Bronchitis is inflammation of the bronchi in the lungs.

Bronchitis is divided into acute and chronic,

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease(COPD) is a common lung disease, bronchitis fall under the category of COPD.

Signs or symptoms:

  • Slight fever and chills
  • Chest discomfort
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath and cough with sputum production.

COPD typically worsens over time. Eventually walking up stairs or carrying things will be difficult.

Causes and risk factors:

  • Cigarette smoke- People who smoke or who live with a smoker are at higher risk of both acute bronchitis and chronic bronchitis.
  • Genetics
  • Exposure to air pollution irritants cause inflammatory response in the lungs resulting in narrowing of the small airways and breakdown of lung tissue.

Tests and diagnosis

  • Doctor check on wheezing sound and mucus for bacteria infection(Sputum tests)
  • Pulmonary function test: blow at spirometer checks for signs of asthma or emphysema.
  • X-ray
  • Arterial blood gas (ABG) test: measures acidity (pH) and levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood from an artery
  • Pulse oximetry (oxygen saturation testing)

Pulse Oximetry

What is done?

Most cases of acute bronchitis resolve without medical treatment in two weeks.

There is no cure for chronic bronchitis. The goal of treatment is to relieve symptoms such as reduce inflammation or dilate airway and prevent complications.

  • supplemental oxygen
  • consult medical professional

Prevention and Non-pharmacological Treatment

  • stop smoking
  • Add peppers, onion, garlic, and ginger to everyday diet.

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap especially before meals

1. Honey

The antiviral as well as antibacterial properties of honey are considered useful to treat bronchitis. Honey helps soothe the throat. Moreover, it also builds strong immune system. You can use honey in different ways such as:

  • Add one teaspoon of honey in a regular cup of tea.
  • Add half teaspoon of honey with a pinch of black pepper, fresh ginger paste, and 1-2 clove powder. Consume this paste to ward off burning sensation.
  • To reduce throat inflammation and congestion, add a few drops of lemon in warm water. Add one teaspoon honey to it and drink it after stirring well.
  • Slice an onion in a plate or bowl and cover it with honey. Leave it overnight. Now, remove onion slices and take one teaspoon of honey four times a day to get instant relief.

2. Oregano Oil

In order to lessen the soreness and deep coughing, oregano oil can be used as a natural treatment. A person suffering from bronchitis has to put a few drops of oregano oil under his or her tongue. Use this remedy once a day to cure severe cough or uneasy breathe.

3. Salt Water

Salt water has the ability to cut through the mucous which is causing irritation in the sensitive bronchial membranes. It also soothes the irritated throat. Add some salt in warm water and stir it well. Now, gargle with this warm salt water 3-4 times a day.

Note: It is very important to add the right quantity of salt in warm water, as excess salt can result in burning sensation in the throat. On the other hand, too less salt will not work effectively.

4. Ginger

The immune building and anti-inflammatory properties of ginger not only help treating cold, but also sore and inflamed bronchial tubes.

  • Prepare a mixture by adding one teaspoon each of pepper, ginger powder, and cloves. Add a little amount of this mixture in milk or honey and have it thrice a day to get relief.
  • Prepare a powder of ground ginger, cloves, and cinnamon. Add half teaspoon of this mixture in a glass of hot water. Drink the mixture after stirring it well. To get relief, try this remedy for a few days.
  • For instant relief, you can also prepare herbal tea. For this, you need to add one teaspoon each of black pepper and ginger powder in a cup of boiling water. Allow it to steep for a few minutes. After sometime, add honey in it and stir well. Drink this herbal tea two times a day.

5. Orange 

Orange is rich in vitamin C. which help immune system. Orange not only provides nutrients and vitamins, but also soothes the inflamed throat.

6. Turmeric

To get relief in cough associated with bronchitis, turmeric is the best natural remedy. The anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric pull out the excess mucus, which ultimately provides relief. For this, you are supposed to add one teaspoon of turmeric powder in a glass of milk. Stir it well and boil for some time. Drink the hot mixture twice or thrice a day. For effective results, try having this in an empty stomach.

Note- People suffering from stomach ulcers, gallbladder stones, obstructive jaundice, hyperacidity, etc. should not try this remedy.

7. Garlic

Garlic is one of the natural home remedies to treat acute bronchitis. The antiviral and antibiotic properties of garlic cure bronchitis very easily. You need to take three fresh garlic cloves. Peel and chop them properly. Add the chopped pieces in a glass of milk. Boil the milk for some time and drink it warm before going to sleep.

8. Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus oil is very effective treatment for bronchitis. Use it in steam therapy to soften the mucus. The antibacterial properties of the oil heal burning sensation and inflamed throat. Add a few drops of eucalyptus oil in boiling water. Then, cover your head with a towel and breathe in the steam. You can also use tea tree oil or pine oil also, in place of eucalyptus oil.

  • Alternatively, eucalyptus oil can be applied on the chest directly. This will aid proper functioning of respiratory system and also drive out the excess mucus.

9. Epsom Salt

To get relief in the symptoms of bronchitis, especially acute bronchitis, Epsom salt bath is very effective. Add 1½ kg of Epsom salt in warm bath water. Immerse yourself for half an hour in the water just before going to bed every night, if you are suffering from acute bronchitis. If you are experiencing chronic bronchitis, do it two times a day.

10. Onion

The antibacterial and antiviral properties of onion soothe inflammation and soreness of throat. The person suffering with bronchitis simply has to intake one teaspoon of raw onion juice on an empty stomach every morning. You can also have raw onion in salad or use onion while cooking.

11. Sesame Seeds

Sesame seeds possess medicinal properties that effectively treat bronchitis. It relieves chest pain. For healing the symptoms of bronchitis, mix one teaspoon each of linseed, sesame seeds and honey. Add a little quantity of common salt. Combine this mixture properly and consume it daily before sleeping. Sesame seeds can also be used with plain water. Mix half teaspoon of dry sesame seeds powder in two tablespoons of water and consume it daily.

12. Lemon

Since lemon is rich in citrus properties, it helps one get rid of bronchitis. Boil a cup of water and grate a teaspoon of lemon rind in it. Steep it for a few minutes.

  • You can also boil a lemon wedge. Strain the water in a cup and drink it.
  • To treat sore throat, add one teaspoon of lemon juice in a cup of warm water. Stir it well and gargle with it.

13. Water

It is very necessary to keep your body hydrated when you suffer from bronchitis. It is recommended to have at least 10 glasses of water daily. You can also have vegetable and fruit juices. Alternatively, add a little quantity of honey and a few drops of lemon in a glass of water. Stir this mixture well and drink it early morning.

Note- Avoid drinking alcohol or caffeine which leads to loss of fluids and makes the mucus tougher to be extracted.

14. Hot Toddy

One of the natural remedies to get rid of bronchitis is hot toddy. To prepare hot toddy, boil some water. Place a tea bag in it. Let it steep for 5-10 minutes. Add a pinch of cinnamon powder, honey, and alcohol to it. Stir the mixture well and drink it to soothe your burning throat.

15. Mustard

There are several spices which help cure bronchitis. Add dry mustard and flour in a ratio of 1:4. Stir it well adding sufficient water to make a runny paste. Apply some olive oil on chest. Now, spread mustard mix on a clean muslin or washcloth. Apply it on chest. Ensure that the paste is not too hot; otherwise, it may burn your skin. Place it until it gets cool. Keep a check, if the plaster causes discomfort.

16. Spinach

Spinach is also one of the effective remedies for this ailment. Add small amount of spinach (fresh) in a glass of water. Add ½ tablespoon honey to it and drink it.

17. Bay Leaf

Bay leaf is one the simplest herbal cures for bronchitis. It can be taken as tea. To prepare tea, heat a cup of water till it starts boiling. Take a fresh bay leaf and put it in boiling water. Let it steep for a few minutes.

  • Another option is to soak bay leaves in hot water. Apply it as poultice on chest. Cover the chest with a towel. Rewarm it whenever it cools down.

18. Thyme

To get rid of mucus and strengthen the lungs, thyme is one of the best herbs with antibacterial properties. It can be used as seasoning. You can also prepare tea by adding half teaspoon thyme in a cup of boiling water. Steep it for 5 minutes. Add some honey to it for sweetening.

  • Thyme oil can also be very effective, if used in diluted form. Dilute it by adding olive oil (the ratio of olive oil and thyme oil should be 2:1). Rub the mix on chest to treat congestion.

19. Savory

Savory is a peppery herb which is used to get rid of mucus. Get a cup of boiled water. Add half teaspoon of savory to it. Drink it every day to heal bronchitis.

20. Holy Basil

Chew leaves of holy basil to keep lung infection at bay.

21. Adhatoda Vasica (Malabar Nut)

Chew the leaves of this plant. For the best results chew them along with the leaves of holy basil. You can also mix the liquid extract of the plant with some honey and have 2 teaspoons of it on the daily basis.

22. Licorice

Licorice tea is a therapeutic remedy for inflamed throat. Add licorice roots in the boiling water. Steep it for a few minutes. Drink 1-2 cups daily. Its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral properties reduce swelling resulted due to bronchitis.

23. Essential Oils

Several essential oils like tea tree, lavender, anise, rosemary, peppermint, cypress and eucalyptus oils are wonderful home cure for bronchitis. Take 1 teaspoon carrier oil (jojoba, almond, etc.) and add 2-3 drops of Anise essential oil to it. Massage your throat and chest with this oil and put a warm towel on the affected area.

  • A herbal chest rub can also be prepared by mixing 10 drops each of rosemary oil, thyme, peppermint and eucalyptus oil. Add ¼ cup of olive oil to it. Gently massage it on the chest and throat.

24. Mullein

Steep dried mullein leaves in hot water for 10-15 minutes. Add honey as a sweetener. Drink at least 1 cup daily. Alternatively, boil the fresh mullein leaves in water for 5-8 minutes. Inhale the steam in order to get rid of congestion caused due to bronchitis.

25. Plantain

Steep fresh plantain leaves in hot water for some time. Strain it and drink. You can breathe the steam in for a couple of minutes