Treating Bronchitis Naturally

Bronchitis is an acute inflammation of the trachea and bronchial tubes due to bacterial infection.  Usually it doesn’t cause major complications, but it is important to treat it so that it doesn’t turn into other, more serious pulmonary issues.

Here we offer some advice to cure bronchitis as quickly as possible, following a proper diet and using natural remedies to our advantage.

Proper diet

When you have bronchitis it’s imperative to watch your diet, since there are foods that cause inflammation and congestionYou should especially avoid:

  • Refined sugars
  • Bread (We can substitute dextrinized bread, a biscuit-like bread that has undergone a thorough cooking process, which facilitates digestion as if it were predigested.)
  • Dairy products

Instead, you should eat a diet that is rich in:

  • Fruits (grapefruit, lemon, orange, kiwi)
  • Vegetable purees and broths (especially of garlic, onion, leeks, cabbage, celery and carrot).
  • Whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, millet…)

It would also be very beneficial to incorporate some medicinal foods into your diet:

  • Cayenne: Add a pinch of cayenne to hot meals to promote circulation, open the bronchial tubes and help with detoxification.
  •  Propolis and honey: The products derived from bees are great antibiotics that help raise our defenses.
  • Grapefruit seed extract: This potent antiviral is being used more and more frequently. Take 5 to 7 drops diluted in a glass of water on an empty stomach.
  • Vitamin C: Take it as a supplement or as part of our diet (in the form of steamed, unpeeled potatoes, garlic, citrus…)


Medicinal plants

You will see a major improvement if you prepare a daily infusion of medicinal plants and drink it, warmed, throughout the day. You can choose between the following herbs: plantain, cat’s claw, mallow, elder, mint, chamomile, and sundew.

You should also try inhaling steam:  Boil water in a pot with some herbs (cajeput, eucalyptus, thyme, rosemary, savory) and when it’s ready take it off the burner, cover your head with a towel and take some deep breaths directly over the preparation. You can put it on the burner and take it off again to create more steam.  Do this throughout the day, depending on congestion.

Finally, the same medicinal plants that we talked about for the infusions and the steam inhalations can also be used in the form of essential oils.  Prepare a mix with 30cl of an oil base (almond oil, olive oil, sesame oil…) and add 5 drops of each essential oil.  Apply the oil directly to the torso and neck or use it in an aromatherapy diffuser.

Remedies with clay

Clay is an old remedy.  When there were few resources, it was easy and effective to use pure clay to extract toxins, and at the same time introduce minerals into your body.  For bronchitis we recommend the use of clay in two ways:

  • Make a poultice: Mix clay with water until it has a sticky but consistent texture.  Add 4 or 5 drops of thyme, eucalyptus and oregano essential oil.  Once prepared, apply it – preferably warm – alternately over the chest and back.  Repeat this every 6 hours.
  • In some herbal stores, they sell a special clay that can be ingested.  It’s a purified clay, free of elements that can be toxic to the body.  Mix it with water without using a metal spoon (use a spoon that is wooden, ceramic, etc.) Let it set for 10 minutes and take it in the morning.

Thermal balance

When a person is suffering from bronchitis there is typically an imbalance of temperatures in their body.  We recommend, especially if the neck is warm and the feet are cold, trying one of these practices:

  • Rub down the cold areas with a coarse material, like a sponge.
  • Apply ginger cream or oil.
  • Take a foot bath with very warm water and a couple spoonfuls of sodium bicarbonate, for at least 20 to 30 minutes twice a day.

Foot bath

Emotional aspects

The psychosomatic significance of bronchitis usually relates to emotional situations that aren’t being dealt with and are causing turmoil.  This is important to take into account especially if you tend to have recurrent bronchitis.  In this case we recommend accessing some type of therapy or turning to homeopathy, floral essences or some other type of emotional support.  Also, don’t forget that in any recurrent or chronic illness it is vital to avoid bad habits (tobacco, alcohol, bad diet, etc.)

Images courtesy of Clínica ADAM, stefanvds and Intercontinental Hong Kong