Natural Home Remedies for Pneumonia
Pneumonia is an infection of the lung(s) caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi.
The air sacs in your lungs (alveoli) become inflamed and fill with fluid, causing breathing difficulty. You can have viral, mycoplasma or fungal pneumonia. There is actually a name for Hospital-acquired pneumonia (HAP, which can be especially resistant to antibiotics. You also can get VAP, caused by using a ventilator.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
Some or all of these may be present:
- Chest pain
- Fever (older people may have a belowo-normal body temperature)
- Shortness of breath
IS IT CONTAGIOUS?
Viral and bacterial pneumonia can spread through inhalation of airborne droplets from an infected person’s sneeze or cough. Fungal pneumonia acquired from the environment is not contagious.
In the USA, there are about three million cases of pneumonia reported each year. In the world, about 5-10 million may get pneumonia each year with one million requiring hospitalization.
The condition is usually treated with antibiotics, antiviral medication or antifungal drugs. Most cases are treated at home with antibiotics. There are many steps you can take to promote self-healing as well.
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
- Bone Broth
- Chile peppers
- Fermented foods, after taking antibiotics, to restore gut bacteria
- Foods high in nutrient value
- Garlic chutney
- Garlic, raw, 3-4 times a day, and often in your cooked meals
- Hot mustard
FOODS AND OTHER SUBSTANCES TO AVOID
- Processed sugars
TEAS AND OTHER LIQUIDS
- A pinch of baking soda in warm water
- Aloe vera juice
- Apple Cider Vinegar; a spoonful first thing in the morning
- Beet, cucumber and carrot juice
- Carrot and spinach juice
- Cayenne pepper and lemon juice in water
- Coltsfoot tea (not for children or people with high blood pressure)
- Dry dates boiled in milk with olive oil and honey
- Echinacea tea blended with spearmint leaves, lemongrass and honey
- Elder flower tea
- Elecampane decoction with elecampane roots and water. You only need a little sip of this several times a day.
- Fenugreek seed powder in black tea, with honey
- Fenugreek seed tea with ginger, garlic and cayenne
- Fenugreek tea for cough relief
- Fresh, red apple juice before breakfast
- Garlic and milk
- Ginger tea for anti-inflammation and analgesic properties
- Honey in water
- Lemon juice
- Licorice root tea
- Mullein Infusion
- Nasturtium juice
- Nettle tea
- Noni plant juice
- Parsnip juice
- Peppermint tea, to soothe and to expel mucus
- Pine needle tea
- Plantain tea
- Pleurisy root tea
- Potassium broth
- Sesame seeds as an expectorant, mixed with flaxseeds, honey, water and a pinch of salt
- Tea made with daikon radish, shitake mushrooms and kombu seaweed
- Theophylline in a cup of coffee might open up the airways in your lungs for a few hours. Black or green tea may do the same and are less harmful.
- Turmeric and black pepper powder in water
- Turmeric tea with bags or powder (1 tsp in a few cups of boiling water, simmered for several minutes; strained, with honey, lemon and a pinch of black pepper).
- Warm milk with turmeric powder
HERBS AND SPICES
- Oregon grape root
- Barberry root bark
- Bromelain, orally
- Garlic for its antibiotic properties. Raw is best. Garlic paste can be applied topically, to your chest.
- Holy Basil leaves. Chew on leaves to help relieve cough.
- Olive leaf extract
- Pau d’Arco tablets
- Pumpkin leaf stalks fried in olive oil. Cool and make a paste to massage over your ribs.
ESSENTIAL OILS, TOPICAL
- Garlic oil applied to the feet
- Have a warm bath to which you’ve added a few drops of eucalyptus oil.
- Oil of oregano applied on the feet (use a carrier oil)
- Tea tree oil applied to the feet (also use a carrier oil)
Inhale the vapors of any combination of these essential oils
OTHER SUBSTANCES AND SUPPLEMENTS
- Diatomaceous earth, food grade only, taken internally in water
- Hydrogen peroxide injected into veins (old practice and for this you would need a physician)
- Propolis drops
- Saltwater gargles a few times a day (a couple pinches of salt in warm water, gargle for half a minute and spit it out)
- Vitamin A to fight infection
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D has been shown to be effective at fighting bacteria, fungi and viruses. Eat foods rich in Vitamin D and get into the sunshine for a little while every day if you can.
- Zinc, to reduce inflammation
- Water is essential and a main nutrient for the human body. Without it, you cannot survive for many days. 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. Water will help keep the mucous thin and also keep your fever down.
That exercise is beneficial is undisputed. If you are ill, you will want to take it easy, of course, but there is always something you can do to support your body. Do what you can without making yourself feel worse. Be sensible.
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
Use a hand-held fan in front of your face to help your breathing.
- Chinese Medicine, which may be especially effective for children
- Practice meditation for a calm mind.
- Though it’s always best to take a remedy that suits your particular symptoms, Antimonium Tartaricum 30c is a pneumonia remedy often used. There are others.
- Massage, when the acute stage of pneumonia is over
- Coughing helps to rid the body of infection, so unless it is robbing you of rest or making breathing difficult, don’t try to stop the coughing. If your cough lasts more than several weeks after your recovery, report it to your doctor.
- Don’t go back to serious workouts too soon. It can take a long time to fully recover from pneumonia.
- Tell your doctor if you have blood in your urine, experience dizziness or severe breathing difficulty.
- You may be more susceptible to pneumonia once you’ve had it. Don’t go back to poor eating habits; keep supporting your immune system. Quit smoking!
- A healthy immune system
- A wholesome diet
- Avoid being around people with pneumonia and if you are, avoid fallout from their coughs and sneezes.
- Avoid inhaling gases.
- Don’t smoke, which makes you more prone to respiratory infection.
- Get quality rest every day.
- Good hygiene to reduce allergens
- Regular exercise
- Use natural household products rather than chemicals.
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water.