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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.