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7 herbs that help cure acute bronchitis.

Updated on March 20, 2014

Acute bronchitis often follows the flu or common cold, it has the following symptoms:

  • Wet cough,
  • Shortness of breath,
  • Wheezing.


  • Chest pain,
  • Fever,
  • Fatigue or general weakness.

If you are smoking - stop, or at least - reduce. If you are working in dusty environment - take few sick days. Nobody will object.

There is a combination of herbal remedies that can help you shorten the time of your illness and lessen the symptoms.

7 herbal remedies for acute bronchitis.

Hb. Thymi
Thyme sprout
40 grams
Fol. Farfarae
Coltsfoot leaves
40 grams
Rad. Althaeae
Marshmallow root
40 grams
Rad. Primulae
Primrose root
30 grams
Fl. Sambuci
Elder berry blossoms
30 grams
Rad. Liquiritiae
Liquorice root
30 grams
Rhiz. Polipodii
Common polypody rhizome
20 grams
M.F. Species (mix everything evenly)

Herbal tea preparation.

  • Add 2 tablespoons in 3 cups of water (750-800 ml.)
  • Boil for 5 minutes, then cover and leave for 1 hour for extraction to complete.

Drink 1 glass of the extract 4 times a day with a tablespoon of honey (not necessary if you have all herbs, because both fern and liquorice roots are bitter-sweet, but honey also has antibacterial properties and can help you improve faster).

In all cases, visit an Otolaringologist (or at least your MD/GP) if the cough lasts more than 3-4 weeks or there is wet cough with blood spots in the sputum.

If you can't find all the herbs listed above, get as many of them as you can find (or afford) and mix proportionally while replacing the missing herbs with Chamomile or Tilia blossoms (they relieve the symptoms only). Here is a list of everything used and what it is helpful for:

Thyme (Thymus vulgaris L.)
Thyme (Thymus vulgaris L.) | Source

Thyme (Thymus vulgaris L.)

Thyme is often used in combination with other herbs. Alone it is taken as a tea (or eaten raw) for

  • Bronchitis,
  • Whooping cough,
  • Sore throat,
  • Colic,
  • Arthritis,
  • Upset stomach,
  • Gastritis,
  • Diarrhea,
  • Bed-wetting,
  • Dyspraxia,
  • Flatulence,
  • Adcaridosis, and
  • Skin disorders.

It is also a mild diuretic and can disinfect the urine if clean one is requested from your MD.

Some people put ground fresh thyme to the neck's skin for laryngitis and tonsillitis.

Thyme also helps kill bacterial and fungal infections and releaves cough.

Colt's foot (Tussilago farfara Wein)
Colt's foot (Tussilago farfara Wein) | Source

Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara Wein)


Common coltsfoot is toxic in higher quantities. If you find a wild plant, do not use it for herbal remedy, because you may poison yourself. Buy the herb only from a known source.

Leaves are gathered after the spring blooming (the plant resembles a blooming dandelion). They are still used as a cough medicine in European countries. It is proven to also help:

  • Prevent Asthma attacks.
  • Relieve throat infections.
  • Improve respiratory health.
  • Improve intestinal health.

Common marshmallow (Althaea officinalis L.)
Common marshmallow (Althaea officinalis L.) | Source

Marshmallow (Althaea officinalis L.)

The leaves, flowers and root of Althaea officinalis all have health improving properties. In case of severe bronchitis - the roots are the best choice.

When used as a gargle, the marshmallow root herbal tea helps sore throat and some irritations on mucous membranes.

When taken as drink, it helps cough out the sputum from acute bronchitis.

Yellow primrose (Primula vulgaris L.)
Yellow primrose (Primula vulgaris L.) | Source

Yellow primrose (Primula vulgaris L.)

Very underestimated herb, often used just for decoration.

You may actually be having this plant in your garden and not knowing it's an actual herb.

The whole plant is used as a medicinal plant. Yellow petals are gathered when blooming, leaves immediately after blooming and roots are gathered after the seed pods dry out and fall in the soil.

Leaves are edible with a taste ranging from lettuce to bitter Arugula.

Blooming Elder berry.
Blooming Elder berry. | Source

Elderberry (Sambucus L.)

Black elderberry was used as a medicine since ancient China. Lately it is rediscovered even by big beverage companies. Medicinally it is proven to

  • Battle allergies,
  • relieve flu symptoms and
  • improve respiratory health in general.

Warning: If you own this plant - Do not consume large quantities of raw Elderberry fruits. Always cook them or boil in herbal tea. Fruits of elderberry are rich on cyanide compounds and may build up to toxic amounts.

Blossoms (used in this herbal remedy for bronchitis) however - don't have toxic amounts of cyanide, so you can use it without worries.

Glycyrrhiza glabra L. (a.k.a. Liquorice)
Glycyrrhiza glabra L. (a.k.a. Liquorice) | Source

Licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra L. radix)

Many properties of the sweet root are used in food and candy industry because it has almost 50 times stronger sweetness than common table sugar.

The root however is used as a traditional medicine long before stomach pills were invented.

For our herbal mix, this root helps cough out the bad substances accumulated in the lungs while suffering from bronchitis.

It is also good for stomach ache, treating ulcers, antiviral and antimicrobial, hepatoprotective, anti-tumor and even reduces cholesterol in blood.

Common fern.
Common fern. | Source

Common Fern root (Polypodium vulgare L. radix)

The root of the common fern is rich in phytoecdysteroids. Those chemical compounds are used by plants to defend against bacteria and pests.

Apart from being mild laxative, this root also has antimicrobial and antihelmintic properties.

The taste is bitter sweet and stronger than sugar.

Most of those properties are also present in Liquorice fern's roots (sweet fern) in case you can't find the common one.

Stay healthy!


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    • m0rd0r profile image

      Stoill Barzakov 4 years ago from Sofia, Bulgaria

      You may try doing an extract (concoction) of both English Ivy and common Chamomile.

      They are both good for chronic cough. I have an article about the Ivy, but it's not really completely researched here:

      Thanks for reading :)

    • blueheron profile image

      Sharon Vile 4 years ago from Odessa, MO

      I will have to add these remedies to my arsenal. I often get a bad cough and deep congestion in the wintertime. I decided it was bronchitis, though I never had it diagnosed.

      My favorite remedy for this, which kicks it in a couple of days, is to put a few drops of sandalwood oil (therapeutic grade) on a sugar cube and use it as a homemade cough drop, taken a couple of times a day. It works great, but high-grade sandalwood oil has gotten very expensive. I also like real, homemade wild cherry cough syrup. I have used elecampane root sometimes--which seems very soothing, but doesn't knock out bronchitis the way sandalwood does.