This is a usually temporary inflammation of the windpipe (trachea) and the bronchial tubes, the large air passages leading from the windpipe into the lungs. When an infection or an irritant inflames these airways, they thicken and swell, immobilizing the tiny hairs called cilia that line the respiratory tract and sweep foreign matter out of it. The resulting build-up of germs and dust in the airways leads to excess mucus production. The heavy cough is the main symptom of bronchitis develops as the body’s way of coping with this mucus.
- VITAMIN C WITH BIOFLAVONOIDS (antioxidants that also combat viral infections and inflammation) and VITAMIN A help to strengthen the immune system and fight off viruses. The two vitamins also help heal damaged lung tissue in patients with chronic bronchitis. (Pregnant or considering pregnancy, do not exceed 5,000 IU of Vitamin A per day.)
- MAGNESIUM GLYCINATE helps to decrease the bronchospasm in chronic bronchitis as well as in asthma and emphysema.
- HOREHOUND OR SLIPPERY ELM tea helps thin and bring up mucus secretions during acute attacks.
- NAC (N-acetylcysteine) thins mucus and can be taken long-term for chronic bronchitis. It may also reduce the rate of recurrence. If you take NAC long-term, take 30 mg zinc and 2 mg copper daily as well.
- ECHINACEA AND ASTRAGALUS are immune-system boosters with antibacterial and antiviral effects.
- Take them at higher doses to treat an episode of acute bronchitis. For chronic bronchitis, alternate herbs for as long as needed, taking each herb for a week at a time before switching to the next one.
- Drinking plenty of fluids helps to thin mucus, making it easier to cough up.