Emphysema is a condition involving permanent damage to the architecture of the lungs.

A loss of tissue elasticity and destruction of alveoli (the oxygen exchange centres), means that breathing becomes difficult and oxygen exchange restricted. Poor function means that mucus tends to accumulate and cause fruther difficulties.

Why Me?

  • Emphysema may accompany chronic bronchitis, and is more common in long-term smokers.

What To Do


  • Drink two litres of water daily to thin out mucus.
  • Avoid sugar and all milk products to decrease mucus buildup.
  • Emphysema is a ‘cold’ condition according to traditional Chinese medicine. Warming foods include baked root vegetables, chicken soups, ginger, garlic, cinnamon, cloves, thyme, horseradish, rosemary and sage.

Herbs and Supplements

  • Drinking a herbal tisane containing Siberian ginseng can help reduce the stress and fatigue of a chronic illness.
  • Fenugreek tea will help keep mucus from becoming too sticky: 2 cups daily.
  • Betacarotene: 20 mg daily for general lung health.
  • Coenzyme Q10 will increase oxygenation of lung cells.
  • Vitamin C: 500 mg or more daily to prevent infection.
  • Take lecithin daily to increase lung surfactant. Pulmonary surfactant prevents the alveoli from collapsing.
  • Cod liver oil: two capsules daily.
  • Magnesium: 200 mg daily will reduce muscle spasm.
  • The tissue salt Calc. phos. will strengthen lung tissue and taken with Calc. fluor. will improve elasticity.

Other Steps

  • Don’t even think about smoking. Avoid polluted atmospheres.
  • Ionizers can remove certain pollutants from the atmosphere. Buy one for home and one for work.
  • Try yoga and swimming, as they encourage strong breathing.
  • Retention breathing.
  • Add thyme oil in vaporiser.
  • Postural drainage may help congestion in the lungs (see Cough).
  • Osteopathic treatment or strong massage will help open a constricted chest area, stimulate nerves to the lungs, and improve breathing.

At a glance

Good food
Baked root vegetables, chicken soups, ginger, garlic, cinnamon, cloves, thyme, horseradish, rosemary and sage.
Food to avoid
Milk, sugar.
Remedies to begin
Lecithin, coenzyme Q10, cod liver oil, vitamin C, betacarotene, Calc. phos., Calc. fluor., fenugreek tea.
No smoking, use an ioniser, yoga, swimming.
The lungs are the organs of grief.