Bronchitis is characterized by inflammation of your lungs, and typically follows a viral infection, such as a flu or cold. This condition produces a persistent wet or dry cough that may last from two to three days, to several weeks. Other symptoms include mucus buildup in your lungs, fever, sore throat and fatigue. Although rest is the primary remedy for bronchitis, certain foods may help speed the healing of this condition. Check with your physician before altering your diet to heal bronchitis.
Garlic is a natural antibiotic that may help destroy bacterial and viral cells. This may help speed recovery from bronchitis. It also contains a chemical called quercetin, which may inhibit your body's production of lipoxygenase, an enzyme that causes inflammation of your lung tissues, according to Dr. James Balch and Phyllis Balch, authors of "Prescription for Nutritional Healing."
Shiitake, reishi and maitake mushrooms may help prevent tissue damage and speed recovery from bronchitis. These mushrooms contain a chemical called lentian, which may help boost your immune system function, allowing your body to destroy viral cells, according to the Balches. Lentian is also an antioxidant that may prevent damage to lung tissues caused by free radical molecules.
Peppermint candies contain menthol, which has decongestant properties. Menthol may thin mucus in your lungs, helping your body to break it up and remove it from your body through productive coughing.
Alfalfa sprouts contain chlorophyll, which may improve blood circulation to your lungs, reducing the time necessary to heal bronchitis. These sprouts are also abundant sources of vitamin C, which is a natural immune system booster and antioxidant.
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Bronchitis
- "Prescription for Nutritional Healing"; James F. Balch, M.D. and Phyllis A. Balch, C.N.C.; 1997
- "The Healing Herbs"; Michael Castleman; 1991