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Herbs That Can Support Your Pet's Respiratory System

Herbs That Can Support Your Pet's Respiratory System

The Importance of the Respiratory System

The respiratory system plays a vital role in the health of the body. It is responsible for delivering oxygen throughout the body and removing carbon dioxide. It consists of the nose and nasal cavity, mouth, sinuses, throat (pharynx), voice box (larynx), windpipe (trachea), diaphragm, lungs, bronchi, and more.

The respiratory tract is normally lined with mucus and cilia, which are tiny, hair-like structures, that trap infectious particles and get rid of them to help keep the body healthy. However, there are various factors or stressors that can compromise the respiratory tract, leaving your pet susceptible to respiratory diseases caused by airborne germs and infectious agents.

Respiratory Diseases in Dogs & Cats

Unfortunately, respiratory diseases are quite common in dogs and cats. Our pets can have a variety of different respiratory problems, including upper respiratory infections, kennel cough, sinus problems, and asthma.

Young and old animals are at an increased risk of developing respiratory conditions. According to Ned F. Kuehn (DVM, MS, DACVIM), the respiratory and immune systems are incompletely developed at birth, which can facilitate the introduction and spread of pathogens within the lungs. In older animals, chronic degenerative changes can render the lungs more vulnerable to airborne pathogens.

How Herbs Can Help

More and more pet owners are starting to consider using herbs, many of which have been used for centuries, to help alleviate respiratory symptoms and provide respiratory system support for their pets. Herbal remedies can help ease congestion, soothe irritated airways, and suppress symptoms like coughing.

Here are some herbs that contain immune-supportive properties that specifically target the respiratory system!


Also known as Verbascum thapsus, the mullein plant can be found in Europe, Asia, and Northern Africa. The mullein leaf is commonly used for boosting respiratory and lung health. It is an expectorant, which means that it helps loosen bronchial secretions and makes elimination of mucus easier. It also helps tone and soothe mucous membranes, reduce inflammation and relax the muscles in the respiratory tract, and stimulate fluid production.


The ginkgo nut was traditionally used in Chinese medicine for the treatment of respiratory disorders. Ginkgo contains anti-inflammatory compounds, which may allow for reduced inflammation of the airways and increased lung capacity. It also helps relieve constriction of the bronchi. Mullein and ginkgo work together to help support the normal integrity and function of the lungs to aid in a healthy inflammatory response.


Stinging nettle has been used as an herbal remedy for thousands of years. It is a plant that grows in North America, Europe, and Africa. Nettle is an astringent that can help relieve excessive discharge and strengthen the mucosa of the respiratory system. It also enhances the production of white blood cells.

Echinacea purpurea

Echinacea purpurea is well-known for its beneficial effects on the immune system. Numerous studies have found that it may help the immune system combat infections and viruses. It is often used to prevent or treat the common cold.

Oregon grape root

Oregon grape root is well-known for treating infections. It helps promote the body’s innate resistance to pathogens with its strong antibiotic, antiviral, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Licorice root

Licorice root has antiviral, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties. It helps strengthen the respiratory system, helps suppress coughs, and soothes mucous membranes in the airways. Licorice also helps support proper functioning of the adrenal gland, which produces hormones that help regulate the immune system and other essential functions.


Elderberry is a small, antioxidant-rich fruit that is found in Europe and North America. It contains properties to help support normal cell function and the immune system. Elderberry is a neuraminidase inhibitor, which is strong against viral respiratory invaders. It works by stopping the release of viruses from the infected host cell and preventing new host cells from becoming infected.

Elderberry contains numerous vitamins (A, B, and C), flavonoids, and anthocyanins, which are anti-inflammatory agents. Studies have shown that elderberry has a significant effect on cold duration and cold-associated symptoms in humans.

Support Respiratory Health with Respiratory Remedy

Thomas Labs® understands the beneficial effects of herbs on the respiratory system. That’s why Thomas Pet developed Respiratory Remedy, an herbal supplement that helps maintain healthy respiratory function and immune support in dogs and cats. This respiratory support supplement is formulated with a proprietary blend of immune-supporting herbs, including all of the herbs listed above.

The materials and information provided on this website are not intended to replace the medical advice or services of your veterinarian or other pet healthcare professional. Consult your own veterinarian if you have medical questions concerning diagnosis, treatment, therapy, or medical attention.

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