Bronchitis - Conventional, Nutritional and Alternative Treatments
that you’re going to walk into your health care practitioner’s office
and walk out with a prescription for antibiotics in response to your
Since the usual cause of bronchitis is a viral infection, antibiotics aren’t effective at treating this respiratory problem. Antibiotics can only defeat bacterial infections. So most cases of bronchitis don’t require this form of treatment. The only reason your personal health care practitioner may prescribe antibiotics if he suspects the origin of your illness is from a bacterial infection. He may also prescribe
this class of
drugs, if you smoke or if you already suffer from a chronic lung problem.
In these cases the antibiotics would treat a possible, serious
advise you of the three hallmarks of bronchitis care though:
rest – and plenty of it, drink extra liquids, take a
nonprescription cough medicine.
If your cough
is bringing up mucus, it’s best not to suppress it. You body is doing exactly what it’s supposed to be doing at
this time. Coughing is your
system’s mechanism for removing irritants from your lungs and air
passages. If you don’t cough,
all of that “stuff” will just stay inside of you.
If your cough
is keeping you up at night, then you need to find a type of cough
suppressant that will calm your cough down enough so you can rest, but not
enough to complete suppress it.
You can find
several over-the-counter cough medicines that can do this for you.
Make sure before you purchase it, though, that you read the labels.
You’ll need to decide which is the best choice.
If you’re confused – and there are so many products on the market
today it’s easy to get confused –ask your health care practitioner for
several steps you can take on your own to help hasten the passing of your
bronchitis, make you more comfortable and prevent complications. The first
is to use a humidifier. The
warm, moist air created by this appliance can help relieve coughs and has
the added benefit of actually loosening the mucus from your airways.
even use this device, though, be sure to read the directions that come with
it. You’ll need to clean it
frequently to avoid the build up of fungi and bacteria in the water
time to use some of those over-the-counter medications.
Think about using acetaminophen and ibuprofen for your fever and
pain. As long as you follow the
instructions on the label you should be fine.
You also want
to avoid – as much as is possible – exposure to known irritants – like
tobacco smoke. You may even
want to consider wearing a mask when the air is polluted.
If you’re exposed to substances that irritate your bronchitis while
you’re at work, wear a mask here as well.
and Alternative Treatments
thinking about treating the symptoms of bronchitis on your own, you can
easily look beyond herbs. There
are several other approaches that might work for you.
One of these
is acupuncture. Yes, the same
ancient, Chinese treatment that many use to alleviate the pain of arthritis
and many other ailments may, indeed, be an effective therapy for bronchitis
may not only be able to help alleviate the symptoms of acute bronchitis but
it may help those suffering from chronic bronchitis as well. If you choose this route, you’ll discover that a
professional acupuncturist will treat your bronchitis based on an assessment
that is tailored to your specific circumstances.
The goal of this treatment is to clear the blockage in the chest
mentioned before the use of a humidifier.
But you may want to consider using your humidifier as an agent for a
good aromatherapy session. Consider
adding an essential oil to your humidifier.
Some good choices to help combat bronchitis include cedarwood,
bergamot, eucalyptus, myrrh, jasmine, lavender, tea tree and marjoram.
This is best done at night right before bedtime.
This herbal addition will help thin your mucus as well as ease your
to self-care while you have bronchitis is to supplement your dietary regimen
with vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients. Zinc, for example, is an excellent choice and one well worth
your consideration. This
nutrient helps to enhance the activity of your immune system.
It also helps to protect you from a wide range of infections, not the
least of which are colds and upper respiratory infections, like bronchitis.
other nutrients, including vitamin C. This
has long been the darling of both the natural health community and the
medical establishment. It helps
to strengthen your immune system. Vitamin
C is especially useful if you suffer from occupational bronchitis.
This essential nutrient is believed to help rid your system of
toxins. So if you think your
illness is do to irritants and toxins you come into contact with at work,
you should make this part of your regular routine.
Of course one
of the best ways to help overcome the symptoms of bronchitis is eat a
healthy diet. Make sure your
diet includes plenty of foods rich in antioxidants.
Eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables is one way to ensure
nutritionists also recommend that you eat a diet high in fatty acids,
especially those o f the omega-3 variety.
Clinical studies show that omega-3 fatty acids may be able to reduce
not only the frequency of bronchitis, but also the length of your
You may also
want to think about avoiding the consumption of all dairy products, at least
during the duration of your bronchitis.
Some nutritionists believe that milk, cheese and other dairy products
actually can increase the amount of mucus your body produces.
noticed? Conventional treatment
offers little in the way helping ease those bronchitis symptoms.
That doesn’t mean, however, that you need to stand by while you
slowly wait for the cough to pass and the mucus to clear.
plenty of natural treatment options available to you.
Some of the best alternatives come from the world of herbal healing.
Before you embark on any of these herbs though you should visit your
health care practitioner to ensure that none of the herbs you’re
considering using interferes with any prescription medications you may be
You may also
want to consult a professional herbalist in order to discover the most
potent herbs available for your condition.
This way you can be sure of receiving the maximum benefits from these
powerful, natural healing substances.
The first herb
you may want to investigate is Echinacea.
This is considered by many herbalists a natural bacterial and virus
killer. Ideally, you should
take this as soon as you notice the first signs of a cold.
Most herbalists recommend about 200 mg four times a day.
If you already
have the herb, ginkgo, in your medicine cabinet for other resons, now would
be a great time to pull it out and start using it again. Many herbalists recommend it for their clients who have
You may also
want to ask your herbalist about using eucalyptus.
Commonly used to treat coughs and the common cold, eucalyptus helps
to loosen the phlegm, which makes it ideal as an aid in helping to relieve
the symptoms of bronchitis.
You may also
want to consider using the herb barberry.
An excellent choice for fighting infection, barberry has also been
know to help boost your immune system.
ingredient in peppermint, menthol, makes this herb a very effective
decongestant. Menthol actually
thins your mucus, which makes it the ideal expectorant.
Not only that, but this healing plant also has the additional
benefits of soothing and calming sore throats and dry coughs.
has the unique distinction of receiving recognition from the U.S. Food and
Drug Administration as being a safe and effective option for the treatment
of a sore throat as well as respiratory symptoms.
compounds found in the stinging nettle plant help it to act as an
expectorant which is why many herbalists recommend this to their clients. But more than that, this particular herb may also possess
anti-viral properties, which is just what you need to tackle that
Note: Some statements in this article may not be approved by the FDA. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as professional medical advice.