If you’re feeling some of the side effects of long-term smoking–such as chronic smoker’s cough, difficulty breathing deeply, and shortness of breath–then it may be time to detox your lungs. The tar that accumulates on a smoker’s lungs can interfere with her lungs’ ability to function properly and heal themselves. However, once you stop smoking, your lungs will regain their ability to heal and cleanse themselves in a short period of time.

Things You'll Need

How to Detox the Lungs

Clear your house of dust and second hand smoke residue, which can hang around long after you’ve quit smoking. Dust the entire house, thoroughly vacuum the carpets (or have them cleaned) and clean out or replace the filter on your air conditioning unit.

Break up the existing tar-coated mucus in your lungs. This can be done by adding generous amounts of ginger, cayenne pepper, black pepper, horseradish onion and garlic to your diet. These herbs help your body to break up the unhealthy mucus in your lungs. In addition to the dietary supplements, add a few drops of rosemary oil to a humidifier and spend 10 minutes a day breathing over it with a towel over your head until your lungs feel clearer. Rosemary oil vapor dilates the bronchial tubes which relieves congestion by breaking up unhealthy mucus.

Avoid milk and dairy products, which can cause mucus build up.

Increase your consumption of water to at least eight glasses a day. The healthy mucus that your lungs need to coat and clean themselves is mostly made of water. Constantly replenishing the water in your body will encourage your body to manufacture healthy mucus. Plus, adequate hydration improves the function of all of your organs and helps your body to flush out accumulated toxins.

Exercise your lungs. Physical exercise like jogging, swimming or even brisk walking will encourage your lungs to expand and regain their elasticity. In addition, spend a few minutes exercising your lungs before you go to bed. While lying in bed, inhale slowly and deeply through your nose until your lungs can hold no more. Hold your breath for three seconds then exhale forcefully through your mouth. Repeat 20 times each evening.

References and Resources

Lung Detox