We know antibiotics are over-prescribed and ineffective against viruses, and that painkillers can be habit-forming. Although prescriptions are sometimes necessary, natural methods should usually be the first line of defense.
Bronchitis is one of those illnesses that can make your life miserable for several weeks. Bronchitis is most often caused by a virus, although at times a bacterial infection can be present as well. The symptoms of bronchitis are a chest congestion, deep cough, sometimes chest tightness, and shortness of breath, sometimes accompanied by yellow or green mucus.
Acute bronchitis, which often follows a cold or the flu, eventually disappears on its own. Chronic bronchitis is more serious and is brought on by chronic irritation and inflammation in the bronchial tubes. It tends to recur periodically.
Bronchitis can last anywhere from one to several weeks, with a lingering cough. Often, the exertion of coughing can lead to exhaustion, insomnia, loss of appetite, chest wall discomfort, and even broken ribs. In the meantime, here are some natural remedies for bronchitis that can soothe your irritated bronchial tubes while you wait for the illness to run its course.
1. If you are a smoker, stop smoking.
2. Avoid second-hand smoke, dust, and fumes.
3. Get a lot of rest. Extra sleep will help your body heal more quickly. Sleeping with your head slightly elevated (using two or more pillows) may help you to breathe more easily at night, and will also allow for better drainage of mucus.
4. Drink plenty of water and other healthy liquids, such as juices, herbal teas, and soups. You can make your own lemon, ginger, or herbal tea by adding lemon rind, sliced ginger root, crushed fresh herbs, loose herbal tea, or a bay leaf to one cup boiling water and letting it steep for five minutes. (Strain before drinking.)
5. Try drinking apple cider vinegar brew. Many people find its effects soothing and healing. Just combine a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar, one tablespoon honey, and a dash of cinnamon in a cup of hot water.
6. Limit cow’s milk and other dairy products. These foods increase the amount of mucus your body produces.
7. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, which tend to be dehydrating.
8. Eat foods that contain cayenne pepper, which thins congestion.
9. Take Vitamin C, Astragalus membranaceus (a Chinese herb), and NAC (N-Acetyl-Cysteine) These substances help boost the body’s natural immunity, as well as decrease lung inflammation, and thin mucus making it easier to cough up and out. Dosages should be based on advice from a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
10. Inhalation therapy can loosen mucus and promote healing. Use a steam vaporizer or humidifier in your home. Add sage, eucalyptus, rosemary, or peppermint oil to the steam.
11. Even if you don’t own a vaporizer, you can make your own steam tent. Just add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to a bowl of very hot water, throw a towel over your head, and inhale the steam. Steamy showers can help, too.
12. Rub eucalyptus oil directly on the chest.
13. Eat nutritious meals.
14. Gargle with a mild salt-water solution (one teaspoon salt to one glass warm water).
15. Eat fresh pineapple. It contains bromelain, an enzyme thought to be a natural expectorant that also reduces inflammation.
16. Let yourself cough to get the mucus out. Fresh horseradish, wasabi, and hot mustard can help break up secretions.
17. Try pursed-lips breathing. For two seconds, inhale through the nose. Then pucker your lips and breathe out slowly through the mouth, taking about four seconds to do so. This technique slows down breathing and is considered to help with the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide that occurs when we breathe.
18. Keep green plants in your home. Certain varieties, like chrysanthemums, spider plants, and philodendron, help filter dust particles out of the air you breathe. All plants release water vapor into the air through their leaves during transpiration.
If your cough is unproductive, a suppressant may be necessary for a short time. Honey and thyme are thought to be natural cough suppressants. (Do not give any honey to a child under one year of age because of the risk of infant botulism caused by spores that occur in honey.)
It is important to seek medical attention if you have any of the following symptoms: fever; a cough that lasts longer than three weeks; coughing up blood; trouble breathing; blue lips or fingernails.
You should contact a medical professional if bronchitis symptoms occur in an infant, the elderly, or someone with a weakened immune system.
When carefully and accurately prescribed by a well-trained, homeopathic doctor, homeopathic remedies can provide significant relief from acute and chronic bronchitis. Worldwide clinical research has proven the effectiveness of homeopathy for bronchitis.