Due to the ever-increasing evidence of the damage smoking tobacco causes, consumers are looking for alternatives. While some quit the habit, others try what they call “lung regeneration herbs” to potentially improve their respiratory health.
You don’t need to stop smoking if it’s something you enjoy and moderation is always key. While plenty of tobacco-free alternatives exist, and even if smoking anything is harmful to your health, some smokable herbs are better for you than smoking tobacco simply by being nicotine-free because they do not create any physical dependence.
Whether you want to grow cannabis THC seeds to see if weed improves your breathing or ease coughing with horehound, we’ve got tips. Read on for the seven best medicinal herbs for your lungs.
White horehound is a unique herb native to the Mediterranean. Over 300 million people worldwide have the cough and wheeze-inducing condition asthma. Some users on internet forums claim the White Horehound plant may help with respiratory issues you experience daily, and may also reduce respiratory inflammation.
Photo from Gardener Path
Some natural medicine practitioners are apparently using the plant to treat asthma, bronchitis, and whooping cough. The herb is also a common ingredient in cough drops and syrups. Other potential benefits of white horehound include its ability to stimulate appetite and work as an analgesic on aches and pains, but no scientific studies have been conducted to confirm those potential benefits, so always be careful on what people try to make you believe. When you swallow the herb, it tastes bitter, so smoking it in a blend is an excellent way to mask the flavor.
Photo by Ruslan Sikunov from Pexels
With light and tasteless smoke, mullein (verbascum thapsus) is one of the most popular herbs you can find in herbal smoking blends. The plant is an expectorant, which means it is supposed to break down respiratory congestion and encourage you to cough more productively, but it is very important to clarify that no scientific study has approached the subject yet.
Also, some unsupported claims say that mullein leaf could also reduce chest tightness and ease spasms—other common symptoms of lung conditions and coughs. The almost non-existent flavor makes it ideal for blending with other herbs for smoking, such as skullcap, mugwort, coltsfoot, marshmallow roots, or even lobelia, and the smoothness of the herb is a bit more gentle on respiratory tissue.
Photo from Healthline
Korean Ginseng is a popular medicinal herb that often gets mixed into a tonic to restore balance in the body. Unverified claims also say it may provide similar benefits when smoked. Some studies suggest Korean Ginseng dilates constricted lung vessels to help you breathe deeply and more effectively, but more in-depth scientific studies needs to be done to confirm any potential health benefits the herb might provide. Finally, other unverified claims approach the fact that this herb might show the most potential for decreasing cancer tissue development in the organ. They also say that Korean Ginseng may also clean adrenal glands and lower symptoms of physical stress.
This is probably the best know smokable herb and is growing in popularity as it becomes legal across the US states and Canada. Cannabis boasts a plethora of potential benefits for the health and/or mind depending on the compounds evaluated, whether it's CBD or THC.
However, we need to reiterate that smoking anything is harmful to your health and cannabis products can be found in many other different forms that are less dangerous for humans, such as oils, edibles and topicals. Consumers often mix weed with tobacco, also called a spliff, but most users prefer to consume this infamous smokable plant on it's own.
If you are interested in smoking cannabis, we actually recommend trying it with herbal smoking blends as it is better for your health than mixing it with tobacco.
Research on cannabis has significantly evolved in the last 20 years and the claimed benefits have an incredible range, with new discoveries being made daily. Some potential health benefits of cannabis include its ability to combat pain, inflammation, and anxiety.
However, you still need to be careful regarding those claims, as the herb also provides a bunch of risks for your health when smoked due to the combustion process.
Unverified claims about potential health benefits of different herbs are everywhere on the internet, so you should always consult a health practitioner before using anything. The two primary compounds in weed are THC and CBD—you can find strains high in either cannabinoid. Choose THC if you want to experience the psychoactive effects. Alternatively, high CBD marijuana produces all the beneficial sensations without getting you the “stoned” feeling.
All those cannabis products can be found at your local dispensary if it's legal in your Province or State, like this amazing Toronto Dispensary.
Next on our list of potential herbs for lung health through smoking appears in the Bible as a cleanse and purge medicine. Hyssop has apparently been used for centuries and might be another expectorant that may alleviate emphysema and purify the lungs, but those claims are still unofficial as we were not able to find rigorous data.
Some users accustomed to smoking Hyssop say that if you experience a build-up of mucous in the respiratory tract, or just in the sinus, hyssop could soothe any soreness. As a medicine, the herb may also alleviate anxiety and help you focus. Yet some more in-depth studies need to be done before we can claim that all those benefits are actually real.
This delicious-smelling herb is known for its refreshing nature.The menthol compound found in most varieties of mint is renowned to open your airways and helps clear your lungs, allowing you to breathe easier (think Vick's solutions!). However, the herb is also an excellent flavor to incorporate to any herbal blend, like in our Julep Blend, for a refreshing and tasty smoking experience.
Other unverified claims also say that mint may help blood circulation throughout your body and keep you calm—perfect to combat nicotine cravings. The flavorful herb comes in various forms, with some of the best smokable options being:
- Chocolate mint
- Orange mint
As it is used in pretty much every spa on the planet, we all think that eucalyptus might have some health benefits, or if it doesn’t, at least it just smells good. This expectorant herb is a regular on cold medicine ingredient lists. Eucalyptus is supposed to help open blocked airways and is often prescribed for asthma and bronchitis in topical gels or creams.
On the same note, apparently it may also help reverse lung function decline due to its anti-inflammatory effect.
Additional benefits recognized in naturopathy include a boosted relaxation feeling as well.
HOW TO MAKE A GREAT HERBAL BLEND FOR SMOKING
Mixing different herbs together leverages the advantages and weaknesses of each. For the perfect blend, consider the three components your smokable needs:
- The base herbs
- The beneficial herbs
- The flavoring herbs
Of the options above, mullein makes an excellent base. The flavor is discreet, and the smoke is smoother. Rub the leaves in your hands to boost fluffiness—this helps carry the other ingredients. Next, add a mix of any herbs above to enjoy their potential benefits. Pick those that address certain conditions if needed, like white horehound for asthma or hyssop for emphysema. Finally, add some herbs to boost the flavor. Any type of mint ensures a delectable taste. Other popular options include lavender or licorice. Combine all your ingredients in a bowl and fluff them together. Ensure everything is evenly mixed and your herbal blend for the lungs is ready to puff using your favorite rolling papers or bong.
ENJOY THE BENEFITS OF A MEDICINAL SMOKABLE BLEND
These herbs are ideal if you’re trying to quit smoking or help calm a respiratory condition. Mix your top picks to create the perfect taste and effects you hope to enjoy. A last little disclaimer, if you have any pulmonary condition, or experience any dry cough or respiratory system problem, please consult a health care professional before using any herbal remedies and do not try smoking unless explicitly required by your doctor.
You can also do research by yourself and find peer-reviewed and FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved studies in the U.S. or any other relevant entity in your native country, to help find answers well supported.
Your immune system is important and you need to be careful of what you put in your body. A lot of studies still need to be conducted for every of those herbs, keep that in mind. Want to experience the best of Mother Nature for yourself? Buy some seeds and grow herbs at home. You can also go through our selection of herbal smoking blends already mixed for you right here and mix them with your garden delights for the ultimate medicinal fusion.
Cortney Bennett, a pharmacist atI49 Seed Bank, with 5+ years in the pharmacy field regarding cannabis. Cortney constantly upgrades her knowledge and skills in the weed industry. She has learned the characteristics of the different marijuana types and their effects on the human body in detail. Her constant thirst for knowledge allows her to stay up to date with all the latest research and discoveries in the cannabis field.
*This article is not to be interpreted as a statement of any form by Spliff but merely a compendium of information compiled from other sources. These statements have not been evaluated by Health Canada, FDA or any other regulatory body. Consult your doctor before ingesting or smoking any herbal product.*