Mullein was introduced to the North American continent by English colonists. It was quickly adopted by Native American tribes for treating coughs, bronchitis and asthma. The plant has a high mucilage content that helps to coat and soothe inflamed tissues. The mullein plant may provide some comfort from pain and has been useful in respiratory issues. In addition to treating asthma, coughs and bronchitis, it has also been used for tonsillitis, diarrhea, hemorrhoids and urinary tract infections. Mullein seems to also have a calming effect and can even be used as a sleep aid. Mullein is also an anti-spasmodic, which means it can help relieve muscle spasms and stomach cramps.
Lobelia has a long history of use as an herbal remedy for respiratory conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, and cough. Historically, Native Americans used lobelia as a treatment for asthma. Today, lobelia is sometimes suggested to help clear mucus from the respiratory tract. Many herbalists use lobelia as part of a comprehensive treatment plan for asthma.
Chickweed is an herb that has been used for its soothing properties. This herb contains flavonoids, beneficial organic acids and Vitamin C. In homeopathic remedies, it has been used against asthma, chest infections, joint inflammations, acne, varicose veins, eczema, abscesses, and allergies. Chickweed relieves itching and may have anti-rheumatic properties.
Marshmallow has long been used for illnesses associated with congestion or too much mucous in the body. Marshmallow acts as an expectorant because it binds to the mucous and helps the body expel it. Marshmallow has been used for thousands of years for coughs, sore throat, respiratory problems, asthma, and other bronchial issues. Marshmallow may help to clear the airways in the body because the large amounts of mucilage found in the plant help expel excess mucous. This plant may be helpful for people who suffer from intestinal disorders such as diarrhea, indigestion, gastro esophageal reflux, Irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease. The mucilage in Marshmallow has also been used to soothe ulcers by coating the ulcerated tissue, which may help the ulcer to heal.
Slippery Elm is an herb abundant in mucilage, but also contains calcium, amino acids and small traces of other minerals like manganese and zinc. Slippery Elm bark is often ingested to help soothe the mucosal tissues, such as the esophagus, vagina and stomach. Slippery Elm is used in a variety of products because it seems to be helpful with asthma, sore throats, coughs, and hoarse voice as well as upset stomach, irritated intestines, stomach inflammation and ulcers.
Comfrey is native to Europe and is found primarily growing in damp, grassy areas. It is prevalent in Ireland and Great Britain. In his book, “Natures Healing Grasses”, H.E. Kirschner, M.D., devotes four chapters to comfrey and states: “A leaf a day keeps illness away.” Additionally, in his practice, he witnessed healing of obstinate ulcers, malignant growths and many other ailments. In one instance, he writes of a man in New Zealand who had suffered with asthma for thirty years. One day, the man casually nibbled on a comfrey leaf while he was walking in a friend’s garden. Subsequently that night, the man seemed to be relieved of his asthma and was able to sleep through the entire night. The man realized that it may have been the comfrey leaf which helped provide the relief and began consuming one leaf per day and after doing so, never fought the symptoms of his asthma again. He shared this folk remedy with many others, who also were relieved of their asthmatic symptoms.