The lungs are surrounded by the ribs, and protected in the front like a breastplate by the sternum. In the rear, they are protected by the thoracic vertebrae, or the mid-spine. There is a right lung made up of three lobes and a left lung made up of two lobes. The heart nestles itself into the left lung. Without the lungs, we can not live. They are vital organs. The breath is our Spirit. It is Life.
Cannabis leaves have long been smoked to feel the effect of the plant. Cannabis works as a bronchodilator in the lungs, opening the air passageways which is needed with respiratory conditions such as asthma. When I see patients who are asthmatics, some choose to smoke cannabis to open up their airways while others choose to not smoke it and rely on edibles or tinctures of cannabis instead. People who have nausea, lack of appetite or who are in pain can benefit from smoking the flower. Some people with an onset of a headache will smoke a small amount of cannabis and the headache symptoms lessen. Other people with headaches prefer to not smoke as it may make the pain worse. It is an individual decision.
The winter months with the cold, dry air, as well as days of humidity, can lead to lung congestion, and the formation of a dry or wet cough. It is important to protect the throat and chest with a scarf or outer wear to keep the chest warm during the cold season. Drinking warm tea with honey is soothing to the chest. Limiting eating of dairy products which are cold and damp to the body may be best for some in the cold months.
Many people get respiratory infections during the colder months. If any phlegm is coughed up that has a color to it, then it is time to see a doctor and get the lungs listened to, as this can be a sign of infection. A yellow, gray, green or brown phlegm can be produced by the lungs in the presence of a bacterial, viral or fungal infection.
Common respiratory conditions of asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and emphysema are all well known lung diseases. The fungus Coccidioides that lives in the dirt in Arizona and other Southwestern states as well in Washington state, can also be the cause of a lung infection called valley fever. Chest pain, headache, cough, fatigue, fever and joint aches are all common symptoms with the formation of lung nodules if the condition worsens.
Food for thought:
In TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), the lungs are the organs associated with grief. People with unresolved grief in their life can manifest lung conditions.
Eating pears is beneficial for the lungs.
Frida Kahlo once said, “ It is not worthwhile to leave this world without having had a little fun in life.”
Kimberly Landino has been a Naturopathic Physician for over 20 years. She has been recommending Medical Marijuana to patients in Arizona for the last four years. Prior to this, she used the modalities of nutrition and diet, counseling, acupuncture, meditation, yoga, botanical medicine and more in her Naturopathic Family Practice in South Phoenix, Tempe, Flagstaff and in Tuba City, Arizona.