Natural Support For The Respiratory System

Do you or someone you know struggle with respiratory system issues? Would you like some effective, natural remedies for respiratory problems that don’t harm your body or cause side effects?

You’ve come to the right place!

A reader named Melissa asked:

I am looking for some help with respiratory issues. My 3 yr old is showing symptoms, including one serious episode. We have not had him diagnosed because I don’t want to use traditional treatments. I watched my little brother go that route a long time ago and would like to avoid it.

So far my treatment regiment has been respiratory essential oils, Geranium (just tried it in a pinch because it has worked for inflammation), a tea for bronchial inflammation, and smelling raw honey. I am looking for other ideas for maintenance/cures while also having a remedy for flair ups. If you have anything in mind I would sure appreciate some help.

Thanks for your blog, I have been following this for a while and appreciate all the time you put in to it.




Hi Melissa,

Thanks for reading and good for you for seeking out a better path for your son! Your questions reminded me about an email I received from my friend a couple years ago. I had asked her what she did to manage her husband and son’s respiratory problems.

She told me about “Barley water” and gave me the recipe and instructions below. She mentions using mullein herb oil, which I also recommend to strengthen the respiratory tract and you can buy it as Dr Christopher’s Respiratory Massage Oil. Christopher also has a Respiratory Syrup, which contains a blend of herbs that strengthen the respiratory system.

My number one remedy for breathing is a respiratory essential oil blend.

It also helps open the respiratory tract fast and helps it work better. I dilute it and rub it all over chest, back, neck and behind ears. I also diffuse it or have my kids inhale it straight out of the bottle.

My number one herb for acute breathing difficulty is lobelia. I use a glycerite or apple cider vinegar based tincture and take 5-6 drops straight in the mouth to relax the throat and bronchioles. It’s been very effective for me and has saved me at least one trip to the ER. I would use it 2-3 times a day until symptoms diminish, and up to every 15 minutes in acute situations.

My healer, Vickie, teaches that many cases of respiratory distress are caused by a small parasite. I’ve never seen scientific evidence of this, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true. I usually tell people, if it were my child, I would give them a parasite cleanse until the bottle was gone. It’s definitely not going to hurt anything, and as a possible cure, I would definitely want to check that off my list. I also recommend decreasing mucus forming foods like processed foods, dairy and other animal products until symptoms are under control.

Natural Remedies by my Good Friend, Kirsten Miller

“Here are a few of my tried and true remedies.  I had others I used when I first started but these are what were effective for the long term.Barley Water1 Gallon distilled water1/4 cup dehulled barley (do not use pearl barley)

Pour one quart of distilled water into a saucepan, add the 1/4 cup of barley.  Simmer on low (but still consistently boiling) for 45 minutes.

When finished pour the water and barley back into the remaining water in the gallon jug.  Shake before every use.  We found that keeping the barley in the water adds extra to the water.

Barley water puts usable calcium in your blood.  It relaxes your broncioles just like your medications are supposed to. Cream of tarter is known to help with acute respiratory issues.  Mixing 1/4 tsp of cream of tarter in one cup of barley water can calm an acute attack.  Of course, I suggest if you want to try this have your inhaler close by.

Never ditch your traditional solutions unless you have proven it for yourself.  Note:  my son will not drink the cream of tarter.  He won’t drink the barley water consistently plain either. I put in a drink mix in or mix up a drink flavor of his choice. Barley water is sold in Europe, they buy it when they are sick (side note, I was watching the movie Mary Poppins the other day and it mentioned in a song that the children did not want a nanny who stunk of barley water 🙂

Barley Water

My husband and son drink 2 glasses of barley water a day to keep their respiratory issues under control, they drink more when they are sick or when allergies cause respiratory discomfort. Barley water is also great for any respiratory problems, including colds and stuffy sinuses.

I use Mullein oil on my son’s chest before he goes to bed.  It seems to relax his lungs and it clears his breathing.  He is also able to make it through the night without waking. People with respiratory issues often wake periodically at night, which indicates a breathing problem.  I don’t worry about it now.

During sickness and allergies (which is when my son is more prone for respiratory issues), I will make a mullein pack for his chest.  I take 1/4 cup of mullein and brew it in a cup of water.  After 10 minutes and it cools to a warm tolerable temperature I soak a washcloth in it and lay it on my son’s chest.  He always falls asleep because his lungs are finally at rest, especially after being worked so hard.

I just picked up a book called Prescription for Nutritional Healing
at the health food store.  It gave a barley water recipe.  It’s as follows:


Barley Water

1 cup Barley
3 quarts steam-distilled water 

Place the barley and the water in a large pot and boil for about 3 hours. 
Cool the broth.  Strain out and discard the barley and serve the broth as desired.

I haven’t tried this one yet, it is definitely more concentrated.  Just thought I would throw it in.”

Thanks for asking, Melissa and thanks to Kirsten for allowing me to publish her ideas!

What have you found to be effective for respiratory problems? Please let us know if you try any of these remedies and how they work!

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor (that would be my husband). This information is for educational purposes only and is meant to help you take more responsibility for your health. If you or someone you are caring for, is having serious trouble breathing, please get immediate professional medical assistance.

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