Bronchitis is a chronic lung condition caused by colds, smoking, pollution, and other lung irritants. Symptoms include wheezing, cough, burning, and chest pain. Many times the cough produces thick yellow phlegm and there may be a raised temperature. Bronchitis causes an increased chance of respiratory infection so antibiotics are often prescribed by mainstream healthcare providers.
Inhaling eucalyptus essential oil vapors can reduce pain and loosen mucus. Put 10 drops in a bowl of steaming water and cover head with a towel while breathing in the steam for 10 minutes. Mullein tea is also a time honored remedy for treating bronchitis. Drink a cup three times a day to soothe membranes. An herbal chest rub can also bring relief. Mix 10 drops each of eucalyptus essential oil, peppermint essential oil, and thyme essential oil or rosemary essential oil. Add this to one fourth cup of olive oil and gently massage into the throat and chest area. Tea tree essential oil may be substituted for any of these essential oils.
Calm a bronchitis cough with plantain tea. Plantain is a cough suppressant and fights bacteria. Steep fresh plantain in hot water until cool then drink as needed. Wheezing can be relieved with thyme essential oil. Breathe the vapors for a couple of minutes whenever wheezing is present.
Horehound, elecampane, horsetail, and hyssop are also good for lung conditions. They can be made into syrups to soothe irritation and to heal lung damage. Elecampane is considered a good expectorant and lung tonic. It is restorative and warming which benefits weak lungs.
Take an infusion, tincture, syrup, or suck on horehound candy. Horehound can be combined with elecampane, angelica, or hyssop for excellent results. Cowslip is another powerful expectorant good for loosening old phlegm and easing dry coughs. Take a decoction, tincture, or syrup and combine with bloodroot or licorice for extra strength.
Thyme leaves are useful as an antiseptic and expectorant for phlegm and dry difficult cough. Take an infusion, tincture, or syrup and combine with mulberry bark or horsetail. Thyme is also excellent in a chest rub when mixed with hyssop or peppermint.
In all cases of bronchitis, a cleansing diet is recommended. Avoid dairy products, reduce fat and salt, and drink lemon juice throughout the day. Green drinks, onion, garlic, and honey are also helpful. A cough syrup can be made by combining chopped onion with a half cup of honey. Leave on low heat for an hour and strain. Take 1 tablespoon every two hours. Cayenne, ginger, ginseng, or bayberry may be added for extra strength.
Everyone that suffers from bronchitis should stay out of smoky environments, avoid inhaling smoke, avoid cold air, and get plenty of fresh air and sunshine. Deep breathing exercises, hot saunas, brisk rubdowns, and chest and back massages are recommended to loosen mucus. Witch hazel compresses are also an excellent treatment; alternate with hot and cold compresses for best results.
Reflexology has also been shown to help painful fits of bronchitis. Massaging the very middle of the instep of the foot can bring relief.
* Always consult with your health care professional before using any herbal remedies.
"The only way to really learn about herbal medicine is to touch and smell herbs, taste them, use them daily, and grow them if possible. Herbal medicine is a way of life. It is not a quick fix." ... Janice Boling, herbalist, web designer, writer, photographer
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