Home Remedies for Bronchitis
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, thyme etc. Bronchitis can be caused due to infection by bacteria and viruses or by factors such as smoking and inhalation of noxious fumes and dust.
Inflammation of the air passages causes the symptoms typical of bronchitis which include cough and fever, body ache and breathlessness. Though the chronic form of bronchitis needs special medical care, relief from symptoms associated with bronchitis can be provided by some easy to follow home remedies.
Home remedies for bronchitis have been accepted by 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 trachea (windpipe) and the large and small bronchi due to infection or other factors and the mucous lining of the airways become swollen due to 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 which causes common cold. Other lung irritants such as tobacco smoke, dust and fumes worsen the condition in 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 persistent cough producing 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 in 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 is proven to show anti-pyretic properties and is highly effective in relieving fever and chills accompanying bronchitis. It also provides relief from sore throat due to incessant coughing.
Onion and Garlic: Onion and garlic have been shown to act as expectorants and reduce inflammation due to the presence of the chemical quercetin which inhibits the enzyme lipooxygenase responsible for 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 better results.
Eucalyptus Oil: It aids in relieving pain associated with incessant coughing and loosens phlegm as quoted by University of Maryland Medical Centre.
Tea Tree Oil: Soothes the blocked airways and can be effectively used as steam inhalant.
Anise: Anise has expectorant and antiseptic properties and aids in clearing phlegm from lungs.
Cardamom: Cardamom acts as a decongestant and expectorant and relieves the cough caused by bronchitis.
Camphor Oil: It forms a major component of many balms and rubs for treating cold. It is anti-inflammatory and soothes aches associated with congestion.
Juniper Oil: Juniper berries are considered an excellent treatment for colds, coughs and phlegm and are generally taken as 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 throat and relieves cough.
Thyme: Thyme oil has antispasmodic, expectorant and anti bacterial properties according to the studies published in the journal Phytotherapy, 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 as quoted in the book Prescription for Dietary Wellness.