The official blog of the Lung Institute.
A type of chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), chronic bronchitis causes inflammation of the lung’s air passages. It affects two main airways – the trachea (windpipe) and small bronchi (tree-like passages in the lungs). The thin airway linings in these lungs become inflamed, leaking fluids that clog the lungs. This can cause excessive coughing, chest congestion, shortness of breath and wheezing.
Compared with acute, or temporary, bronchitis, chronic bronchitis recurs over time and can have long-lasting effects and symptoms. And while treatment won’t reduce the longevity of chronic bronchitis, certain home remedies can help ease the condition’s symptoms.
Try herbal remedies
Certain herbs and other natural sources can calm inflammation in the lungs, and may be helpful to those with chronic bronchitis. These include:
- Licorice root
- Wild cherry tree bark
- Bromelain (naturally found in raw pineapple)
- Ginger root
Honey, which has antibacterial properties, can also help calm irritated mucus membranes. Honey and lemon water may be a soothing concoction for those with chronic bronchitis.
Eat spicy food
Spicy condiments like hot mustard, horseradish and wasabi may help loosen bronchial secretions, making them easier to cough up and temporarily clearing the passageways. Cayenne pepper can even be added to tea or hot lemon water; the spice also encourages blood flow.
Steam your airways
Inhaling steam can be a great way to loosen mucus and help relieve wheezing. A warm-air humidifier or vaporizer works, but an easier way is to stand in a steamy bathroom while running the shower, or even leaning over a sink or bowl of hot water for a few minutes every day (if using a steamy room, make sure to limit your time spent as excessive steam can cause dehydration and lightheadedness). Essential oils like eucalyptus, added a few drops at a time to the water, may also help open the airways.
While home remedies can help ease the symptoms of chronic bronchitis, the Lung Institute’s regenerative cellular therapy can treat the underlying issue, using cells from the patient’s own body to encourage healthy tissue growth within the lungs.
For more information, contact a patient coordinator at (800) 729-3065.