Oxygen is a nutrient! So when you can’t breathe very well with bronchitis , turn to one to these 20 natural remedies for bronchitis to kick it to the curb…at home!
First things first: What is bronchitis?
Simply put, bronchitis is inflammation in the lungs—technically inflammation of the bronchial tubes, which carry air to the lungs. As a result, this, plus excess mucus can cause a cough and make it difficult to breathe.
The most cases of acute bronchitis (5-10 days) are caused by a virus (a cold, flu) or occasionally, bacteria (like pneumonia).
Chronic bronchitis (lasting longer than 5-10 days) may also be a result of other things environmental pollutants—like mold in the home, air pollution, cigarettes smoke or chemical exposure (like working in a nail or hair salon).
Too much phlegm and debris can also accumulate in the lungs due to spleen, liver, gallbladder or kidney dysfunction—your body’s filtration systems.
The colon, or large intestine, and lungs are also directly connected according to Chinese Medicine. Hence, candida, dysbiosis, parasites and other GI disturbances can lead to lung dysfunction.
And, of course, stress plays a role in any symptomology or disease onset—from sleep deprivation to overtraining, poor diet, under-eating, circadian disruption, etc.
Signs & Symptoms
Some typical signs and symptoms of bronchitis include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest constriction or tightening
- A phlegm or mucousy cough
- Stuffy nose and sinus congestion
- Body aches
- Low grade fever
- Body chills
You may just have 1 to 2 of these, or several. If you feel like you have a “chest cold” or your lungs feel “heavy”, it may be bronchitis.
Bronchitis Natural Treatment
Although bronchitis can be serious, most of the time it clears up on its own.
Conventional treatment for bronchitis is focused on suppressing symptoms and may include inhalers, prescription medications to relax bronchial muscles (bronchodilators), Tylenol, Asprin, and cough medicines—all which can have side effects and toxic additives, metals and fillers.
The good news?
Although it may take a little while, bronchitis can often be treated naturally with very little side effects. Natural remedies for bronchitis focus on using a mix of herbs, foods, lifestyle habits and supplements to both strengthen the lungs and immune system…Like these 20 natural remedies for bronchitis! Try them to speed healing and offer symptom relief.).
20 Natural Remedies for Bronchitis
#1. Breathe Clean Air
#2. Sip Bone Broth
Hot fluids that are light and nourishing, (like bone broth) enable the body to replenish balance in the lungs. When the lungs are filled with cold or dampness, you get allergy, fluid accumulation, asthma and bronchitis. Broths like Kettle & Fire or FOND restore healthy flow in the lungs.
#3. Avoid Mucous Producing Foods (Dairy, Citrus)
People with bronchitis typically have a build up of mucus in the lungs, so the less mucus production, the better. For now, avoid:
- dairy (milk, cheese, butter)
- red meat
- gluten (wheat)
- sugar (sweets, soda, etc.)
#4. Eat Mucus Reducing Foods
On the flip side, eat these anti-inflammatory, anti-mucus foods:
- wild caught seafood
- extra virgin olive oil
- Manuka honey
- bone broth
- super-fruits: berries, grapefruit, pineapple, cantaloupe, oranges, kiwi, apples
- celery juice
- carrot juice
- Fresh Herbs: cilantro, parsley, ginger, turmeric, basil, oregano
- ginger, chamomile, dandelion tea
- dark leafy greens
- Himalayan sea salt
#5. Take Immune Boosting Herbs
Some of my staples include:
- Olive leaf
- Allicin (garlic)
- Boswellia (frankincense)
#6. High Dose Vitamin C
Turn up the “turbo” on your immunity with 1000 mg vitamin C every hour until stool becomes loose at which point tytrate down until stool normalizes,
#7. Don’t Forget Vitamin D
#8 Strengthen Your Lungs w/ Lung Exercises
AirPhysio is like a workout for rebuilding lung strength that works. Inhale, then exhale, while trying to move the metal ball inside for success. Try it for 5-10 minutes 2-3 times per day. It works.
Heat up your body to cleanse from the inside out with infrared sauna (daily if possible), steamy showers or warm baths. Sauna and steam baths can help upper respiratory problems by loosening mucus. Regular sauna sessions (preferably infrared or dry sauna) have been shown to reduce the incidence of common colds, and improve lung function and breathing in patients with lung diseases such as asthma and chronic bronchitis.
#10. Cleanse Your Colon
There is a HUGE link between lung inflammation and large intestine inflammation. By loving the gut, you inadvertently love your lungs. Coffee enemas, digestive bitters, bowel-stimulating herbs. Ideally, you’re going to the bathroom 2x per day. While you’re at it, add in a high dose of probiotic therapy—a spore based formula, a lacto-bifido formula and saccharomyces boulardii.
#11. Rest Well
Prioritize rest. Sleeping may be uncomfortable if you can’t breathe well. Cleanse your sinuses really well before bed to help and sleep completely flat or with your head propped up to find a position that’s best for you.
#12. Hydrate & Flush
When you have bronchitis, it’s important to loosen the mucus in your chest so you can cough it up and breathe more easily. The best way to loosen mucus is to drink plenty of clean filtered water—aiming for at least half your bodyweight in ounces and then some (about 8 to 12 cups per day).
#13. Incorporate Chinese Medicine
Anecdotally, Chinese herbs have a shorter duration of signs and symptoms. Common herbs used in the treatment of asthma and bronchitis are:
- mustard seed (bai jie zi), ginger (gan jiang), and asarum (xi xin), for restoring lung function and warming the lungs
- magnolia bark (hou po), for improving lung function
- licorice (zhi gan cao), to improve the supply of qi, reduce coughing, and eliminate pain
- ephedrae (ma huang) and cinnamon twigs (gui zhi), to improve the flow of qi through the lungs and dispel the cold
- lumbricus (di long), to dilate the bronchioles and relieve wheezing
- Frankincense, myrrh, Calculus Bovis, Chinese Paris Rhizome, and other herbs are used to reduce swelling, promote tissue regeneration, and clear heat and toxic materials.
An amazing blend to check out is Kan Blue Green Lung.
#14. Nebulize Glutathione & Silver + Take NAC
Perhaps the single most effect method of treating bronchitis is the nebulizer. Nebulizers entail using a small machine to inhale a lung-supportive agent (doctors often prescribe steroids, but in functional medicine we often look to glutathione and colloidal silver). These agents calm the inflammation in your mucous membrane and allow your body to begin to heal. Supplemental NAC (the precursor of glutathione) can also be helpful for boosting antioxidants in the body to fight free radicals.
#15. Try Cold Laser Therapy
Laser therapy is a topical treatment often offered at chiropractic offices that can reduce bronchial thickening and airway smooth muscle thickening. In just 4 days, patients with chronic bronchitis experienced remission of symptoms by 70% compared to non-treated laser therapy patients, pointing to the effectiveness of the treatment. Other studies have shown positive findings.
#16. Book Several Acupuncture Sessions
Think outside the box. Acupuncturists are trained in Chinese medicine, seeing the body as a whole (not parts) in order to restore the qi (“chi”) and balance for the patient. One, of many, studies showed acupuncture increases immunoglobulin production and stabilizes total health for elderly patients suffering from chronic bronchitis—some of the sickest patients of all. Immunoglobulins function as antibodies, which are immune system proteins in the blood that counteract antigens (e.g., viruses, bacteria, toxins, foreign substances). Consistency is key if you are going to do acupuncture (2-3 sessions, ideally back to back or 1-2 days a part per week).
#17. Don’t Google Search
Google search “how to cure bronchitis” or “bronchitis treatment” and you’re bound to come across several articles telling you that there is really no hope for the remission bronchitis if it becomes chronic; or, much less, treatment ideas outside prescriptions. Don’t take “no” for an answer before you focus on supporting your lungs.
#18. Move It, Move It
You may not feel like running a marathon right now, but walks, yoga or light workouts help keep lymph and debris and mucous moving (also in your lungs).
#19. Just Breathe (in Peppermint Oil)
Peppermint essential out has a way of opening the lungs. Inhale it under the nose and dab on your pulse points to open air ways.
#20. Inhale & Exhale
Note: Don’t Be Ashamed to Use Prescriptions Wisely
If a prescription inhaler or bronchodilator is prescribed by your doctor, don’t feel ashamed for using it. Check on any contraindications with supplements and foods, and consider pairing your natural treatments with as-needed bronchial dilators or inhalers if needed.