Bronchitis is a medical condition in which the air passages inside the lungs become inflamed or enlarged. Medically known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), it is often caused by an infection resulting into a blockage of the main airway between windpipe and the lungs.
The bronchial tree in the human body is covered with tiny hair, known as cilia. The function of cilia is to protect the formation of any mucus or obstacle in the airway, so that there is no difficulty in breathing. However, due to certain viruses, bacteria, allergens etc., cilia is unable to perform its job, resulting in the formation of mucus, which in turn, causes intermittent coughing. Coughing is the self-corrective way of the human body to remove the obstacles in the airway. This is one of the prime reasons why many physicians advise you not to depend too heavily on cough-suppressants.
Bronchitis can either be acute or chronic. Acute bronchitis lasts for usually 1-2 weeks and is easily treated with the help of over-the-counter medicines. Chronic bronchitis, on the other hand, is a serious lung disease which is caused by viruses, bacteria, dust, fumes etc. The main symptoms of chronic bronchitis are cough and sputum production, dyspnea (shortness of breath) and wheezing. These are accompanied by fatigue, sore throat, muscle-pain and nasal congestion. There are various options available for the treatment of bronchitis and Chinese medicine is one of them.
The Chinese look at bronchitis as an invasion of pathogens or a malfunction of the internal organs of the body. The pathogenic infection is known as an invasion of Wind Cold, accompanied by a dry cough and whitish mucus. The Chinese medicine prescribes the use of ginger to combat this. Bronchitis, in which the mucus is yellow-green in color, is called Wind Heat bronchitis, and herbal formulas constituting fritillaria extracts and tricosanthis fruit are useful in treating this. The Chinese extensively uses a mixture comprising many effective herbs, which have long been used in China for medicinal purposes. It is important that you consult a herbalist before taking any of these medicines.
Some other herbs for bronchitis are
Barberry is a shrub which has been used in Asia for more than 2000 years. It is a shrub, which typically grows up to 9 feet. Its roots, bark and berries are of immense medicinal value.
There are various species of eucalyptus, but the one that is most commonly used for medicinal purposes is known as blue-gum or Australian fever tree. It has been traditionally used to treat common cold and cough. It is made up of tannins, flavonoids and volatile oils.
Basil is one of the widely used herbs for medicinal purposes as it contains flavonoids like orientin and vicenin. It is mostly found in the tropical regions of Asia, and is categorized as "Mediterranean" and "Asian Basil". The herb is rich in essential nutrients and contains calories in low amounts.
Ginseng is a perennial herb and grows in rich woods in eastern regions of America. It has been used in China for treating nervous disorders and for digestive problems.
Medically known as Achillea millefolium, yarrow is used for the treatment of common cold and fevers. It has been of great benefit to menstruating women as it reduces bleeding and pain. It is also a perennial plant and normally grows to the length of 0.2 to 1 meter.
Found in the north-western part of North America, MarshMallow has been used since ancient times as a food source. It is effective for the treatment of sore throat. It is also used for a variety of purposes because of its adhesive property.
Menthol is a white crystalline substance, which can either by synthesized or derived from natural peppermint oils. Menthol has anesthetic qualities and is used for the treatment of throat infection.
- Cinnamon Twig
Cinnamon twig is derived from Cinnamomum Cassia Presl and is used as a flavor in a variety of foods. Cinnamon twigs are exposed to sun and subsequently dried to be used for medicinal purposes.
- White Peony Root
As the name suggests, this herb is derived from the root of the Paeonia lactiflora, and is regarded as one of the oldest remedies in Chinese medicine for the treatment of liver disease. Apart from being of good medicinal value, this herb has also been used for protection against evil eye and folk magic.
These herbs are often combined with other herbs to form a mixture so that the condition can be treated more effectively. It might be a bit difficult for you to prepare a mixture by yourself, so it is important that you consult a Chinese herbalist.
Acupuncture has also proven to be beneficial in the treatment of bronchitis. The latest studies have found that patients with obstructive chronic lung diseases have responded positively to the acupuncture treatment. These findings have also been backed by the United Nations World Health Organization, which has listed bronchitis among the list of diseases that can be treated with acupuncture. The points that are used to treat this condition are Lung 5 (located inside your elbow) and Lung 6 (on the forearm).
Apart from these options of treatment, you can also take the help of some home-based remedies to alleviate the condition. Drinking water in adequate amounts helps to dilute the mucus, which then helps the body to clear it easily. Apart from this, you can use vaporizer while sleeping to humidify the lungs.
Chinese medicine has emerged as an alternative and an effective option for people who want to reduce their dependence on drugs. Not only are these herbs effective in treating various medical conditions, but these also do not pose any associated-risks to the body. We hope that this article would have helped you with some information on Chinese bronchitis medicine.