Bronchitis is an infection of the main airways of the lungs, causing them to become inflamed and irritated. This condition usually occurs mostly in winter, particularly during outbreaks of influenza.
It can be described as being either:
- acute bronchitis – which is common and is usually due to infection with a virus. Most cases of acute bronchitis get better within a few days.
- chronic bronchitis – a serious long-term disorder which usually requires regular medical treatment. People sometimes mistake this type of bronchitis for “a smoker’s cough.”
- a hacking cough that lasts for five days or more;
- runny and stuffy nose starting a few days before the chest congestion;
- pressure or tightness in the chest;
Usually, patients with chronic bronchitis are smokers over 45 years of age. Smoking is a major irritant to the lungs and it causes damage on the cellular level, which ultimately causes the lung tissue to be more susceptible to acute bronchitis.
Certain jobs, like – welding, coal mining, asbestos work, and grain handling as well as exposure to fumes (from irritants such as ammonia, strong acids, chlorine, some organic solvents, sulfur dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, and bromine), also increase the risk of developing bronchitis.
If your bronchitis is due to a virus, your symptoms may take two or more weeks to resolve, however, using antibiotics won’t help.
Bacterial bronchitis is treated with antibiotics, like – erythromycin, tetracycline, depending on the causative bacteria. Nevertheless, these antibiotics have side effects, such as – vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.
For centuries, apple cider vinegar (ACV) has been used for various household and cooking purposes. For example, medical practitioners in the 1700s used it to treat everything from stomach aches to poison ivy, while Hippocrates used it to manage wounds.
ACV has strong natural antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fungal properties which enhance the immune system. In addition, ACV can help to loosen the phlegm in your chest, that will relieve the congestion and make you breathe better.
Moreover, according to recent studies, apple cider vinegar ingestion can help lower blood pressure, improve diabetes, acid reflux, and support weight loss.
- bring 1/4 cup of water to boil;
- remove from the flame and add 1/4 cup of ACV;
- pour in a cup and set aside till lukewarm;
- add 1 tbsp each of lemon juice and cayenne pepper (works as a decongestant, thanks to the natural chemical capsaicin, that helps relieve inflammation and swelling which is narrowing nasal passages);
- stir well and drink it.
You may consume this water daily.
Other natural treatments for bronchitis:
During a bronchitis attack, you should have a hot bath with Epsom salts every night. Remain immersed in this water for half an hour.
This should offer some relief from the coughing and congestion which usually gets worse during the night.
The expectorant effect of onions helps dissolve phlegm and mucus, hence, providing relief from bronchitis. You can consume onions, especially in salads.
At the same time, you can intake in the form of a juice combined with other vegetables.
It works as a mild natural antibiotic and helps your body get rid of the mucus, that, when stagnant, can become the breeding ground for harmful bacteria which may cause infection.
It helps in treating diseases or infections of the circulatory, respiratory, and digestive systems.
To use turmeric for bronchitis, take 1/2 tablespoon of turmeric in half a glass of water on an empty stomach, three times per day.
It was used in the traditional medicine for centuries to treat respiratory and chest conditions, including bronchitis, coughs, and chest congestion due to its content of potent volatile oil components.
Research has concluded that sesame seeds contain bioactive compounds – called phenols, that may be responsible for their strong antimicrobial properties.
Eucalyptus essential oil removes and softens the mucous from the airways while providing an antibacterial punch which cannot be beaten.
Just put ten drops of eucalyptus essential oil in a pot of boiling water and inhale for a few minutes.
The immune-boosting and anti-inflammatory properties present in ginger help relieve inflamed, irritated, or swollen bronchial tubes. You can use 1/2 teaspoon ginger, cinnamon, and ground cloves and steep in 1 cup of boiling water and drink in the morning.
- Stay away from or try to reduce your time around things that irritate your airways (throat, nose, and lungs).
- Wear protective gear to avoid pollutants at work.
- Use a humidifier. Warm, moist air loosens mucus in your airways and helps relieve coughs. However, to avoid the growth of fungi and bacteria in the water container, you need to clean the humidifier according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
- Consume 6-8 servings of vegetables per day, particularly those which are naturally highly colored (red, bright green, yellow, orange, purple).
- Regular cleaning of the house is essential to keep the house free from mites and dust.
- Wash your hands frequently (don’t use antibacterial soap) to lower your exposure to bacteria and viruses.
- Do not drink alcohol or other beverages containing caffeine (such as energy drinks, some sodas, or coffee), that can lead to loss of extra fluid, thus, making the mucus tougher to dislodge.
- Consume plenty of fluids every day.
- Cut the dairy – the most mucus forming foods are milk and dairy products and must be avoided when you are suffering from bronchitis.
- Stop smoking – if you want to prevent bronchitis, stop smoking immediately and try and even stay away from secondhand smoke.
References http://www.aafp.org/afp/2010/1201/p1345.html https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0010572/ http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/condition/