A – Z of Illnesses & Conditions

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Bronchitis:  Acute bronchitis is the swelling and inflammation of the main air passages to the lungs. This swelling narrows the airways, making it harder to breathe and causing other symptoms such as a cough. Acute means the symptoms have only been present for a short time.

Acute bronchitis almost always follows a cold or flu-like infection. The infection is caused by a virus. At first, it affects your nose, sinuses and throat, then it spreads to the airways leading to your lungs. Sometimes bacteria also infect the airways. This is called a secondary infection.

Chronic bronchitis is a long term condition. To be diagnosed with chronic bronchitis, you must have a cough with mucus most days of the month for at least 3-months.

You only need to see your doctor if your symptoms are severe or unusual – for example, if:

  •     your cough is severe or lasts longer than three weeks
  •     you have a constant fever (a temperature of 38°C – 100.4°F – or above) for more than three days
  •     you cough up mucus streaked with blood
  •     you have an underlying heart or lung condition, such as asthma or heart failure 

Herbal remedies and herbal teas help ease difficult breathing by opening up the inflamed airways, stop coughing and act as antiseptics to treat bronchitis. The herbs below can be taken as herbal teas. The teas can be made by using two cups of water to one ounce dried herb (1 to 2 tablespoons) or 1 cup of the fresh herb. Depending on the herb you will generally use hot to boiling water. Pour hot water over herb in a closed container and leave to infuse for 10-20 minutes.

Bronchitis Organisations

COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) - British Lung Foundation



Always seek the advice of your doctor before taking herbal remedies


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