What Is Bronchitis?
Bronchitis is a type of respiratory disease blocking the soft membranes of the pathways of lungs. It causes swelling of mucous membrane causing nasal congestion. Allergy and bacterial/viral infections are the major causes of bronchitis. Changes in weather condition, intense smoking and pollution can also trigger bronchitis. Bronchitis can be either short-lived (acute) or chronic (long term). Medical treatment is to be given if bronchitis continues for over three weeks. Some of the common symptoms of bronchitis are nasal congestion, difficulty in breathing, fever, tiredness and tightening of chest.
Mild form of bronchitis can be treated with simple but effective home remedies.
1. Steam Therapy
This is the traditional home remedy for treating bronchitis. Lean your face over hot water bowl covering it with a blanket. The hot water vapor will enter directly into the lungs clearing off the mucus thus reliving the nasal congestion. Steam therapy is highly effective for tightening of chest and it would certainly help in loosening of secretions in the nasal pathways. If you wish, you can add 2-3 drops of eucalyptus oil to the hot water to get added effect; Eucalyptus is effective in fighting bacterial infection thus helping in clearing off the mucus from your lungs. You can use pine oil also to get the same effect.
If you are having cold and bronchitis you can run additional humidifier in your room to keep the air moist. Additional moisture in your bedroom would help in relieving the phlegm and nasal congestion. Remember to clean the humidifier regularly failing which you are prone to bacterial infection.
3. Drink Water
Drink plenty of water if you have running nose or severe cold. You would be losing water particles from your body in the form of mucus/phlegm by repeated coughing and sneezing. Hence it is necessary to hydrate your system to makeup the loss of water ions in the body. You can drink 8 glasses of water a day under normal conditions and two more glasses if you have cold.
Honey not only cures nasal congestion but also soothes your throat. It is a natural agent fighting against bacteria and virus. Honey helps in strengthening your immune system. You can add a tsp of honey to your regular tea while having cold. Alternatively, you can add 1-2 tsp of honey to a mixture of 3 crushed black pepper corns and crushed ginger and a pinch of clove powder. Drink this mixture to keep your throat smooth during bronchitis. It helps in reducing inflammation of sore throat. You can also drink few drops of honey to warm water mixed with few drops of lemon juice.
5. Oregano Oil
Repeated coughing can cause sore throat when you have a cold. Place few drops of oregano oil in your tongue and leave it for few minutes before swallowing. This oil is an effective remedy for sore throat and severe cough and it helps in reducing nasal congestion also.
6. Salt Water
Gargle salt water (2 tsp of salt mixed in a cup of water) (preferably warm) to get instant relief from sore throat. Salt is a natural anti-inflammatory agent clearing off the inflammation caused due to coughing. Irritation caused in the bronchial membrane is considerably reduced by simply gargling salt water several times a day. Salt is capable of removing any micro-organisms present in the oral cavity thus relieving you from bad breathe.
7. Fresh Ginger
Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory agent for treating bronchitis and any type of cold. You can use ginger in various ways. Mix a pinch of fresh ginger with 2 pepper corns and a pinch of cloves. Add 2 tsp of honey and little milk to this mixture and drink this several times a day. Fresh ginger piece and cloves can provide good relief from cold. Add few pieces of ginger and cloves to hot water and drink it. Ginger can also be added to herbal tea for getting instant relief from swelling of throat. In a cup of boiling water add ginger powder and crushed black pepper. Sieve this and add a tsp of honey before drinking it.
It is good to eat plenty of oranges when you have cold since it adds vitamin C to your system. Any kind of citrus fruits are ideal for bronchitis. Orange helps in reducing inflammation of sore throat and nasal congestion.
Turmeric is a simple home remedy for bronchitis. Excess of phlegm from the nasal path will be cleared by taking pure turmeric. Drink a glass of warm milk mixed with a tsp of turmeric powder. It can free you from cough, if you drink this turmeric milk before going to bed.
Garlic is known to give relief from gas and acidity problem. But garlic is an effective antibiotic for treating bronchitis and any kind of bacterial infection. Crush few pods of garlic and add this to a glass of milk. Boil this milk for few minutes before drinking. You can take this milk at bedtime for getting quality sleep without any disturbance of coughing.
11. Epsom Salt Bath
Add one kg of Epsom salt in your bathtub and relax yourself in this warm water for 20-30 minutes. Epsom salt is good enough to give relief from acute as well as chronic form of bronchitis. You can try this simple home remedy before bedtime.
12. Sesame Seeds
Mix 1 tsp of powdered sesame seeds with little honey. Drink this mixture 2-3 times a day to get quick relief from bronchitis. You can also take sesame seeds with little water for getting the same effect.
13. Mullein Tea
Boil a cup of water after adding few mullein leaves to it. Strain this tea before drinking. Mullein has the property of clearing the mucus from the lungs thus restoring free breathing.
A kind of amino acid by name NAC (N Acetyl Cysteine) is effective in clearing off the mucus. This can be taken up to 600 mg daily. Similarly Echinacea herb is effective for allergic cold and bronchitis. It destroys the bacteria from the system strengthening your immunity. Alternatively, you can also try using R lipoic acid which helps in repairing the airways and reducing inflammation.
How To Prevent Bronchitis?
- Pollution can be a good source for bronchitis. Avoid dust pollution and air pollution by wearing protective mask on the go.
- Wash the hands frequently and avoid touching your face or nose with dirty hands.
- You can use a saline nasal spray for cleaning any dirt from your nose instead of putting your fingers into it.
- Eat a well balanced diet. Include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated.
- Avoid dairy products when you have a cold.
- Quit smoking and drinking.
- Avoid using scented sprays and perfumes in your room.
- Cold is contagious and spreads through air. Hence take complete rest if you have a cold.