Chronic respiratory infections including chronic bronchitis are the third leading cause of death in the United States.
Those that suffer from chronic bronchitis have trouble breathing and experience continual coughing because of lung inflammation.
To treat this very serious condition, medical practitioners often prescribe inhalers or other pharmaceutical aids that do little more than mask the symptoms.
Studies noted in the journal Alternative and Complementary Therapies indicate that yoga and Ayurvedic medicine can be extremely effective in treating and preventing bronchitis. If you suffer from chronic or seasonal bronchitis, give these alternative therapies a try.
Tumeric – Tumeric is a very old spice that has been used to treat a number of inflammatory conditions. One teaspoon added to a glass of organic milk a few times a day cuts down on lung inflammation and reduces the duration of bronchitis symptoms.
Holy Basil - In India, this herb is often used to treat lung inflammation. It is best to ingest the actual plant leaf in its raw state.
Umcka - This herbal extract is derived from an African plant called pelargonium sidoides. This extract is useful in treating sinusitis and bronchitis. One study reports that people suffering from bronchitis who took the extract returned to work two days earlier than those taking a placebo. Umka is widely available in health food stores or online.
Malabar Nut - Often used in combination with holy basil, the leaves of the malabar nut tree dilate breathing passages and promote oxygen uptake. If you can find a liquid extract of the leaf, take two teaspoons mixed with a little honey, three times a day.
Meditation - Meditation relaxes the entire body and allows for an overall calming effect. Meditating on a regular basis also improves lung function and reduces inflammation, allowing more air to enter the bloodstream.
Trikatu - Trikatu is a mixture of black pepper, long pepper and dried ginger. It is commonly used to relieve congestion and colds. Taken on a regular basis it can strengthen your immune system and help reduce the number of acute bronchitis occurrences.
Yoga - With an emphasis on very deep breathing and proper posture, yoga can benefit those that suffer from bronchitis. A recent study found that regular yoga practice improved lung function and reduced dependence on inhalers or pharmaceuticals.
Kapalabhati, a yogi breathing technique, improves the ability to breathe during a coughing fit. Documented evidence shows that just twenty minutes of breathing per day can calm bouts of coughing due to bronchitis triggered by asthma or allergies.
- Regular exercise and a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, healthy fats and protein is essential to overall health and immune system function.
- A proper stress management program and getting plenty of rest will help keep the body strong and balanced.
- Eliminating sugar and grains from your diet fosters well-being and balance, and will cut down on mucus buildup.
- Reduce your exposure to smoke, chemicals or other airborne irritants that can cause lung inflammation.
- Always consult a health practitioner before beginning an herbal treatment program.
-The Alternative Daily
Alternative and Complementary Therapies 17(6): 349-53 (Dec. 2011).