Respiratory Conditions

Nutrition often plays an important role in the improvement of many respiratory conditions. These include asthma, inhalant allergies, bron­chitis, pneumonia, tuberculosis, pleurisy, emphy­sema, bronchiectasis and fungal infections such as 'valley fever' (coccidiomycosis).

General Considerations

The lungs are composed of delicate, elastic tissue. Respiratory system weakness may be due to constitutional weakness, repeat use of antibi­otics for tonsillitis or other infections, breathing polluted or oxygen-depleted air (indoor and outdoor), poor posture, shallow breathing, spinal problems, mouth breathing, emotional difficulties, smoking or other exposure to substances toxic to the lungs. Irritation of lung and bronchial tissue due to allergies often complicates respiratory problems.

For proper functioning, lung tissue must remain elastic. There must be adequate circulation and mucus drainage from the lungs and bronchial tubes. Toxic metals and nutritional deficiencies often play a role in lung conditions. A healthful diet and measures to improve general health are therefore important for all lung and respiratory conditions.

Allergies And Asthma

In cases involving asthma, a tissue mineral analysis may reveal a low sodium/potassium ratio. This ratio reflects a tendency for allergies and often infection. Slow oxidizers may develop allergies due to weak adrenal gland activity. Fast oxidizers may be prone to very severe allergic and asthmatic attacks due to increased cell permeability and high histamine levels. Hair analysis is most helpful to distinguish these different causes of asthma and allergies. Symptomatic remedies for allergies include extra bioflavonoids, manganese, stinging nettles and adrenal support.

Toxic Metals

Cadmium, nickel and other toxic metals may accumulate in the lungs from cigarette smoke, pesticide exposure or occupational exposure. The metals impair normal lung function and may hinder tissue regeneration.

Toxic metals may not be revealed on the first hair analysis. In some instances, several months of nutritional correction are required before toxic metals are revealed on a hair analysis.

Cadmium from cigarette smoke may require several months to several years to be eliminated from the body.

Lung Infections

Copper toxicity and/or a zinc deficiency favor the development of infections. A low sod­ium/­potassium ratio indicates a tendency for infections. For acute respiratory infections, nutrients to support the immune system are most helpful. These include vitamins A and C in large doses, echinacea, golden seal, colloidal silver and other herbal support. Antibiotics may not be needed, however, pneumonia can progress very rapidly and must be treated aggressively.

Eucalyptus and other aromatic oils may help open nasal and bronchial passages to facilitate healing. Fresh air, bed rest and deep breathing are helpful. During an infection, the nutritional balancing program may be reduced if needed until the acute episode passes.

Chronic bronchial, lung, sinus and tracheal infections are very common in people of all ages, including non-smokers. A nutritional balancing program based upon a hair mineral analysis is often adequate to improve chronic respiratory infections. Six months or more may be needed to correct long-standing chronic conditions. Often one will go through healing reactions or acute flare-ups during the corrective process.


Emphysema occurs when the air sacs or alveoli break down. Oxygen and carbon dioxide transfer in the lungs is reduced and the condition can be fatal. Irritants such as smoke are a common cause.

Nutritional deficiencies may also play a role. A hair analysis may reveal a low sod­ium/potassium ratio that indicates tissue break­down or catabolism. Toxic metals such as cad­mium and nickel are often involved. The nutri­tional balancing program is helpful for many cases of emphysema. Other measures listed below may also be helpful in conjunction with the hair analysis program.

Extra Nutritional Support

A wide range of nutrients are needed to main­tain and restore lung tissue. Minerals include manganese, zinc, magnesium, silicon and others. The lungs are particularly subject to oxidative damage from polluted air, smoke and other irri­tants. Extra vitamin E, carotene, selenium and other antioxidants may therefore be helpful.

Herbs traditionally used for lung conditions include lungwort, mullein, comfrey, marsh­mallow, slippery elm, pleurisy root and lobelia. Many of these are expectorants that help eliminate mucus from the lungs. They should not be used if there is bleeding from the lungs without excessive mucus.

Packs and poultices made with mustard, comfrey root or clay may be applied directly to the chest and back.

Freeze-dried lung and tracheal glandular tissue are also very helpful for some cases of respiratory illness. In severe cases, it is very beneficial if supplements are available as an aerosol that can be inhaled directly into the lungs and bronchial tissues.

Physical Measures

In addition to nutrition, physical measures that assist the lungs include breathing clean, oxygen-rich air, deep breathing, adequate rest and sleep and exposure of the back and chest to sunshine. Diaphragmatic breathing and certain yoga breath­ing exercises may be very helpful as well. Any other methods to enhance circulation and lymph drainage in the chest and back are also helpful.

Before antibiotics, nutritional and physical measures were used to treat tuberculosis with fair success. These methods are often forgotten today in the rush to use drug therapy. However, the increase in respiratory conditions in spite of drug therapy serves to remind us not to overlook the natural methods of care.

This material is for educational purposes only
The preceding statements have not been evaluated by the
Food and Drug Administration
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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