This is inflammation of the bronchial tubes or air passages. Symptoms include a cough that usually produces mucus in the early stages, plus you may experience shortness of breath, tightness in the chest and wheezing. The usual cause is viral infection. Prevent spread to other people by ensuring you wash your hands properly at least 6 times a day. Aside from infections, the lungs can also become inflamed due to airborne environmental pollutants and by smoking. There are acute and chronic forms of bronchitis. An acute form may make you feel very unwell and you may have a low fever, but generally antibiotics are not prescribed because a virus will not respond to this medication. Instead your GP will recommend rest, high fluid intake and possibly aspirin to make you feel comfortable. The cough may last for many weeks and can become debilitating in vulnerable populations. Chronic bronchitis may develop if the cough continues for 3 months or more. It is most likely that other types of pulmonary conditions will also be present and your treatment will involve drugs that manage chronic obstructive airway disease.
Foods & herbs for the home
- For a dry, hacking cough with little mucus, consume a lot of raw fruits and juices which will encourage more watery, productive mucus. To hot water add Onion & Horseradish Concentrate which can warm and 'liquefy' the mucus making it easier to remove when you cough.
- If you produce a lot of pale mucus and suffer congestion, avoid cold fruits and juices and drink warming foods like garlic and onion soups. Onion & Horseradish Concentrate will bring heat to the circulation as well.
- Herbal teas can provide support and are hydrating drinks that do not add burden to your system in the way that caffeine can do. Breathe & Clear Herbal Tea is both fresh and uplifting.
- As a preventative measure in winter, drink home-made or purchased elderberry and elderflower syrup – It encourages perspiration and provides valuable vitamins and minerals. Plan ahead: in June cover elderflowers in vegetable glycerine and keep warm and covered to allow them to macerate. In autumn do likewise with the elderberries and keep well covered. Strain after a week and put in a dark bottle that has been labelled. Take 1 tsp or more at a time diluted in spring water.
- Remove wheat and dairy products from your diet while you are unwell because these foods are frequent triggers for excessive mucus production.
- Rest and sleep are two important regenerating activities that may be difficult to achieve with a night-time cough. Assist sleep by eliminating all caffeine drinks and substituting calming herbs such as Evening Peace Herbal Tea.
- Prevent risk of debilitating illness developing by making efforts to ensure your diet is rich in high-nutrient foods. When unwell, Superfood Plus is particularly easy to prepare and drink and it is easily digested – a good option for convalescence.
- Extra humidity will help your lungs to expand and relax and this will encourage the removal of extra mucus during the acute phase of bronchitis. Use a facial steam bath with essential oils that are warming such as Benzoin, Camphor or White Pine.
- Learn about ways that you can prevent viral and bacterial lung infections by reading Dr Richard Schulze’s free book “Colds & Flul”.
- Many herbal tincture medicines have a reputation for providing immune support that can help you resist viral illness.
Additional help is available by phoning the free product advice line at Herbs Hands Healing between the hours of 9.00am to 1.00pm. Tel: 01379 608201.
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