The respiratory system allows you to breathe. Without this set of organs and structures, needless to say, you wouldn’t exist. Performing the core function of the respiratory system is a pair of spongy and saclike organs called the lungs.
It is right inside the lungs where the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide takes place, particularly in the alveoli — tiny air sacs that permit oxygen in the lungs to get to the bloodstream and carbon dioxide in the bloodstream to get to the lungs and eventually outside the body. Due to the indispensable role that the lungs play for your survival, taking really good care of them is of utmost importance.
Below are some interesting facts about your lungs that you might want to know about. Being more familiar with these pair of organs allows you to see just how important they are. Read on:
- You have a pair of lungs and one is slightly different from the other. A normal adult right lung weighs 375 to 550 grams and it has 3 lobes. On the other hand, a normal adult left lung is slightly smaller and lighter than the right one. It weighs 325 to 450 grams and has only 2 lobes.
- The left lung also features the so-called “cardiac notch”. This is an indentation on the surface near the front part of the left lung which accommodates the heart.
- Together, both lungs contain 300 to 500 million alveoli. Each of these alveoli is surrounded by capillaries — the smallest blood vessels in the human body. If all of these capillaries were unraveled and placed end to end, according to the experts, they would measure a total of 992 kilometers (616 miles) in length!
- The airways of the lungs consist of the trachea (the largest airway) which splits into the left and right bronchi. Each of the bronchi separates so many times into smaller airways, ending as bronchioles (the narrowest airways). If all of these airways were connected end to end, they would measure 2,400 kilometers (1,500 miles) long!
- During respiration, the lungs expand and contract with the help of the diaphragm — a dome-shaped muscle situated just below your lungs. When you’re hiccupping, it is caused by your diaphragm contracting involuntarily for several times.
Alas, health authorities say that some of the most common medical conditions on the planet are lung diseases. Unhealthy lifestyle, infections and heredity are some of the things responsible for many of these problems. While there are numerous drugs and medical procedures for treating a variety of lung diseases, there are also many all-natural remedies for many of them. Here are a few:
- Licorice root – This herb helps in softening thick and excessive mucous in the throat and airways so that they may be expelled more easily. Licorice root also has antibacterial and antiviral properties that help kill off microbes that cause lung infections. Traditional healers also say that the herb may help prevent lung cancer.
- Thyme – From centuries ago until today, thyme is known to be effective in preventing and curing infections of the respiratory system, whether caused by bacteria or viruses. This herb may also be employed to provide relief from chest congestion.
- Oregano – Known to help strengthen the immune system, oregano is also revered for its ability to decongest the airway. In addition, this herb is known to reduce the body’s production of histamine, making it perfect for individuals bugged by respiratory tract allergies.
- Eucalyptus – This herb is a highly popular natural remedy for sore throat and nasal congestion. Eucalyptus is also an effective expectorant, and that is why it’s a staple ingredient in so many cough lozenges and syrups. Thanks to the antioxidants it contains, this herb is beneficial in strengthening the immune system too.
- Sage – Sage is one of the most commonly taken all-natural remedies for an assortment of respiratory tract problems. Consuming this herb in the form of tea helps treat sore throat and cough. Strongly brewed sage tea placed in a vaporizer is a wonderful remedy for sinusitis and congested airways.
- Peppermint – Because it contains menthol, peppermint is a wonderful remedy for congestion. It relaxes the muscles of the respiratory tract, allowing for a more unobstructed and comfortable breathing.
- Mullein – This herb has been used by traditional healers for centuries now in removing excess mucous from the airways and reduce inflammation brought about by irritation, allergies and infections. Mullein may be consumed by brewing the herb’s dried leaves or simply by taking it in tincture form.