Natural & Herbal Remedies for Bronchitis

Practitioner treatment is recommended for this condition.

Bronchitis means inflammation of the bronchi, which are large airway branches leading to the lungs. The main symptoms are: persistent cough, either dry or productive, and fever. Herbalists see coughing as a natural body defence mechanism, not to be suppressed. They will use herbs to make coughing easier and less irritating, and to reduce the overall period of coughing. If your cough is dry, the aim is to make it productive, which means slightly stimulating the production of mucus. Productive cough is more effective at removing the infectious organism from the airways and it is less irritating to the bronchi. Herbs do not cause excessive mucus production. If your cough is already productive, the aim is to change the consistency of mucus so that it can be easily cleared from the lungs.

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The best overall treatment is onion syrup, but you may need other syrups as well. Herbal syrups are very pure – they contain only herbs and sugar or honey – and therefore they do not cause drowsiness. They work by reducing irritation in the airways as well as by having a mild disinfectant action. You may need to approach your local herbalist if you want to keep any of them in stock, or make your own.

Bronchitis may have to be treated with a professional prescription from a herbalist or antibiotics from your doctor if there is any danger of it progressing to pneumonia.

Treatment options

Take onion syrup (see post 98) – the best overall treatment. Adults: 1-8 teaspoonsful a day.

Take marshmallow syrup for a dry cough. Adults: 3-8 teaspoonsful a day.

Take thyme and liquorice syrup – chesty cough (for precautions see post 101). Adults: 1 teaspoonful 2-5 times a day.

Drink elderflower tea to reduce temperature and in cases of a lot of catarrh. Adults: 1-3 cups a day.

Take propolis tincture (for precautions see post 99). Adults: 1-2ml diluted with some water, 1-3 times a day, tincture strength 1:10; or 1-2g a day as capsules.

Children (2-16years old): adjust the adult dose downwards, depending on the age of the child – see post 6.

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