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Herbal Treatments for COPD & Chronic Bronchitis

author image Jean Bardot
Jean Bardot is a freelance writer and natural health practitioner. She started writing in 1994 and has contributed articles to publications such as "Similimum" and the "IFH Journal." She has a Bachelor of Science in public health from the University of North Carolina and a Master of Science in holistic nutrition from Clayton College of Natural Health.
Herbal Treatments for COPD & Chronic Bronchitis
Herbal treatments may relieve symptoms of chronic bronchitis and COPD. Photo Credit serezniy/iStock/Getty Images

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease refers to several lung disorders that cause permanent damage to the respiratory system. The two most common COPD disorders are chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Herbal treatments may help relieve various symptoms experienced by people with these two conditions, making breathing easier, for example. However, herbs can cause side effects. Consult your health providers before using any herbal remedies.

Essential Oil Monoterpenes

Essential oil monoterpenes is a mixture of herbs used in aromatherapy for the treatment of bronchitis, notes the University of Maryland Medical Center. The combination includes eucalyptus, citrus and pine oil extracts and may prove helpful for those with both acute and chronic bronchitis. The tonic shows promise in relieving deep coughing in cases -- it appeared equally effective to antibiotics in some studies, they add. This herbal treatment may cause side effects, and people with asthma should avoid using it. Consult with an aromatherapist experienced in treating COPD and chronic bronchitis before using essential oil monoterpenes. If you use homeopathic remedies, avoid using this herbal tonic, as it will render the homeopathic remedies ineffective.


Mullein is a common herb frequently used for the treatment of coughing and bronchitis and may relieve other symptoms related to COPD, according to the “The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook." Mullein is used by itself as an extract or in powdered form in supplements, and is often included in herbal tonics meant for the treatment of coughs. Its primary action on the respiratory tract is as an expectorant -- helping to clear the lungs of congestion and mucus. Mullein can be purchased at most health food stores. Consult with your health practitioner or an herbal specialist to make sure this is the correct treatment for your condition.


A licorice-flavored herb, fennel is widely used in Ayurvedic medicine to relieve coughing due to both acute and chronic bronchitis and other conditions affecting the lungs, according to the Multilingual Archive World Lingo website. Fennel is especially useful for relieving coughing when made into a syrup or tea. Speak to an Ayurvedic practitioner for directions for use and dosing guidelines.


Saiboku-to is an herb used extensively in Japan for the treatment of bronchitis and asthma. Research indicates that patients taking Saiboku-to may be able to reduce the doses of coticosteroids necessary to control their asthma, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Saiboku-to is often mixed in an herbal tonic with ginseng, licorice root and other herbs to control coughing. The tonic is available online and from pharmacies and stores specializing in Eastern herbal preparations. Consult your health practitioner to confirm that this treatment is right for your condition.

Other Considerations

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a serious condition, and you should not self-treat. Consult a professional who is experienced in the treatment of pulmonary diseases with herbal medicines for recommendations regarding which herbal mix is best for your problem. Your practitioner will provide directions for using the prescribed herbs, dosing amounts and places where you can by the freshest, most potent herbal medicines.

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