Bronchitis occurs when the bronchial tubes, which are the passage way of air to the lungs, are infected and swollen. The infection usually develops more cough and production of mucus. People with bronchitis experience difficulty to breathe, fatigue and inability to clear out phlegm or mucus.
Bronchitis is often caused by bacteria, virus and microorganisms that infect and swell the bronchial tubes. There are two types of bronchitis: acute and chronic. Acute bronchitis is considered a short-term illness that commonly occurs after developing fever or infection. Its symptoms include shortness of breath, cough with moderate mucus, fever, body pains, chest pains and flu. It usually lasts a few days and can sometimes reach a week or two. Although acute bronchitis is considered a common and non-serious illness, proper treatment must be done to prevent complications.
On the other hand, chronic bronchitis is diagnosed when persistent coughing and mucus production occurs for at least 3 months in a row, and can reach up to 2 to 3 years. People with this serious type of condition experiences heavy breathing, fatigue, and on and off coughing which commonly brings heavy mucus secretion. Clearly, chronic bronchitis needs immediate medical attention to prevent it from developing complications such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Bronchitis commonly starts with moderate coughing, fever and flu. After a few days, other symptoms start to appear. Below are some of the most common symptoms you should always be aware of.
• Chest pains – congestion of the chest area which often brings pain and irregular breathing
• Cough – with mucus or phlegm that is colored white, yellow or green
• Fatigue and difficulty to breathe
• Shortness of breath
• On and off fever
• Body and muscle pains
• Runny nose
• Sore throat
• On and off headaches
Bronchitis is usually caused by virus and bacteria that also develop common colds and fever. Aside from this virus, it can also be caused by other factors such as:
• Allergens and air pollution
• Chronic smoking that leads to unhealthy lungs and weak immune system
• Past history with bronchitis
Natural Home Remedies for Bronchitis
Bronchitis, especially acute bronchitis, can be easily treated with over the counter syrups and tablets. However, some people prefer treatment using natural ingredients rather than exposing their bodies to chemical based products. Below are some of the most effective natural cures that you can conveniently do at home.
Water can effectively draw out sticky and stubborn phlegm and mucus attached in the bronchial tubes. Drink 8 to 10 250ml glasses of water daily to soften mucus and phlegm. In addition, consuming proper amount of water will not only provide hydration to the whole body, but will also promote better immune system against various conditions like cough, fever and bronchitis.
After waking up in the morning, it is recommended to drink a glass of warm water 30 minutes before consuming any food. Doing this will wake up the organs and will promote better secretion of mucus and phlegm. You can also add a few drops or lemon and a teaspoon of honey to add more cleansing power. Furthermore, make sure to drink at least 1 glass of warm water after every meal.
2. Avoid Smoking and Alcohol
One of the most common causes of bronchitis and other respiratory conditions is cigarrete smoking. Smoking will not only weaken your immune system, it also increases the risk of contracting fatal respiratory diseases such as bronchitis and lung cancer.
Quitting this fatal stick is easier said than done. To help you with nicotine addiction, search for programs and social groups that are specifically formed to assist people who want to break the habit. In addition, alcohol can also promote various respiratory issues so it is best to limit consumption or avoid entirely.
3. Vitamin C
Vitamin C provides antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that prevent respiratory diseases. It also strengthens the immune system against viruses and germs that can lead to bronchitis.
For people suffering from bronchitis, take 2000 mg of vitamin c with flavonoids to combat bronchial infection and strengthen the immune system. It is also recommended to eat fruits and vegetables that are loaded with vitamin c such as lemon, pineapple and oranges.
4. Hot baths and Steam Sessions
One of the most basic natural cures for bronchitis is regular hot bath or hot shower. Dipping your body especially the chest area in lukewarm or moderate hot water will soften hard and sticky mucus and will relax stressed lungs due to continuous coughing. To increase anti-inflammatory and soothing properties, add 3 to 5 drops of eucalyptus oil to the hot bath. Pine oil, which is loaded with antibacterial properties, also helps in drawing out mucus from the bronchial tubes.
Aside from hot bath and shower, you can also breathe steam to soften sticky mucus. Boil 3 cups of water and add 5 to 10 drops of eucalyptus or pine oil. Add half teaspoon of salt to get more antibacterial and anti-inflammatory power. When steam starts to come out, reduce the heat and start inhaling. Do this steam session for about 5 to 10 minutes, and repeat 3 to 4 times daily.
Honey is rich with antiviral and antimicrobial properties that are effective in eliminating virus and bacteria that causes bronchitis. In addition, honey strengthens the immune system against common cough and cold. When choosing honey, it is important to pick natural raw honey that contains natural properties.
Directly consume 1 teaspoon of honey in the morning and before going to sleep. You can also add 1 tablespoon of honey to your favorite tea as an alternative to sugar. To loosen sticky mucus and relax the lungs, mix 1 teaspoon of honey with 1 glass of warm water. Stir well. Drink during breakfast and before going to sleep. To cure sore throat, add 1 teaspoon of honey with 1 cup hot water. Add a few drops of lemon and stir well. Drink 3 times daily.
Ginger is commonly used to lower high fever and regulate body temperature, but it is also effective in drawing out sticky mucus while minimizing cough. It is loaded with anti-inflammatory properties that help cure swollen bronchial tubes and sore throat.
To prepare ginger tea, cut small ginger into thin slices and mix with 1 cup water. Boil for about 5 to 10 minutes in medium heat. Pour into a tall glass and add 1 teaspoon of honey to improve taste. Drink during breakfast or before going to bed.
Aside from its antibacterial properties, turmeric is also highly regarded for its soothing and relaxing effects. Turmeric is also effective in providing relief from chest pains due to chronic coughing. It also helps draw out phlegm by decreasing swelling of the bronchial tubes.
To prepare as a tea, mix 1 teaspoon of turmeric with 1 glass of hot water. Add 1 tablespoon of honey. Mix well. Drink 2 to 3 times daily especially when continuous coughing is experienced. Instead of water, you can use hot milk to get more vitamins and nutrients. To maximize its healing and antibacterial powers, drink turmeric tea on an empty stomach or before breakfast.
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