If you have bronchitis it means your bronchial tubes which carries air back and forth from your lungs have undergone inflammation. This inflammation is usually accompanied with mucus formation. This can be quite irritating as it obstructs your normal breathing. There are inhalation treatments that help to keep the mucus formation get moving so that you can ease your breathing a little. With right foods and diet, we can reduce the inflammation, keep the phlegm moving, and inhibit the growth of microbes and bugs that cling to the mucus.
What should I know?
There are two varieties of bronchitis. One is acute bronchitis which is caused due to bacterial or viral infections, or it can also be caused due to allergies. This type of bronchitis usually clears off itself within a week to 10 days time. Another type is chronic bronchitis which is a little serious condition. It doesn’t clear off that easily and it can last all your life. This is usually caused due to smoking cigarettes, and constant exposure to dust, fumes, and air pollution. When you go through bronchitis or when it gets severe you may experience difficulty in breathing, wheezing, abnormal sweating, tiredness, and fever.
Loosen up Mucus with Steam
Pour some steaming hot water into a bowl. Let the water be hot enough so that you get as much steam out of it as possible. Lean over and drop a towel over your head covering the bowl so that the steam doesn’t escape. Inhale the steam slowly and as deep as possible.
Step up the effectiveness of this treatment even further. Just add a few drop of Eucalyptus oil to the water. Eucalyptus has antibacterial properties so it fights the bad bacterias that might be clinging to the mucus. Additionally, it softens the mucus. You can also use pine oil for the same process. As it is a natural expectorant, so it will help to release the sticky phlegm out of the bronchial tubes.
Before going to sleep make sure you keep the humidifier running to moisten the air in your bedroom. Ensure you are following the manufacturer’s guidelines when you clean humidifier. Else, bacterias and other microbes can make its way in.
Just in case if you happen to have an ultrasound cool-mist humidifier then add one-pint bottle of 3% hydrogen peroxide and a quarter cup of clean water to it. Hydrogen peroxide is an excellent mucus thinning agent. When you keep the humidifier running all the time in your bedroom and living room it will accelerate the healing process and brings down the infection much faster. If you can leave the humidifier running all the time.
Ease Down the Phlegm
- Keep yourself hydrated as much as possible. Drink a lot of water. Doctor’s recommend drinking at least 3 to 4 liters of water per day. If possible drink warm water. Don’t drink alcohol, flavored drinks, carbonated sodas, and caffeine-rich beverages as it will encourage dehydration which will thicken the mucus further.
- Include chillis, cayenne pepper, black peppers in your diet. I know they are hot but hot foods not only make the phlegm running through your nose, they also thin up the accumulated mucus in the lungs and helps to clear it off.
- Mullein is a traditional herb commonly used for respiratory ailments. It holds two vital compounds. One is saponins which help to soften and loosen up the mucus and the other one is gelatinous which soothes raw mucus membranes. These two compounds play a big role in healing and easing the symptoms of bronchitis. Just prepare some mullein tea out of its dried leaves and drink two to three cups a day. Make sure you filter out the leaves before drinking.
- Milk and milk products are known to trigger and kick up the production of mucus this is due to the presence of a chemical compound called lactalbumin in all milk products. So if you have bronchitis skip milk and milk-based products till you feel better.
When to seek Doctor’s help?
Bronchitis can sometimes turn very severe that it can ruin your sleep at night and productivity during the day. If that’s the case then you should consult a Doctor. Sometimes bronchitis can turn into fever combined with coughing up mucus mixed with blood. This should be treated as a serious condition and needs immediate Doctor’s attention.
Supplements to the rescue
N-acetyl cysteine (NAC): This supplement is known to loosen and thin down mucus. The recommended dose is 1800 milligrams per day. So you can take 600 milligrams three times a day. Take it after your meals and using it till your cough clears up.
Echinacea and Astragalus: Both of these traditional herbs are known to strengthen your immune system and fight bacterias and viruses that lead to infections. Take about 500 milligrams of both these herbs for four times a day if you are dealing with acute bronchitis. For chronic bronchitis take it two times a day.
R-lipoic acid: Lipoic acid is naturally a powerful antioxidant that fights free radicals. It is also anti-inflammatory so it stops the inflammation. Our body is capable of producing its own lipoic acid. However, when we get sick its production is greatly reduced. Sourcing it externally will help to heal bronchitis faster. Take 100 milligrams of R-lipoic acid tablet three times a day along with your meals or after the meals.
Arcozon: This supplement is primarily made from four different herbs which are well known for its antibacterial and immunity boosting properties. It is very good in bringing down bronchitis and its symptoms. Take four capsules four times a day for acute bronchitis and take the same amount two times a day for chronic bronchitis.
How to Prevent?
- Give up smoking if you are a regular or occasional smoker. Cigarettes increase your chances of chronic bronchitis which can be a lifelong condition. So say no to smoke.
- If you are constantly exposed to severe air pollution, dust, and fumes, then try to avoid it as much as possible. If you cannot ignore it for too long then make use of a mask or respirator.
- Maintain a minimum physical hygiene by washing your hands regularly before and after having any foods. Maintain a healthy distance from people who have a cold. Clear your nasal passages once a day, you can make use of the saline nasal spray. You can make use of products like Aller-CLEAR to keep allergens, microbes, and bacterias away from your lungs and keeps away any lung infections.
- Consume citrus fruits like oranges, lemon, sweet lime etc.. every day. As it is rich in Vitamin-C and if you do not know Vitamin-C strengthens your immune system and keeps off the infections. Alternatively, you can take Vitamin-C supplements. The recommended dose is 2000 milligrams a day.
Choose the right cough syrup
When you have a wet mucus-filled cough then do not try to control it through cough suppressants. Instead, get an expectorant cough syrup so that that it will help to clear of the mucus from the bronchial tubes and make you feel better. If you are not sure whether your cough syrup is an expectorant type, then check the label if it contains guaifenesin, its the one you need.