This generally temporary illness often develops after a cold or the flu. However, for about 5% of Canadians (mostly smokers), bronchitis is a serious, recurring disease. Acute and chronic symptoms are similar and may be effectively relieved with the use of certain supplements.
What it Bronchitis?
Bronchitis is an inflammation of the windpipe and bronchial tubes, the large airways that lead to the lungs. These airways swell and thicken, paralyzing the cilia, the tiny hairs that line the respiratory tract and sweep away dust and germs. Mucus builds up, resulting in a cough.
There are two types of bronchitis: acute and chronic. Acute is marked by a slight fever that lasts for a few days and a cough that goes away after several weeks. In chronic bronchitis, a hacking cough along with discoloured phlegm persists for several months and may disappear and recur.
What causes Bronchitis?
Acute bronchitis frequently follows a cold or the flu, though it can also result from a bacterial infection or exposure to chemical fumes. Chronic bronchitis occurs when the lungs have been irritated for a long time. The primary cause of chronic bronchitis is cigarette smoking. People with long-term exposure to second hand smoke, workers routinely exposed to chemical fumes, and individuals with chronic allergies are also susceptible.
How supplements can help?
Supplements can help strengthen your body’s immune response and also stimulate its normal process of loosening and bringing up phlegm. The supplements for acute bronchitis should be taken only while you are ill. Those for chronic bronchitis require long-term use.
Vitamin C is particularly helpful in fighting off viruses that attack the respiratory system. Take it coupled with powerful antioxidants called flavonoids (or bioflavonoids), which are natural antivirals and anti-inflammatory. Vitamin A is also important for immune health. In chronic bronchitis, both vitamins assist in the healing of damaged lung tissue.
The herbs echinacea and astragalus have antibacterial, antiviral, and immune strengthening properties. At the higher doses, they can be used to fight off acute bronchitis.
For chronic or seasonal bronchitis, try taking the following herbs in rotation: echinacea (200 mg twice a day), astragalus (200 mg twice a day), pau d’arco (250 mg twice a day), and 1,500 mg of reishi or 600 mg of maitake mushrooms a day. Use one herb for one week, then switch to another; continue this cycle as long as needed.
• Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum)
• Vasak (Adhatoda vasika)
• Talisadi Churna
• A limited quantity of carbohydrates, fats and proteins.
• A liberal amount of alkali-forming foods – fresh fruits, green vegetables, sprouted seeds and grains.
• Avoid foods which tend to produce phlegm – rice, sugar, lentils and curd.
• Avoid difficult-to-digest foods – strong tea, coffee, alcoholic beverages, condiments, pickles, sauces and all refined and processed foods.
• Avoid excess humidity
• Avoid exposure to dust, fumes & pollen grains
• Check your allergens
• Half Wheel (Ardha Chakrasana)
• Bow (Dhanura Asana)