Home Medications and Cures for Bronchitis
Bronchitis is an inflammation or infection of the bronchi or tubes leading down into the lungs. It usually follows a common cold or flu. Bronchitis may be acute or chronic. In chronic cases, the disease is of long duration and more serious. Bronchitis is common in children who are just starting to mix with other children at school or daycare. Bronchitis can be either acute or chronic. Chronic Bronchitis, means the disease is of a long duration. It is more serious than the acute type, as permanent changes or damage may have occurred in the lungs thereby interfering with their normal functioning.
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Acute bronchitis most commonly occurs after an upper respiratory infection such as the common cold or a sinus infection. Therefore, you may see symptoms such as fever with chills, muscle aches, nasal congestion, and sore throat. Cough is a common symptom of bronchitis. The cough may be dry or may produce phlegm. Significant phlegm production suggests that your lower respiratory tract and the lung itself may be infected and you may have pneumonia. The cough may hang on more than 2 weeks. Continued forceful coughing may make your chest and abdominal muscles sore. Cough can be severe enough at times to injure the chest wall or even cause you to pass out. Wheezing may occur because of the inflammation of your airways. This may leave you short of breath.
Bronchitis occurs most often during the cold and flu season, usually coupled with an upper respiratory infection.
- Several viruses cause bronchitis, including influenza A and B, which we commonly call "the flu."
- A number of bacteria are known to cause bronchitis, such as Mycoplasma pneumoniae, which causes so-called walking pneumonia.
- Bronchitis also can occur when you inhale irritating fumes or dusts. Chemical solvents and smoke, including tobacco smoke, have been linked to acute bronchitis.
- People at increased risk both of getting bronchitis and of having more severe symptoms include the elderly, those with weakened immune systems, smokers, and anyone with repeated exposure to lung irritants.
One of the most effective home remedies for bronchitis is the use of turmeric powder. Half a teaspoon of this powder should be administered with half a glass of milk, two or three times daily. It acts best when taken on an empty stomach.
Another effective remedy for bronchitis is a mixture comprising of half a teaspoon each of the powder of ginger, pepper, and cloves, three times a day. It may be licked with honey or taken as an infusion with tea. The mixture of these three ingredients has also antipyretic qualities and is effective in reducing fever-accompanying bronchitis. It also tones up the metabolism of the patient.
Onions have been used as a remedy for bronchitis for centuries. They are said to possess expectorant properties. They liquefy phlegm and prevent its further formation. One teaspoon of raw onion juice, first thing in the morning, is very beneficial in such cases.
Fifty grams of fresh leaves of spinach, and 250 ml of water should be mixed with a pinch of ammonium chloride and one teaspoonful of honey, can be given once at night will beneficial results in bronchitis. Half a teaspoon of dry seeds pounded into powder should be given mixed with two tablespoons of water twice daily. Alternately, a decoction of half a teaspoon of the same should be taken twice daily.
An emulsion of almonds is useful in bronchial diseases, including bronchitis. It is prepared by making a powder of seven kernels of almonds and mixing the powdered kernels in a cup of orange or lemon juice. This emulsion may be taken once daily at night.
Chicory or endive is another effective home remedy for bronchitis. The powder of the dry root of this herb should be given in doses of half a teaspoon mixed with one teaspoonful of honey thrice daily. It is very useful expectorant in chronic bronchitis.
A hot poultice of linseed (alsi) should be applied over the front and back of the chest. This poultice may be prepared by mixing one cup or sixteen tablespoons of the seeds with a quantity of hot water, sufficient to convert them into a moist mealy mass. This should then be applied carefully. Turpentine may also be rubbed over the chest.
Eat lightly for the first few days, avoiding fried, very fatty, or spicy food. Milk and all milk products (such as cheese and yogurt) should be removed from the diet. Decrease sugar intake, including all candies and pastries, which slow down the immune system.
A hot Epsom salts bath every night or every other night is valuable during the acute stages of the attack. This bath is prepared by dissolving 1 ½ kg of Epsom salt in 60 liters of water having a temperature of 37.8 degrees C. the patient should remain immersed in the bath for about twenty minutes. In the case of chronic bronchitis, this bath may be taken twice a week.
Hot towels wrung out and applied over the upper chest are helpful in both chronic and acute bronchitis. After applying three hot towels in turn for two or three minutes each, one should always finish off with a cold towel. A cold pack can be applied to the upper chest several times daily in acute conditions. The procedure is to wring out some linen material in cold water, wrap it two or three times round the affected part and cover it with flannel. The pack can remain for about an hour at a time.
Fresh air and outdoor exercise are also essential for the treatment of bronchitis. The patient is advised to take a morning walk every day. He should also perform Yogic kriyas (cleansing exercises) such as jalneti and vamandhauti, and Yogic asanas (body postures) such as ekpaduttanasana, yogamudra, bhujangasana, shalabhasana, padmasana, and shavasana. Simple pranayamas (breath-holding procedures) like kapalbhati, anuloma-viloma, ujjai, and bhramari will also be beneficial.