Fall is almost upon us and the weather is changing! This cold, dry season is often accompanied by a variety of symptoms, such as coughing, breathing difficulty, and other lung ailments. Additionally, by midlife, many people have compromised their lung health by smoking or by breathing urban air with its bounty of toxic pollutants. Studies show that lifespan is directly proportional to lung capacity. If our lungs aren’t working optimally to supply the body with oxygen, all the metabolic processes go haywire. Follow these tips to increase your lung health, expand your longevity, and quit coughing this fall.
Breathe Deeper For A Longer Life
A larger lung capacity is related to a longer life, so it is important to work on your breathing. An effective way to increase your lung capacity is to play a wind instrument—a saxophone, trumpet, flute, or even a recorder. Practicing for as little as 10 or 15 minutes a day will give you expanded results for your lungs!
Antioxidants For Better Breathing
Broccoli, apples, and other antioxidant-rich vegetables and fruits can help restore and protect your lungs. One study indicated that people who ate more than five apples a week had better lung function than those who ate none. It’s also been shown that the antioxidant isothiocyanates, which is found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower, can substantially reduce the risk of lung cancer.
Other foods that nourish and protect your lungs include green leafy vegetables-particularly kale, mustard greens, and green and red cabbage. Other lung-nourishing foods include green and yellow bell peppers, daikon radish, carrots, yams, pumpkin, squash, figs, sesame seeds, almonds, apricots, ginkgo nuts, tangerines and other citrus foods.
Acupressure For Healthy Lungs
Acupuncture is regularly used to treat lung conditions, but you can stimulate the same acupuncture point on yourself with a technique called “acupressure.” Instead of a needle stimulating the point, you can use your own fingers. Locate the acupoint called Cubit Marsh. Bend your arm at the elbow. The point is located in the elbow crease, on the outer side of the large tendon in the middle of the crease. Apply moderate pressure with your thumb until you feel soreness. Hold for two to three minutes. Repeat on the other arm. This point has traditionally been used to soothe breathing, redirect lung energy downward, and ease coughing.
Stamp Out Dampness In The Lungs
In Chinese medicine, diet and digestive weakness is seen as directly related to a buildup of dampness and phlegm that accumulate in the lungs. Mucus or phlegm is often the source behind a chronic cough. In many cases, reducing and clearing out the mucus will ease the cough. Start by stopping your consumption of mucus-producing foods including dairy products (especially ice cream), cold beverages and raw foods, sweet foods containing simple processed sugars or refined flour products, and soft drinks.
Remedies To Soothe A Cough
Whether due to a cold or changing weather conditions, a cough is a nagging reminder that something is out of balance in your airways. Stop a cough in its tracks with these tips:
For all kinds of coughs, boil a pot of water and turn off the stove. Add 10 drops of the herbal topical Tonic Oil, which consists of oils of peppermint, eucalyptus, fennel, and wintergreen. These are traditionally used for opening respiratory passageways. Inhale steam deeply for five to 10 minutes with a towel draped over you, covering your head and the pot.
Nourish the lungs. Core one pear apple (Asian pear), add one tablespoon of honey to the center, and steam or bake for 10 to 15 minutes. Eat two to three daily to nourish lungs and soothe a cough. This is especially good to eat before bedtime to relieve night-time cough.
For dry cough, finely chop two cups each of green and red cabbage, add one pear apple or Asian pear, and boil in six cups of water for 30 minutes. Drink this broth three times a day.
For cough with excess mucus, boil two oranges, peels and all, in four cups of water for 30 minutes. Drink the water and eat the oranges.
Supplements that can help treat a cough include Vitamins C, E, and B complex, bromelain, garlic, zinc, and iron.
For a cough accompanied by a cold, try our specially formulated natural cold formula, Cold & Flu. This formula uses Japanese honeysuckle flower and mulberry root bark along with other herbs to support your healthy immune function in its ability to stop a cold or flu in its track.
May you Live Long, Live Strong, and Live Happy!
Dr. Mao Shing Ni, better known as Dr. Mao is a bestselling author, doctor of Oriental Medicine and board certified anti-aging expert. He has appeared regularly on Dr. Oz, the Doctors and EXTRA. Dr. Mao practices acupuncture, nutrition and Chinese medicine with his associates at the Tao of Wellness in Santa Monica and Newport Beach. Dr. Mao and his brother, Dr. Daoshing Ni founded Tao of Wellness over 25 years ago in addition to also founding Yo San University in Marina del Rey. To subscribe to his tip-filled newsletter please visit www.taoofwellness.com.
To make an appointment for evaluation
and treatment please call 310.917.2200 or you can email Dr. Mao at [email protected]