Medical Herbalism: Clinical Articles and Case Studies

Search entire site by keyword(s)
Free electronic MH newsletter
Information on Distance Learning in Herbalism
Back to articles index page
Back to

Respiratory - Bronchitis recipes and formulae

by Jill Stansbury

Medical Herbalism: 09-30-93 5(3): 7-8

For acute bronchitis, antimicrobials are always indicated. Expectorants are sometimes indicated depending on the productivity of the cough. When expectoration is needed, use demulcents and stimulating expectorants. When expectoration is already occurring, use simple demulcents. Bronchitis is often accompanied by a cough. Coughs are generally useful to loosen secretions and facilitate their removal and should not be suppressed. However, sometimes coughs can become very irritating and persistent, occurring in annoying and exhausting fits and interfering with sleep debilitating the patient. In these cases, antitussives are in order. Similarly, mucous production is not the disease, but rather the body’s healing mechanism aiding the removal of wastes and toxic accumulations and does not need to be suppressed. However, the mucous production can be overabundant at times, making it very difficult and debilitating to continue expectorating copious amounts of phlegm day after day. When the amount of expectoration is more than is reasonable or useful, drying botanical agents may be in order.


echinacea Echinacea angustifolia

thyme Thymus vulgaris

usnea     Usnea barbara, hirta

eucalyptus     Eucalyptus globulus

garlic Allium sativum

osha Ligusticum porteri

lomatium     Lomatium dissectum

myrrh Commiphora molmo

Stimulating expectorants for bronchitis

pleurisy root     Asclepias tuberosa

elecampane     Inula helenium

bloodroot     Sanguinaria Canadensis

horehound     Marrubium vulgar

equebracho     Aspidosperma quebracho

osha     Ligusticum porteri
Copyright 2001 Paul Bergner    350


    Medical Herbalism: Clinical Articles and Case Studies    

wild cherry bark     Prunus serotina

Lungwort         Sticta pulmonaria

Gumweed     Grindelia spp.

yerba santa     Eriodictyon californicu

Antitussives for problematic coughs

mullein         Verbascum thapsus

coltsfoot         Tussilago farfara

Comfrey         Symphytum officinalis

Lungwort         Sticta pulmonaria

wild cherry bark     Prunus serotina

lobelia         Lobelia inflata

skunk cabbage         Symplocarpus foetid

Drying botanical agents for over-copious mucous production

Equal parts

hyssop         Hyssopus vulgare

Sage              Salvia officianale

Thyme         Thymus vulgar

Chronic bornchitis formulae from William Mitchell, N.D.

1 part lobelia         Lobelia inflata

1 part lungwort          Sticta pulmonaria

2 parts horehound     Marrubium vulgare

Acute bronchitis formula

2 part lobelia         Lobelia inflata

1 part gumweed         Grindelia spp.

2 parts bloodroot         Sanguinaria canadensis

2 parts horehound     Marrubium vulgare
Copyright 2001 Paul Bergner    351


    Medical Herbalism: Clinical Articles and Case Studies

Bronchitis formula from Linda Showler, N.D.

Simmer 1 oz of Marrubium vulgare (Horehound) in 1 pint of water for 20 minutes. Strain and continue simmering down to 1 cup. Add 2 cups of honey and stir over low heat. Remove from heat, skim froth, and add 1 oz Ulmus fulva (slippery elm) powder, 1/2 cup brandy, the juice of 1 lime, and 2 tbl Ligusticum porteri (osha).

SIG: Take by the tablespoon several times a day, up to every few hours.

Cough Syrup recipes

Onion cough Syrup

Chop 5 or 6 white onions and place in a double boiler. Add 1/2 cup of honey and the juice of 1 lemon and cook slowly for several hours. Strain the mixture and take by the tablespoon from every 1/2 hour to every few hours as needed.

Basic respiratory syrup

For inflammed and irritated respiratory passages, infections, asthma, bronchitis, colds. Simmer 4 oz fresh Zingiber (ginger) root and 2 oz Glycyrrhiza (licorice) in 4 pints of water over low heat until the mixture has been reduced to 3 pints. Filter and add 2 oz each Ephedra sinica and Lomatium dissectum and let steep covered for 15 minutes. Strain again and add 3 cups of honey and 1/2 c each lobelia vinegar and Asclepias (pleurisy root) tincture, and the juice of one lemon. Skim any froth that forms on the top and add 1 dram each anise and thyme essential oils when cool. Adults may use 1 tbl 5 or 6 times a day, children 1 tsp. May use hourly for acute respiratory problems.
Copyright 2001 Paul Bergner    352