I recently had a 48-hour flu and then when I was feeling better I got bronchitis. I had a wonderful friend that brought me over some homemade, organic soup and it was so good! Below are the natural remedies I took the past week and I'm glad to say its been 6 days with bronchitis and I'm almost completely better! Here is what I used:
- Echinacea - as soon as you start to even feel a cold/cough, etc coming on start taking echinacea. I took 3 doses per day, which was a dropperful for each dose mixed in a tiny amount of water and shot down. You need to get the correct echinacea, one with BOTH the purpurea (whole plant) and augustifolia (root). Sometimes it is sold under the name "Premium Echinacea" but you can always make certiain by looking on the back for the blend.
- Astragalus (Astragalus Membranaceus)- you can actually take this everyday, not just when you are sick, to strengthen your immune system. For this illness, I took 2-3 doses a day, which a dose is one dropperful.
- Raw Organic Garlic - garlic is a natural antibiotic, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, etc. It is awesome stuff and you can ingest some everyday for good health. For this illness, I swallowed 1-2 cloves a day. I simply mince a clove and put it in my mouth, throw some water in and swallow - don't chew!
- Eucalyptus Steam Bath - this is for not only pain relief in the sinus/bronchial tubes but it will prevent you from getting bacterial bronchitis. Eucalyptus inhibits the growth of bacteria and its even used in public saunas. It not only will help coat your airways and prevent bacterial growth, it soothes and feels so good! You simply bring 4-6 cups of water to a rolling boil on the stove, remove from heat and let sit for about a minute or till the bubbles go down. Then, add 3-4 drops of eucalyptus oil and get under there with a towel for 10 minutes. It feels awesome!
- Neti-Pot or Nasal Douching - This is your best friend! I use the neti-pot every morning I have a cold or in this instance for bronchitis. It cleared out my nasal cavities, got rid of that terrible nasal dripping in the back of my throat by loosening it all up and expelling out. If you don't have a neti-pot, you can do what my mom does and mix some salt/baking soda in warm water and then cup your hand get some and inhale it and spit it out your mouth. I didn't like that way and I prefer the neti-pot's ease. I did this every morning and not sure what I would have done without - probably been really miserable with nasal congestion and the dripping ugh! A few years ago, I used to take nasal decongestants, such as Sudafed but my doctor told me NO MORE Sudafed EVER! He hates the stuff and I can see why - its messes with you. Anyway, since then, I've not needed a nasal decongestant because the neti-pot does it without the harmful effects that the drugs give you.
- Vitamin C - this is a must to help you get better and build your defenses. I was taking 2000-5000mg per day while I was sick but the form of vitamin c I had on hand was just too strong for my throat so I switched to some pure vegetable/fruit juice with extra vitamin c. I would suggest if you have a sore throat or bronchitis to not use vitamin c in ascorbic acid powder but rather Ester-C.
- Warm Water - at least 64oz of water a day and seems like warm, not cold or hot, worked best for me. Also I added organic lemon juice to my water sometimes.
- L-lysine - most won't need this but whenever I get sick, I tend to break out in cold sores on my lips. I felt one coming on but quickly swallowed 1000mg of L-lysine and it never progressed thankfully. I try and take this whenever I feel one tingling or when I'm sick, for prevention.
The next two are not natural but over-the-counter remedies that I feel are safe and work and benefits far outweigh the risk with bronchitis.
- Guaifenesen - this is an expectorant for when you are having productive coughs. It helps loosen the mucus and thin bronchial secretions to get your bronchial passageways clear and make your coughs more productive. 400mg every 4 hours when you have mucus in your chest/bronchials.
- Dextromethorphan - this is hard to find but its there if you look for it. Usually they have a store-brand, but make sure you only get this ingredient and not this and something else. Kroger/Fred Meyer has a store-brand. This is for those dry coughs at night or whenever that would cause more irration/damage to the bronchials if you didn't suppress them. This is not for the productive coughs that are generally in the morning. I took this when I felt that I was dry coughing way too much and my bronchials were burning to the point I thought if I don't stop the cough it will do more harm than good. Generally you take it every 6 hours, but I only needed it on 2 nights.
Remedies I didn't try:
- Mullein (Verbascum thapsus)- I tried to find this locally but couldn't. This was what I wanted to try for my coughs instead of the above 2 OTC choices. It does BOTH jobs - it works as an expectorant and suppressant. I plan on trying this next time I get a problem with cough/bronchitis.