Bronchitis • Natural home remedies

Bronchitis is a respiratory disease in which mucus membranes in the lungs’ bronchial passages become inflamed. Lung membranes then thicken and narrow the airways in the lungs making breathing difficult.

Bronchitis - Honey and lemon drink, cut lemons and honey dripping into liquid

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

Some or all of these may be present:

  •  Breathing discomfort
  • Chest pain
  • Chills
  • Coughing
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Muscle aches
  • Nasal congestion
  • Phlegm

IS IT CONTAGIOUS?

Chronic bronchitis is not. Acute bronchitis, which is caused by a virus, is likely contagious.

ALLOPATHIC TREATMENT

Medicines designed to open obstructed airways or thin mucus may be prescribed. Most treatment is palliative. Your doctor would probably advise you to avoid irritants, especially smoke. You might be given a medication designed to treat asthma.

SELF TREATMENT

Others have made claims of efficacy for the following suggestions and treatments, but this information is provided for your further research.

DIET

A healthy immune system is always the first line of defense against disease. To promote a healthy immune system, it is important to eat a balanced diet, with as much variety as you can manage, with lots of whole, fresh vegetables and fruits, quality protein and healthy sources of monounsaturated fat. The Zone is an excellent starting point.

FOODS THAT MAY PROMOTE HEALING

  • Almonds
  • Anti-inflammatory foods
  • Asparagus
  • Bone Broth
  • Chicken soup
  • Fermented foods
  • Flax seeds
  • Garlic
  • Ginger soup
  • Honey
  • Leafy greens
  • Licorice
  • Manuka honey
  • Miso soup
  • Onion
  • Spicy foods
  • Tomato soup
  • Vitamin C-rich foods

FOODS AND OTHER SUBSTANCES TO AVOID

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Chemical fumes (avoid inhaling any irritant)
  • Chocolate
  • Dairy foods
  • Fried foods
  • Mucus-forming foods
  • Processed foods
  • Processed sugars
  • Smoking

TEAS AND OTHER LIQUIDS

  • Bay leaf
  • Chamomile
  • Garlic cloves boiled in milk
  • Giloi juice
  • Green tea
  • Honey and lemon water to sip
  • Hot water
  • Mullein
  • Plantain leaf
  • Savory
  • Spinach water
  • Thyme
  • Turmeric powder boiled in milk (caution: avoid if you have gallstones, ulcers, jaundice or hyperacidity)

HERBS AND SPICES

  • Anise
  • Astragalus
  • Bay leaf
  • Capsaicin
  • Cardamom
  • Cayenne
  • Chicory
  • Cinnamon
  • Clove
  • Ginger
  • Ginseng
  • Juniper
  • Thyme
  • Trikatu Churna (a combination of Indian spices)
  • Tulsi/Holy basil
  • Turmeric

ESSENTIAL OILS

Essential oils can be administered via a diffuser for inhalation, administered topically in a carrier oil like coconut , or undiluted drops can be added to a hot bath.

  • Eucalyptus
  • Lavender—massage throat and neck
  • Oregano
  • Peppermint
  • Pine
  • Tea tree

OTHER SUBSTANCES AND SUPPLEMENTS

The cost of having a blood test to determine if you have nutritional deficiencies is likely to be negligible compared to over-consuming expensive supplements that you do not need.

  • Adhatoda Vasica
  • Arcozon
  • Bee propolis
  • Beta carotene
  • Echinacea
  • Magnesium
  • N-acetylcysteine
  • Olive leaf extract
  • Probiotics
  • R-lipoic acid
  • Saw palmetto
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D

HYDRATION

Some health care providers recommended increased water intake during episodes.  Water is essential and a main nutrient for the human body. It is especially important while suffering from bronchitis so that mucus will be diluted and easier to expel. Staying hydrated is fundamental for a healthy body, so how much is enough? There are so many differences in people (i.e., how much we sweat), as well as the diets we consume (a lot of water comes from healthy, whole foods), but a general rule is to consume enough water that your urine is clear, but not so much that you dilute your nutrients. If you are taking certain supplements that make your urine yellow, then you can start out with the formula of drinking ½ ounce to 1 ounce of water for each pound you weigh. If you weigh 130 pounds, drink 65 to 130 ounces of water a day. Definitely drink when you are thirsty. With bronchitis, drink a little more!

EXERCISE

That exercise is beneficial is undisputed. With bronchitis, however, it’s more important to rest while you recover.

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT

Stay calm. Anxiety undermines health. Practice relaxation exercises, talk to a friend. Do what works for you to stay mellow.

OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO

  • Breathe steam: pour very hot water into a bowl and lean over it with a towel over your head to corral the steam.  Inhale. Add a drop or two of essential oil to the water if you like.
  • Epsom salt bath
  • If you have a productive cough, don’t try to suppress it completely, as whatever you are coughing up surely doesn’t belong in your lungs.
  • Rest
  • Sesame seed and linseed
  • Use a humidifier in your house.
  • Wear a mask if you are in an environment with airborne irritants.

ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES

CAUTIONS

There are times when it is wise to call a doctor.  Bronchitis can become pneumonia, sinus infections or ear infections.  Call your doctor if:

  • You are still coughing after a few weeks.
  • You cough up blood.
  • You have a high fever and trouble breathing.

PREVENTION

  • Deep breathing
  • Earthing
  • Eat a wholesome diet.
  • Exercise regularly (when you are well).
  • Get plenty of fresh air.
  • Get quality sleep.
  • Quit smoking and stay away from second-hand smoke.
  • Stay away from people with colds.
  • Wash your hands often.

Anecdote: My first child suffered from repeated bouts of bronchitis and after several incidents and treatment with antibiotics, I opted to explore homeopathy.  Once I found a competent homeopathic physician, my child never had bronchitis again, nor received any antibiotics from that point on.  Now, decades later, antibiotics are not considered effective for treating bronchitis.

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