I come to this topic armed with what it feels like to have experienced it. Having been struck by it some 20 years ago, it is still imprinted on my memory. I thought I was dying. Rather, to be precise, I had a day or two where I didn’t care whether I lived or not. As a mum with 5 children to care for, this was not a normal state of affairs at all! Although some of you with 5 or more children may beg to differ.

I recall being so weak that I had to use a kitchen stool as a walking frame to get across the room. I finally understood why my own mother created such a fuss to avoid it each year. My experience was a one off, an acute case resulting from an infection. My mother had it every single winter, at least once.

Bronchitis can either be an acute or chronic condition. In both types the air tubes in the lungs are inflamed. With acute bronchitis there is often coughing, chest pain and fever. In the case of chronic bronchitis, symptoms are more severe and include difficulty in breathing, wheezing and exhaustion.

Bronchitis is often preceded by a cold or flu, so it is good to nip these in the bud, although not by suppressing them. Most conventional treatments work on this premise (suppressing symptoms). Yet by blocking the body from expelling germs and mucus, the mucus can become trapped in the lungs where it then becomes infected causing bronchitis.

The Case of My Mother (or when a healthy diet is not enough)

I want to use this story to highlight other factors that need considering in any illness/recovery situation. When implementing a holistic approach to healing, it is literally this – the whole – that needs addressing. Of course you can use natural remedies to ease your symptoms, and some of these will be listed below.

From her late 30’s onwards, my mum embraced the naturopathic way of living. She ate a good whole food diet, and rarely drank alcohol or even tea and coffee. She juiced in the years before many of us knew what a juicer was (1970’s). Much as I love juice now, I was not a fan in my teens. I used to pour mine down the sink when she wasn’t looking.

People who smoke are more likely to develop bronchitis. My mother didn’t and never had. She also lived in a time when environmental allergens were far less, and she certainly did not have a mobile phone.

Yet still my mother was ill with bronchitis every single winter. I have vivid memories of this, as she was always so fearful of going down with it. She had to keep out of draughts, winds and damp. Not easy in an English winter. In her golden years she spent 3 winter months in Malta. But she still caught it when she came back.

As soon as she became ill, she either fasted or ate all fruit until she was better. So why didn’t she thrive? Much of the reason was because she was so worn out physically. She was nervously overwrought and had poor sleep patterns. Her body could not make itself well enough to withstand the extra challenges posed by a cold winter.

How do emotions affect an illness?

Louise Hay, author of “You Can Heal Your Life”, brought awareness to the effect an emotion has on a body part. This of course makes absolute sense. We cannot park up our emotions in a short stay zone while we get on with trying to get healthy somewhere else. What would be the result if a physically healthy lifestyle were being waylaid by the negative emotions reverberating around us?

Taking this into account, we have the reason for my mother’s continuing issues with this illness. The missing link: one of my brothers committed suicide as a teenager. I was too young to know what was going on, and my parents obviously had to carry on for the sake of the rest of us children. It is highly unlikely either of them were able to give full vent to their grief and therefore move through the processes of releasing it. They came from a generation that keep the stiff upper lip.

Each bout of bronchitis was testament to the sadness still held within. If you have repeated bouts of this yourself, look at the wider picture.

Meanwhile the remedies below will ease cold and flu symptoms and hopefully prevent bronchitis developing.

Natural cure for bronchitis

Honey, Cinnamon and Ginger tea
To boiled water, add a teaspoon of honey, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon and 1cm of fresh ginger root, grated. Allow to steep for 5 minutes. In this case the honey is only being used as a sweetener. If you want to actually benefit from honey’s healing properties, buy it in its raw form and eat it as is. Adding hot water is the same as cooking food. It alters the effectiveness.

Licorice (the woody stick, not the candy!)
Break a 12 cm stick into pieces and simmer in a pint of water for 20 minutes, keeping the pan lid on. Cool, add more water to drink or take the liquid as it is with a teaspoon. If you have high blood pressure, avoid this.

– Oregano Oil (take as instructed on bottle)

– Olive leaf extract (take as instructed on bottle)

Garlic (raw)

Use 1-2 cloves, grated, and add to your salad dressing. Taking with oils or honey will stop it burning your mouth.

– Echinacea tincture (take as instructed on bottle)

Additional remedies that work as a natural anti viral/anti bacterial (take as instructed on bottle):

Nascent Iodine (this type of iodine is recognized by the body as the same iodine that is used by the thyroid and is easily absorbed)

Propolis tincture

Colloidal Silver

Natural Cure for Bronchitis – The Case of My Mother
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