Bronchitis is a respiratory disease that is caused by bacteria, viruses, irritants like smoke, and some other particles that can cause irritation in the bronchial tubes. Bronchial tubes are the tubes that carry air to your lungs. Bronchitis is caused when these bronchial tubes get swollen and inflamed. This causes a nagging cough and mucus. Fortunately, there are many ways in which you can treat acute bronchitis on your own without any specific medical treatment. These home remedies can improve symptoms within two weeks. But, if you feel that your condition is not recovering at a normal rate, then you must see a doctor online for proper guidance and treatment.
Acute bronchitis is more common in people, and symptoms may last a few weeks. It usually does not cause problems for people suffering from it for more than these few weeks. However, chronic bronchitis is a serious condition in which your lungs sound congested, and it does not go away or keep coming back. So, it is better for you to treat your symptoms as soon as you see them for a rapid recovery. If you take proper self-care, you can bounce back quickly and stay fit. But first, let’s get familiar with the symptoms associated with bronchitis that you have to look out for.
Symptoms of bronchitis
As I mentioned above, bronchitis leads to the tightening of your airways and excess production of mucus. The increased phlegm can cause breathing problems and a persistent cough.
Some of the common symptoms are-
- Congestion in chest
- White, yellow, or green mucus with cough
- Shortness of breath
- Chills and body aches
- Wheezing or a whistling sound when you breathe
- Feeling “wiped out”
- Sore throat
- Muscle aches
- Runny nose with nasal congestion
The cough can last for more weeks even after all the other symptoms associated with acute bronchitis are gone while your bronchial tubes are healing. Slowly the swelling will also go down. But, if you have chronic bronchitis, the cough can even last for more than 3 months and might come back after every 2 years at least.
And if you have a fever, shortness of breath, or a cough, you should consider consulting your doctor for it, as it might be the COVID-19, which has similar symptoms.
The best home remedies for acute bronchitis
You can treat your acute bronchitis at home if you use a few natural remedies. One more advantage of these remedies is that some of them also have additional health benefits for you. So, let’s go through these remedies.
1. Ginger and ginger tea
Certain herbs contain medicinal effects that can help in soothing the inflamed membranes of your respiratory tract. Ginger is one of those herbs. Researchers have found evidence that shows that ginger can help against respiratory infection, thanks to its anti-inflammatory effect against it. The ginger root acts as an expectorant and can soothe the irritation that you feel in your respiratory tract because of the respiratory infection.
There are various ways in which you can consume ginger. These are –
- By chewing dried, crystallized ginger.
- Eating it raw or adding it to your food.
- Adding fresh ginger in your tea.
It is very safe to use ginger in its natural form. But, if you are not used to gingering that much, taking it in small amounts can be a better option for you, especially if you are sensitive to it. While eating ginger occasionally is safe for everyone, you should not consume it if you have diabetes, heart problems, or any kind of blood disorder. Also, pregnant or breastfeeding women should also avoid ginger.
One of the best ways to break up mucus to expel it more easily is by using steam. And it is very easy to use in the bath or shower. Just make sure you do not make your shower too hot, keep it at a level that you can handle. Then step in, and take deep breaths through your mouth and nose.
This way you can relax the muscles that got tensed from coughing. And if you are feeling short of breath or ill, you should not soak in a hot bath.
There is one more way to use steam. In this you have to make a steam bowl by putting hot water in a large, heatproof bowl. Then drape a towel over your head (covering your head), and then inhale the steam by leaning over the bowl. Just make sure that the water is not too hot, or it can cause irritation in the lining in your nasal passage. And do not inhale that hot steam for more than a minute or two.
3. Gargling with salt water
Gargling with salt water is another great method to break up mucus while reducing pain in your throat as well. Swishing warm salt water in your throat and mouth a few times in a day can help get rid of excess mucus.
You simply have to add a teaspoon of salt into a glass of warm water. Then take small sips of this saltwater and gargle at the back of your throat. And make sure you do not swallow the water. You need to spit it out in the sink. Repeat this for a few more times, and then rinse your mouth with plain water. Garling can help in saving you from future respiratory infections such as colds.
4. Take some rest and sleep
While you are fighting with the infection and cough, it can make you feel very tired. You need to listen to your body and get some rest, especially in the beginning. You need to give your body the required rest, even if you have some work to do. Many people suffering from some kind of acute illness do not pay attention to their body’s call for rest.
Get an adequate amount of sleep to allow your body to rest. Experts say that you need enough sleep to maintain a healthy immune system. Studies also show that sleep deprivation can make you more vulnerable to the cold virus.
You can also use an extra pillow under your head to avoid mucus from settling in your throat at the back. It can be a bit difficult to get a sound sleep when you are fighting a cough, but it is also essential. The immune function of your body gets repaired and enhanced (to fight the inflammation) during the deep stages of sleep.