Bronchitis is an inflammation, swelling or infection of the bronchial tubes between the nose and the lungs. It is usually caused by a virus, bacteria, or particles that irritate the bronchial tubes.
Symptoms associated with bronchitis include a cough with mucus, difficulty breathing, chest pain, nasal congestion, fatigue, muscle aches and fever. Bronchitis can be acute or chronic. People suffering from bronchitis often try over-the-counter medications to manage the symptoms. There are also many simple, natural home remedies that can provide relief.
What Causes Bronchitis?
Acute bronchitis is generally caused by lung infections, 90% of which are viral in origin. Repeated attacks of acute bronchitis, which weaken and irritate bronchial airways over time, can result in chronic bronchitis.
Industrial pollution is another culprit. Chronic bronchitis is found in higher-than-normal rates among coal miners, grain handlers, metal molders, and other people who are continually exposed to dust and fumes. But the chief cause is heavy, long-term cigarette smoking, which irritates the bronchial tubes and causes them to produce excess mucus. The symptoms of chronic bronchitis are also worsened by high concentrations of sulfur dioxide and other pollutants in the atmosphere.
How to prevent Getting Bronchitis?
•Don’t allow others to smoke in your home.
•Stay away from or reduce your time around things that irritate your nose, throat, and lungs, such as dust or pets.
•If you catch a cold, get plenty of rest.
•Take your medicine exactly the way your doctor tells you.
•Eat a healthy diet.
•Wash your hands often.
•Do not share food, cups, glasses, or eating utensils.
Most people DO NOT need antibiotics for acute bronchitis. The infection will almost always go away on its own within 1 week.
Here are the top few home remedies for treatment of bronchitis
Ginger, often used for treating the common cold, can also help with bronchitis. The anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties present in ginger help relieve irritated, inflamed or swollen bronchial tubes.
•Add half a teaspoon each of ground ginger, cinnamon and cloves in a cup of hot water. Stir well and drink the mixture for a few days to get relief.
•You can make an herbal tea by adding one teaspoon each of ginger powder and black pepper to a cup of boiling water. Let it steep for a few minutes, then add some honey. Drink it twice a day.
•You can also combine one teaspoon each of ginger powder, pepper, and cloves. Take it three times a day with honey or milk.
Due to its antibiotic and anti-viral properties, garlic is highly beneficial for treating bronchitis, especially acute bronchitis.
1.Take three garlic cloves.
2.Peel and chop them.
3.Put them in a glass of milk and boil.
4.Drink it at night before going to bed.
Gargling with salt water several times a day is a great way to treat various symptoms of bronchitis. Simply add one teaspoon of salt to a glass of warm water and gargle with it.
Be sure to use the exact amount of salt, as too much salt can cause a burning sensation in the throat and too little will not be as effective. You can gargle with salt water as often as you need.
There are two benefits of this remedy. First, it will soothe the inflammation in the throat, and secondly, it will cut through some of the mucus causing irritation to the throat.
Honey is a natural way to deal with the cough that occurs with bronchitis. The antiviral and antibacterial properties present in honey will be soothing for the throat. At the same time, honey will boost your immune system.
•Adding one teaspoon of honey to your regular cup of tea will help a lot when suffering from bronchitis.
•You can also add honey to warm lemon water to treat congestion and throat inflammation that often accompanies bronchitis.
The expectorant effect of onions helps dissolve mucus and phlegm, thereby providing relief from bronchitis. At the same time, onion juice will prevent further buildup.
•Simply eat one teaspoon of raw onion juice every morning on an empty stomach.
•Also add raw onions in your salad or use onions while cooking.
Sesame seeds have medicinal properties that can treat bronchitis and help relieve chest pain associated with it.
•Combine one teaspoon of sesame seeds, one teaspoon of linseed or flaxseed, a pinch of common salt and one teaspoon of honey. Take this mixture daily before going to bed.
•You can also mix one-half teaspoon of dry sesame seed powder and two tablespoons of water and take it twice daily.
When suffering from bronchitis, it is recommended to keep your body well-hydrated and help maintain a productive cough by drinking water and clear liquids.
So, drink at least eight to 10 glasses of water daily. You can drink fruit juices and vegetable juices as well. In the morning, you can have a glass of water mixed with the juice squeezed from half a lime and a little honey.
Do not drink caffeine or alcohol, which can lead to loss of extra fluid and thereby make the mucus tougher to dislodge.
Try some of these natural remedies to treat the problem of bronchitis. But if your symptoms do not improve or if you are wheezing, then see your Doctor, your doctor may prescribe an inhaler to open your airways.
If your doctor thinks you also have bacteria in your airways, he or she may prescribe antibiotics. This medicine will only get rid of bacteria, not viruses. A bacterial infection is more common if you also have a chronic lung disease like COPD.
Sometimes, bacteria may infect the airways along with the virus. If your doctor thinks this has happened, you may be prescribed antibiotics. Sometimes, corticosteroid medicine is also needed to reduce inflammation in the lungs.