At some point of time or the other, most of us have suffered from a typical cough. However, when this simple cough is accompanied by severe symptoms like breathlessness and phlegm, it results in a respiratory disease known as bronchitis. A cold or flu further weakens the immune system and individuals are then at a higher risk of developing bronchitis. Chronic bronchitis if not treated can lead to asthma and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) which could be life threatening.
Like most other diseases, bronchitis too, can be classified into acute or chronic.
It is the swelling or inflammation in the bronchial tubes, which carry air between the lungs, mouth and the nose. Those suffering from bronchitis, have great difficulty in inhaling oxygen into the lungs. Inhaling toxic fumes and air that contains dust is a common cause of bronchitis. Inhaling polluted air can be worse for those patients who are living with bronchitis.
Smokers are at a higher risk of developing this disease, in fact, smoking is considered to be the major cause for bronchitis. This is because cigarettes contain innumerable chemicals and when the individuals inhale these chemicals, they irritate the lining of the bronchial tube or lining. This is when chronic bronchitis develops. Smoking causes the cells to produce more mucus than normal causing inflammation of the bronchial tubes. This mucus further has the capability to blanket the whole lining of the bronchi leading to the accumulation of dangerous bacteria causing bronchitis. This worsens the condition of the individual suffering from bronchitis.
Symptoms of bronchitis include: Dry cough or with phlegm, shortness of breath, fever and fatigue too.
The good news is that there are several home remedies that could be followed to ease the irritation caused by bronchitis, both acute and chronic.
1. Saunth (dry ginger), Kali Mirchi (black pepper) and Pipli (long pepper)
Saunth has anti-inflammatory properties that provide relief in case of swollen bronchial tubes. Kali mirch is very useful to help get rid of nasal congestion. Long pepper or commonly referred to as pipli is known widely for its anti-inflammation properties.
Ayurvedic expert B N Sinha suggests mixing all three ingredients in a powdered form, along with honey and drinking the mixture 3 times a day for instant results.
2, Giloi Juice
Giloi has a soothing effect on the lining of the throat and thus helps in providing relief to the inflamed bronchial lining. Drink the juice once in the morning and once in the evening every day for relief.
3. Hot Water
Increase your water intake and restrict yourself to drinking hot water only. It will help reduce the swelling in the lungs and sooth the track. Often during a bacterial cold and cough, doctors recommend an increase in the intake of water.
4. Tomato Soup
Apart from being a winter warmer, tomato soup is extremely rich in vitamin C which helps reduce the excessive formation of mucus during bronchitis. Drink tomato soup at least twice a day.
5. Garlic Powder and Trikatu
Author Deepak Chopra of The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies suggests making a mixture of 4 parts garlic powder and 1 part trikatu, adding a little honey and taking this twice a day.
6. Ginger Soup
Ginger has properties that are very beneficial for cough. If not the soup of ginger, one can drink the ginger tea, which is equally effective.
7. Keep Your Back Warm
Use a hot water bottle as a compress and make sure you are warm through the day. This will make you more comfortable and provide relaxation.
8. Mustard Oil Massage
A gentle massage with mustard oil helps provide relief against a stiff chest. Massaging with mustard oil eases the congestion in the lungs.
Apart from these simple and easy to find home remedies, BN Sinha advises individuals suffering from bronchitis to avoid curd and other cold products that could aggravate the condition. Keep yourself warm especially in the winter months where people are more prone to bouts of cold and cough. Smoking must be avoided when one is vulnerable to cold and cough allergies.
Taking care of your diet and taking precautionary measures will keep you healthy in case of this disease.