Pneumonia is an infection on one or both lungs that is characterized by inflammation of the lungs due to bacterial, fungal, or viral infection.
People most at risk of contracting pneumonia include; kids below the age of 2, elderly people above the age of 65, and people with pre-existing health issues that tend to weaken their immune system.
Common symptoms of pneumonia include; high fever, worsening cough with phlegm, shaking chills, shortness of breath, and chest pain. Other symptoms of pneumonia include; headache, loss of appetite, fatigue, excess sweating/clammy skin, malaise, confusion, and white nail syndrome.
Note: Ensure you consult your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment of pneumonia. You can use these home remedies as ancillary treatments.
Here are tips and good practices, to consider, when dealing with pneumonia;
- Ensure you stay hydrated by drinking an adequate amount of water daily. Fluid intake is very important for a quick recovery from pneumonia.
- Avoid smoking as smoking could exacerbate pneumonia symptoms.
- Proper nutrition as well as maintaining a balanced diet would hasten recovery from pneumonia.
- Strive to maintain good hygiene and health standards as such would help prevent pneumonia.
- Pneumonia is both contagious and infectious. As such, you should avoid close contact with an infected person.
Below are home remedies and natural treatments for pneumonia;
1. Vegetable Juice
Nothing can revitalize your immune system faster than a glass of fresh vegetable juice. Vegetable juices like beetroot, spinach or cucumber juice can help to flush toxins out of the body. Not only that, they contain essential micronutrients that can easily be absorbed by the body for a healthy bronchial system. To keep pneumonia at bay, mix carrot juice and spinach juice in the ratio of 3:2 and drink once a day. Alternatively, you can mix equal parts of cucumber, beetroot, and spinach juice and drink 1-2 times a day. Most experts recommend juices that are rich in vitamin C as vitamin C gives a significant boost to the immune system.
Fenugreek is an excellent mucolytic that aids in breaking up congestion. Moreover, fenugreek induces copious perspiration which helps to flush out toxins from the body through perspiration. To brew fenugreek tea, boil the seeds in 500ml of water for 15 minutes, strain off, then, drink 2-3 cups every day. If you don’t like the taste, you can add some honey or lemon. Fenugreek seeds work best during the early stages of the infection.
Garlic can be used to fight the deadly bacteria that cause pneumonia and other lung infections. It also works by clearing the phlegm out of the respiratory tract. Furthermore, garlic helps to bring down your body temperature. To prepare the infusion, grate fresh garlic and mix with some lemon juice. Drink the solution two to three times a day to ease the congestion. You can also rub some garlic paste on your chest.
4. Sesame Seeds
Sesame seeds exhibit strong anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties making them a perfect treatment for pneumonia. To make a hot infusion, steep 15 grams of sesame seeds in a cup of water, add one teaspoon of linseed and drink once daily. The drink will remove phlegm from the lungs to clear the respiratory system.
5. Steam Inhalation
Steam inhalation is the simplest, yet effective remedy for pneumonia. It helps to dislodge the mucus, thus, allowing you to expel the mucus more easily and to clear the respiratory tract. Just fill a large pan with hot water and add a few drops of lavender, eucalyptus, lemon, or tea tree oil. Then, cover your head and inhale the aromatic steam for 15-20 minutes. A steam bath will also give the same benefits.
6. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper is a hot spice with potent antispasmodic and antifungal properties. It’s beneficial in eliminating the mucus from the respiratory tract thanks to its high levels of capsaicin. Other than that, cayenne pepper is an excellent source of beta-carotene which promotes a healthy development of the mucous membranes. To treat pneumonia, mix half a teaspoon of cayenne and some lemon juice in a glass of water, and drink the solution up to 3 times a day. Alternatively, you could add half a tablespoon of cayenne pepper in carrot juice and then drink two times a day.
Although it’s commonly used as a household spice, turmeric can help in the normal functioning of the lungs. It can treat numerous respiratory diseases including asthma, pneumonia, and sinusitis. Furthermore, turmeric is rich in curcumin which works as an anti-inflammatory by relieving chest congestion. To make a paste, mix a pinch of turmeric powder with some mustard oil and then rub on your chest. You can also add half a tablespoon of turmeric powder in a glass of milk and drink 2-3 times a day. Instead of buying curcumin powder you can buy raw turmeric and make the powder out of it.
8. Holy Basil And Black Pepper
Holy basil and black pepper help to cleanse the body and, most importantly, prevent the infection from spreading to the lungs. Holy basil has anti-histamine and antioxidant properties making it an excellent immune booster while black pepper inhibits bacteria and viruses. To make the concoction, extract fresh juice from basil leaves, add some black pepper and drink every 6 hours.
9. Astragalus Root
This herb belongs to the same family with beans and legumes. It’s able to inhibit the viral infections that cause pneumonia. Furthermore, it has potent anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties making it a powerful immune booster. To make astragalus root infusion, simmer astragalus root in a pot of water for 30 minutes. Strain the liquid into a different container and drink 1-2 tablespoons a day.
Goldenseal is a perennial herb native to the U.S. It’s highly prized for its potent astringent and anti-inflammatory properties. In addition to that, goldenseal contains berberine compound which helps to soothe irritated muscles in the throat. Due to its antimicrobial properties, the plant can be used to treat numerous ailments including digestive problems, skin disorders, conjunctivitis, and pneumonia. To prepare the tea, steep two teaspoons of goldenseal root in hot water for 15 minutes, allow it to cool, then, drink in the morning and evening.
Echinacea has antibacterial properties making it effective in destroying the infectious organisms. Echinacea also eliminates mucus from the lungs. Put Echinacea, peppermint, and lemon balm in a pot of water. Steep the ingredients for 10-15 minutes then drink one cup of the solution up to three times a week.
12. Pleurisy Root (Butterfly Weed)
Pleurisy root is a popular herbal treatment for bronchitis, whooping cough, pneumonia, and other respiratory conditions. Additionally, it aids in the secretion of healthy lung fluids and also promotes perspiration. Boil one spoonful of pleurisy root in water for 20 minutes, and drink the concoction three times a day. Try not to consume more than the required dose. Also, nursing mothers and pregnant women should avoid using this remedy.
Mullein has expectorant properties making it an excellent remedy for pneumonia, asthma, and tuberculosis. Mullein helps to loosen phlegm and kills the bacteria in the respiratory tract. To brew the infusion, boil a handful of mullein leaves in a pot of water for 30 minutes and drink 3-4 times a day. You can also cover your head with a towel and inhale steam emanating from a bowl of mullein-steeped hot water to open the respiratory tract.
Coltsfoot is native to Europe and Asia. It’s often spotted on open grounds and on the roadside. Coltsfoot can treat many health conditions including bronchitis, pneumonia, laryngitis, and more. It works by calming lung spasms and inhibiting pneumonia. Furthermore, coltsfoot contains mucilage which helps to coat the throat. To make the concoction, steep the herb in a pot for 15-20 minutes, and drink 2-4 cups every day.
Elecampane is characterized by sunflower-like flowers. It has high mucilage content which helps to soothe the mucous membranes. Apart from treating pneumonia, it can give some relief from chronic chest congestion, bronchitis, and tuberculosis. Simply put fresh or dried herb in a cup of water, simmer for 15 minutes and drink the concoction while still hot 3 times a day.
16. Eucalyptus And Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has properties that help to kill pathogens while eucalyptus oil aid in relieving the congestion in the lungs. You can either rub a few drops of these oils on the chest or use them for steam inhalation. For the steam inhalation, you can put 2-3 drops of both eucalyptus and tea tree oil in a bowl, cover your head, and then inhale the steam. Use the steam inhalation technique three times a day.
17. Home-Made Expectorant Cough Syrup
Before you turn to over-the-counter medications, you should try a homemade herbal expectorant. You need 1 tablespoon of dried mullein leaves, 1-2 tablespoons of dried rosemary leaves, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of ginger, some cayenne pepper, and 120 ml of water. Mix all the ingredients, put them in a saucepan and simmer with a low flame for 30 minutes. Once the solution cools down, take one tsp of the expectorant every 2 hours.
18. Turpentine Oil
This resinous oil is commonly used as a solvent in varnishes, paints, and waxes. Due to its potency, it can be used to relieve chest pain. For this remedy, simply massage some turpentine oil on the rib cage and then cover with a clean cotton cloth. It’s more effective when combined with camphor.
19. Potassium-Rich Broth
This broth helps to repair the damaged tissues in the lungs. To prepare the broth, add 4 garlic cloves, 2 carrots, 2 radishes, and one teaspoon of honey in a pot of water. Simmer for 15 minutes, allow it to cool, and drink one cup every day.
20. Mustard Pack
Apart from soothing the respiratory tract, this mustard pack helps in fighting bacteria that cause pneumonia. To make the paste, mix one teaspoon of white flour, with one tablespoon of a mustard pack and one egg. Rub it on the chest for 30 minutes and then rinse with warm water. Use the mustard pack twice a week.
A fresh ginger root has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that help to fight the pathogens that cause pneumonia. To brew the tea, steep one tablespoon of ginger powder in water for 10 minutes and drink 3 times a day.
22. Parsnip Soup
Parsnip is rich in chlorine and phosphorus which helps to treat many respiratory diseases. Furthermore, parsnip contains large amounts of vitamin C which aids in boosting the immune system. To keep pneumonia at bay, take half a cup of the soup/juice every day.
23. Oregano Oil
Oregano oil contains rosmarinic and carvacrol acids which help inhibit virus and bacteria that cause pneumonia. These powerful constituents of oregano oil work as antihistamines and decongestants. Simply add 2-3 drops of oregano oil in a glass of fresh juice/water and drink in the morning. You can as well put a few drops of oregano oil on a handkerchief, place it next to your pillow and leave it overnight.
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