Viral and bacterial infections have a way of creeping up on you. Especially during cold and flu season, they seem to spread like wildfire. Taking medication to heal your infection can end up causing unwanted side effects. There are many herbal remedies that can help boost your lung health, provide immune system support and heal those pesky infections.

Here are the 10 best herbs for healthy lungs:

1. Thyme

Thyme produces powerful antiseptic essential oils that are antibiotic and anti-fungal. Consuming thyme tea can help eliminate bacteria and viruses that may be causing your infections.

2. Eucalyptus

The refreshing aroma of eucalyptus helps promote respiratory health while soothing throat irritation. A compound in eucalyptus called cineole can help ease coughs, fight congestion and soothe irritated sinuses.

3. Licorice Root

Licorice has the ability to soften the mucous membranes of the throat, lungs and stomach. It soothes while cleansing any inflamed mucous membranes that need immune support. The antibacterial and antiviral effects of licorice root help fight off bacterial strains in the body that can cause lung infections.

4. Sage

Sage essential oils contain many benefits for respiratory problems. This herbal tea is a well-known treatment for sore throats and coughs. You can also place the tea into a bowl or vaporizer to breathe in the aroma and reap the soothing benefits.

5. Oregano

Oregano contains vitamins and nutrients that strengthen the immune system. It contains carvacrol and rosmarinic acid – compounds that are natural decongestants. Oil of oregano has the ability to fight off dangerous bacteria that causes infections.

6. Peppermint

Both peppermint and peppermint oil contain menthol, a soothing ingredient known to relax the muscles. The menthol in peppermint has the ability to soothe the respiratory tract to promote better breathing. Peppermint also contains antioxidants that help strengthen the immune system and fight off infections.

7. Plantain Leaf

Plantain leaf contains antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. It has a natural ability to soothe irritated mucous membranes and ease lung irritation. Plantain leaf also provides the body with anti-inflammatory benefits.

8. Mullein

The flowers and leaves of the mullein plant can be used to make an herbal extract that helps strengthen the lungs. Mullein has the ability to clear excess mucus from the lungs, cleanse the bronchial tubes and reduce inflammation in the respiratory tract.

9. Elecampane

Elecampane is known as a natural antibacterial agent for the lungs. It helps lessen infection in the body. Use one teaspoon of the herb per cup of boiling water. Drink three times daily to help rid the body of an infection.

10. Osha Root

Osha is an herb that has the ability to increase circulation to the lungs. This makes it easier to take deep breaths when the lungs are irritated. Osha root contains camphor and other compounds that make it one of the best lung-supporting herbs in the country.