Although winter may be on the way out, it’s always good to be prepared with an arsenal of home remedies for one of the season’s common maladies—bronchitis. Because the ailment is usually caused by a virus, an antibiotic will have no effect unless a secondary bacterial infection is present. If you’re ill, it’s wise to schedule a doctor’s visit, so he or she can rule out non-viral causes. However, various lifestyle measures and non-drug treatments can likely relieve the coughing, congestion and other symptoms that can make bronchitis miserable.
1. Sip Hot Green Tea
While both black and green tea have antiviral and antibacterial properties, green tea contains more antioxidants. And a 2014 review in Frontiers in Microbiology showed the beverage may help protect against infections. Drink several cups per day and sweeten them with honey, which can help soothe a cough.
2. Get Seven to Eight Hours of Sleep Per Day
Getting sufficient sleep is essential for all aspects of health, including recovery from bronchitis. A 2016 study in JAMA Internal Medicine found sleeping less than five hours per night was linked to a higher risk of respiratory infections. Your immune system needs rest to function optimally.
3. Drink at Least Eight Glass of Fluids Per Day
Because fever and rapid breathing will cause your body to lose more water, make sure you stay hydrated by drinking eight glasses of fluid per day. Aside from preventing dehydration, fluids will thin out the heavy mucous that lines the respiratory tract when you have bronchitis.
4. Eat Chicken Soup
The time-honored practice of eating chicken soup when you’re ill actually has some scientific merit. A 2000 investigation in the journal Chest discovered the soup contains an array of compounds with medicinal properties, and can produce a mild anti-inflammatory action that may reduce upper respiratory tract infections.
5. Use a Humidifier
Home heating systems used in the colder months have a drying effect on the respiratory tract. A humidifier or vaporizer adds moisture to the air, which can reduce the likelihood of a dry cough. Alternatively, you can fill a sink with hot water, lean over it with a towel draped over your head and breathe in the warm moisture.
6. Increase Vitamin C Intake
Some studies show vitamin C may help fight infections, so increase your dietary intake by eating oranges and drinking water spiked with lemon juice. You may also boost your vitamin C levels by taking a supplement containing up to 2,000 milligrams per day.
7. Get Light Exercise
After the fever is gone, it may be helpful to get light exercise, such as taking a walk outside. The exposure to sunlight will help with vitamin D production, which strengthens immunity. Just don’t overdo.
8. Drink Ginger Root Tea
Ginger has powerful anti-inflammatory effects, as well as antibacterial, antiviral and expectorant properties that can help ease bronchitis symptoms. Make ginger tea by cutting up a few pieces of ginger root and boiling them in water.
9. Eat Spicy Food
Cayenne pepper can thin mucus, and spicy condiments like hot mustard and horseradish can loosen bronchial secretions. You can add cayenne pepper to your soup or put a pinch in a cup of tea.
10. Gargle Warm Salt Water
Swish warm salt water in your mouth or throat several time per day to help remove excess mucus. Gargling plain water may also help prevent upper respiratory tract infections that can lead to bronchitis. A 2005 study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found gargling reduced the incidence of such infections, and when they did occur, it decreased bronchial symptoms.
11. Eat Grapes
Grapes have expectorant properties, and the skin of red grapes contains resveratrol, which reduces inflammation. Plus, if you have a chronic cough, grapes may help strengthen the lungs. To get even greater benefits, eat Concord grapes, which may also have antiviral properties.
12. Apply Vapor Rub
Rubbing a menthol-infused balm on your chest can relieve nighttime coughing and open nasal passages. A 1978 study in the Journal of International Medical Research found it reduced the restlessness of children suffering from acute bronchitis.
Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at http://www.alternativemedicinetruth.com . Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies .