By supplying oxygen, our respiratory system enables us to produce energy. If this system's efficiency begins to diminish, energy stored in the body is released at a slower rate.
The lungs are the center of the respiratory system and the nose, throat, and trachea (windpipe) comprise the respiratory tract. Breathing is usually automatic, and is regulated in the medulla oblongata of the brain.
The lungs are paired organs which resemble an inverted tree. The bronchi, which are airways to each lung, divide into smaller and smaller airways called bronchioles. Each bronchiole ends in a cluster of tiny air sacs called alveoli. It is estimated that there are more than 300 million alveoli in the lungs. This is where the vital gas exchange takes place.
Respiration isn?t simply breathing. The term also describes all the processes associated with the release of energy in the body. The blood carries food and oxygen to the cells so they can produce energy for their needs. The simplified process is: food + oxygen = carbon dioxide + water + energy.
Oxygen is needed in the cells to break carbohydrates and fats into energy. Carbon dioxide is a byproduct of metabolism in the cells, but while it is a waste product in man and animals, carbon dioxide is necessary for plant respiration. Plants release oxygen, their waste product, and the cycle of mutual benefits between plant and man is repeated continuously.
Gas exchange occurs in the lungs. The right side of the heart pumps blood with a high concentration of carbon dioxide into the lungs. The carbon dioxide is replaced with oxygen. The blood changes from a dark red to a bright red color, indicating hemoglobin has picked up the oxygen. The oxygen-enriched blood is pumped through the left side of the heart and then circulated throughout the body.
The carbon dioxide is then exhaled. The respiratory system is sensitive to the amount of carbon dioxide in the blood. If this amount rises, the breathing response will increase so that more oxygen is available for energy metabolism.
We all begin life with a pair of bright, healthy pink lungs But an adult with a smoking habit or one who lives in a city has dull, pink-gray lungs with black patches.
The respiratory tract is especially vulnerable to particles floating in the air. Professor Julius Comroe of the University of California estimates that city dwellers ingest 20 trillion particles of foreign matter a day.
The respiratory system has several ways of dealing with these particles. For example, the cough and the sneeze reflexes keep the passage ways of the lungs clear of foreign matter. Cilia, the hairs in the nose, trap irritants, contaminants, bacteria, viruses, fungi, vehicle exhaust, and other materials. But not all particles are trapped here.
Fortunately, there are also cells in the respiratory tract specially designed to engulf and rid the body of foreign particles. These particles irritate the tissues, causing them to swell and produce extra mucus. The respiratory tract lining feels uncomfortable and sore. Swelling and mucus eventually obstruct the passages. If particles are trapped further down in the tract, bronchitis and asthma may result.
Since oxygen is so vital to the energy needs of the body, it is essential that we maintain healthy lungs by breathing unpolluted air as much as possible and by supplying the body in general with good nutrition.
|Only 2 to 3 percent of the total energy expended by the body is required for normal, quiet respiration. But during heavy exercise that need increases as much as 25 times. In normal breathing, 8,000 milliliters (or 15 pints) of air are circulated through the lungs each minute.|
With so much pollution in- and out-of-doors, ALJ? Formula is an herbal combination that assists the body's self-cleansing mechanisms.
ALJ contains the following herbs that have historically been used to nutritionally support the respiratory system: fenugreek seed, fennel seed, mullein leaf, boneset herb, and horseradish root.
The major effects of the fenugreek and mullein are due to their high content of mucilage and mild saponins.
Fennel has been noted by herbalists as a nutritional aid for helping digestion and for cleansing the urinary and respiratory systems.
Breathe EZ (formerly AL-C?)
contains citrus peel, pinellia rhizome, ma huang herb, fritillaria bulb,
bamboo sap, bupleurum root, hoelen plant, platycodon root, xingren, moms
root bark, magnolia bark, tussilago flowers, ophiopogon root, schizandra
fruit, ginger rhizome, and licorice root.
Stock No. 1866-3 (100)
Four? is a combination
of herbs that perform basically the same functions as other respiratory
system formulas. Some people enjoy this variation because of their own
unique physiology. It contains blessed thistle herb, yerba santa herb,
scullcap herb, and pleurisy root.
Stock No. 892-5 (100)
LH? (Lung Health) is a Nature's
Sunshine standby for those feeling a need to concentrate on the
respiratory system. Included in the formula are marshmallow root, Chinese
ephedra herb, mullein leaves, passion flower, catnip herb, senega root,
and slippery elm bark.
Stock No. 1000-4 (100)
Lung Support (Formerly LH-C?) has
some remarkable properties that affect several nutritional needs
simultaneously to help re-tone the whole body while supporting the
respiratory system. It contains astragalus root, aster root, qinjiao root,
platycodon root, lycium bark, ophiopogon root, dang gui root, Panax
ginseng root, anemarrhena root, bupleurum root, blue citrus peel,
schizandra fruit, atractylodes rhizome, citrus peel, pinellia rhizome, and
Stock No. 1887-6 (100)
Sinus Support (Formerly SN-X?) is
for those who really want to get serious about their entire respiratory
system. It contains Chinese ephedra herb, senega root, golden seal root,
capsicum fruit, parsley herb, chaparral herb, marshmallow root, and
Stock No. 1246-7 (100)
Tei Fu Essential Oils? is based
on an ancient formula dating back more than 1,000 years to the Tong
Dynasty. This formula contains the aromatic oils of wintergreen, menthol,
and camphor, plus others for flavoring, in a base of safflower oil.
Aromatic oils have always been valued by herbalists.
Stock No.1618-7 (5 ml.)
was brought to fame in the U.S. by Samuel Thomson, famous herbalist of
the 1800s whose Thomsonian herbal system was used by thousands.
Lobelia Essence is a natural and pure extract of the finest lobelia
available. The extract contains 44 to 47 percent alcohol, glycerin,
and apple cider vinegar. It can be added to baths and external
Marshmallow is not what you roast on a stick, but the
roastable puffs began with this herb. It contains an abundance of
mucilage, an indigestible but cleansing fiber. Its properties draw out and
absorb moisture from damp surfaces. It is very protective and soothing,
and has nutritional value for both the respiratory and digestive systems.
Stock No. 440-0 (100)
Mullein has been used for
centuries by herbalists as a nutritional support to the normal functions
of a healthy respiratory system. It contains a high content of mucilage
and mild saponins. This herb also has the crossover benefit of
nutritionally supporting the immune system, which oversees the well-being
of the respiratory system.
Stock No. 460-7 (100)
Nature's Chi? is an herbal
product based on the Chinese concept of enhancing the fire. Herbal
ingredients are ma huang herb, dong quai root, ho shou wu root, and
Siberian ginseng root.
Stock No. 842-4 (100)
Allergy is for the temporary
relief of common allergic symptoms including running nose, watery eyes and
itching associated with hayfever, certain foods, poison ivy, and insect
Stock No. 8714-3 (1 fl. oz.)
Mold/Yeast/Dust (Allergy) is for
the temporary relief of minor symptoms of congestion, headaches, sore
throat, watery eyes, sneezing, and itching related to dust, mold, and
Stock No. 8920-8 (1 fl. oz.)
Hayfever/Pollen (Allergy) is for
the temporary relief of minor symptoms of running nose; sneezing, itchy
watery eyes, respiratory congestion, and hay fever due to pollen
Stock No. 8925-0 (1 fl. oz.)
Detoxification is for the
temporary relief of minor symptoms of headache, vomiting, nausea, achiness,
and joint discomfort associated with exposure to mercury, arsenic, and
other pollutants and toxicants.
Stock No. 8940-3 (1 fl. oz.)