Pneumonia is an inflammatory infection of the lungs that can be life-threatening if not diagnosed and treated in time. The air sacs fill with fluid causing severe cough with pus, cold, fever, chills and difficulty in breathing.
Pneumonia can be caused by a variety of organisms including fungi, bacteria and viruses. Although there isn’t a replacement for your doctor-approved treatment, there are some home remedies that will speed up the recovery process.
While home remedies might provide some relief, they are merely complementary therapies to the official medical plan. Read on to learn how you can use home remedies to manage your basic pneumonia symptoms.
Coughing, the most common symptom, helps the body get rid of the infection by removing fluid from the lungs. So doctors suggest not completely getting rid of it by using cough suppressants. So here are some things you can do otherwise, to reduce severity:
Peppermint, Eucalyptus and Fenugreek Tea: As we all know, herbal teas can soothe a scratchy throat efficiently. A study found that peppermint, eucalyptus and fenugreek not only subdue an itchy throat but also deal with upper respiratory tract infections and break down mucus.
How To Make: Bring water to a boil. Add in peppermint, eucalyptus and fenugreek. Let it boil for 10-15 minutes. Drink the hot tea twice a day.
Tip: Let the steam from the piping hot cup of tea soothe your nasal tract as you sip the tea.
Gargling With Salt Water: An age-old remedy, gargling water helps get rid of the mucus sitting in the throat causing a ticklish feeling. A saltwater gargle will break down this mucus and relieve irritation.
How To Make: Mix ¼ or ½ tsp of salt in warm water. Gargle with the mixture for thirty seconds. Repeat three to four times a day.
Tip: Swirl the hot salt water around the irritated throat for a few seconds before spitting it out.
Indian Kadha: Make this fresh for the best benefits.
How To Make: Boil carrom (ajwain) leaves, tulsi leaves, cloves, lemongrass, jaggery and ginger in water. Strain and drink the liquid twice a day on an empty stomach.
Tip: If any of the teas, or kadhas, are too bitter for you, sweeten them with honey because it has natural antibacterial properties.
You may develop a fever over the course of a few days. The best way to combat fever is proper hydration and rest, but below are some additional remedies.
Lukewarm Compress: Use a lukewarm compress to help cool your body from the outside and gradually decrease the body temperature. Although it may be tempting to use a cold compress, the sudden temperature change will lead to chills and maybe even a cold!
How To Do It: Dip a small towel in lukewarm water. Wring out the excess water and place the compress on your forehead (sometimes even eyes!). Repeat a minimum of three times a day.
Moringa: Moringa, commonly known as ‘drumstick’, is a tropical plant with many nutritional and medical benefits. The leaves and flowers contain vitamins, minerals, antibacterial and antioxidant agents. Moringa can be taken in the form of powder, tea or capsules.
How To Make: Take ¼ or ½ tsp of moringa powder. Mix it well with water or honey. Drink twice a day before any two meals.
Tip: Another great method to reduce fever is sponging. Use lukewarm water and sponge it on the body for 20 to 30 minutes.
With pneumonia, your breath may become rapid and shallow. Although it is a common symptom, it is pretty serious. For this, it is strictly recommended to follow the medical prescription, but here are some things you can do too:
Coffee: Caffeine is similar to a drug called theophylline, which can relieve shortness of breath. It will not only help in opening up the airways of the lungs but also will help in relieving other symptoms. The effect of coffee lasts for up to four hours so you may want to consume it regularly (only when you have pneumonia)!
Proning: Recommended by the Union Health Ministry, proning is a method in which a person lies down on the stomach. This is a great position for relieving severe respiratory distress and improving oxygenation levels in the body.
How To Do It: Start by lying down on the belly. Keep pillows under your neck, stomach and legs. Lie on the right side with a pillow under your head and the waist and one between your legs. Sit up in a slanted position at an angle beyond 120 degrees. Next, lie on the left side similarly. Lie on the belly again. Repeat each position for 30 minutes.
Tip: If you are having difficulty breathing, you need immediate medical attention.
You will experience chills usually before getting a fever and subside when your body cools down. Warm foods and beverages are the best way to fight it.
Drink Warm Fluids: If herbal tea is not your thing, a glass of warm water or a hot broth will do. Some interesting, delicious and healthy fluids we suggest are:
Vapour Rub: You might not like the smell, but some age-old ointments, such as vapour rub, are unbelievably effective in reducing chills when diagnosed with pneumonia. Just one or two applications before bed are the way to go about it. This forms a thick shield on the skin, preventing the body heat from escaping out, keeping you warm. If you are having any allergic reactions on the skin, you may just breathe in the vapour rub. Recently, it is also gaining traction among doctors who encourage asymptomatic patients to avoid giving over-the-counter cold medicines.
Tip: Avoid soda or aerated drinks, because they will only worsen the situation. Having a warm water bath will also definitely help.
Chest discomfort is a common symptom of pneumonia caused by membranes in the lung fluid. Continuous coughing, heavy breathing and sometimes laughing worsen the situation by causing a stabbing sensation in the chest. Here are some remedies to subside the pain in a few weeks:
Turmeric Tea: In the last year, we have all heard about the importance of turmeric and how it can help build immunity, but did you know it can also relieve chest pain? Turmeric has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
How To Make: Add 1 tsp of turmeric powder to boiling water. Let it simmer for 10 minutes. Strain the fresh tea and serve it with honey and lemon. Drink at least one cup of tea a day.
Ginger Tea: Ginger has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties effective in reducing any kind of pain. If you cannot make fresh ginger tea at home, you will find loose tea sachets in your nearest grocery store or market.
How To Make: Grate fresh ginger and add it to boiling water. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for 20 minutes. Strain the fresh tea and serve it with honey and lemon. Drink at least two cups of tea a day.
Tip: Steaming is another great option to ensure good oxygen and blood circulation in the body.
A. A number of at-home products contain compounds that may help boost the healing process like garlic, raw honey, cayenne pepper, tea tree oil and echinacea. Other things that should be changed in the lifestyle are being hydrated (eight to nine glasses of water), regular steaming, at least 10-12 hours of sleep per day when sick, sitting in a well-ventilated room and eating only healthy food.
A. As soon as you have found out, you have pneumonia, you should go see your doctor. If the symptoms are mild, it is advisable to follow the medical plan and home remedies. Although the symptoms get severe (breathlessness, chest pain), you may want to immediately consult the doctor and probably get admitted.
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