Natural Remedies For Chronic Bronchitis
Bronchitis is generally associated with difficulty breathing and a cough, though often it is a little more serious than this. Always consult a doctor if you show symptoms of bronchitis.
Bronchitis is an infection that is found in the main airways of the lungs, which causes them to be irritated and inflamed. In a lot of cases, bronchitis will begin to develop when an infection irritates and inflames the bronchi, which will cause them to produce a lot more mucus than they usually do, which will then result in coughing as your body tries to shift it.
Chronic bronchitis is when you have a daily productive cough that lasts for three months of the year, and for at least two years in a row. It falls under the bracket of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, and mostly affects adults who are over 40.
If you are worried that you are suffering from bronchitis, it is important that you visit your GP, who can recommend the best course of treatment, particularly for acute bronchitis. If you are suffering from chronic bronchitis, there are certain natural remedies that can be used either alone or alongside treatment from your GP.
Make sure that you are getting enough rest:
Your body needs time to recover when you are fighting a virus or an infection, and it is important that you give it the down time that it so needs. So many of us do not rest as much as we should do when we are unwell, instead choosing to power through it, but actually, adequate rest and sleep is needed for you to maintain a healthy immune system.
One study found that people who are chronically sleep deprived are much more vulnerable to the cold virus, compared with those who sleep for a solid seven hours every night. If you do not leave your body enough time to recover after a cold, it can often lead to more serious health conditions, such as bronchitis.
Make sure you are drinking plenty of water:
It is so important that you stay properly hydrated when you are trying to recover from bronchitis, as it will help to thin the mucus, which will then make it easier to bring up.
Whilst water is the best thing to drink in order to rehydrate you, warm liquids might actually be more soothing. You should try and avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages.
Try herbal and natural remedies:
Studies have suggested that certain herbs actually have medicinal effects that can actually help to sooth any inflamed mucus membranes of the respiratory tract.
Liquorice root, mullein, and the bark of a wild cherry tree are all really effective, and can be purchased from most health food stores.
Bromelain, which is an enzyme that is found in fruits like pineapple, is also really effective in reducing inflammation, as well as helping to loosen and cough up mucus. Ginger root is also another great option, and soothes as well as acting as an expectorant. You can make a great soothing drink by boiling slices of ginger root to release the medicinal properties, add some lemon and honey and drink when cool.
Drink some lemon and honey:
Honey has a load of great medicinal values, and has long been used as a medicine for a number of different ailments. It has great antibacterial properties, but is brilliant for those who are suffering from bronchitis, as it helps to sooth irritated mucus membranes. Lemon acts as an expectorant, so will help to bring up the mucus, so mixing them both with warm water creates a great tasting drink that will help to soothe symptoms.
Please note; you should never give honey to infants and children under one year of age. Some ingredients in honey can cause a very rare, but potentially fatal type of food poisoning in infants.
Eat some spicy food:
Eating spicy foods can really help to release mucus and relieve any congestion that you might be suffering from. Mustard, horseradish and wasabi are all great options that can help to loosen up the mucus that is formed when you are suffering from chronic bronchitis.
Hot chilli peppers also contain capsaicin, which can help to ease any congestion by thinning out the mucus. Some people also choose to add a pinch of cayenne pepper to their tea, which is used to boost the flow of blood, which will help to enhance the effectiveness of any other treatments that you might using.
Steam is a great remedy for many health complaints, and is hugely recommended for loosening mucus and helping to relieve any wheezing, which is a common symptom of bronchitis. A warm air humidifier, or vaporiser are fantastic, but if you do not have access to these; leaning over a sink of hot water, with a towel draped over your head, whilst breathing in the warm moisture can really help. This can help really help to reduce the mucus, and can be repeated several times a day.
You can try adding a drop of an essential oil, such as eucalyptus, which can help to open a clogged airway.
Gargle salt water:
A simple saline solution, made by mixing salt with warm water is an effective remedy if you are suffering from bronchitis, and can help to wash away any excess mucus. It should be noted that it is not antibacterial, so will not treat the actual virus or infection; but it can help to relieve any symptoms that you might be suffering with.
On top of this, gargling with salt water, can help to prevent future upper respiratory infections, such as colds, which, as we have previously mentioned can progress to bronchitis if left untreated.