What is Bronchitis?
Bronchitis is an inflammation of the air passage ways of your lungs. The air passage ways of lungs are called bronchi. The human trachea or the wind pipe in the upper thoracic region divides into two bronchi and again these bronchi sub divides into further branches. No exchange of oxygen and carbon takes place in the bronchi system. They are passage ways for carbon and oxygen, carbon and oxygen exchange occurs in the alveoli. When these bronchial tubes become infected, thick mucus forms inside them as a result it makes breathing difficult.
What are the Symptoms of Bronchitis?
The number one symptoms of bronchitis is cough, other symptoms may include:-
- Production of thick mucus (sputum) which can be clear, white, yellowish grey or green in color
- Wheezing sound may be produced during breathing
- Fever and chills
- Chest discomfort and heaviness
- Fatigue and irritated mood
How many types of bronchitis are these?
There are 2 types of bronchitis; it can be either active or chronic. Both kinds of bronchitis can make you equally miserable, however they progress quite differently. Active bronchitis usually in 90% cases results from an especially persistent cold or flu virus. It can clear up on its own and does not last more than a week. While on the other hand chronic bronchitis is usually associated with smoking, allergy or other ailments and can last for months. Both type of bronchitis requires doctors’ advice and care. Never hesitate, go immediately to doctor if you have cough, in bronchitis you get lots of mucus. Mucus-filled lungs are a potential breeding ground for bacteria that causes pneumonia.
What are Alternative Medicines for Bronchitis?
Here are some remedies and herbs which can help you clear your lungs and keep you comfortable while the virus runs its course. If the symptoms persist after two days see your doctor.
Mullein is reference to leaves of verbascum Thapsus. It is member of the snap dragon family. It can help you to get rid of lungs mucus. To make a tea, steep about 1 tea spoons of dried mullein leaves in a pot of freshly boiled water (the water should be enough for three cups) for about 10 minutes, strain the tea and allow cooling. Have at least three cups of tea per day keep the treatment for 7 days continuously. If you want to use fresh leaves, use only one small leaf to make the tea. If the leaf is large, use only half or quarter of the leaf depending upon the size of the leaf fresh leaves of mullein, are rich in free radicals therefore always use small amount of fresh leaves to make tea. You can find dried mullein leaves in a health store.
White Horehound (Marrubium Vulgare)
White horehound is also referred to as horehound and marrubium. This herb is especially used in Germany for treatment of wheezing and bronchitis. It causes more of mucus which is readily cleared by coughing. It is mostly used in form of candy and drops. However it can also be taken in form of tea.
- Take ½ cup of fresh or dried horehound leaves
- 2 cups of water
- 3 cups liquid honey
Place the horehound in a stainless steel pot with water and bring to boil. Remove from the heat and allow to, steep for 20 minutes strain and then add the honey. Mix well and bottle.
- 1 cup fresh or dried horehound
- 1 cup of water
- 2 cups of brown sugar
- Enough icing sugar to cover finished drops
Put the horehound leaves and water in a stainless steel saucepan and bring to boil. Simmer for 20 minutes and then cool, stain and squeeze out the herb. Put the liquid back; add the brown sugar and honey. While continually stirring with a wooden spoon, bring the liquid back to simmer. Keep stirring until the liquid becomes thick. Drop a few drops of the liquid in cold water if they become thread like or solidify, it means the candy is ready. If you have candy thermometer the temperature should be 300oF. Do not overdo as the mixture will crystallize. When ready, pour the mixture into lightly buttered baking dishes. When cool enough, cut them into squares, shake icing on them. When completely dry store them in jars.
Marshmallow Herb (Althaea Officinalis)
Marsh Mallow is an herb plant, its leaves and root are used for dry cough and for mucous membranes inflammation (swelling) which lines the respiratory tract. Though it has many other benefits while taking this herb it should be remembered that it can interact with other medicines, therefore it is necessary that you should consult a doctor before using the herb. It is mostly used as a cold infusion. Traditionally it has been used for pain, but it is more effective for cough and respiratory tract infections. It also calms and relaxes the mind.
Take a comfortably hot shower or bath. In bath add essential oils such as lavender. Hot bath and shower helps loosen stubborn phlegm. It would not make the virus go away any faster, but it will surely make you feel better. But be careful do not take a very hot bath or shower or you will burn yourself.
Increase Your Vitamin C
To prevent bronchitis, the best way to keep your Vitamin C, intake high through natural food such as oranges. Be sure to drink lots of natural fresh orange juice. Make your habit to have at least one glass of lemonade every day, just take one small lemon or half a piece of large lemon. Squeeze the juice in a glass, add water-- take water at room temperature people who are prone to bronchitis or asthma should always take water at room temperature and sip between meals. If you want for taste, add honey or brown sugar, preferably honey. If you want to take Vitamin C in form of a supplement, be careful not to overdose yourself as some people develop diarrhea when they take large dose of Vitamin C.
Another preventing measure is to develop the habit of washing hands. Wash your hands at least five times a day. Most infection reaches us through our hands whenever you go to shopping; when you return home, the first thing which you must do is wash your hands thoroughly. We can pick germs from unexpected sources. Similarly in your office make a habit of washing your hands at intervals. Also train your children from early age to wash their hands.
Traditionally in many cultures, chicken soup is given during bronchitis, colds and coughs. There is evidence that ancient Egyptian physicians also recommended chicken soup for bronchitis and flu. Chicken soup does not cure bronchitis but it can make you feel much better. Sipping hot soup increases blood flow to chest area. As a result more white blood cells reach infected area and fight the germs as a result mucus loosens and flows out from your nose. Chicken soup also boosts energy levels. Add garlic and ginger to the soup.