Bronchitis, an acute lung condition typically caused by a virus or bacteria, usually follows a cold or flu when our resistance is at its lowest. Even though it’s summer, you can still develop bronchitis at any time during the year if you suffer from allergies, have asthma, or experience any other respiratory conditions.
The typical response to bronchitis is to visit your doctor or take over-the-counter medication. However, there are cost-effective ways you can clear a lung infection at any time of year. Here are my top seven natural remedies for bronchitis.
1. Humidity: This is one time when hot and humid weather may just serve you well. While you should stay indoors on days when the air quality is poor, spending time outdoors may just be the remedy you’re looking for if you’re suffering from bronchitis. But on those smoggy days or during other times of the year when the weather isn’t so hot and humid, you can use a humidifier instead. Looking to save some money? Spending some time in a hot steamy shower may help, or you can boil a pot of water and breathe in the steam.
2. Liquids: You’re told to drink plenty of fluids when you’re sick for a reason: it helps to keep the sputum (mucus) more fluid, making it easier for your body to expel. Warm liquids, such as tea and soup, are especially helpful.
3. Saltwater: You may have also heard gargling with saltwater as a recommended treatment for a number of oral and respiratory ailments. One teaspoon of salt in warm water cuts through the mucus, while the warmth soothes irritation. But make sure you don’t exceed one teaspoon of salt per day, since this can make the irritation worse.
4. Get plenty of rest: Taking it easy when you have bronchitis—or any ailment for that matter—gives your body a chance to fight the infection. Plus, it lets you “quarantine” yourself from family, friends, and co-workers, which is a good thing in this instance since bronchitis can be contagious.
5. Almonds: Believe it or not, eating almonds, whether it’s whole or as a garnish on salads, will work wonders on bronchitis and other lung infections thanks to their combination of potassium, magnesium, and calcium.
6. Natural expectorants: To deal with bronchitis, there are a number of homemade remedies you can use to alleviate the symptoms, and while this may sound like the most unpleasant one, it can deliver great results: for an excellent expectorant, combine honey and onions. Simply slice an onion into a bowl, cover it with honey, and then let it stand overnight. In the morning, remove the onion and take one teaspoon of honey a day until your symptoms subside.
7. Lemons: You may feel as though life handed you lemons when you have a case of bronchitis, so why not make lemon tea to alleviate the symptoms? Either grate one teaspoon of lemon rind into a cup of boiling water and allow it to steep for five minutes, or boil a lemon wedge, strain the water, and drink.
Note that these remedies should not be used in place of a doctor-prescribed treatment. Rather, they are meant to replace over-the-counter medications or to be used as a complementary treatment. While these natural remedies are proven infection-fighters, before trying any of these home remedies, we highly recommend consulting with your physician first.