Bronchitis is the irritation or infection of the mucous membrane that lines the bronchial tubes in the lungs. This disease is more common during the winter season, as it often follows any respiratory infection like a cold. Bronchitis can either be constant or sharp. In cases of constant bronchitis, the disease is more serious and for a longer period as well.
Antibiotic treatment is usually not a good alternative to treat the illness. A review in ‘Chest’ – An official journal published by the ‘American College of Chest Physicians’ has reported that the extensive use of antibiotics to treat acute bronchitis should not be encouraged and its usage must be curtailed drastically.
Fortunately, there are a number of home remedies that can be used to treat bronchitis and also other disorders related to the respiratory tract.
Home Remedies to Treat Bronchitis
Turmeric is one of the simple and helpful remedies to treat bronchitis. About ½ a tsp of turmeric must be taken daily.You can mix the powder with ½ a cup of milk and taken 2 to 3 times every day. It is quite effective when it is consumed on an empty stomach.
A mixture containing cloves, pepper and ginger (1/2 a tsp of each ingredient) must be taken 3 times a day. This combination of spices can be taken either in the tea form or along with honey. The antipyretic property of these ingredients will help in reducing the fever that is usually associated with bronchitis. Also, it boosts the metabolism.
Due to its expectorant properties, onions are used as a medicinal therapy in treating bronchitis. It helps in dissolving phlegm and also prevents its further formation. Raw onion juice (1 tsp) must be taken early in the morning every day.
The cough that is usually associated with bronchitis can be relieved by using onion. Place an onion slice in a bowl and add honey to it. Remove the onion from honey after allowing it to stand overnight. Take a tsp of this honey at least 4 times in a day. You can also consume onions cooked, baked, and raw, in stews and soups or as seasoning.
Ancient Greeks and Romans used bay leaves extensively. They considered that bay leaves were the source of artistic inspiration, clairvoyance and happiness. Whatever the reason, this simple herb acts as an excellent expectorant.
You can prepare a tea by using dried or fresh leaf and steep it in a cup of boiling water. You can also soak some bay leaves in hot water, which can be used as a poultice. Apply this to the chest and cover it using a towel. This is an effective bronchitis home remedy.
Lemons are quite useful in eliminating mucus and bacteria present in the respiratory system. Make lemon tea using grated lemon rind (1 tsp) and add it to the boiling water (1 cup). Steep for about 5 minutes (you can also use a lemon wedge).
Strain the brew and drink a cup of this brew every day. To relieve sore throat, you can add lemon juice (1 tsp) to warm water (1 cup) and use the mixture to gargle. This helps in getting rid of phlegm.
The warmth provided by the mustard plaster relieves the symptoms associated with many respiratory diseases including bronchitis. Take dry mustard (1 tbsp) and mix with flour (4 tbsp). Stir these ingredients in warm water to form a runny paste. Apply olive oil or any vegetable shortening to the chest.
Spread the mustard mixture on a cloth (gauze, kitchen washcloth or muslin) and use a similar piece to cover it. Place this on the chest and wait till it gets cool. However, you need to make sure that it does not burn the skin. In case, there is burning or discomfort, remove the plaster.
These little nuts have plenty of nutrients and vitamins and they are used to treat various problems ranging from sexual vitality to mental acuity. Almonds are a rich source of magnesium, calcium and potassium. They are used to cure the respiratory illness. Therefore, it is an effective remedy to treat bronchitis (avoid using chocolate-covered and candy-coated).
You can garnish veggies with slivered almonds. They also taste good in a salad, especially the citrus fruit salad. You can rub a little honey on the almonds and coat it with cinnamon. Roast these almonds in the oven for 10 minutes at 325 degrees F and enjoy this delicious and crunchy snack.
A mixture of sesame seeds (1 tsp), linseed (1 tsp), salt (a pinch) and honey (1 tsp) can be taken at night. Alternately, powdered dry seeds (1/2 tsp) mixed with water (2 tablespoons) must be taken 2 times daily.
Fresh spinach leaves (50 g) and water (250 ml) must be combined with honey (1 tsp) and little ammonium chloride. This combination works as a good expectorant and is quite effective in treating bronchitis.
Endive or chicory is very effective in treating chronic bronchitis. The dry root powder of chicory must be taken in small doses of ½ tsp, which is mixed with honey (1 tsp) 3 times daily. This acts as an expectorant.
A hot linseed poultice is applied on the back and front of the chest. The poultice is made by combining linseed (1 cup or 16 tbsp) with hot water that is sufficient enough to change it into a moist mass. This must be applied cautiously and before applying use turpentine to massage over the skin.
Salt Water Gargle
Gargling with salt water provides relief by alleviating the irritation and inflammation in the throat. Also, it helps in eliminating the mucus that might irritate the sensitive membranes in the throat. Mix a tsp of salt in warm water (1 glass) and gargle as frequently as you can. Make sure that you spit the salt water after gargling and avoid using too much salt, as it might cause a burning sensation in the throat.
In case of sharp bronchitis, it is recommended to fast on water and all-fruit diet till the symptoms of bronchitis are cured.
This diet must be followed for 5 – 7 days, taking 3 meals of fresh succulent fruits in a day. The all-fruit diet must be followed by a well-balanced diet that includes fresh fruits, raw vegetables, grains, nuts and seeds. Drinks can include hot/cold water or unsweetened lemon water.