Bronchitis is a respiratory disease which occurs as a result of the inflammation of the air passages of the lungs. Acute bronchitis is a viral infection that begins with a cold and spreads to the sinuses and airways.
Due to smoking and rise in air pollution, incidences of bronchitis are on a rise across the world.
Bronchitis usually lasts for a few days with a cough that may linger for long. Chronic bronchitis is a persistent wet cough that occurs in those who smoke excessively.
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Other symptoms of bronchitis include fever, severe sore throat, difficulty breathing, mucus buildup, tightness in back and chest and fatigue.
Avoiding cigarette or other forms of tobacco smoking and air pollutants can help prevent chronic bronchitis. To prevent acute bronchitis, avoid infected people, wash hands regularly, get a flu shot, cover nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing.
Some ways to threat bronchitis include taking medications, steam inhalation, bronchodilators, nutritional supplements, homoeopathy, aromatherapy, herbal and alternative therapies.
Turmeric, also called Curcuma longa is an herb which has been used in the Ayurvedic system of medicine for its healing properties. Turmeric contains antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic and anti-cancer properties.
Also research has stated several advantages of using turmeric in treating respiratory infections and pulmonary diseases. This makes it vital for the treatment of bronchitis.
Benefits of Using Turmeric to Treat Bronchitis
Turmeric can be used in the treatment of bronchitis in several ways since it contains natural anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which is active against inflammation of bronchial tubes. It helps to fight microbial infections associated with Bronchitis and help develop immunity against it.
Turmeric combats microbial infections in bronchitis
Bronchitis is known to be caused by the same virus that causes influenza and flu. The presence of curcumin in turmeric, which has an anti-viral agents, helps to fight influenza virus. It can also assist in the treatment of the infection and reduce the severity of the diseases. It facilitates immune response towards the virus, hinders its replication and protects against the injury caused by the viral infection.
Bronchitis may sometimes also be caused by bacterial infection which is more common in severe and chronic incidences of bronchitis. Anti-microbial agents are therefore needed to treat the infections. Antibiotics may be prescribed, but they can have certain side effects, and the risk of developing antibiotic resistance is always involved.
Curcumin represents anti-bacterial activity against a wide variety of bacterial strains, including those causing infections in bronchitis cases.
Turmeric helps reduce inflammation of the bronchial tubes
When the immune system attempts to defend the body cells from damage by harmful antigens and microbes, inflammation occurs. The body’s immune cells are directed towards the site of infection, thus leading to redness and swelling.
During bronchitis, bacteria, viruses or other irritants may enter the respiratory tract through the oral or nasal passages. These agents may cause infection or injury to the bronchial tubes leading to inflammation.
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Curcumin in turmeric now plays its role as an excellent anti-inflammatory agent. Bronchitis is can be caused by the influenza virus. Studies have shown that curcumin can ease the inflammation of the respiratory tract due to infection by influenza virus.
Curcumin overpowers the activation of cells involved the immune response called macrophages.
Turmeric can relieve several symptoms of bronchitis
Turmeric can help relieve some common symptoms of bronchitis like body aches, cold & cough, shortness of breath, and fever,
According to studies, the vapour of turmeric oil, which is volatile in nature can help relieve cough, cold and sputum while aiding in the treatment of respiratory diseases.
Some symptoms of bronchitis apart from body aches include sore throat and headache. Curcumin has analgesic properties, which helps to relief these symptoms without side-effect.
Those affected by chronic bronchitis may suffer breathing problems caused by cigarette smoking. Oral intake of curcumin has been found to ease shortness of breath (emphysema) caused by inflammation in the respiratory system.
Turmeric serves an excellent antioxidant
Viruses, bacteria, pollutants, lung irritants and smoke from cigarettes are the primary causes of bronchitis. Agents such as pollutants, smoke, bacteria, viruses and others, cause the bronchial tubes to become inflamed. This may also lead to the development of oxidative stress in the respiratory tract. Oxidative stress develops as a result of increase in the number of toxins in the form of free radicals or reactive oxygen species. These toxins could cause injury and damage to cells and DNA.
Anti-oxidants can neutralize these toxins and prevent this damage. Curcumin found in turmeric is a strong antioxidative agent which aid in protecting the cells from damage.
Dosage of Turmeric for Bronchitis
There is no exact dosage of turmeric for bronchitis. Dietary consumption of turmeric can benefit in treatment and prevention of bronchitis.
However, turmeric and curcumin are not properly absorbed by the body. Golden paste includes turmeric and black pepper along with healthy fats to augment its absorption by the body. Small doses of ¼ – ½ tsp daily should be taken for a week.
If no gastric side effects is experienced, the dose can be increased gradually by ¼ – ½ tsp weekly.
Avoid taking turmeric on an empty stomach. Large doses should also be avoided at the same time as taking medicines and a gap of 3-4 hours should be maintained between intakes of the two.
Turmeric is safe to consume when incorporated in the diet. Persons suffering from bleeding disorders, gallbladder obstruction, pregnant and lactating women and people who are going to undergo surgery should avoid supplemental dosage of turmeric.
People suffering from gout and those at increased risk of developing kidney stones should reduce or avoid their turmeric intake.