Pneumonia is a respiratory condition characterized by inflammation in the lungs due to a bacterial, viral or fungal infection. The body usually prevents these organisms from infecting your lungs but, at times, they may succeed in overpowering your immune system even if you are generally in good health.
Generally, it occurs as a mild condition and clears up in two to three weeks. However, it can become very serious and can lead to death.
It is particularly dangerous for infants, young children, adults age 65 or older, and people who have a weakened immune system or underlying health problems.
The most common symptoms of pneumonia include cough, fever, shaking chills, and shortness of breath. It can also cause other symptoms, such as a headache, loss of appetite, fatigue, sweating, nausea and vomiting, muscle pain, and chest pain when breathing deeply or coughing. Older adults with pneumonia may also experience confusion or delirium.
The proper treatment for this condition usually depends on the type of pneumonia you have and the severity of symptoms.
It is particularly important to see a doctor if you are having difficulty breathing, chest pain, persistent fever (102 degrees Fahrenheit or higher) or persistent cough. If other symptoms are not severe, you can try some home remedies as an adjunct to the main course of treatment.
Here are the top home remedies for pneumonia:
Garlic has antimicrobial properties that fight off bacteria, viruses and fungi. It also helps bring down the body temperature and increases expectoration to clear phlegm out of the chest and lungs.
1. Mix one cup of milk in four cups of water and add one-half teaspoon of crushed garlic to it. Boil the solution until it reduces to one-fourth of the original amount. Drink it three times a day.
2. Another way to use garlic is to marinate crushed garlic cloves in a mixture of equal amounts of fresh lemon juice and honey. Take two to three teaspoons of this, three or four times a day.
3. You can also rub a garlic paste or garlic juice on your chest.
4. If you do no like the strong taste and smell of garlic, you can drink ginger tea for relief.
Cayenne pepper has high capsaicin content that stimulates the release of mucous from the respiratory passages. Thus, it helps clear the mucus from the respiratory system. Cayenne pepper is also a good source of beta-carotene, which helps in the healthy development of mucus membranes.
1. Mix some lemon juice and a dash of cayenne pepper in an eight-ounce glass of water. Drink it a few times a day.
2. You can also mix cayenne pepper in a cup of carrot juice. Both are beneficial for treating pneumonia.
Fenugreek has mucolytic properties, that is, it helps break up congestion. Furthermore, it induces sweating which reduces fever and helps remove toxins from the body.
1. Make fenugreek tea by boiling one teaspoon of fenugreek seeds in 500 ml or about two cups of water. Strain and drink four cups of fenugreek tea a day. To improve its taste, you can add a little lemon juice. Reduce the amount you drink as you feel better.
2. Prepare an herbal tea by steeping one teaspoon of fenugreek seeds, one teaspoon of ginger, one crushed garlic clove, and a pinch of cayenne pepper in a cup of hot water for about five minutes. Strain it and squeeze the juice from half a lemon into it. You can also add a little honey. Drink this tea a few times throughout the day.
This home remedy helps expel phlegm as sesame seeds act as a natural expectorant.
1. Boil one tablespoon of sesame seeds in a cup of water.
2. Mix in one tablespoon of linseed (flaxseeds) and continue boiling.
3. Strain the mixture and then add one teaspoon of honey and a pinch of salt.
4. Drink this mixture once daily.
Fresh carrot juice, spinach juice, beet juice, cucumber juice, and other vegetable juices are excellent for your health, especially when dealing with pneumonia. They boost immunity, dissolve mucus, and aid in detoxification. Being rich in phosphorus and chlorine, parsnip juice, too, is highly beneficial for your lungs and bronchial system.
1. Combine spinach juice and carrot juice in a ratio of 2:3 to make one-half liter of juice. Drink it daily.
2. Alternatively, combine one part beet juice, one part cucumber juice and three parts carrot juice. Drink it daily.
3. You can also drink 250 ml or one cup of parsnip juice daily. Use the juice of cultivated rather than wild parsnips for this purpose.
Steam helps fight infection and improves breathing by relieving coughing and congestion.
1.Boil water in a pot and add a few drops of essential oils such as eucalyptus, lavender, tea tree, lemon, or camphor oil.
2.Inhale the steam from this solution. While inhaling, cover your head with a towel so that the steam does not escape.
Taking a hot shower is also beneficial.
Like fenugreek, this medicinal herb also works as a mucolytic to expel mucus from the body, particularly from the respiratory tract. Plus, it has antiviral and antibacterial properties that assist in fighting infection.
1. Mix turmeric powder in warm mustard oil to make a paste. Rub it on your chest.
2. Drink a glass of warm milk mixed with one teaspoon of turmeric powder, two or three times a day.
3. Mix one-half teaspoon of turmeric and one-quarter teaspoon of black pepper powder in a glass of warm water. Drink it once a day.
Black Pepper and Holy Basil
Both these ingredients are beneficial for your lungs and useful in the natural treatment of pneumonia.
1. Extract the juice from five basil leaves.
2. Mix in a pinch of freshly ground black pepper.
3. Consume it every six hours.
This oil helps relieve pain associated with pneumonia.
1. Rub a small amount of turpentine oil over your rib cage. You can also mix camphor in it and then massage.
2. Cover the area with a warm cotton or wool cloth.
Oil of Oregano
Oil of oregano combats pneumonia-causing germs due to its antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties. It also helps thin mucus and clear congestion.
1. Add two or three drops of oregano oil to a glass of water or fresh juice. Drink it three times daily.
2. Put one or two drops of this essential oil on a tissue or cotton ball and place it beside your pillow before going to sleep so you can inhale it throughout the night.
Besides these homes remedies to help treat pneumonia, make sure you take the entire course of the medications prescribed by your doctor even if you start to feel better or else your pneumonia may recur. Plus, get plenty of rest and drink lots of fluids, especially water. In addition, consult your doctor before taking any cough or cold medicine. Coughing can actually be helpful because it helps your body get rid of mucus.