Breathe EZ

  • Stock #1036-3 (30 capsules)
This information is provided by

Breathe EZ is a highly-concentrated Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) herbal formula that targets the respiratory system. Breathe EZ combines herbs that have been shown to provide natural decongestant, expectorant and antitussive (cough-relieving) actions. Breathe EZ also contains herbs that have been shown to fight infection, relieve aches and pain, and reduce fever. Each capsule of Breathe EZ contains:

Citrus peel (Citrus reticulata) is an important herb in Chinese medicine for phlegm-damp coughs accompanied by a stifling sensation in the chest and/or diaphragm and excessive viscous phlegm (large amounts of thick mucus). Citrus peel dries dampness and transforms phlegm, stops hiccups and combats fatigue and loss of appetite. Research has confirmed the antibacterial activity of citrus peel extracts.1-3

Typhonium (Typhonium flagelliforme) is closely related to Pinellia ternata and is often used by Chinese herbalists is the United States in place of Pinellia. Typhonium is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to reduce phlegm and dry dampness, suppress spasms, and relieve pain and lymphatic swellings. Animal studies have confirmed that extracts of typhonium demonstrate analgesic (pain-relieving), anti-inflammatory, anti-asthmatic and sedative effects, as well as the ability to decrease cough times.1,4-6

Bamboo sap (Phyllostachys nigra) is used to stop coughing and spasms, reduce fever, and promote expectoration of phlegm. Bamboo sap is commonly used in remedies for children’s feverish disorders where there is high fever, irritability, convulsions and insomnia, as well as epilepsy. Bamboo sap is also indicated for shortness of breath, cough and thick phlegm in the lungs. In clinical practice, bamboo sap is given for convulsions in infectious diseases and for acute bronchitis, pneumonia and influenza.1,7,8

Bupleurum (Bupleurum chinense) is a well-known and important traditional Chinese herbal medicine often used to treat common cold with fever, alternating chills and fever, and feelings of fullness and heaviness in the chest. Bupleurum exhibits analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antipyretic (fever-reducing), antimalarial (a substance that prevents or cures malaria) and diaphoretic (a substance that promotes perspiration) properties. Recent research has shown that bupleurum extracts inhibit the growth of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. In addition, bupleurum contains a volatile oil that has shown strong in-vitro antiviral effects against influenza and poliomyelitis viruses. Bupleurum strengthens the immune response to infection, relieves congestion and chest pain, combats colds with fever and sweating, reduces arthritis inflammation, treats malaria, and provides a mild sedative action. Bupleurum is commonly prescribed even for children and pregnant women, particularly in cases of common cold and flu.1,2,9-12

Fritillaria bulb (Fritillaria thunbergii) is an important Traditional Chinese Medicine, used for its antitussive and expectorant properties. Fritillaria is primarily used for asthma and chronic coughs, as well as conditions related to the accumulation of phlegm, such as cough accompanied by a stifling sensation in the chest and difficulty expectorating. Fritillaria is also recommended for swollen glands and is commonly used as a main ingredient in cough syrups. Fritillaria is often combined with xing ren for coughs and wheezing with large amounts of sputum (mucus or phlegm coughed up from the lungs).1,9,13-15

Hoelen (Poria cocos) has long been used as a sedative and diuretic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Hoelen helps “quiet“ the heart and calm the mind and spirit, especially for symptoms of anxiety, insomnia, irritability and restlessness. Hoelen also soothes inflammation and promotes urination and is used to relieve problems resulting from the accumulation of „moisture“ such as edema due to stagnation of fluids or dampness, lung congestion, feelings of heaviness throughout the body, and swollen joints. In addition, hoelen acts as a tonic to strengthen the spleen and relieve spleen deficiency symptoms such as heart palpitations, headache and vertigo (dizziness).1,2,9,16

Perilla (Perilla frutescens) leaves are commonly utilized in traditional Oriental medicine to treat problems pertaining to emotions, mood or mental states, including anxiety and depression. In fact, animal studies have shown that rosmarinic acid from perilla leaves has antidepressive-like activity. Perilla is a warming herb that promotes the circulation of qi (energy). Perilla also acts as an anti-emetic to quell nausea and vomiting.1,2,9,17,18

Platycodon (Platycodon grandiflorum), one of the most important Chinese herbal medicines, has been used since ancient times for its anti-inflammatory, antitussive, and strong expectorant effects. Platycodon is typically used to treat the common cold, influenza (flu), bronchitis and tonsillitis. However, platycodon is also recommended for sore throat, hoarseness, loss of voice and “smoker’s cough.”1,2,9,11,19

Xing ren (Prunus armeniaca), also known as apricot seed, is used for many kinds of cough disorders, especially dry coughs because of its moistening nature and ability to relax the cough reflex. Xing ren, which is also used to help stop wheezing and ease breathing, is considered one of the best herbs for acute cough and bronchitis, as well as asthma and emphysema. Xing ren is reported to help expel copious sputum (large quantities of mucus or phlegm coughed up from the lungs) due to the common cold. A recent study indicates that xing ren also exerts anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects.1,9,11,20

Ophiopogon (Ophiopogon japonicus) is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to moisten the lungs and stop dry cough, as well as stop coughs due to thick phlegm. Ophiopogon also generate fluids to relieve dryness of the tongue and mouth and ease sore throat. In addition, ophiopogon provides antimicrobial effects.1,2,9,10

Tussilago flower buds (Tussilago farfara) has traditionally been used in Oriental medicine for the treatment of various upper-respiratory conditions such as asthma and bronchitis. Its antitussive and expectorant effects, combined with its ability to dilate the bronchial passages, makes tussilago useful for relieving coughs and wheezing stemming from many different causes, including the common cold, acute or chronic lung infections, bronchial asthma, lung congestion, and even “smoker’s cough.“ Tussilago is often used with xing ren for coughs due to phlegm obstruction. In addition, recent research indicates that tussilago demonstrates some antimicrobial activity.1,9,10,21-23

Ginger rhizome (Zingiber officinale) demonstrates analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antiedematogenic (a substance that prevents edema or swelling) properties. Ginger has also exhibited antibacterial activity against common respiratory tract pathogens (disease-causing organisms). Ginger contains active ingredients known as gingerols, which have demonstrated antipyretic, analgesic, antitussive and sedative properties in animal studies. The presence of these substances in ginger help support the herb’s use for treating colds, flu, chills, cold in the extremities, and coughs accompanied by large amounts of phlegm.1,2,9,10, 24,25

Schizandra fruit (Schisandra chinensis) is an important and effective herb used in Traditional Chinese and Japanese Medicine for coughs. Schizandra is also used for asthma, chronic cough and wheezing due to lung deficiency—it is said to tonify the lungs and lung-energy. In addition, schizandra demonstrates adaptogenic, expectorant, rejuvenative, tonic and immune-potentiating properties. One example of schizandra’s adaptogenic qualities is that it helps restore fluid balance—schizandra inhibits excessive perspiration and night sweats, yet also generates fluids and quenches thirst. Schizandra is often combined with ginseng and ophiopogon for shortness of breath, cough and thirst. Research shows that schizandra stimulates respiration by exerting a direct effect on the central nervous system centers. Thus, it has been used to help limit respiratory depression resulting from the use of morphine.1,2,9-11

Licorice root (Glycyrrhiza uralensis) is perhaps the most widely used herb in the Chinese Materia Medica, primarily because of its harmonizing effects on other herbs, which makes it useful in numerous herbal formulas. Licorice has antihistamine, anti-inflammatory, antitussive, expectorant, sedative and tonic properties. Licorice also acts as a demulcent (a substance that soothes irritation and inflammation) to the lungs and bronchi and is used to moisten the lungs to relieve dry cough. Licorice is frequently used for asthma, colds, dry cough, fatigue, fever, sore throat, and lung and bronchial congestion. In addition, studies conducted in China and Japan have found that licorice stimulates production of phagocytes (immune system cells that kill microorganisms and remove dead cells), as well as the production of interferon. Research has also confirmed the antibacterial activity of licorice components against upper airway respiratory tract bacteria such as Streptococcus pyogenes, Haemophilus influenzae and Moraxella catarrhalis—bacteria that can cause chronic bronchitis, community-acquired pneumonia, sinusitis, strep throat and tonsillitis, as well as other respiratory tract infections.2,9-11,26,27

This information is provided by

1Bensky, D. & Gamble, A. Chinese Herbal Medicine Materia Medica, Revised Ed. Seattle, WA: Eastland, 2003.

2Rister, R. Japanese Herbal Medicine. Garden City Park, NY: Avery Publishing, 1999.

3Jayaprakasha, G.K., et. al. “Antibacterial activity of Citrus reticulata peel extracts.” Zeitschrift fur Naturforschung. C; 2000, 55(11-12):1030-1034.

4Sampson, J.H., et. al. “Ethnomedicinally selected plants as sources of potential analgesic compounds: indication of in vitro biological activity in receptor binding assays.” Phytotherapy Research; 2000, 14(1):24-29.

5Dharmananda PhD, S. “Pinellia, Arisaema, Acorus, and Typhonium.” Institute for Traditional Medicine. . Accessed August 2004.

6Zhong, Z., et. al. [Pharmacological study on the extracts from Typhonium flagelliforme Blume]. Zhong Yao Cai; 2001, 24(10):735-738.

7Dharmananda PhD, S. “A Study Guide to Phlegm-resolving Herbs.” Institute for Traditional Medicine; June 1998. . January 2005.

8—. “Bamboo as Medicine.” Institute for Traditional Medicine; December 2004. . Accessed January 2005.

9Tierra LAc, M. The Way of Chinese Herbs. NY, NY: Pocket Books, 1998.

10Reid, D. A Handbook of Chinese Healing Herbs. Boston, MA: Shambhala Publications, 1995.

11Lu, H.C. Chinese Herbal Cures. NY, NY: Sterling Publishing Co., 1994.

12Liang H, et. al. [A new saikosaponin from Bupleurum chinense DC.] Yao Xue Xue Bao; 1998, 33(4):282-285.

13Li, Y.F., et. al. “Identification of bulb from Fritillaria cirrhosa by PCR with specific primers.“ Planta Medica; 2003, 69(2):186-8.

14Lin, G., et. al. “Puqiedinone, a novel 5 alpha-cevanine alkaloid from the bulbs of Fritillaria puqiensis, an antitussive traditional Chinese medicine.“ Journal of Natural Products; 1995, 58(11):1662-7.

15Dharmananda PhD, S. “Fritillaria.“ Institute for Traditional Medicine. . Accessed October 2006.

16Sekiya, N. “Inhibitory effects of triterpenes isolated from Hoelen on free radical-induced lysis of red blood cells.” Phytotherapy Research; 2003, 17(2):160-162.

17Takeda, H., et. al. “Identification of rosmarinic acid as a novel antidepressive substance in the leaves of Perilla frutescens Britton var. acuta Kudo (Perillae Herba).” Nihon Shinkei Seishin Yakurigaku Zasshi; 2002, 22(1):15-22.

18—. “Rosmarinic acid and caffeic acid produce antidepressive-like effect in the forced swimming test in mice.” European Journal of Pharmacology; 2002, 449(3):261-267.

19Saeki, T. & Nikaido, T. [Evaluations of saponin properties of HPLC analysis of Platycodon grandiflorum A.DC]. Yakugaku Zasshi; 2003, 123(6):431-441.

20Chang, H.K., et. al. “Armeniacae semen extract suppresses lipopolysaccharide-induced expressions of cyclooxygenase [correction of cycloosygenase]-2 and inducible nitric oxide synthase in mouse BV2 microglial cells.“ Biological & Pharmaceutical Bulletin; 2005, 28(3):449-454.

21Li, Y.P. & Wang, Y.M. “Evaluation of tussilagone: a cardiovascular-respiratory stimulant isolated from Chinese herbal medicine.“ General Pharmacology; 1988, 19(2):261-263.

22Cho, J., et. al. “Neuroprotective and antioxidant effects of the ethyl acetate fraction prepared from Tussilago farfara L.“ Biological & Pharmaceutical Bulletin; 2005, 28(3):455-460.

23Kokoska, L., et. al. “Screening of some Siberian medicinal plants for antimicrobial activity.“ Journal of Ethnopharmacology; 2002, 82(1):51-53.

24Presser PharmD, A. Pharmacist’s Guide to Medicinal Herbs. Petaluma, CA: Smart Publications, 2000.

25Akoachere, J.F., et. al. “Antibacterial effect of Zingiber officinale and Garcinia kola on respiratory tract pathogens.“ East African Medical Journal; 2002, 79(11):588-592.

26Nose, M., et. al. “Activation of macrophages by crude polysaccharide fractions obtained from shoots of Glycyrrhiza glabra and hairy roots of Glycyrrhiza uralensis in vitro.” Biological & Pharmaceutical Bulletin; 1998, 21(10):1110-1112.

27Tanaka, Y., et. al. “Antibacterial compounds of licorice against upper airway respiratory tract pathogens.” Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology; 2001, 47(3):270-273.