRIES
You’re likely already aware of some of the health benefits of raspberries, but those delicious berries aren’t the only part of the raspberry plant that’s good for your health. The red raspberry leaf contains nutrients like alpha-carotene, alpha-tocopherol, niacin, boron, calcium, magnesium, selenium, zinc, and antioxidants. Herbalists dating back centuries have used red raspberry leaf as a traditional tonic to help support respiratory function.
4. HARD TO PRONOUNCE, EASY ON AIRWAYS
A member of the mint family, coleus forskholii— pronounced coal-ee-us for-skol-ee-ee—has been used for centuries as a respiratory health staple in Ayurvedic traditions. According to studies, taking a coleus forskohlii supplement may have a soothing effect on respiratory airways.5
5. GOOD FOR PIZZA, GREAT FOR SUPPORT
It may be a familiar kitchen herb, but in-the know health enthusiasts are privy to the fact that oregano is much more than just a flavor-enhancer for your pizza. Researchers have reported that oregano supplements may promote soothing of the respiratory system and improve airflow while supporting immune health.6
6. ALL BARK, NO BITE
Taken from the bark of the black cherry tree, wild cherry bark is packed with minerals like iron, calcium, zinc and magnesium as well as phytochemicals like quercetin and kaempferol. This traditional respiratory support can be found as both wild cherry bark syrup and wild cherry bark capsules.
7. THYME TO BREATHE EASY
Like oregano, thyme leaf is another culinary favorite that doubles as a supporter of respiratory health and its use dates all the way back to the time of the Romans. While studies are ongoing, part of thyme’s respiratory health benefits may come from carvacrol, a plant phenol that supports the body’s immune defenses.7,8
8. LUNG-FRIENDLY LEAF
Plantain leaf supplements have been traditionally used for supporting respiratory health and seasonal wellness. While its effects on respiratory health are not fully understood, plantain leaves have been used for centuries for overall wellness.9
If you enjoyed this article, you might also like Take a Deep Breath: Top 10 Herbs for Respiratory Health and 22 Vitamins & Supplements for Immune Health. Also, be sure to sign up for Swanson Health Emails to get expert advice and our best promotions delivered straight to your inbox.
1. Heinz, et al. Quercetin supplementation and upper respiratory tract infection: A randomized community clinical trial. Volume 62, Issue 3, September 2010, Pages 237-242.
2. Somerville, et al. Effect of Flavonoids on Upper Respiratory Tract Infections and Immune Function: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Advances in Nutrition. 2016. 7(3): 488-497.
3. Seltzer AP. Adjunctive use of bromelains in sinusitis: a controlled study. The Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Monthly. 1967; Vol. 46, No. 10: 1281-1288.
4. Fu, et al. Phytother Res. 2014 Sep;28(9):1275-83. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5188. Epub 2014 Aug 2. US National Library of Medicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25087616
5. Eur J Pharmacol. 1985 Apr 23;111(1):1-8. US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2410281
6. Eran, et al. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011; 2011: 690346. Published online 2010 Nov 1. doi: 10.1155/2011/690346. US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2967840/
7. Kemmerich, et al. Arzneimittelforschung. 2006;56(9):652-60. National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17063641
8. Carvacrol and human health: A comprehensive review. National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29744941
9. Reina, et al. The Effects of Plantago Major on the Activation of Neutrophil Respiratory Burst. Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine. 2013. 3(4): 268-272.