If you have PF, there are many ways to reduce symptoms and improve quality of life. While considering various treatment options, try talking to your doctor about herbal teas that are safe to incorporate into your treatment plan, and easy to implement in your daily routine. When high-quality ingredients are ingested safely, the results can be remarkable.

Research on rats and mice has shown that the compounds from medicinal herbs can minimize or even inhibit the progression of PF. Here are a few examples:

  • In one study, green tea inhibited lung scarring.
  • In another study, black tea had anti-fibrotic effects.
  • In a third study, 11 medicinal herbs – including Ginseng, Mai Dong, Rehmannia, and Gua Lou – were able to positively impact body weight, the extent of fibrosis, and even life expectancy.
  • In a comprehensive review, evidence was found that Chinese herbs regulated oxidative stress, inflammation, metabolism, cellular development, and cellular responses to potential infections. 

While researchers work behind the scenes to find a cure for PF, many doctors, and health care providers are finding herbal teas and extracts to recommend for patients with pulmonary concerns. Some of the most commonly used herbs for conditions affecting the lungs include:

  • Astragalus (to boost the immune system)
  • Sha Shen (to reduce inflammation and infection, and clear phlegm from the lungs)
  • Poria (to reduce the production of phlegm and promote better rest and sleep)

As participants in our support group recently recommended, there are additional herbal teas that might be able to clear up mucus, soothe the throat, and strengthen the respiratory system. One specific suggestion from participants with PF was to drink mullein tea with honey – or to even gargle the tea after it’s cooled down of course. First of all, warm water with honey – especially with a raw and well-regulated type of honey such as Manuka – can help with that painful, phlegmy cough that PF can cause. 

Whatsmore, mullein has historically been used to treat a variety of respiratory difficulties. Mullein, though typically perceived as a weed, actually has medicinal uses. Flowers, leaves, and roots from mullein can all be beneficial, as they naturally contain compounds that can 1) make a cough more effective in expelling phlegm and 2) coat and soothe irritated membranes. Mullein has also been shown to decrease inflammation in the bowels, which could assist with PF-related pelvic pain

The recipe for mullein tea is easy to follow. 


  • 2 teacups or other heat-proof containers
  • 1 clean coffee filter, cheesecloth, or fillable tea bag
  • 1 ½ cups boiling water
  • 1-2 teaspoons dried mullein leaves and/or flowers 
  • Optional: 1-2 teaspoons honey


  1. If using a tea bag, fill the bag with the mullein. If not, skip this step. 
  2. Place the mullein in the first cup or container.
  3. Boil the water and pour into the first container, over the mullein.
  4. Steep the mullein in the water for approximately 10 minutes.
  5. Strain the tea by removing the tea bag from the container, or by pouring the liquid (from the first container into the second one) through a clean coffee filter or cheesecloth.
  6. Add honey if/as desired.

Herbal teas can be helpful to people with PF, so we always suggest speaking with your doctor about what is best for you. Hear more tips in our upcoming support group, and share your own ideas in our Facebook group. Comment below with your favorite medicine teas too! 

Stay In Touch

PF Now! hosts a virtual support group on Zoom every month. Not only will you strengthen your network of connections but you’ll learn firsthand how those with PF best look after themselves. PF Now! also has a Facebook group whose active community shares their PF journey and their tips with others. New to online support groups? Download our free step-by-step guide for online advocacy here.

Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of any information received from us.

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