Many of us take breathing for granted. But if you or someone you love struggles with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), you know every easy breath is a gift to be cherished.
The early signs of COPD can be subtle and easy to ignore. You may notice yourself getting more winded while climbing stairs—but that’s easy to blame on lack of energy or being out of shape. Or you might suddenly have a tickle in your throat making you cough more than usual, but again—couldn’t that be a lingering symptom from the virus you recently fought off? It’s easy to chalk up early COPD symptoms to something less serious. However, if you find yourself experiencing frequent shortness of breath, a cough that doesn’t go away, and a sudden habit of coughing up phlegm and mucus, COPD may be to blame.
COPD includes one or more of three separate diseases: emphysema, chronic bronchitis, or chronic obstructive asthma. It damages the airways in the lungs (also known as bronchi), reducing lung function and making breathing difficult. Unfortunately, COPD is a progressive disease, meaning it gets worse with time. Eventually, individuals with COPD begin to feel as though they can’t get a full breath of air. They notice more mucus in their respiratory system, which adds to the “drowning” feeling many sufferers experience. And oftentimes, symptoms progress to the point of requiring emergency care or hospitalization.
What causes COPD? Smoking is the primary cause. Even people who haven’t smoked for decades are at increased risk. COPD can also result from long-term exposure to air pollution, chemical fumes, and even dust. Sadly, at this point, there is no conventional cure for the disease.
Nature, however, provides us with some unique botanical medicines that can target respiratory issues and ease the symptoms of COPD. When it comes to treating this disease with medicine from nature, boswellia is at the top of the list.
A standardized boswellia supplement can open airways and reduce bronchial swelling. Boswellia is a specific inhibitor of the 5-LOX enzyme, an inflammation trigger almost no other medicine can touch. This makes boswellia extremely effective at treating lung problems, many of which are associated with excessive 5-LOX activity. Emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and other respiratory symptoms of COPD are triggered in part by human leukocyte elastase. Fortunately, research shows boswellia specifically inhibits this leukocyte. It can tame bronchial inflammation and open bronchial airways.
Like many botanicals, boswellia contains specific compounds that make it effective. Boswellia’s headlining star is called acetyl-11-keto-B-boswellic acid, or AKBA. To make sure you get the most effective boswellia product for COPD, look for a product standardized to at least 10 percent AKBA.
Thyme, Ravintsara, and Myrtle, Oh My!
This herbal power trio can work synergistically with boswellia to help relieve respiratory conditions. Thyme can help stop spasmodic coughing and tickling in the throat while relaxing the airways in the lungs. It also helps loosen phlegm and keeps mucus moving through the respiratory tract. Ravintsara helps reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, which can benefit any type of respiratory disease, including COPD. Myrtle, a strong antioxidant, antiseptic, and antibacterial agent, is also excellent for treating bronchial and lung infections.
Best of all, natural ingredients like boswellia, thyme, ravintsara, and myrtle won’t cause agitating or sedative side effects that sometimes accompany over-the-counter treatments. You’ll only notice the benefits—another breath of fresh air.