Bronchitis, one of the two most common obstructive airway diseases, emphysema being the other, is an inflammation of the bronchial tubes.
When irritated enough, the cilia on the cells of the bronchial tissue lining become immobilized, and the mucus-producing glands undergo hypertrophy and hyperplasia. This impairs cleansing of inhaled air.
Passages thus become increasingly clogged by debris, creating increased irritation. This causes a productive cough, the cough characteristic of persons with this disorder. Bronchitis may be acute or chronic.
Acute bronchitis usually lasts about 10 days. It may follow a cold or influenza, or can occur without prior infection. Often, when a "head cold" becomes a "chest cold," it is acute bronchitis. Bronchopneumonia may develop if prompt treatment is not obtained.
Treatments include avoiding fatigue, staying indoors if the weather is cold and windy, and drinking plenty of fluids to help keep chest mucus liquefied. Self-prescribed medications are not advisable since congestive mucus should be coughed up.
To avoid infection, antibiotics, vaccines, or influenza shots may be administered.
If bronchitis lasts for three or more months longer than two years, chronic bronchitis has developed. Excessive bronchial mucus secretions are common, producing a chronic or recurrent cough.
Smokers constitute 75% of individuals with chronic bronchitis and there is no doubt smoking is the chief cause of the condition.
Bronchitis also commonly occurs as an occupational lung disorder. For smokers, the first step to treatment is to stop smoking. Bronchodilators and steam vaporizers to ease congestion can also be used.
Inhalation of chemical pollutants
Inhalation of dust
Infections, such as colds, influenza, and strep throat
Primarily heavy tobacco smoking
Recurrent acute bronchitis
Familial predisposition, environmental or genetic
Signs & Symptoms
All types of bronchitis
Increased mucus secretion
Malaise Hoarse voice Chest pains Wheezing Hacking, dry cough Shortness of breath
Regular coughing Regular throat clearing in the morning Chest infections Panting Blue tinge in nails, lips, and skin
Structure & Function:
Immune System Support &
Adult Child/Adolescent Lecithin 2 - 4 teaspoons 1 - 2 teaspoons Magnesium 400 - 600 mg 200 - 300 mg Vitamin C 1,000 - 3,000 mg 500 - 2,000 mg
Supplements from the plant kingdom include: garlic, ginkgo biloba and wheat grass juice.
Note: All amounts are in addition to those supplements having a Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). Due to individual needs, one must always be aware of a possible undetermined effect when taking nutritional supplements. If any disturbances from the use of a particular supplement should occur, stop its use immediately and seek the care of a qualified health care professional.
In the case of acute infectious bronchitis, dietary management is similar to that of any infection. A Protein Enriched Diet or an Immune Strengthening Diet can aid in the repair and growth of tissue, and in replacing nutrients depleted during the fight against infection.
Fluids, in sufficient amounts to mobilize mucus secretions, should be taken to clear air passageways. 12 to 15 eight-ounce glasses of fluids per day may be necessary in the case of chronic bronchitis.
Bronchitis - see also asthma
1.* Aconitum Napellus tinct. 15C to 30C
2. Bryonia alba tinct. 12X to 30C
3.* Ferrum phosphoricum 15C to 30C
4. Antimonium tartaricum tinct. 6X, then 30C after 4 days
5.* Pix liquida 15C
Doses cited are to be administered on a 3X daily schedule, unless otherwise indicated. Dose usually continued for 2 weeks. Liquid preparations usually use 8-10 drops per dose. Solid preps are usually 3 pellets per dose. Children use 1/2 dose.
X = 1 to 10 dilution - weak (triturition)
C = 1 to 100 dilution - weak (potency)
M = 1 to 1 million dilution (very strong)
X or C underlined means it is most useful potency
Asterisk (*) = Primary remedy. Means most necessary remedy. There may be more than one remedy - if so, use all of them.
Boericke, D.E., 1988. Homeopathic Materia Medica.
Coulter, C.R., 1986. Portraits of Homeopathic Medicines.
Kent, J.T., 1989. Repertory of the Homeopathic Materia Medica.
Koehler, G., 1989. Handbook of Homeopathy.
Shingale, J.N., 1992. Bedside Prescriber.
Smith, Trevor, 1989. Homeopathic Medicine.
Ullman, Dana, 1991. The One Minute (or so) Healer.
Calc. Phos. albuminous (egg-white) expectorant; Ferr. Phos. Primary remedy, short, painful, dry cough; Kali Mur. thick, white phlegm; Kali Sulf. light, yellow/green expectorant; Nat. Mur. clear, frothy expectorant; Nat Sulf. bilious; Silicea heavy, thick, yellow expectorant;
Note: The misdirected use of an herb can produce severely adverse effects, especially in combination with prescription drugs. This Herbal information is for educational purposes and is not intended as a replacement for medical advice.
Chronic bronchitis is infectious but tends to affect middle aged smokers.
Viral bronchitis mainly affects women.
Cayenne may be combined with Ginger in the form of capsules, as well as chest compresses. This should cleanse the body of mucous.
Garlic can help in both combating infection as well as clearing mucous. Onion really stimulates mucous flow.
Expectorant herbs may be needed, additionally e.g. Bayberry or Lobelia.
The German Commission E recommends: Ivy leaf and Thyme.
Blumenthal, M (Ed.): The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. American Botanical Council. Austin, TX. 1998.
Aromatherapy - Essential Oils
Related Health Conditions
Cold Cough Drug abuse Emphysema Fever Infection Influenza Malnutrition Pain Pneumonia Smoking Strep throat
Beeson, P.B. & Mc Dermott, W. eds. 1975. Textbook of Medicine. 14th ed. Saunders Pub. Co., Philadelphia. 1892 pp.
Biesel, W.R. Single Nutrient Effects on Immunological Functions. Journal of the American Medical Association, 245 (1981).
Bland, Jeffrey. Nutraerobics. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1983.
Bland, Jeffrey. Medical Applications of Clinical Nutrition. New Canaan, Conn.: Keats, 1983.
Chasroff, I.J. & J.W. Ellis. 1983. Family Medical Guide, William Morrow and Company Inc., Pub. 594 pp.
Clapes-Estapa-J.: [Nutrition in chronic respiratory disease] Arch-Bronconeumol. 1994 Feb; 30(2): 70-3.
De Baets, F. et al: IgG Subclass Deficiency in Children With Recurrent Bronchitis. European Journal of Pediatrics, 1992;151:274-278.
Dueholms, M. et al: N-Acetylcysteine by Metered Dose Inhaler in the Treatment of Chronic Bronchitis: A Multi-Center Study. Respiratory Medicine, 1992;86:89-92.
Eagles, J.A. & M.N. Randall. 1980. Handbook of Normal and Therapeutic Nutrition. Raven Press, New York. 323 pp.
Engelen-MP et al: Nutritional depletion in relation to respiratory and peripheral skeletal muscle function in out-patients with COPD.. Eur-Respir-J. 1994 Oct; 7(10): 1793-7.
Grant-JP: Nutrition care of patients with acute and chronic respiratory failure [see comments] Nutr-Clin-Pract. 1994 Feb; 9(1): 11-7.
Hamilton, H. K. ed. 1982. Professional Guide To Diseases Intermed Communications Inc. Pub, Springfield, Massachusetts. 1323 pp.
Kirschmann, J.D. 1990. Nutrition Almanac: Nutrition Search. McGrew-Hill: New York.
Larson, M: Clinical Recognition of N-Acetylcysteine in Chronic Bronchitis. European Respiratory Reviews, 1992;2(7):5-8.
Lund, C & Boatright Collier, S.: Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia: Chapter V.Nutrition. 1991;75-110.
Murray, M.T., & J.E. Pizzorno. 1991. Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine. Rocklin, Ca; Prima Publishing.
Petersdorf, R. G. & R. D. Adams. 1983. Harrison's Principles Of Internal Medicine. 10th ed. McGraw Hill Pub Co., New York. 2212
Sridhar-MK et al: An out-patient nutritional supplementation programme in COPD patients. Eur-Respir-J. 1994 Apr; 7(4): 720-4.
Subak-Sharpe, G. J. 1984. The Physician's Manual For Patients. Times Books Pub, New York. 607 pp.
Thomsen C: Nutritional support in advanced pulmonary disease. Respir Med, 1997 May, 91:5, 249-54.
White-CW et al: Plasma cysteine concentrations in infants with respiratory distress.. J-Pediatr. 1994 Nov; 125(5 Pt 1): 769-77.
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