When you come down with a cough, a cold, or stuffy sinuses, your go-to might be the bottle of cold medicine in your cabinet. But nature has provided us with natural cold and cough remedies that can help boost immunity, fight infection, and promote healthy lungs. Wouldn’t you rather repair lung damage caused by infections instead of just masking the symptoms?

So next time you wake up feeling a little stuffy, try a powerful herb instead!

Here are nine plants and herbs that help repair lung damage:

1. Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus is often an ingredient in cough lozenges and cough syrups. It contains a compound called cineole that works to ease cough, fight congestion and soothe irritated sinus passages. Eucalyptus also contains antioxidants that support the immune system during an illness. (1)

eucalyptus repair lung damage

2. Licorice Root

Licorice has a soothing effect on the body. It softens the mucous membranes in the throat, lungs and stomach. It also works to cleanse any inflamed mucous membrane that needs the support of the immune system. Licorice root can naturally reduce irritation in the throat while helping the body expel mucous. (2)

3. Osha Root

Osha is native to the Rocky Mountain area of North America. The roots of the plant contain camphor and other compounds that provide some of the best lung support that an herb can offer. Osha root helps increase circulation to the lungs, making it easier to take deep breaths. (3)

4. Thyme

This common herb can be used to fight chest congestion, thanks to its powerful antiseptic essential oils. Thyme oil is a natural antibiotic and anti-fungal. Drinking thyme tea can also help cleanse bacteria and viruses from the body to fight your infection. (4)

thyme repair lung damage

5. Oregano

Oregano contains vitamins and nutrients that support a healthy immune system. It also contains carvacrol and rosmarinic acid, compounds that work as natural decongestant and histamine reducers. Oregano has a direct, positive effect on the respiratory tract and airflow through the nasal passage. (5)

6. Mullein

Mullein can be used as a natural remedy to clear excess mucus from the lungs. Both the flowers and leaves of the mullein plant are used to make a powerful herbal extract. It has the ability to cleanse the bronchial tubes and reduce inflammation in the respiratory tract. This is extremely helpful for asthmatics, who suffer from a sensitive respiratory system already.

7. Peppermint

The menthol in peppermint allows this herb to soothe the muscles of the respiratory tract and promote easier breathing. Peppermint works great as a natural decongestant. It also contains antioxidants that help the body fight off illness.

peppermint repair lung damage

8. Sage

Sage essential oils and sage tea can be used to treat lung problems and respiratory illnesses. This herb has rich aromatic properties that can help soothe lung disorders and clear the sinuses when inhaled.

9. Plantain Leaf

Plantain leaf contains antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. It also works as an anti-inflammatory. Studies have shown that plantain leaf can help relieve a dry cough by promoting mucus production in the lungs. It works as a natural remedy against cough, cold and lung irritation.

Of course, it would be better to beat the cold before you get it, but if a cold comes knocking, watch the below video for some quick tips and repair lung damage.