Bronchitis is an inflammation, swelling or infection of the bronchial tubes between the nose and the lungs. It is usually caused by a virus, bacteria, or particles that irritate the bronchial tubes.
Symptoms associated with bronchitis include a cough with mucus, difficulty breathing, chest pain, nasal congestion, fatigue, muscle aches and fever. Bronchitis can be acute or chronic.
People suffering from bronchitis often try over-the-counter medications to manage the symptoms. There are also many simple, natural home remedies that can provide relief.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for bronchitis.
Ginger, often used for treating the common cold, can also help with bronchitis. The anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties present in ginger help relieve irritated, inflamed or swollen bronchial tubes.
- Add half a teaspoon each of ground ginger, cinnamon and cloves in a cup of hot water. Stir well and drink the mixture for a few days to get relief.
- You can make an herbal tea by adding one teaspoon each of ginger powder and black pepper to a cup of boiling water. Let it steep for a few minutes, then add some honey. Drink it twice a day.
- You can also combine one teaspoon each of ginger powder, pepper, and cloves. Take it three times a day with honey or milk.
Due to its antibiotic and anti-viral properties, garlic is highly beneficial for treating bronchitis, especially acute bronchitis.
- Take three garlic cloves.
- Peel and chop them.
- Put them in a glass of milk and boil.
- Drink it at night before going to bed.
The anti-inflammatory property of turmeric is good for treating the cough associated with bronchitis. Follow this remedy to expectorate the excess mucus and soon you will get relief.
- Add one teaspoon of turmeric powder to a glass of milk and then boil it.
- Drink it with a spoonful of pure ghee (Indian clarified butter), two or three times a day. For faster results, do this on an empty stomach.
4. Eucalyptus Oil
Steam therapy is very effective when suffering from bronchitis. Adding eucalyptus oil will soften the mucus in the obstructed airways and its antibacterial properties will help in the healing process.
- Simply add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to boiling water and cover your head with a towel so that you can inhale the steam. If eucalyptus oil is not available, you can use pine oil or tea tree oil.
- Eucalyptus oil can also be applied externally on the chest. This will help you expel the mucus and improve the functioning of the respiratory system.
5. Salt Water
Gargling with salt water several times a day is a great way to treat various symptoms of bronchitis. Simply add one teaspoon of salt to a glass of warm water and gargle with it.
Be sure to use the exact amount of salt, as too much salt can cause a burning sensation in the throat and too little will not be as effective. You can gargle with salt water as often as you need.
There are two benefits of this remedy. First, it will soothe the inflammation in the throat, and secondly, it will cut through some of the mucus causing irritation to the throat.
Honey is a natural way to deal with the cough that occurs with bronchitis. The antiviral and antibacterial properties present in honey will be soothing for the throat. At the same time, honey will boost your immune system.
- Adding one teaspoon of honey to your regular cup of tea will help a lot when suffering from bronchitis.
- You can also add honey to warm lemon water to treat congestion and throat inflammation that often accompanies bronchitis.
The expectorant effect of onions helps dissolve mucus and phlegm, thereby providing relief from bronchitis. At the same time, onion juice will prevent further buildup.
- Simply eat one teaspoon of raw onion juice every morning on an empty stomach.
- Also add raw onions in your salad or use onions while cooking.
8. Epsom Salt
An Epsom salt bath can give relief from bronchitis symptoms, especially when suffering from acute bronchitis.
- To prepare the bath, add two to three pounds (one to one and a half kg) of Epsom salt to warm bath water.
- When the Epsom salt is fully dissolved, immerse yourself in the bath for about a half an hour.
- If you have chronic bronchitis, do this twice a week. For acute bronchitis, do this every night or every other night.
9. Sesame Seeds
Sesame seeds have medicinal properties that can treat bronchitis and help relieve chest pain associated with it.
- Combine one teaspoon of sesame seeds, one teaspoon of linseed or flaxseed, a pinch of common salt and one teaspoon of honey. Take this mixture daily before going to bed.
- You can also mix one-half teaspoon of dry sesame seed powder and two tablespoons of water and take it twice daily.
When suffering from bronchitis, it is recommended to keep your body well-hydrated and help maintain a productive cough by drinking water and clear liquids.
So, drink at least eight to 10 glasses of water daily. You can drink fruit juices and vegetable juices as well. In the morning, you can have a glass of water mixed with the juice squeezed from half a lime and a little honey.
Do not drink caffeine or alcohol, which can lead to loss of extra fluid and thereby make the mucus tougher to dislodge.
Diet for Bronchitis
During a bronchitis attack have a hot bath with Epsom salts every night. Remain immersed in this water for at least 20 minutes. This should offer some relief from the congestion and coughing that often gets worse during the night.
The alternate placement of hot and cold towels over the chest is believe to help treat both acute and chronic bronchitis. Apply hot towels thrice and end with a cold towel. This can be repeated several times a day to loosen the phlegm and reduce chest pain.
If you suffer from chronic bronchitis you may benefit from practicing yoga regularly. Special emphasis should be given to yogic breathing exercises to strengthen the lungs and boost immunity.
Avoid smoking, get adequate rest, keep hydrated and use an inhaler to clear your airways if required. Speak to your doctor for a prescription for one if you suffer from recurring chest infections.