Anatomy of a Lung
The lungs are part of the respiratory system and help the body take in oxygen and
release carbon dioxide and other gaseous waste. Lungs are comprised of about 90%
space for air and 10% tissue. They are divided into two parts, with the right lung
having three lobes and the left lung having two lobes, the left being slightly smaller
than the right. These lobes house the smaller components of the lungs in order to
make room for the heart.
The lungs are situated within the upper chest, behind the ribs and sternum. The
lungs are covered and protected with a thin membrane, called the pleuraa fluid
cushioning system, which also helps to keep the lungs separated from the chest
cavity. The trachea divides into the left and right bronchus at the carina. The
mediastinum is the space between the lungs, in the middle portion of the upper chest
(thorax). The lymph nodes are located within and around the lungs and mediastinum.
The process of breathing starts with the airway. Once breath enters the body through
the nose and mouth, the air goes through the trachea and enters into the bronchi.
The bronchi are two tubes that carry air into the lungs. The larger bronchi break
down into smaller branches, called bronchioles. At the end of the bronchioles are tiny
air sacs call alveoli, which absorb oxygen from the air.
Lung function normally peaks in the late teens and early twenties. After the early
twenties, lung function declines about 1% a year over the rest of a person's lifetime.
Lung function decreases about 2% a year for people who smoke. The major
functions of the lung include:
- Respiration which is the process of oxygen, from incoming air, entering the
blood and carbon dioxide, a waste gas from the metabolism of food leaving
- Altering the pH of blood by facilitating alterations in the partial pressure of carbon dioxide.
- Filter out small blood clots formed in veins.
- Filter out gas micro-bubbles occurring in the venous blood stream.
- Convert angiotensin I to angiotensin II by the action of angiotensin-converting enzyme.
- Serves as a layer of soft, shock-absorbent protection for the heart.
- Secrets Immunoglobulin-A, which protects against respiratory infections.
- Maintains sterility by producing mucus containing antimicrobial compounds.
Problems of the Lung
Problems associated with lungs are:
Asthma is a chronic lung disease characterised by inflammation of the
bronchi and bronchioles and episodes (attacks) of airway obstruction. Episodes may
be triggered by exercise, cigarette smoke and other particles in the air such as dust,
mould, allergens, cold air etc. During an attack, mucus secretion can further inhibit
the flow of air; making breathing difficult and causing the affected person to wheeze.
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD):
This term is used for both
emphysema and chronic bronchitis. With chronic bronchitis, the bronchial tubes
become inflamed and scarred. With emphysema, the air sacs in the lungs are slowly
destroyed. With both disorders, patients experience increasing difficulty in exhaling
and getting a sufficient oxygen supply.
- Pulmonary fibrosis:
It is characterised by damage and scarring to the tissues
between the air sacs, inflammation of the air sacs and stiffening of the lungs.
Infections: Infections can occur primarily in the lungs, may affect the entire body,
including the lungs or may develop in the pleura, which are the membranes
surrounding the lungs. They may be acute or chronic and may be caused by
bacteria, viruses and more rarely fungi. Some commonly occurring infections include
pneumonia, influenza and tuberculosis.
- Lung cancer:
Uncontrolled growth of malignant cells in the lungs causes cancer.
There are two main types, small cell and non-small cell lung cancers. Other cancers
may also spread to the lungs. Smoking is a leading cause of lung cancer.
Stale air in the lungs: It is a common problem that afflicts almost everyone. The air
that is taken in and then expelled out is not the entire capacity of the lungs. There
will always be a certain quantity of stale air, about 20% of the old stale air that is
blocked inside the lungs. It does not get an opportunity for replacement by fresh air.
Smoking is major cause of concern for lung health. Almost 80 to 90% of the deaths
associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are due to smoking. Also,
smoking deceases the functioning of lung by 2% per year post teen years compared
to a normal of one percent.
Other causes includes repeated exposure to inorganic substances such as asbestos,
coal, beryllium and silica or organic, such as mouldy hay, animal droppings and grain
dust, chemicals and drugs that is toxic to the lungs and Radiation treatment and
Auto-immune disorders etc.
Sometimes the problem is the inability of the lung to remove or detoxify foreign
substances – possibly because of an underlying deficiency or the amount of these
substances has overwhelmed the lungs’ defence systems.
- Chronic cough: A cough that you have had for a month or longer is considered
- Shortness of breath: It's not normal to experience shortness of breath that doesn't
go away after exercising or that you have after little or no exertion.
Chronic mucus production: Mucus, also called sputum or phlegm, is produced by
the airways as a defense against infections or irritants. If mucus production has
lasted a month or longer, this could indicate lung disease.
- Wheezing: Noisy breathing or wheezing is a sign that something unusual is blocking
your lungs' airways or making them too narrow.
- Coughing up blood: If you are coughing up blood, it may be coming from your
lungs or upper respiratory tract. Wherever it's coming from, it signals a health
- Chronic chest pain: Unexplained chest pain that lasts for a month or more,
especially if it gets worse when you breathe in or cough, also is a warning sign.
Remove all dairy products from your diet. Dairy products can impede the digestion
process making detoxification slow and difficult. Drink one cup of herbal laxative tea
before you go to bed in the evening before you begin your lung cleanse. This will
help remove toxins in your intestines. I propose few Lung Cleanses consisting of
exercise and diet, which will surely benefit everybody. Before that, ?
To help avoid respiratory problems, cleansing the lungs using natural remedies is
Five-day Special Lung Cleanse
Following this five-day cleansing program is effective in keeping the lungs function
Ingredients (for a day’s cleanse)
- Two medium sized lemons
- Grapefruit sufficient enough to make 300 ml of juice
- Cranberry, quantity as above
- Carrot, quantity as above
- Noni juice 60 ml (300 ml for five days)
- Rose, ginger and peppermint powder (for five days)
- Squeeze two lemons into 250 ml of water and drink it before your first meal of the day, i.e., your breakfast.
- Drink a 300 ml glass of grapefruit juice with breakfast. Grapefruit juice
contains natural antioxidants that promote a healthy respiratory system.
- Drink a 300 ml glass of carrot juice between breakfast and your second meal.
Carrot juice helps alkalise your blood and is high in beta-carotene.
- Mix 60 ml of Noni juice with 250 ml of spring water. Noni juice can be
purchased from health-food stores. Noni juice is extracted from the Noni tree,
which grows in Southeast Asia. It is extremely high in potassium and aids in
repairing damaged tissue.
- Drink one cup of mucus-cleansing tea before dinner. Mucus-cleansing tea,
i.e., made up of rose hips, ginger and peppermint, which are all strong fighters
against congestion and mucus build-up.
- Drink 300 ml of pure cranberry juice before bed. Cranberry juice is a powerful
antioxidant and will aid in fighting bacteria in the lungs. Cranberries also aid in
cleansing the blood.
Cleanse with Watercress
It consists of use and making of simple and delicious soup which efficiently cleanses
the lungs of toxins. It is recommended to consume this soup twice a month.
- 1 kg of watercress (flowers and stems)
- 2 cups of dates
- 4 cups of water
Put all ingredients in a pot or cooker, bring it to a boil, remove any scum that is
floating at the top, bring down the heat to low and simmer the soup for one hour.
It is important to use the large quantity of watercress and to simmer the soup for one
hour, so that the strong cooling properties of watercress are removed. The soup
becomes very nutritious with the potency to detoxify our lungs. This soup is very
tasty and can be served with hot white rice and other dishes.
If you want to use lesser amount of watercress, boil it in some chicken stock, bring to
a boil, season to taste and the soup is ready for you. This soup will be very cooling to
your body and will be very suitable when your body is hot with symptoms of sore
gums, sore throat, headaches and flu etc.
Castor Oil Pack for Lung Cleanse
Castor oil packs are easy to make and work great for drawing toxins out of the body.
Castor oil has long been appreciated as a general health tonic and is believed to
stimulate lymphatic circulation and waste elimination. Castor oil packs are placed on
the chest, perhaps similar to vapour rubs and are thought to break up congestion
For lung cleansing, you can make use of a homemade castor oil pack. Soak 2-3
pieces of wool flannel in one cup of warm castor oil.
- Lie down on a large plastic sheet.
- Put the soaked wool flannels over your chest and sides, covering the lung areas.
- Cover the flannels with a large plastic sheet.
- Put a heating pad over the plastic sheet for 1 - 2 hours.
- Finally, remove the packs and rinse your body off with warm water to get rid of the oil residue.
- Repeat two times a week for at least a month.
Before and during the Lung Cleanse
- Do a mucus cleanse at least once a day or as needed. Place five to 10 drops
of eucalyptus oil into two quarts of simmering water. Drape a dry hand towel
over the back of your head and slowly inhale the steam until the water cools.
The oil's properties in the steam will help loosen mucus. Also doing Jal Neti
using a Neti pot will cleanse the sinuses and rid your lungs of unwanted
mucus (to learn more about Neti, read Nose Cleanse).
- Enjoy a 20-minute sauna at least once a day during your lung cleanse. A
sauna will help open your pores, allowing toxins to leave the body through
perspiration. If you don't have access to a sauna, sit in a hot bath.
- Take a brisk walk at least once every day for 30 minutes. Maintain a rhythm,
inhaling deeply and exhaling slowly without becoming dizzy.
Here is a good breathing exercise which really cleanses your lungs thoroughly and
jumpstarts your day when you do this a few times (five or more) in the morning,
when the air is clean and fresh, it will provide you with a great start to the day.
- Take a standing position. Be relaxed. Keep your arms at your sides and your
feet slightly apart.
- Take a few deep breaths and exhale through the nose.
- Now breathe in through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth until
you cannot exhale anymore. Do not stop, because there is still air remaining
in your lungs.
- Some of the air remains in the lungs and is not replaced as we breathe. Now,
force your diaphragm to exhale all the air from your lungs with wheezing.
Several times exhale through the mouth with a “ha.....ha.....ha....” until you
feel there is no more air in the lungs. At this point you will feel you have pulled
in your belly toward the spine.
- Through the nose, slowly inhale fresh, clean air in your empty lungs. Fill your
lungs with air completely and then hold your breath for five seconds, counting
them slowly. At this point, the oxygen has filled your lungs.
- Again exhale through your mouth until there is no air left in your lungs and
repeat the step 4 to expel the stale air out of the lungs.
- Repeat the whole procedure as many times as you like. Besides purifying the
lungs, this exercise has another benefit: your stomach will eventually become
strong and straight; skin will look radiant and shiny.
Lung friendly Foods
Like all other types of detoxification, lung cleansing includes dietary changes. Lung
cleanse regime requires consumption of more water, fruits and vegetables.
Plain water is the best means of cleansing. Proper hydration is a key to health. It
speeds up the process of detoxification.
Chilli helps to break down excess mucus in the lungs and the body in general by
irritating the tissues, helping our body to eliminate them more easily .
It prevents many diseases, including cancer and lung infections and helps break
down mucus and expel toxins from the body.
It is a powerful tool for detoxification of the lungs and you can use it in many ways.
With every meal, eat a small piece of ginger. This will improve your digestion and will
contribute to the process of cleansing the body. Ginger root tea mixed with lemon
facilitates breathing and promotes the elimination of toxins from the respiratory tract.
You can also take a warm bath with powdered ginger. The bath should last at least
twenty minutes. The steam you inhale goes directly into the airways and eases the
process of purifying the lungs.
- Mullein (Verbascum Thapsus):
Tea made from mullein brings relief to people whose lungs are clogged with toxins
and tar, which is a common condition found in smokers. Be careful to appropriately
strain the tea as tiny hairs on the leaves of mullein can have an irritating effect if you
- Relief from Allergies and asthma, harmful organisms
- Relief from upper respiratory problems
- Relief from chest congestion
- Relief in difficulty in breathing and irritated nasal or throat passages