Emphysema results from the loss of lung elasticity due to overinflation of the alveolar walls which decreases gas exchange. Constant coughing from trying to dislodge mucus that is blocking swollen bronchi can cause this.
Herbally, treating emphysema is similar to asthma. Pulmonary tonics strengthen the lungs over time. Stimulant expectorant remedies ensure minimum buildup of mucus in the lungs and are necessary because of the lessening tone of the alveoli walls. Antispasmodics ease spasms,as the name suggests, in the lungs. Antimicrobials are needed if there might be a secondary infection. Cardiotonics support the heart when there is lung congestion or strain.
General health and well being are important to not aggravate emphysema. Staying fit helps prevent and speed recovery from this and many other diseases and illnesses. Avoid polluted air, dust, and all fumes.
The three herbs are: bloodroot, hawthorn, and elecampane.
There is also an Asthma mixture that should be added to these herbs. Mix equal parts of the four tinctures together. Take 1 tsp of this mixture 3 times per day.
The Asthma mixture is:
5 parts gumweed
2 parts wild cherry bark
1 part lobelia
1 part licorice
1 part motherwort
1 part ma huang
Elecampane and bloodroot are stimulant expectorants. Hawthorn and motherwort are cardiotonics. Gumweed, wild cherry bark, and ma huang are antispasmodics. Licorice is an expectorant and antispasmodic. Lobelia is a relaxing expectorant; it soothes spasms and loosens mucus.
To make a tincture:
Place 4 oz finely chopped or ground dried herb into a container that can be tightly closed. If fresh herbs used, double the amount.
Pour one pint of 60 proof vodka over the herbs and close tightly.
Keep container in warm, dark place for 2 weeks; shake once a day.
Keep in dark bottle out of direct sunlight.
Tinctures can be taken straight, mixed with water, or added to hot water to evaporate the alcohol.
Information taken from Herbs for Healthy Aging by David Hoffmann, FNIMH, AHG.