Bronchitis is a nasty cough. It can be divided into two categories, acute and chronic. The difference between them is simply how long they last. Normally bronchitis occurs after you have had another respiratory infection. Smoking or living and working in highly polluted air can aggravate bronchitis, making its symptoms worse and its duration longer.
Whether acute or chronic there are two types of bronchitis, dry and productive (or wet). Comfort and healing to some degree depends on which type you have. There are some things that work well for both. Boost your immune system. A good plant based enzyme supplement boosts your immune system by improving your digestion. Poor digestion causes a strain on the immune system. Taking enzymes between meals on an empty stomach can increase its immune building by allowing it to move into your blood stream and cells. There the enzymes seek out food particles or body wastes (fibrogen, cholesterol, etc) and digest those as well. Our big guns in immune boosting are plant sterols. These work by feeding the immune system as well. Studies have shown that plant sterols encourage the body to produce more immune cells, especially the all important T-Cells. Having a stronger immune system means that whatever attacks you will have a harder time of making your life miserable.
Many doctors give antibiotics whenever they diagnose bronchitis. The theory behind this is that some forms of bronchitis are caused by bacteria, while others are caused by a virus. Antibiotics do not work on viruses. The explanation I have heard from doctors is that they are trying to prevent secondary bacterial infections. This form of prevention is being looked at as one of the causes of the Ďsuperbugsí such as MRSA that are plaguing us today. An at home substitute for antibiotics is Colloidal Silver. Unlike chemical antibiotics Colloidal Silver will work on viruses as well as bacteria. A few days of drinking Colloidal Silver should be enough.
Whenever you take antibiotics or Silver internally we highly recommend you follow up with a course of pro-biotics. This is because both antibiotics and silver kill all the good bacteria as well as the bad bacteria. Pro-biotics reintroduce the proper good bacteria into your system, which in turn help keep the bad bacteria at bay. Good bacteria are necessary for a healthy digestive system, and therefore a healthy immune system.
For reducing the symptoms of bronchitis it goes back to which type of bronchitis you have, dry or wet. A dry cough can be suppressed. It normally indicates an irritation of the breathing passages called the bronchi, hence the name bronchitis. Licorice, either in lozenges, tinctures, capsules or teas can be helpful, but does have its side effects. Marshmallow is another herb that has a soothing effect, and can be found as a tea at your herb store. Another one is wild cherry. Be careful of lozenges because they are usually made with sugar and sugar has a tendency to weaken your immune system.
If you have a productive cough you do not want to suppress it, no matter how annoying it may be. You want to look for herbs that fall into the category of an expectorant. This group thins the mucus and helps your cough to bring it up and get rid of it. Garlic falls into this category, as well as thyme, and an herb called horehound. One old time remedy that seems to work well with both types of coughs is honey and lemon juice (or apple cider vinegar). This coats the throat without inhibiting the productive cough.
Chronic bronchitis can lead to a condition called COPD. In simple terms this is when the cough and breathing difficulties just donít want to go away. As well as being irritating this condition can compromise your overall health. People with COPD tend to breathe more shallowly than they used to. This eases the tendency to cough, but also robs the body of much needed oxygen. Treatment for COPD includes deep breathing exercises, so common sense says if you have chronic bronchitis and you donít want it to develop into something like COPD that deep breathing exercises may be beneficial.
Our bodies are designed to be self healing. In order to allow that healing to occur we need to make sure our bodies are getting the nutrients we need. Even if you are eating a healthy diet (and there is lots of debate as to what that might look like) if your digestion isnít functioning in top form your cells are not getting the nutrients. That is why every article starts with improving your digestion to improve your immune system.
The Herbal Drugstore by Linda B. White MD and Steven Foster, copyright 2000 by Rodale Press
Blended Medicine Combining Mainstream and Alternative Therapies by Michael Castleman copyrighted 2000 by Michael Castleman.
Understanding Normal and Clinical Nutrition, Fifth Edition by Eleanor Noss Whitney, Corinne Balog Cataldo and Sharon Rady Rolfes. Copyrighted 1998 by Wadsworth Publishing Company.
Clean Cures by Michael DeJong copyrighted 2009 by Michael DeJong and Joost Elffers Books