(Natural News) More than 11 million Americans have been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and it is classified as the third leading cause of death in America. Chronic bronchitis is closely related to COPD, but luckily for sufferers, it can be treated naturally. Sometimes, the simplest solution is a lifestyle change. For example, excessive smoking is noted as one of the main reasons for developing the condition and even people exposed to secondhand smoke are at higher risk. It has been shown that heavy smokers will experience at least one episode of chronic bronchitis in their lifetime. As difficult as it can be for some, quitting smoking is the best option for alleviating this problem. If you are not a smoker, but still suffer from this disease, try these natural remedies.
The body needs water to function properly. Especially when ill, drinking an extra amount thins the mucus in the bronchial tubes. This makes it easier to breathe. Current studies differ in the amount of water needed to perform properly. Cases are varied and each person has their own individual needs. A good rule of thumb for bronchitis treatment is to drink a glass of water every two hours.
Use a humidifier
Humidifiers can relieve wheezing and limited air flow by helping to loosen mucus build up. It also reduces the amount of water lost through the skin. Researchers in New Zealand found that long-term humidifier use is an effective treatment for COPD. This 2014 study was published in Value Health.
The COPD foundation says this technique is an easy way to alleviate breathing difficulties. As the name suggests, you begin by breathing through your nose for around two seconds, puckering your lips as if you are about to blow out a candle, and then breathing out very slowly through the pursed lips for around four seconds.
This powerful herb has many therapeutic properties. Several studies point to echinacea’s antiviral and anti-inflammatory characteristics. This makes it ideal when you want to reduce cold symptoms, which are common complaints among people with bronchitis.
There are so many uses for vitamin C. Needless to say, vitamin C boosts your immune system and helps fight off infection. Respiratory issues caused by the bronchitis are lessened. Remember that treatment for the condition is often two-fold. You have to fight off the existing symptoms while preventing the onset of associated breathing conditions. Vitamin C is easily integrated into your diet through fruits and vegetables.
This root is known as one of the most powerful immune-boosting plants. The nutrients found in the plant strengthen weak lungs. The uses of astragalus are still being studied but there is sufficient evidence which points to its importance in bronchitis treatment.
This herb aids lung function. It can be ingested in many ways and is a commonly recommended treatment for asthma. Ginseng has been shown to kill harmful bacteria found in the bronchial area.
Studies suggest that this oil reduces inflammation found in the airways. This is because the main compound in eucalyptus, cineole, reduces shortness of breath. You can try applying the oil (around two to three drops’ worth) on the chest and rubbing it in a circular motion for around five to 10 minutes.
This has a cooling effect and can remove mucus buildup. Peppermint oil also has antimicrobial properties. Use this oil by inhaling it directly from the bottle or applying two to three drops to a warm compress and then massaging it on the chest.
Oregano is a natural antibacterial herb. The oil promotes good bronchial health by reducing inflammation. Bronchitis that is caused by allergies is effectively treated by oregano oil. You can use this as a chest rub.