Numerous herbs have anti-inflammatory and expectorant capabilities and are helpful in fighting bronchitis. A handful of common remedies follow.
To soothe a dry bronchial cough, drink a hot mullein-coltsfoot tea several times a day
To make the tea, steep 1 teaspoon each of dried mullein, coltsfoot, and anise seed in 1 cup boiling water for 10 minutes; strain.
For bronchial spasms, drink thyme 3 three times daily. To prepare the tea, steep 1 teaspoon of thyme leaves in 1 cup of boiling water for 5 to 10 minutes; strain through cheesecloth.
To quiet a cough, try echinacea tincture. Take 15 to 30 drops 2 to 5 times daily.
To loosen phlegm and open clogged bronchial tubes, drink coltsfoot tea daily. To make the tea, steep 1 to 2 teaspoons of the herb in 1 cup of boiling water for 10 minutes; strain.
To soothe inflamed bronchial tubes, sip plain mullein tea. To make the tea, steep 1 to 2 teaspoons of the herb in 1 cup of boiling water for 10 minutes; strain.
For an expectorant, try aniseed and garlic.
Other therapeutic herbs include horehound, goldeneal, and ginseng. Herbal products are available in health food stores and in some pharmacies and supermarkets. Follow package for specific directions.
Bronchitis may respond to homeopathic treatment. However, the selection of a remedy-more than one is available depends on your symptoms and the stage of the Condition. Don’t try treating this disorder yourself. See a homeopathic professional.
Use steam inhalation to help clear congestion. See “Aromatherapy” in “Introduction to Complementary Therapies” section for directions. Adding aromatic oils is optional. A mustard plaster can be applied to the chest to loosen deep congestion.
Traditional Chinese Medicine
Acupuncture Acupuncture is useful in opening up congested bronchial tubes and lessening inflammation, which can ease breathing. and relieve the chronic cough that plagues many bronchitis sufferers.
Using auricular therapy, an acupuncturist targets the bronchi, heart, lung, and adrenal gland points. In performing full-body acupuncture, various lung, liver, stomach, and bronchial points are manipulated. If additional symptoms are present (coughing, phlegm, or fever) other points are targeted, as necessary.
Acupressure To relieve bronchial spasms, acupressure targets the lung, spleen, stomach, kidney, bladder, conception vessel, and adrenal points on the forearm, front of the calf, back of the neck, chest, ankles, and upper back (between the shoulder blades and the spine).
Chinese Herbal Therapy Chinese doctors blame internal damp-heat conditions for bronchitis, and thus will most often treat this condition by using herbs to expel the damp-heat and fortify the lungs and bronchial tubes.
For centuries, apricot seed has been used in formulas to treat the coughs and wheezing associated with bronchitis. Use caution with this herb, as apricot seed alone can be toxic in high doses.
Joint fir, or ephedra, is a well-known herbal bronchial dilator, but like apricot seed, is best used in combination. Multi-ingredient formulas commonly used to treat bronchitis symptoms are Rehmannia Six, Bronchitis Pills (compound), Ginseng and Astragalus, Fritillaria Extract Pills, and Mahuang and Ginkgo Formula.