Pneumonia is an illness that infects one or both lungs; it causes an inflammation in the air sacs of your lungs (alveoli), filling it with pus or fluid thereby making breathing difficult, it can be caused by virus, fungi or bacteria. Bacteria pneumonia (caused by Streptococcus pneumonia) is the most common type of pneumonia that happens to adults. Smoking can also cause it by damaging the body defense which makes it weak or unable to fight off the cause of pneumonia.
This disease affects 450 million people globally; it is responsible for the death of 2,500 children daily and is the cause of 4 million deaths yearly with 920,000 being children. The symptoms are difficulty breathing, fever, cough, fast breathing, short breath, shaking and chills, weakness and fatigue, sweating, chest pain that is painful when you cough, low body temperature, fast heartbeat, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.
Pneumonia usually clears up on its own in 2-3 weeks but it is a serious illness for those who are already sick or have weakened and compromised immune system. Bacterial and fungi pneumonia is highly contagious, they can spread when an infected person coughs and a healthy person inhales the germs from the cough or sneeze; fungal pneumonia is not communicable.
In this article, we will be looking at natural treatments or home remedies for pneumonia. Some natural/home remedies for pneumonia are:
Steam inhalation: Steam improves breathing by relieving cough and congestions; it also helps to fight infections. Boil water in a pot, add few drops of any essential oil of your choice, pour the mixture in a bowl, bend your head over it and cover your head with a towel and inhale the steam. You can also take a hot shower when you are done for added benefits.
Garlic: This plant is loaded with anti-microbial properties that make it powerful in fighting off viruses, bacteria and fungi. It also helps in bring down the temperature of the body and releases expectoration to help clear out phlegm from the lungs and chest. You can rub the juice of crushed garlic cloves on your chest or you add it to lemon and honey tea or you can mix one cup of milk in four cups of water and add 1 ½ teaspoon of crushed garlic. Boil the mixture until it reduces to a quarter of the original quantity, let it cool then drink it three times daily.
Turmeric: The mucolytic properties of this herb work wonders in expelling mucus from the respiratory tract and other parts of the bodies. It also has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties that help the body in fighting off infections. You can drink turmeric herbal tea.
Smoothies and fruit juices: This helps in boosting your immune system, helping you to fight off the infection. They also dissolve mucus and help to detoxify the body.
Cayenne pepper: Its high content of capsaicin helps the body to release mucus from the airways. It is rich in beta-carotene which will help the body to develop healthy mucus membrane. Add it generously to your meals and you can add the powder to herbal teas and carrot juice.
Sesame seeds: These seeds acts as natural expectorant, they help in clearing the phlegm. Boil one tablespoon of sesame seed and one tablespoon of flaxseed in a cup of water, when it has boiled, strain the mixture and let it cool; you can add a pinch of salt and one teaspoon of honey, let it cool and drink once daily.
High doses of vitamin C: This kills the bacteria or fungi or virus that causes pneumonia, it kills it when it comes in contact with it, and it also strengthens the immune system.
Fenugreek seeds: The mucolytic properties of these helps to break up congestion, it removes toxins from the body and makes the body sweats thereby reducing fever. You can drink fenugreek tea by boiling one teaspoon of fenugreek in 2 cups of water; strain and let it cool before drinking. You can add a little lemon juice for taste. As you get better, reduce the amount you take. You can also add other herbs to the tea like a teaspoon of ginger, one crushed garlic cloves, a pinch of cayenne pepper, lemon juice and honey for taste.
Ginger: This is a powerful pneumonia fighting root that heals spasmodic pneumonia and eliminates toxins from the body. You can either make ginger tea or add it generously to your meals.
Turpentine oil: This oil helps in relieving pains that comes along with pneumonia. Apply a little quantity of this oil over you rib cage and massage, you can also mix camphor in it. Then wear a warm cotton or wool cloth.
It is advisable to consult your doctor when you suspect pneumonia, use these natural remedies to manage symptoms and hasten healing. If you are coughing, gargling with salt water three times daily will help to clear out your airways and clear your chest too, do not take cough syrup, it will only suppress the cough; cough loudly and make sure that the cough comes out so that your chest will be cleared. Avoid medicines for colds and coughs unless the doctor says otherwise.
When you get healed, to prevent pneumonia from occurring again you have to practice good hygiene, mind what and where you eat, wash your hands regularly. Keep yourself hydrated by taking lots of water and fruit juices.
Remember to cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing to avoid spreading the disease. If you are smoking, try quitting and boosts your immune system by taking lots of fruits, vegetables, get enough rest and sleep and exercise regularly.