Bronchitis is defined as the swelling or inflammation in the bronchial tubes, which carry air between the lungs, mouth and the nose. Patients suffering from bronchitis have difficulty in inhaling oxygen into the lungs.
Inhaling toxic fumes due to pollution is a common cause of bronchitis. Inhaling polluted air can be dangerous for the patients of bronchitis. Smokers are at a higher risk of developing this disease, in fact, smoking is considered to be the major cause of bronchitis because cigarettes contain various chemicals and these chemicals irritate the bronchial tube. This is when chronic bronchitis develops.
What is the cause of Bronchitis and Cough according to Ayurveda?
It is known as "Kas Rog" in Ayurveda.
It occurs when Apana vayu is obstructed resulting in an increase in upward motion. Vata dosha lodges in the chest, back or head resulting in pain and repeated coughing.
Factors such as stress, hectic lifestyle, poor digestion, poor circulation can lead to the build-up of impurities that disrupt the biochemistry of bronchial area and deteriorate the body's immune response to the invading organisms. This can predispose the individuals to upper respiratory infection.
Bronchitis can be influenced by so many factors including diet, digestion, and stress but the comprehensive approach of Ayurveda is ideal for balancing many physiological functions simultaneously as Ayurvedic remedies help to remove the deep-seated impurities, improve digestion and metabolism and restore the body's natural ability to detoxify and maintain balance.
Like many other diseases, Bronchitis can be classified as:
In modern medicines, antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs are prescribed for the treatment of a cough and bronchitis but in Ayurveda, it can be managed by simple home remedies without causing any side effects.
What are the symptoms of Bronchitis and Cough?
- A cough which may form mucus
- Irritation in the throat
- Tightness in the chest
- Body aches
- Fever with chills
Best Home Remedies for Bronchitis and Cough
1. Dry Ginger (Zingiber officinale), Black Pepper (Piper nigrum) and Pippali (Piper longum)
Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that provide relief in swollen bronchial tubes. Black Pepper is very helpful in relieving congestion. Pippali or long pepper is known widely for its anti-inflammatory properties.
How to use: Mix all three ingredients in powdered form and take this powder with honey twice a day for effective results.
2. Lukewarm Water
Drink hot water regularly as it will help in reducing the swelling in the lungs and has a soothing effect on the respiratory tract. Increase the intake of lukewarm water during bacterial cold and cough as it will provide relief to the respiratory tract.
3. Mustard Oil Massage
Mustard oil is extracted from mustard seeds and it has been commonly used in India since ancient times.
A gentle massage with hot mustard oil provides relief in the stiff chest and eases congestion in the lungs.
4. Tomato Soup
Tomato soup is extremely rich in Vitamin C which helps in reducing the excessive formation of mucus in bronchitis.
How to use: Add freshly ground pepper on top of freshly home prepared tomato soup and take it before meals.
5. Giloy (Tinospora cordifolia)
Giloy has been used and advocated in Indian medicine since ages. It is used in a cough and bronchitis because it has a soothing effect on the lining of the lungs and therefore helps in providing relief to the inflamed bronchial lining.
How to use: Drink the juice of fresh giloy leaves once in the morning and once in the evening regularly.
6. Mustard Oil and Camphor
This remedy is good for all ages. Take 2 tablespoons of mustard oil and warm it well. Dissolve 2 grams of camphor in the oil.
How to use: Apply this oil gently all over the chest and neck but do not massage. Allow the oil to work for few minutes and then give a dry fomentation.
7. Psyllium husk seeds
According to Ayurveda, bronchitis, and cough are aggravated by constipation so it is necessary to prevent constipation. Use psyllium husk seeds to manage constipation.
How to use: Soak 2 spoons of psyllium husk seeds in water and consume it during the day.
8. Using Steam
Inhaling steam helps in losing the secretions in the lungs and provides relief in a cough and bronchitis.
How to use: Add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to the hot water and inhale the steam. Eucalyptus oil helps in softening the mucus in obstructed airways and has some anti-bacterial properties.
Turmeric is a natural antibiotic and anti-inflammatory herb. It provides relief in congestion and bronchitis and prevents its recurrence.
How to use: Add 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder to a glass of milk and boil it for a few minutes. Drink this milk regularly to cure bronchitis.
10. Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum)
Tulsi or holy basil is considered a natural expectorant.
How to use: Take freshly prepared tulsi juice with little honey and ginger juice.
One can also make tulsi tea by boiling fresh leaves with fresh slices of ginger and 1-2 cloves. Sip this tea twice a day to relieve congestion.
11. Licorice Powder
Add 1/2 teaspoon of licorice powder to 1 glass of water and allow it to boil for few minutes. Drink this water twice a day regularly.
Alkaline foods such as fresh fruits, green vegetables, sprouted grains, and nuts should be consumed.
- Avoid hard to digest foods such as non-vegetarian food, refined and processed foods.
- Avoid foods that tend to produce phlegm such as rice, sugar, curd, lentils.
- Cold drinks and frozen foods should be avoided.
- Sip water boiled with dry ginger throughout the day.
- Include nuts and seeds in the diet as they are the rich source of magnesium and therefore contribute to healthy lung function.
- Avoid excess humidity.
- Avoid exposure to allergens such as dust, fumes and pollen grains.
- Yoga activities such as Jal Neti, Sutra Neti are recommended.