Lungs, Skin Issues and Respiration

If a person has skin problems, how many reading this would think of the problem originating in. . . .the lungs.

By the end of this month’s newsletter, you will understand why. The lungs have a broader function from a natural medicine perspective. Aside from the obvious respiratory function, the lungs are considered the “container for qi:” that is, they help create and then collect the energy of the body and disperse the energy throughout. They also help to govern fluids to a degree. When the two aspects are in sync, the lungs will provide moisture to hydrate the system. It is often referred to as “misting” the body. This is essential for healthy skin and hair. If dryness is present in either the skin or hair, the cause or a major contributor will be the lungs. The emotion associated with the lungs is grief or sadness. If one is experiencing these emotions, what are some of the first things they do? Sigh. Breath shallowly. Speak in a soft voice (the voice being another aspect under the control of the lungs).

What can be done to strengthen the lungs? Foods that are pungent and spicy are considered ideal for the lungs. Traditionally, Thai and Mexican cooking styles are ideal. Foods in this category would include:

· Hot peppers

· Onions

· Garlic

· Turnip

· Ginger

· Horseradish

· Radish

· Daikon

In addition, dark green and golden-orange vegetables offer protection for the lungs because of their rich, beta carotene content. Beta carotene protects the surfaces and mucous membranes of the body and aids the immune system. Foods in this group include carrot, winter squash, pumpkin, broccoli, parsley, kale, turnip, watercress and wheat grass. The ideal herb for the lungs is called Astragalus. This is considered the premiere lung tonic as well as an energy tonic and immune system booster. It has also been shown to improve recovery time from chemo and/or radiation therapy. Other useful herbs are Yerba Santa, Mullein and Nettles, all of which are readily available at health stores.

A special word about Astragalus – if one already has an acute lung problem such as the flu or a cold, do not use Astragalus. Metaphorically speaking, taking Astragalus is like wearing armor. It will help keep the unwanted out but also traps things in. So if a person has an acute virus, taking Astragalus will “trap” the virus and actually make it more difficult to rid. Finally, if one has a history of lung problems, be sure to treat the heart in addition.

Supplements such as Cardio Plus or the herb Ginseng (covered in a prior eNewsletter) is a must. The heart provides electricity for lung functioning. That’s all for this post! Remember to forward this to others who can benefit from the content.

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