The home remedies for bronchitis include some common and easy to use herbs and spices such as turmeric, ginger, bay leaf, honey, onion, chicory, eucalyptus oil, juniper, and thyme. Bronchitis can be caused due to infections by bacteria and viruses or by factors such as smoking and the inhalation of noxious fumes and dust.
Inflammation of the air passages causes the symptoms that are typical of bronchitis, including cough, fever, body ache, and breathlessness. Although the chronic form of bronchitis needs special medical care, relief from the symptoms associated with bronchitis can be provided by some easy to follow home remedies.
Home remedies for bronchitis have been accepted by many medical experts as well. Bronchitis refers to the inflamed condition of the bronchi (airways in the lungs). It is caused due to the inflammation of the trachea (windpipe) and the large and small bronchi due to infection or other factors. This results in the mucous lining of the airways becoming swollen due to the inflammation. The cells lining the airways secrete fluids to clear the irritants thus producing sputum and phlegm. Coughing caused by bronchitis is a reflex to expel the irritants. Bronchitis can be broadly divided into acute bronchitis and chronic bronchitis.
Acute bronchitis is caused due to infection by viruses or bacteria and lasts for several days to a few weeks. The infection is generally caused by the same virus that causes the common cold. Other lung irritants such as tobacco smoke, dust, and fumes can worsen the condition of acute bronchitis.
Chronic bronchitis, on the other hand, is generally a part of a syndrome called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It is characterized by a persistent cough that produces sputum and mucus and is recorded for a period of a minimum of three months in two consecutive years. The major cause for chronic bronchitis is cigarette smoking. It can also be caused by inhaling toxic fumes and dust. When viruses or bacteria infect the already inflamed airways, the condition can worsen. Chronic bronchitis is a serious medical condition and needs to be treated accordingly.
The general symptoms for bronchitis are as follows:
- Sore throat, runny nose, or sinus infection
- Pain in the breastbone
- Fever and chills
- Headache and sore muscles
- Cough with yellowish or greenish phlegm
Bronchitis can affect both adults and children and can be countered by the use of certain easy to find ingredients at home. These home remedies go a long way towards subduing the associated discomfort of bronchitis and counters the inflammation, thus providing relief from the nagging cough.
Home Remedies for Bronchitis
Following are a few easy to follow home remedies for bronchitis:
Turmeric: Turmeric is proven to have anti-inflammatory properties and can be used with warm milk to provide relief from bronchitis.
Ginger: Ginger has been proven to show anti-pyretic properties and is highly effective in relieving the fever and chills that accompany bronchitis. It also provides relief from sore throats due to the incessant coughing.
Tea Tree Oil: This essential oil soothes the blocked airways and can be effectively used as a steam inhalant.
Anise: Anise has both expectorant and antiseptic properties, thereby helping to clear phlegm from the lungs.
Cardamom: Cardamom acts as a decongestant and an expectorant, while relieving the coughing caused by bronchitis.
Onion and Garlic: Onions and garlic have been shown to act as expectorants and to reduce inflammation due to the presence of the chemical quercetin, which inhibits the enzyme lipoxygenase. This enzyme is responsible for the release of inflammatory chemicals in the body.
Chicory: The dry root of this herb has strong expectorant properties and can be consumed with honey for best results.
Eucalyptus Oil: It aids in relieving the pain associated with incessant coughing and loosens phlegm, according to the University of Maryland Medical Centre.
Camphor Oil: It forms a major component of many balms and rubs for treating colds. It is anti-inflammatory and soothes the aches associated with congestion.
Juniper Oil: Juniper berries are considered an excellent treatment for colds, coughs and phlegm deposition. They are generally used in the form of steam inhalations.
Pepper: Consumption of pepper aids in thinning the mucous accumulated during bronchitis and makes it easier to expel.
Honey: Honey aids in soothing sore throats and relieves coughs.
Thyme: Thyme oil has antispasmodic, expectorant and antibacterial properties, according to the studies published in the journal Phytotherapy, all of which relieve the symptoms associated with bronchitis.
Bay Leaf: Bay leaf is a rich source of the chemical quercetin, which inhibits inflammation associated with bronchitis, according to the book “Prescription for Dietary Wellness”.
Water and Other Fluids: The experts at Bastyr University believe that drinking sufficient amounts of water or other fluids can help to gain relief from bronchitis to some extent as well.
Whatever solution you try, depending on what is the easiest to access or the most comfortable for you, good luck! And Stay Healthy!
References: University of Maryland Medical Centre