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How to cure bronchitis naturally

Updated on June 30, 2017
Natural bronchitis cure!
Natural bronchitis cure!
Elecampane flower.
Elecampane flower.
Wild cherry in bloom
Wild cherry in bloom

Best natural cures for bronchitis

Bronchitis is deep, persistent chest congestion that, unlike a cold, never seems to go away.

Sandalwood Oil

Most of us think of the essential oil of sandalwood as a delightful perfume, but it also has powerful healing properties. I was surprised to learn of its use as a medince when reading through Maude Grieve's A Modern Herbal, and used sandalwood to quickly cure my own bronchitis. It was incredibly effective!

Grieve suggests taking 6-9 drops of the oil on a lump of sugar--thus creating a homemade cough lozenge--or mixed with a spoonful of regular granulated sugar if you have no lump sugar on hand. The flavor is pleasantly aromatic, and most people would find the taste less unpleasant than eucalyptus cough drops.

The oil could also be taking by mixing with a spoonful of honey--or with a spoonful of homemade wild cherry cough syrup (my favorite way to take it). I took 6 drops once daily. Twice daily might be better.

Sandalwood is expectorant—meaning that it will clear the lungs of mucus.

Be sure to get real full-strength oil of sandalwood. Some of the oil of sandalwood sold nowadays is much diluted. It should have a good strong smell.

This remedy is an old and unusual one, which I have never found mentioned in other herbals. Maude Grieve seems to be the only source for it. But it is fantastic!

Elecampane Root

Fans of The Clan of the Cave Bear series will remember the heroine gathering elecampane roots for coughs and colds.

Maude Grieve says that elecampane root is a favorite domestic remedy for bronchitis. One of the root’s active principles, Helenin, is a powerful antiseptic and bactericide, so that it destroys the bacterial infection, and it has been shown to be peculiarly destructive to the Tubercle bacillus.

Since this is a root, it is prepared as a decoction. To make a decoction, add about an ounce of the root to about a quart of water, bring to a boil, and reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes. The dose is one or two cups per day. The flavor is pleasantly aromatic, and it makes a pleasant syrup if the decoction is simmered until reduced by half and equal parts honey added.(This syrup should be kept refrigerated, or it will spoil.) A few tablespoons of the syrup can be taken a couple of times a day, or as needed.

The action of Elecampane is mild and slow—but very sure—in its effects. It gives quick relief, but a cure takes a week or two. I would suggest using both elecampane and sandalwood oil, which will hit the bronchitis with both barrels.

Wild Cherry Cough Syrup

Wild cherry bark is another remedy that Clan of the Cave Bear fans will remember. I know of no other remedy that silences a cough so quickly. The bark may be purchased from herb dealers and prepared as a tea, but wild cherry bark should never be boiled, as this destroys the medicinal principals.

But wild cherry bark is usually prepared as a cough syrup, making it pleasant to take and preserving the medicinal principals almost indefinitely. Wild cherry cough syrup can also be purchased from herb dealers.

It's easy to make your own wild cherry cough syrup--and it's especially nice if you can prepare this medicine from freshly harvested wild cherry bark.

Here's the recipe:


Fill a pint jar with wild cherry bark and add a flavored brandy to cover. (Cherry brandy is nice but other flavors are fine.) Let this stand, tightly covered, shaking every now and then, for about a month (one moon cycle), strain, mix with equal parts honey, and bottle. This preparation will keep indefinitely.

You can purchase the bark from herb dealers or at many health food stores, but be sure it’s fresh. Wild cherry bark loses its potency after one year of storage. It should have an almond scent.

I think it is best to locate a wild cherry tree and harvest the bark in summer. You are after the inner bark, the first layer of bark under the papery outer bark. Try to stick to one smallish area on one side of the tree, so you don’t kill the tree.

The inner bark will be a pale tan, quickly turning an orangey color with exposure to the air. It should have a pleasant bitterish almond scent.

Never boil wild cherry bark, as high temperatures destroy the medicinal principles.


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