Bronchitis is a condition in which the airways from the lungs become inflamed. Most commonly, the condition is caused from a virus. The condition in its acute form normally lasts a few days to just under two weeks. In some cases, particularly in smokers, the condition may be chronic in nature, lasting three months or more at a time or recurring regularly.
Typically in acute cases, bronchitis treatment is little more than over the counter medicines for symptom relief such as cough suppressants and decongestants. In some cases, home remedies for bronchitis such as using a humidifier may be useful as well. Many times, the acute form of the condition in healthy people does not require a trip to the doctor’s office. However, bronchitis in children, especially those that are very young, can result in fevers and worrisome symptoms that may require a visit to a health care provider. However, because the condition is caused by a virus the majority of the time, fluids, rest, and over the counter medications are essentially the core of bronchitis treatment.
In some cases however, it is important that antibiotics are used for the treatment of bronchitis. This occurs when the illness is caused by bacteria instead of a virus and the condition is known as bacterial bronchitis. It can sometimes be difficult to identify whether or not bacterial bronchitis is present. Typically, a very high fever appears and mucus that is very dark and thick may be produced from the lungs along with coughing up blood or blood streaked phlegm. It is also important that medical attention be sought for this type of infection, rather than assuming that home remedies for bronchitis are appropriate for treatment.
However, for the common acute case of viral bronchitis, there are a tremendous amount of alternative and natural home healing options that can help relieve the congestion, quite the cough and relieve the fatigue associated with it. From every corner of the world and from every era of medicine, herbs, spices and oils have served to help combat the symptoms of bronchitis. We have compiled a list of the best ten to consider when home remedies for bronchitis have been deemed safe and appropriate.
1. Hot Mustard (Eastern Europe)
The bottle in the fridge is best left for use on sandwiches, however dry mustard has been found to help relieve a host of respiratory ails, including many bronchitis symptoms. When one tablespoon of dry mustard is mixed with four tablespoons of flour and enough warm water to make a paste, the resulting concoction can be spread on a cloth and then applied to an oiled chest to help bring some relief from congestion. It can irritate the skin however, and should be checked regularly during application.
2. Ginger (China)
While perhaps not well known among home remedies for bronchitis, herbal medicine mainstay ginger can be useful as an expectorant, which can help to loosen up some of the mucus associated with bronchitis. Half a teaspoon can be steeped in tea along with cloves and cinnamon for a tasty and soothing way to achieve relief.
3. Thyme (Europe)
The popular cooking herb is mucus’ worst nightmare, and it can act to fight off infection and protect against bacteria. In addition, it can strengthen the defenses of the lungs. Half a teaspoon of thyme can be added to tea with honey to sweeten for a more potent application of the herb in a tasty and sweeter vehicle.
4. Savory (Europe)
Many herbs for bronchitis work by helping to remove the mucus which is often the biggest and most challenging component of the condition. Savory is a peppery herb that works in the same way. Once daily, it can be added to boiling water and drank to help reduce mucus production and remove existing mucus.
5. Bay Leaf (Asia, Middle East)
Historically it is known as a herbal remedy to promote happiness, and it is certainly a herb with a wide range of culinary applications. However, it can also be steeped in boiling water to act as an expectorant and thus provide relief to bronchitis symptoms. Additionally, the leaf works in another way when applied externally like some other home remedies for bronchitis. They can be soaked in hot water and then once of appropriate temperature, be applied to the chest.
6. Lemons (Southeast Asia, Mediterranean countries)
Few home remedies boast the longevity of the lemon, which has been used traditionally as an antibacterial agent among other things, for thousands of years. It may be no surprise then that lemons may also be able to boot bacteria and reduce mucus too. Lemon can be enjoyed many ways, but when a teaspoon of grated rind is boiled in a cup of water, a bronchitis relieving tea can result. Additionally, lemon juice can help relieve cough induced sore throats when the juice is added to warm water and gargled.
7. Olive Leaf Extract (Mediterranean countries)
Olive leaf extract works in a number of ways to provide bronchitis relief and thus is one of the best home remedies for bronchitis. For one, it helps to seize the replication of viruses and for another, it also boasts antibacterial properties. Inflammation reducing and immune boosting benefits are also found in olive leaf extract, and it is also thought to help combat fatigue as well.
8. Garlic (Asia, Mediterranean countries)
Garlic is one of the oldest and best known home based natural cures. It is ideal because it is something that many people already have on hand, and it is literally considered effective in a wide range of ailments. Bronchitis is no exception, and the herb’s antiviral properties are certainly potentially potent in combating the underlying source of the infection. To use for bronchitis, crushed garlic can be added to honey and swallowed, not chewed, twice daily.
9. Oregano Oil (Greece, Italy)
Not only is oregano oil one of the best natural remedies for bronchitis, it is also one of the most popular and potent essential oils for bronchitis as well. This is because it is an incredibly powerful antibacterial agent as well as an anti-inflammatory. Carvacrol is the antioxidant in oregano oil that makes it one of the best natural remedies for bronchitis, and the essential oil is thought to help reduce congestion among other symptom relieving benefits. There are numerous ways to use oregano oil, store bought capsules are likely the easiest. However the oil itself can be used as well once daily when a couple of drops are added to water.
10. Cinnamon and Honey (Asia)
Perhaps the tastiest of all home remedies for bronchitis involves sweet honey and spicy cinnamon. Honey is packed with immune system boosting minerals and vitamins, and cinnamon is considered a natural anti-inflammatory. When combined, they create a soothing and sweet concoction that can reduce bronchitis symptoms as well as potentially help the body defend against future infections.