6 Natural Remedies for Healing Bronchitis
Bronchitis is a condition that occurs when the inner walls that line the main passageways of your lungs become infected and inflamed.
Bronchitis typically follows a cold that gets out of hand, where your chest starts to feel sore and you develop an irritating cough. Later, you might get the chills or a slight fever.
In simple terms, Bronchitis is the lungs’ cleaning response to viral overwhelm.
Most cases of acute bronchitis will disappear within a few days if you support your body by not adding to the toxic load, although coughs may linger for longer before they finally clear.
Serious cases of bronchitis can lead to asthma and even emphysema if left unchecked, so it pays to address the problem before it escalates to this level.
Signs & Symptoms of Bronchitis
A cough that brings up yellow-grey or green mucus, also known as sputum, is one of the main signs of bronchitis.
Mucus itself is not a problem. It's actually the body's natural, protective response and your airways produce at least an ounce of normal mucus secretions every single day.
However, when the bronchial tubes - the main air passageways in your lungs - become inflamed, they produce LARGE amounts of discoloured mucus that comes up when you cough. Mucus that isn’t white or clear usually means there’s a secondary infection.
These signs can be deceptive. You don’t always produce sputum when you have bronchitis. Parents with a sick child may not know there’s a secondary infection because children often swallow coughed-up material.
Bronchitis may be accompanied by common signs and symptoms of an upper respiratory infection, including:
- Body Aches
- Breathing Congestion
- Fever and chills
- Sore throat
- Soreness and a feeling of constriction or burning in your chest
Sometimes chronic sinusitis, an ongoing infection in the lining of one or more of the cavities in the bone around your nose, can mimic bronchitis.
Signs and symptoms of chronic sinusitis are similar to those of bronchitis and include a thick, yellow or green postnasal discharge and a chronic cough that’s triggered when you try to clear your throat of mucus draining from your sinuses.
What causes Bronchitis?
The same viruses that cause colds often cause acute bronchitis. Noninfectious bronchitis can also develop from exposure to your own or someone else’s cigarette smoke or even from pollutants such as household cleaners and smog.
Bronchitis can also occur from a condition known as gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD where acids from your stomach consistently back up into your food pipe.
Workers exposed to certain dusts or fumes may develop an acute disease that generally clears up when exposure to the irritant stops known as occupational bronchitis.
Chronic bronchitis occurs when inflammation and thickening of the lining of your bronchial tubes become permanent. Signs and symptoms include shortness of breath and a continual cough that produces large amounts of mucus.
You’re generally considered to have chronic bronchitis if you cough most days for at least three months a year in two consecutive years. Smokers with chronic bronchitis cough almost every day, even if it’s just to “clear their throats” in the morning.
Chronic bronchitis is an ongoing, serious disease, unlike acute bronchitis. Smoking is the major cause, but air pollution and dust or toxic gases in the environment or workplace can also contribute to the condition.
This chronic inflammation of the airways leads to asthma in some people.
Risk Factors for Bronchitis
People who smoke or who live with a smoker are at greatest risk of both acute and chronic bronchitis. Children whose parents or siblings smoke are especially susceptible to bronchitis, as well as to asthma, pneumonia, colds and ear infections, or otitis media.
Other factors that increase your risk of bronchitis include:
- Low immunity - This may result from another acute illness, such as a cold, or from a chronic condition that compromises your immune system. Greater vulnerability to infection affects older adults, infants and young children.
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease - Stomach acids that persistently back up into your oesophagus are likely to cause a chronic cough, usually through a reflex mechanism.
- Exposure to environmental irritants - You run the risk of developing occupational bronchitis if you work around certain lung irritants, such as flax, hemp or cotton dust.
- Exposure to chemical fumes - These can include ammonia, strong acids, chlorine, hydrogen sulfide, sulfur dioxide or bromine can also be to blame.
The cough associated with occupational bronchitis may be dry. Occupational bronchitis usually clears up when you’re no longer exposed to these irritating substances.
For most, a single episode of bronchitis usually isn’t cause for concern, although it can lead to pneumonia in some people.
Older adults, infants, smokers and people with chronic respiratory disorders or heart problems are at greatest risk of this complication.
Repeated bouts of bronchitis should be taken seriously. They may signal chronic bronchitis, asthma or other lung disorders. If you’re a smoker or if you’re exposed to someone else’s tobacco smoke over a long period of time, having chronic bronchitis also increases your risk of lung cancer.
Prevention is Better Than Cure!
If you have frequent, repeated bronchitis, the culprit may be something in your environment. Cold, damp locations, especially in combination with air pollution can make you more susceptible to acute bronchitis.
You may need to consider changing where and how you live and work if the problem is severe. Avoid smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke. Tobacco smoke increases your risk of chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
Bronchitis usually results from a viral infection that gets out of control.
The medical response is to prescribe antibiotics, but the reality is that these gradually weaken the body's immune-system, ultimately leading to 'superbugs' and impacting your body's resistance to other infections down the road.
You should also avoid OTC cough supplement medicines. It’s best not to suppress a cough that brings up mucus. Coughing helps remove irritants from your lungs and air passages. Don’t stop the body’s cure!
6 Natural Ways To Help Heal Bronchitis:
1) Get Plenty of Rest
As you are dealing with viral overwhelm, it's really important that you rest as much as possible in order for your body to be able to use its available energy resources to restoring your immune system.
2) Drink Extra Water
You've probably heard the term, "Always drown a cold". In order to help your body to thin out the mucus in the bronchial tubes and reduce coughing, it’s important to increase your water intake and make sure that you drink at least one glass of clean water every 2 hours.
3) Load up on Anti-Inflammatory Foods
Eat plenty of citrus fruits and vitamin C rich foods e.g. Oranges, Lemons, Limes and Pineapple.
Garlic and Ginger are also potent anti-inflammatory foods which you should embrace.
Add Garlic and Ginger to fresh fruit/vegetable juices and in preparing soups.
It's best to avoid heavy meals whilst your body is dealing with the toxic overwhelm so that you don't add to the burden.
Raw Honey is also one of nature's most powerful virus eliminating foods because nothing can live in honey!
To help soothe your cough, a powerful remedy is to suck on honey infused - raw garlic.
It’s pretty easy to make at home, like this:
- Peel 2-3 garlic cloves
- Using the flat side of a knife crush the cloves
- Leave them to sit for 15 minutes
- Place all the garlic in a glass jar and then cover with raw honey
- Screw on the lid and leave it at room temperature for 3-5 days.
Suck on the cloves when awake so that the potent healing properties of this powerful combination can go to work on your cough and strengthen your defences against the virus.
Alternatively, add raw honey and a drop of essential peppermint oil to a cup of hot water and sip before bedtime. You an also simply swallow a tablespoon of raw honey morning or night, if you'd prefer.
4) Use a Humidifier or Sauna
Warm, moist air can help relieve coughs and loosens mucus in your airways. You can use a humidifier if you live in a dry climate or environment where you can't open the windows. To avoid the growth of bacteria and fungi in the water container, be sure to clean the humidifier according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Another great tip is to use Saunas (or gradual heat Infra-Red Saunas), which are very effective at clearing the bronchioles and supporting the detoxification of your entire body and respiratory system.
5) Cleanse and Heal Your Gut
Bronchitis is a sign of viral overwhelm in the body, which is also a function of your gut health.
Therefore, it's important to eliminate blockages in the digestive tract and re-establish a healthy gut ecology.
To help with this, it's wise to do a natural colon cleanse like my Cleanse Me protocol, or visit a colonic clinic that specialises in gravity flow colonic technology.
It's also important to get good bacteria into the digestive tract from fermented foods like Kefir, Sauerkraut, Kimchi, Coconut Yogurt, Kumbucha and Olives. Learn more in my blog, 6 Fermented Foods For A Healthy Gut
6) Use these THREE Essential Oils
> Eucalyptus Pure Essential Oil is widely known for its powerful analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties and is widely used by many for the treatment of colds, flu and other respiratory ailments.
Thanks to its main constituent and high concentration of “Cineole”, it serves to reduce inflammation of the airways as well as improve overall lung function making it very useful for treating bronchitis.
You can use it in these ways:
- Inhale it directly from the bottle or diffuse it next to your bed with an Aromatherapy Diffuser.
- Boil up some water and place in a large bowl and add 10 drops or more of Eucalyptus oil. Then with your head draped over the bowl, take deep breaths for 5-10 minutes. You can even place a towel over your head and the bowl for enhanced results.
- Rub a few drops over your chest with some Fractionated Coconut Oil
- Add a few drops to a hot bath with some Epsom Salt and then soak in it.
Use it in these ways:
- Inhale it directly from the bottle. Or rub 1-2 drops into the palms of your hands, cup your nose, deeply inhale and exhaling into the open air several times.
- Rub a few drops directly onto the chest.
> Oregano Pure Essential Oil is one of Mother Earth’s strongest “antibiotics” thanks to its anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. As an added bonus it’s also effective at reducing inflammation which makes it ideal as a natural remedy for bronchitis.
Take a few drops orally diluted either in water or Organic Coconut Oil to support your body in healing and combatting the virus responsible for causing bronchitis.
To help you recover from bronchitis and colds and flu in general I created a Pre-Winter Decongestant Pack which not only includes a bottle of Eucalyptus Pure Essential Oil, but also my Congest Ease, a soothing, chemical-free respiratory plant butter balm to support relief from breathing congestion caused by overwhelm in the body, and my natural nasal spray Breathe EZ, containing a powerful combination of Dendritic Salt, Eucalyptus, Peppermint and Tea Tree Essential Oils.