How to recognize bronchitis and treat it naturally

Coughing may be a symptom of a variety of diseases: a simple cold, acute respiratory infections or inflammation caused by allergies.

Source: Flickr.com

Source: Flickr.com

One of the most common diseases of the airways, bronchitis affects the trachea and lungs, and in many cases it is the consequence of a simple cold that hasn’t been treated properly and in a timely manner, or a result of complications caused by flu viruses.

Although bronchitis may be caused by bacteria and viruses such as the coronavirus, the adenovirus and the rhinovirus, only 10% of all cases of bronchitis require medical treatment; the rest can be treated with herbal remedies.

How do we recognize the first signs of bronchitis?

This condition starts with a dry cough, which then turns into a productive cough. Usually, coughing will be more intense in the morning, and then, as the disease progresses, it will persist throughout the day, and especially at night. Depending on the severity of infection, bronchitis may be acute when it has a sudden onset and a short duration, or it may be chronic. In this case, episodes of cough are recurrent, and they last longer, even up to two months.

Other signs that indicate this infection are a burning pain felt in the chest, a slight fever (not exceeding 38˚C), heaviness in the chest and a whistling sound at breathing.

How to treat bronchitis naturally?

Mullein tea – a traditional remedy for respiratory diseases, mullein tea is a common ingredient used in the preparation of expectorant syrup. It contains a group of substances called saponins, which help fluidizing the accumulated mucus in the bronchi after an infection. This herb also has anti-inflammatory and emollient properties, so it soothes the mucous membranes. It is recommended to consume 3 cups of mullein tea per day, obtained after 10-minute infusions.

Eucalyptus oil is one of the most commonly used therapies in the treatment of respiratory diseases such as bronchitis, whooping cough, pleurisy, flu, cold and sinusitis. Eucalyptus leaves are a beneficial source of natural antioxidants which help prevent infections; besides, eucalyptus oil stimulates nasal decongestion, combats infections because of its antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral effects, and the fever subsides due to its antifebrile and diaphoretic action. Eucalyptus oil also has the effect of toning the body in cases of exhaustion, chronic fatigue, migraines, headaches or fatigue. Last but not least, it cures cough caused by bronchitis because of its expectorant, astringent and emollient properties.

Pine oil – due to substances with antibacterial properties that it contains, pine oil is often recommended in the treatment of respiratory problems, cough, pharyngitis and bronchitis. It is a powerful expectorant that stimulates the elimination of mucus deposited in the respiratory tract, and helps clear the sinuses.

Licorice – preparations obtained from this plant have an emollient and anti-inflammatory effect, which makes it as a quick fix in case of respiratory infections, particularly those that involve coughing. Licorice can be used topically in cases of bronchitis as it helps thinning the tracheobronchial secretions in the throat and in the pharynx, as well as the removal of mucus deposited in the chest.

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