Each organ of the human body has special tasks to fulfill normal functioning. Any damage or harm to any of the organs can result in death or other severe consequences. The lungs are one such organ in the body that is extremely important for living. They play a key role in the respiration system of the body, allowing the exchange of gases. Lungs transport oxygen to the whole body and remove carbon dioxide and toxins from the body. With such great responsibilities, the health of the lungs must be up to the mark.
With exposure to air pollution, cigarette smoke, irritants, toxins, and certain lung conditions, the lungs can get damaged and their functioning can be affected. Have you ever wondered if you can clean your lungs? This platform allows you to learn about lung detoxification and the different ways by which you can clean your lungs to improve your health.
What is Meant by Lung Detoxification?
Lung detoxification is also known as lung cleansing. It means detoxifying your lungs of toxins and other harmful pollutants. Exposure to air pollutants, irritants, smoke, and lung conditions such as COPD, asthma, emphysema, and cystic fibrosis result in damaging the lungs and affect overall lung health. These conditions cause breathing difficulties, coughing, shortness of breath, and other signs and symptoms. Lung detoxification involves the removal of these toxins to improve the functioning and health of the lungs.
Can You Clean Your Lungs?
Yes, you can clean your lungs. Although lungs are self-cleaning organs, they do not need any help in that matter. However, you can facilitate their cleaning process by adopting certain lifestyle changes and by avoiding exposure to pollution and smoke. There are some different ways by which you can go through the process or in other words improve your lung health. We will be talking about these ways in the next heading.
16 Ways to Help Clean Your Lungs
According to WHO, 4.2 million deaths occur as a result of exposure to air pollution and 1 in every 5 people in the United States die due to cigarette smoking. Lungs are essential organs of the body and they need to be well-maintained and healthy. To make your lung function better, try the following methods to facilitate the cleaning of your lungs.
Do Steam Therapy
Steam therapy is an effective way to open airways and loosen up the mucus. It involves the inhalation of water vapors. During cold weather, mucus membranes get dried up resulting in thickening of the mucus. By inhaling the water vapors or steam, your lungs get the warmth and moisture it needs to loosen up the mucus. Steam therapy provides immediate relief and makes breathing easy. This therapy also helps in soothing the symptoms of sore throat.
Try Controlled Coughing
The natural way to expel toxins trapped in mucus is through coughing. Controlled coughing helps in loosening the mucus and brings it to the airways. People with COPD, chronic bronchitis, and emphysema are advised to practice this exercise of controlled coughing to cleanse their lungs. To perform this exercise, first, sit on a chair and keep your feet on a flat surface. While keeping your arms folded at the stomach, inhale through the nose. Then slowly exhale and lean forward while keeping your arms pushed against the stomach. During exhaling, try coughing 2 or 3 times while keeping your mouth open. Then again inhale through the nose. Try repeating this exercise.
Try Draining Mucus from the Lungs
One method to cleanse your lungs is by draining mucus from the lungs by postural drainage. In this process, different lying positions use gravity to remove the mucus. This process helps in improving breathing and prevents lung infections and diseases. Postural drainage can be done in different positions, either on your back, on your side, or on your stomach.
Exercise is an excellent way to improve your mental as well as physical health. Exercise prevents you from several health conditions and also plays an essential role in keeping your lungs healthy. While exercising, the body works harder than usual which increases the breathing rate and the oxygen supply to the muscles also increases. Similarly, the body actively removes the excess carbon dioxide produced while exercising. Exercise can be difficult for patients with severe breathing problems so they should consult their healthcare professionals before starting their exercise routine.
Use Anti-inflammatory Foods
Inflammation in the lungs can cause breathing difficulties. For this reason, it is important to consume anti-inflammatory foods to keep your lungs healthy and free of inflammation. The common foods that have anti-inflammatory properties are turmeric, leafy greens, cherries, blueberries, olives, walnuts, beans, and lentils.
Have Green Tea
Green tea reduces inflammation in the lungs as it contains antioxidants. These antioxidants protect the lung tissues from any damage caused by smoke inhalation. So, having green tea is an easy and efficient way to cleanse your lungs.
Try Chest Percussion
Chest percussion is another effective method to remove excess mucus from the lungs. In this technique, a healthcare professional dislodges the excess mucus trapped in the lungs by tapping the chest rhythmically with a cupped hand. Postural drainage and chest percussion can be combined to remove excess mucus.
Use an Air Purifier
You can cleanse your lungs by improving the quality of the air you breathe at home. For this purpose, you can use an air purifier in your rooms. These purifiers improve the quality of the air. It filters out the fine particles of air pollution and makes the air clean.
Change House Filters
Change all the filters in your home with cleaner ones. Replace or clean all the vents in your home as well. Whether they are air conditioners or heating vents, make sure to clean them after every few days to prevent yourself from exposure to pollution.
People who smoke, used to smoke, or suffered from a chronic lung disease should try different breathing exercises to improve their lung function. There are different tools such as the spirometer which you can use to practice breathing. Other techniques of breathing exercises include pursed lip breathing and belly breathing.
Avoid Artificial Scents
Artificial scents smell nice but they contain several harmful chemicals that can harm your lungs. Air fresheners, candles, and wax candle warmers all have artificial scents and chemicals. Breathing in these artificial scents for longer periods can affect the health of the lungs. It is better to avoid using them in your homes.
Get Fresh Air
Breathing in fresh and clean air can help your lungs to function properly. Areas with lots of trees and greenery are ideal for getting fresh air. This fresh air expands the tissues in your lungs and improves their overall health. Make sure not to go out in polluted areas, try sticking to cleaner and green areas to get fresh air.
Smoking as we all know plays a major role in ruining the health of the lungs. It speeds up the aging process of the lungs and can even cause lung cancer. There are plenty of harmful chemicals present in cigarettes that can harm your lungs. If you want to clean your lungs then make sure to quit smoking immediately.
To clear mucus easily from the lungs it is necessary to keep yourself hydrated. Drinking plenty of water allows the mucus to get mixed with the water and it makes it easier to remove it. Make sure to stay hydrated to clean your lungs.
Avoid Secondhand Smoke
Even if you do not smoke, inhaling secondhand smoke can affect your lungs and can lead to lung cancer. There are several harmful chemicals present in secondhand smoke including, benzene, chromium, carbon monoxide, arsenic, polonium, formaldehyde, and cyanide. Exposure to all these dangerous chemicals can harm your lungs so avoid secondhand smoke at all costs.
Use of Vitamins
The use of vitamins can also improve the functioning of your lungs. All vitamins are essential to keep your body healthy however, vitamin D plays a major role in maintaining the health of lungs and the overall respiratory system. Consume vitamin D-rich foods such as salmon, sardines, and eggs to keep your lungs healthy and clean.
Lungs are an important part of our bodies. They help us in breathing and are responsible to keep us alive. Keeping your lungs healthy is extremely important. While lungs are self-cleaning organs of the body it is possible to clean them yourselves. There are many cleaning techniques that we mentioned in this article in detail including breathing exercises, chest percussion, steam therapy, etc. which can facilitate the natural cleaning process of the lungs. Lung cleansing is used to remove all the harmful toxins from the body by removing the excess mucus. People who suffer from different lung diseases and conditions can follow these cleaning methods to reduce their symptoms of shortness of breath.
How long does it take to clean your lungs?
It takes two weeks to three months to clean your lungs and for your lung function to go back to normal after the last smoke or any other condition.
Can a smoker’s lungs go back to normal?
You can clean a smoker’s lung and its functioning will definitely be improved, but it takes time. After quitting smoking, it will take one month to improve lung function. In the next nine months, cilia begin to function properly and symptoms of shortness of breath and coughing become less frequent.
Do lungs naturally clean?
Lungs are known to be self-cleaning organs. Once they are no longer exposed to toxins and pollutants, their lungs begin to heal themselves naturally.
How do lungs clean themselves?
Lungs clean themselves by using the mucus present in them. Mucus is present in the small airways of the lungs and helps in cleaning the lungs and keeping them lubricated. Mucus is moved by the cilia present in the lungs. Unwanted toxins get attached to the mucus and go out of the body.
Anna has completed her degree in Pharmacy from the University of Hawaii. She is serving as a research assistant in a pharmaceutical company. She had a great interest in writing blogs, traveling to different parts of the US, and trying delicious recipes in her spare time.