I've been plagued with chronic bronchitis for many years, so recently I started to research how to improve my respiratory immune system (not just for my regular cough, but also in case the 2009 H1N1 Swine Flu comes around me). Here are some tips I've come across, and are putting into action. Maybe you might want to consider doing some or all of these.
- Change of diet to be more healthy: Eliminate all processed foods, soda pops, and most meats. Eat lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, fish, and whole grains. Drink lots of water, and some herbal tea.
- Keep hands clean: many germs picked up from shopping cart handles, restroom door handles, and the bottom of purses can exacerbate any respiratory infection (make it worse). Constantly wash hands, or clean with antibacterial hand cleaner or other alcohol based cleaner.
- Drink 1 cup of "Breathe Easy" tea a day, more if needed. Contraindications: MAOI. "Breathe Easy is a good tasting herbal tea that promotes normal respiratory tract health by reducing mucus and enhancing to keep the nasal passages open. Breathe Easy combines eucalyptus, fennel, and licorice; herbs that have been found to have beneficial effects on upper respiratory tract health." By Traditional Medicinals.
- Herbs: Echinacea: This is said to increase activity of three of the immune system's biggest workers: interferon, T-cells, and natural killer cells. It also can destroy viruses and bacteria. It can even make cells more resistant to infection and make them stronger. Tincture or capsules. Two weeks one, one week off. Spread the recommended dosage throughout the day, not all at once. Licorice: Increases interferon production. Garlic and shitake mushrooms also help to build the immune system, so work them into at least one meal daily. "Italian researchers have found that thyme, lavender, bergamot and lemon stimulate immunity. After conducting numerous studies, researchers have added eucalyptus , tea tree, rosemary, black pepper, cardamom and ginger to this list." Horehound opens up the respiratory track to aide in easier breathing, and is especially useful at night time when it can be hard to sleep. Mullein tea is best known as one of the safest, most effective herbal cough remedies, and used as an expectorant and a tonic for the lungs, mucus membranes, and glands.
- Keep your home humid by using a moisture-producing vaporizer (humidifier) going regularly.
- Take a good multi-vitamin daily, and make sure it includes a hefty dose of Vitamin C.
These are just a few suggestions. I hope to update this post with how my chronic bronchitis is going, and I hope you will leave a comment on what home remedies work to alleviate coughs, especially those due to influenza.
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Obligatory Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. For professional advice, please contact your licensed professionals.