* Bronchitis is the inflammation of the bronchi, the tubes that link the trachea (windpipe) and the lungs. There are two type of bronchitis – acute and chronic.
* Acute bronchitis usually only lasts two to three weeks, however, sometimes bronchitis may develop into pneumonia in patients who have lung or other health problems.
* Chronic bronchitis, if left untreated, over time may contribute to other disorders including pulmonary hypertension and sometimes heart failure.
* It is important to have bronchitis correctly diagnosed, as some of the symptoms are similar to those of tuberculosis and lung cancer.
* Acute bronchitis often occurs following a cold or the flu and may be caused by viral, bacterial or other microorganism infection.
* Chronic bronchitis is a result of frequent irritation of the bronchial tubes from factors including allergens, other health conditions, cigarette smoke and environmental pollution.
* Include sore throat, fever, painful chest, persistent cough that produces gray, green or yellow phlegm, bronchospasm, difficulty breathing, wheezing and chills.
* Quit Smoking – smoking and passive smoking irritate the linings of the air passages and lungs, and cigarette smoke is a known trigger for chronic bronchitis. Please see smoking to find out how to quit.
* Exercise – for chronic bronchitis sufferers, regular gentle exercise is an effective way to help the lungs and air passages to work more efficiently.
* Dietary Changes – try to avoid mucous forming foods during acute attacks including dairy products, processed and sweet foods / fruits.
* In most cases of bronchitis, home remedies such as a few days of bed rest, nutrition, herbs, aromatherapy inhalations and massage will see the infection completely clear up in two to three weeks. If the acute symptoms don’t ease after two to three days of bed rest, high fever continues, or there is difficulty breathing, please seek medical advice. Most cases of bronchitis are not caused by bacterial infection and do not require antibiotic treatment.
* When suffering acute bronchitis drink plenty of filtered water, juices and herbal tea as this will help to reduce the viscosity of phlegm and to loosen it for easier expectoration.
* Avoid using cough suppressant, as coughing is an essential function to remove excess mucous. To loosen the mucous you may try a hot water bottle on your chest for about twenty minutes. If you lie on your front, with your chest lower than your hips, the mucous will be more easily dislodged upon coughing.
VITAMIN A – An antioxidant that works to heal mucous tissue, protects against pollution, colds and the flu, also helps to resist respiratory infections. Natural sources of vitamin A include yellow fruits and vegetables, leafy green vegetables, spirulina, alfalfa, cayenne, parsley, peppermint, rose hip, kale, dandelion greens, asparagus and lemongrass. 25,000 iu daily in divided doses may help. Doses over 10,000 iu per day may cause birth defects if taken by pregnant women. Women of childbearing age are advised not to become pregnant during such a course or within one month after ceasing a course.
VITAMIN C – With bioflavonoids. An antioxidant that helps to fight bacterial infections, stimulates immune function, helps to heal tissue and lowers histamine levels. Natural sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, berries, broccoli, leafy green vegetables, parsley, mango, fenugreek, peppermint, dandelion greens, rose hips, alfalfa, pineapple, asparagus, onions, persimmons and papayas. 5,000 – 10,000 mg daily in divided doses (every few of hours) may help. Do not use more than 5,000 mg daily if pregnant. Use esterified vitamin C if you use aspirin. Large doses of vitamin C may cause diarrhea, may deplete the body of copper and affect the reliability of oral contraceptives.
BETA CAROTENE – Works to protect and repair lung tissue. 50,000 iu daily in divided doses may help.
VITAMIN E – An antioxidant used to heal tissue. Works synergistically with vitamin C. Natural sources of vitamin E include dark green leafy vegetables, oats, soybeans, cold pressed vegetables, dandelion, brown rice, sweet potatoes, wheat, cornmeal, nuts, seeds and alfalfa. 800 iu daily in divided doses, with vitamin C may help. Take according to label instructions if you suffer from diabetes, overactive thyroid, or are taking anticoagulant medication.
BIOFLAVONOIDS & RUTIN – Quercetin. Helps the body to absorb vitamin C, fights bacteria, reduces histamine levels, promotes circulation and helps to preserve the integrity of capillary walls. Natural sources of bioflavonoids include citrus pith, apricots, hawthorn and elderberries, cherries, citrus fruit and prunes. 1,000 mg daily in divided doses of quercetin may help.
ZINC – An antioxidant essential for tissue repair. Natural sources of zinc include whole grains, soybeans, nuts, mushrooms, brewer’s yeast, legumes, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, alfalfa, dandelion, parsley and sarsaparilla. One 15 mg lozenge, five times daily for one week may help. Excess zinc intake may cause copper deficiency. For prolonged periods of zinc intake, copper is recommended ie: 30 mg zinc with 2 mg of copper. Do not use more than 100 mg daily as excess zinc may depress the immune system.
ASTRAGALUS, HUANG QI – Used for chronic lung conditions, useful for colds, the flu and to protect the immune system. Use according to label instructions. Do not use if a fever is present.
CEDARWOOD – Essential oil. Cedarwood acts as an expectorant and may be used as an inhalant. Add six drops of oil to a bowl of hot water. Cover the head and bowl with a towel and inhale the steam. Repeat three times daily. Avoid boiling water as the steam may burn the face. Keep eyes closed during treatment. Do not use during pregnancy. Cedarwood may also be used in carrier oil and massaged onto the chest. Essential oil should equal three percent of total oil quantity. Do not use during pregnancy.
ECHINACEA, PURPLE CONEFLOWER. – Echinacea and Goldenseal Extract – used together is excellent for helping the immune system and fights off colds and the flu. Do not use echinacea if allergic to plants in the sunflower family, or have a disease such as multiple sclerosis, tuberculosis or an autoimmune illness. Do not use goldenseal if pregnant or if you have cardiovascular disease, diabetes or glaucoma.
EUCALYPTUS – Essential oil or leaves. Use as an inhalant. Add six drops of oil, or raw leaves to a bowl of hot water. Cover the head and bowl with a towel and inhale the steam. Repeat three times daily. Avoid boiling water as the steam may burn the face. Keep eyes closed during treatment.
FENUGREEK – Reduces mucous and inflammation. Take according to label instructions.
GARLIC – Improves immune function, aids in asthma, colds and flu. Use according to label instructions. Seek medical advice before using garlic if using anticoagulant medication.
GINKGO, MAIDENHAIR TREE – An antioxidant and is used to improve respiratory function in asthma and allergies. Use according to label instructions. Take for at least two weeks for maximum benefit.
HORSETAIL, SCOURING RUSH, SHAVE GRASS, BOTTLEBRUSH, SILICA. – Used to strengthen the lungs. Use according to label instructions. Do not take if pregnant.
MULLEIN – Used in asthma, bronchitis and hay fever. Use according to label instructions.
PAU D’ARCO, TAHEEBO, LAPACHO – Used for its healing properties. Take according to label instructions.
SLIPPERY ELM, MOOSE ELM, RED ELM – Used in the treatment of colds and flu. Take according to label instructions.
SANDALWOOD – Essential oil. Used for symptoms of chronic bronchitis as an inhalant. Add six drops of oil to a bowl of hot water. Cover the head and bowl with a towel and inhale the steam. Repeat three times daily. Avoid boiling water as the steam may burn the face. Keep eyes closed during treatment.
THYME – Essential oil. May be used as an inhalant or in a burner. Add six drops of oil to a bowl of hot water. Cover the head and bowl with a towel and inhale the steam. Repeat three times daily. Avoid boiling water as the steam may burn the face. Keep eyes closed during treatment. Alternatively, use a ceramic burner with a deep bowl, fill it with purified water and add six drops of essential oil. Beeswax candles should be used in a protected alcove under the bowl. Do not leave flame unattended. Do not use if you have high blood pressure.