It goes without saying that the lungs are a very important organ. Without them, you couldn’t breathe, and without breath, you cease to exist. They’re a part of the respiratory system, working with other organs and tissues to help you breathe, and every single cell in the body needs oxygen to live.

The lungs are what move oxygen into the bloodstream where it’s carried throughout the body when you inhale. When you exhale, the waste, in the form of carbon dioxide, is removed. But the lungs are tasked with a whole lot more than that, in fact, they make up a significant part of the immune system. Microbes and pollutants that can lead to infections are captured by mucus and moved upward by tiny cilia so that we can cough it out. Sneezing is yet another way lungs help us to get rid of infection or pollution, and often before the invaders are able to make it past the sinuses.

When the lungs aren’t functioning properly, your health suffers, which means you shouldn’t take them for granted. In order to maintain your good health, it’s a must to do everything you can to support the health of your lungs as well, which includes keeping them naturally cleansed and purified.

1. Deep Breathing Exercises

Practicing deep breathing exercises helps to strengthen your lungs, just like a workout in the gym helps to keep your body fit. It’s one of the most simple things you can do, but also one of the most beneficial.

Deep breathing is simply slowly inhaling while consciously expanding the belly. You allow your ribs to expand followed by your upper chest. Once you’ve taken a full inhale, you’ll exhale as completely as you possibly can by allowing your chest to fall, and then contracting your ribs. The last step is to bring your stomach muscles in and up by lifting the diaphragm and expelling the last breath of air. Repeat this five to 10 times, with the goal to practice once or twice every day.

2. Eliminate Household Toxins

The average household has been estimated to contain about 62 toxic chemicals, which includes chemicals that are part of cleansers, detergents, bleaches, things like chemically-scented air fresheners, as well as a wide range of cosmetics and personal care products. These toxins are all harmful to your lungs, and your overall health. Your first step is to look for chemical-free alternatives to eliminate as many as you can. There are lots of effective options that can easily be made right at home – do a quick Google search and you’ll find practically an endless number of recipes that use natural, chemical-free ingredients. There are also plenty of chemical-free substitutes available at health food stores, markets and online. We’ve compiled a list of our favorite natural cleaning products here.

3. Improve Your Indoor Air by Adding Plants

You also might want to consider investing in an air purifier to remove allergens and other irritants from the air in your home in addition to indoor plants. Plants not only bring life to any living space, many can help remove toxins as well, like these.

Peace Lily. This beautiful flower is a wonderful low-maintenance plant that does well in shade and cooler temperatures, in addition to reducing the levels of a number of toxins in the air.

Devil’s Ivy. This plant is a bit oddly named, as it’s more of an angel than a devil, due to its ability to make the air in your home more breathable, including battling a number of different toxic substances that you could be breathing in your indoor air.

English Ivy. English ivy is a species of flowering plant that’s been proven to reduce airborne mold by 94% – a significant benefit for those who suffer from allergies or lung irritation.

Bamboo Palm. This plant is an excellent formaldehyde remover, something that’s found in many carpets.

Snake Plant. The snake plant is not only good for those who have trouble keeping plants alive as it’s nearly impossible to kill, it’s been proven to be extremely effective in treating headaches, eye irritation, and respiratory problems, in addition to boosting energy levels during the day.

Spider plant. Spider plants are also great for people who have a difficult time with plants as they’re among the easiest to grow. They’re also known to remove hazardous compounds like xylene and formaldehyde.

Eucalyptus. Australian Aborigines have long used the leaves of the eucalyptus tree to create infusions that when inhaled, help to ease congestion, colds and fever, thanks to a compound known as cineole. The leaves of the eucalyptus plant are filled with compounds that can raise healthy fluids in the body’s air passages, and breathing in the scent of a eucalyptus plant can help to ease congestion problems and even ward off a cold

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