Bronchitis is a common ailment, which causes a significant amount of discomfort. Bronchitis happens due to the inflammation of the bronchi’s mucous membrane (the respiratory tract that carries air from the trachea to the lungs).
Depending on the severity of the condition, bronchitis is of two types (i) acute bronchitis and (ii) chronic bronchitis.
Acute bronchitis is the infection and inflammation of the lower respiratory tract and is generally accompanied by coughing, wheezing, and sputum (mucus discharged during coughing). This kind of bronchitis is mainly caused due to the virus that also causes common cold and influenza.
Chronic bronchitis is essentially a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), under which airways narrow over time. While acute bronchitis generally stays for about a week, chronic bronchitis can linger on for months. Chronic bronchitis is primarily caused due to smoking and dangerous fumes exposed in the environment. Chronic bronchitis can also be caused due to some bacterial infection.
Bronchitis, however, can be treated and checked at home, and costly visits to the doctor or being on expensive medicines can be avoided.
The therapeutic qualities of ginger are well known in every Indian household. Ginger has been used for over 5000 years as herbal medicine. To get relief from bronchitis cough, one can chew a tiny piece of ginger to find instant relief. Another way is to boil a small piece of ginger in water and concentrate it. Honey or lemon juice can be added to this syrup for relief. Another way to find relief is to mix ginger when boiling your cup of tea. Tea and ginger work well to soothe an irritating throat.
Gargling with salt water is an age-old remedy and a very efficient one. Gargling helps you cleanse your throat and provides relief to patients suffering from bronchitis. One needs warm water and common salt, which are available in every household. Gargling with salt water about thrice a day is beneficial to keep the cough at bay. However, it need not be limited to thrice a day, and frequency can be increased if symptoms are severe.
Honey is another item that is excellent when it comes to coughing and bronchitis. Honey has an anti-viral and anti-bacterial property that works wonders when it comes to a sore throat. A great thing about honey is that one does not need to wait for the bronchitis cough to start to have honey. Honey can be had everyday mixed with a cup of tea and also does an excellent job of keeping your immune system up and your bronchitis cough at bay.
During bronchitis, it is common for a patient to be dehydrated as a painful throat makes it difficult to swallow. Bronchitis patients need plenty of water intake but should be preferably warm. It is advisable to have at least eight-ten glasses of water. However, coffee and drinks with caffeine or alcohol should be avoided.
Turmeric or Haldi, as it is popularly known in Indian households, is a vital ingredient of our everyday meal. Turmeric has anti-microbial properties. For Bronchitis patients, add a spoon of turmeric to the boiling milk and consume after that.
Other household items
There are plenty of other household items that have a good effect on bronchitis. For example, fresh almonds work well to curb a bronchial cough. Similarly, lemons have excellent anti-bacterial properties, and Vitamin C in lemon is good for sore throat. Lemon also helps the immune system, and Vitamin C works as an antioxidant that helps body tissue grow and heal itself. Orange is another fruit that has a high amount of Vitamin C, and orange juice is good for a bronchial cough. Remember to have fresh orange juice and not canned juice.
Bay leaves are also good expectorants, and fresh or dried bay leaf in a cup of boiling water can prove to be a great relief.
While the harmful effects of smoking are well-documented and well-known, its damaging effect on a bronchial patient cannot be stressed less. If you are suffering from any time of bronchitis, it is essential to quit smoking. Smoking will only aggravate the condition and can lead to severe complications.
Bronchitis patients need rest. A person should ensure that he or she does not exert too much. Strenuous physical activity can lead to breathlessness and increase the chance of coughing and bronchial attack. Bronchitis patients need to pace his or her life well.
Home remedies for bronchial patients are great and inexpensive and provide, at times, immediate relief. However, if symptoms get worse, it is best to see a doctor and take medications.