Pneumonia is a serious lung infection that can be caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoa and other microorganisms. The University of Maryland Medical Center states that pneumonia is a common illness that affects millions of Americans every year. Pneumonia, which causes lung inflammation, can be acquired in many ways. Herbal remedies have long been used to help treat pneumonia, although you should always review your treatment options with your doctor before taking herbal medication.
Pneumonia often follows upper respiratory tract infections, such as a cold, influenza or measles. You are more likely to develop pneumonia if you are elderly; have a weakened immune system, have cardiovascular disease, diabetes, kidney disease, sickle cell disease or HIV; are an alcoholic; are malnourished or are a smoker. Some of the most common signs and symptoms of pneumonia include fever, chills, cough, rapid breathing, vomiting, abdominal pain and loss of appetite.
Herbal remedies for pneumonia that help improve your immune function usually possess antimicrobial action. According to Phyllis A. Balch, a certified nutritional consultant and author of "Prescription for Nutritional Healing," herbal remedies for pneumonia include astragalus, echinacea, ginger, goldenseal and licorice root. Dr. William A. Mitchell, Jr., a naturopathic physician and author of "Plant Medicine in Practice," notes that other herbs, including pleurisy root and senega, may also help treat pneumonia.
A Popular Herbal Remedy
Pleurisy root is a popular herbal remedy used in the treatment of pneumonia because it helps reduce inflammation of the pleural membranes in the lungs, improves secretion of healthy lung fluids and is a lymphatic system stimulant. Pleurisy root has been used to treat a variety of conditions, including pneumonia, pleurisy, bronchitis, flu and coughs. The underground stem of the pleurisy root plant contains numerous phytochemicals and is used in herbal preparations.
Pneumonia can lead to serious health consequences if left unchecked. Meet with your doctor to discuss all aspects of your care including treatment options. A qualified health care professional, especially one who is trained in botanical medicine, can tell you what herbs may be best for you and your particular ailment. Some herbs may cause undesirable side effects and should be avoided or used only under the care and supervision of a health care professional.