Natural Cures for Bronchitis

Feb 19, 2017

Bronchitis is a relatively common condition,but just because it is common does not mean it is easy to deal with. The infection associated with bronchitis can cause sensitivity and irritation in your throat and even your sinuses; however, there are a number of treatment options you can try. Probiotics, Echinacea, garlic, and ginseng are among the most effective natural cures for bronchitis.

What Is Bronchitis?

Bronchitis is a condition characterized by inflammation in the lining of your bronchial tubes, the pathways that carry air to and from your lungs. There are two forms of bronchitis: acute and chronic. Acute bronchitis typically develops from a cold or other type of respiratory infection while chronic bronchitis is more severe and involves constant inflammation in your bronchial tubes.

The symptoms are largely the same for both acute and chronic bronchitis; however, chronic is typically more pervasive. The most common symptoms of the condition include a persistent cough, mucus, fatigue, shortness of breath, fever and chills, and chest discomfort.

Can I Treat Bronchitis With Natural Remedies?

While a doctor’s care is necessary for monitoring cases of chronic bronchitis, most common forms can actually be treated effectively at home. Even most conventional treatments for bronchitis center on getting plenty of rest and drinking plenty of fluids. Additionally, natural supplements, such as probiotics, Echinacea, garlic, and ginseng are helpful for shortening the duration of the condition and reducing the severity of your symptoms.

1. Probiotics

According to research presented by the University of Maryland Medical Center, probiotics are a good option for treating bronchitis. Probiotics are unique formulation of “good” bacteria. These bacteria help prevent infections by working in the digestive tract and supporting your immune system. You can take probiotics in capsule form or find them in many foods, such as yogurt.

2. Echinacea

The Medical Center also suggests using Echinacea to help prevent and treat respiratory issues. Echinacea helps support your immune system and fights infection to treat bronchitis and help prevent further development of the condition. You should take 300mg of Echinacea 3 times a day for the biggest health benefit.

3. Garlic

Information presented by Carrie Cross, a health specialist, via LiveStrong suggests that garlic is also a viable option for treating bronchitis. Garlic contains a compound known as allicin, which helps reduce inflammation and fight infection. The herb also contains nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin B as well as copper, iron, calcium, and selenium. Take 4 grams of minced garlic by mouth a day.

4. Ginseng

Medical research also supports ginseng as an appropriate remedy. This herb helps boost your immune system and fights infection to help ward off more pervasive bronchitis symptoms. The treatment also helps reduce inflammation. For the best results, take 400mg of ginseng by mouth each day.

5. Ginger

Ginger is another natural remedy for bronchitis. This herb helps reduce mucus in your throat as well as relieves inflammation. Ginger also fights infection to eradicate the underlying cause of your bronchitis. Typically, you should use the root of ginger and create a warm cup of ginger tea by steeping the root in boiling water. Drink this tea as many times as necessary throughout the day. You can even take a bath with this mixture by adding one quart of ginger tea to a warm bath. This treatment helps draw toxins out of your body.

In addition to these treatments, you should also be sure to get plenty of extra rest and to take immune-supporting supplements like vitamin C. Read below for other suggestions from our readers.

Bronchitis -
Diseases and Conditions: Bronchitis -
Fresh Garlic & Bronchitis -
Warm Up to Ginger -

Apple Cider Vinegar  

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Posted by Missy (Bradford, Ohio) on 10/28/2014

I am 57 yrs old, have had asthma since I was little, but it never required me to get meds for it. The past 2 yrs I did notice a little that I would wheeze when I went out in the cold, or got upset, so I started using my grand-daughters puffer when I needed it...(I know..I should never do that) Anyway, the end of Aug. I went to my Dr., my chest was tight, and I was wheezing. She gave me a puffer for it, 4 days of presidone, and Abuterol for a Nebulizer. It got better for 10 days, then it got worse, so she gave me another 4 days of Presidone, plus an antibiotic for 4 days, and I quit smoking that day, Sept. 29th..(I had told her when I cough the AIR that came up tasted funny, like metal, which I think is infection..isent it?) and she changed my Nebulizer med. to ipratropium bromide and albuterol sulfate..

Anyway, it got better..alot better, I was wanting to be off the Nebulizer, but Dr. said 4 more wks, . The very next day I took a tour of a factory, I immediately could not breathe, due to glue there, and left the building wheezing. Two days (Oct 13) later I was worse, & had to go to the ER. They wrote Asthma/Acute Bronchitis, gave me steroid shot, another wk of antibiotic, and the 21 tablet presidon..I am much better, BUT I am coughing up alot of clear mucus, and every 4 hrs when its time for my Nebulizer, I try and wait, but become wheezy, and out of breathe. I also have allergies and clear mucus flows from my nose when I have coughing fits, so I am using a nasal wash, which helps...Its been 1 month since I quit smoking, coughing at nite a lot, and at 2am I wake wheezing..can the Apple Cider Vinegar HELP me at all???? I am doing Lung exersizes as well, and I exer. 45 min a day and ride a bike 2-3 miles a day. I have 2 more wks on Nebulizer..then what??? Will this go away???. sincerely Missy

Replied by Mama to Many

Dear Missy,

You are making some great positive steps in helping your asthma. Apple Cider Vinegar is a great thing to try! Is that THE THING that will solve it for you? I don't know. We were able to heal my son of asthma on the first try (nettles and quercetin.) With my daughter it took a lot more trial and error, but she is doing great now!

So, start with the ACV. And keep reading and studying.

I know you don't like using the nebulizer with albuterol. But you may find nebulizing very diluted hydrogen peroxide (or something else natural) to be very helpful to your healing. We use a nebulizer at our house a lot (with natural stuff in it) and I LOVE it. It is a great way to deliver a natural medicine right to the place it is needed the most.

You might also look into Bill Munroe's Hydrogen Peroxide Inhalation Therapy on this site. It has helped so many people.

Keep us posted!

~Mama to Many~

Replied by Timh

Missy: All the conventional treatments should help in the short term but offer no lasting remedy, so finish the course of them and then adopt a more natural remedy.

Lung conditions like asthma tend to deplete the body's natural stores of the master antioxidant Glutathione. As one ages, Glutathione deficiency starts reeking havoc on the body. The sensitivity or reaction to the glue is evidence of this deficiency. To boost Glutathione, supplement NAC 1 grm every morning, Selenium 200 mcs w/ evening meal (or eat Brazil Nuts daily), and 3 mg Melatonin before retiring. Hawthorn herb will improve lung function.

You can also purchase Reduced Glutathione powder and nebulize daily to restore the lung GTH levels. Many physicians recommend this treatment and some have demonstrations on YouTube.

Replied by Missy
Bradford, Ohio

Thank-you both so much for responding..I went and got the red vin. last night w/honey and have started using that and will look into using the other recommendations! I am wondering at this point, since I did quit smoking a 31 days ago, and smoked for 40 years, a pk a day, if it is normal to cough up alot of phlem every nite after laying down...ughhh..not getting much sleep..Thank-you again!! Missy

Replied by E.l.
Long Island, NY
4 out of 5 stars

I went to a local health food store and the guy behind the counter gave me something called "fire in the hole, " which I've been Googling ever since. I guess I'll just go back there and get some more because I still have bronchitis but the doctor gave me an inhaler and some antibiotics. But the holistic remedy, the fire in the hole, consisted of cayenne pepper, ginger, ginseng and some other vitamins I'm not too certain of. But the second I took it, at first I felt nauseous and dizzy, and then he told me to drink water with lemon right away, and I instantly felt better. No more coughing and wheezing. I was then told to take Vitamin C tablets every day until it went away, but I went to the doctor and was prescribed with what I was given.

Replied by Karen

Missy, 1st congrats for quitting smoking. It is a hard thing to do! You may want to get a check up to rule out COPD or Emphysema. Stick to natural cures if you can at all costs. If you decide to do the hydrogen peroxide therapy please be aware that the mixture MUST be 3% food grade. You can find 35% food grade peroxide at some health food stores. You will then need to dilute down to 3%. There should be paperwork at the health food store how to dilute down to 3% or call the manufacture up. Never take 3% hydrogen peroxide from the drug store and inhale that. There are stablizers in there that I personally would not inhale into my lungs. Best of luck. And good old apple cider vinegar is a good cure all for most health issues.

Posted by Jaynorcal (Northern California) on 12/18/2013
5 out of 5 stars

ACV for Bronchitis. YEA.

LINGERING MOSTLY-UNPRODUCTIVE COUGH? I typically get this cough that lasts for 2-4 MONTHS shortly after getting over a seasonal cold/flu. Otherwise reasonably healthy (no asthma, young, non-smoker). I wind up getting prescribed an albuterol and/or prednisone based inhaler to help treat (but not cure) the symptoms. This has happened several years in a row now. Same routine. Coughing all day and night sucks. This year, after a significantly longer bout with this hanger-on cough (4+ months, coughing daily - and nightly), I finally got sick of it and remembered Earthclinc and the nice YAY/NAY format... and happened upon ACV+Lemon+Honey in a tea as a suggestion.

So here's what I did:

- Juice of 1/2 a fresh lemon
- 2 or 3 cap fulls of Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 Cinnamon stick
- 1 low tablespoon (or big teaspoon) of Manuka Honey*
- Filled the rest of the cup with boiling water

*Note: I used Manuka New Zealand honey because that's what I had here. Manuka honey supposedly has it's own "special" benefits over regular honey. Perhaps the Manuka honey played a role here, but I bought it because it was on sale :)

And the results? After MONTHS of coughing nearly all day and well into the night, it took just 3 nights of this concoction and it's done. Over. Quiet. My wife (who attempts to sleep next to me) is very happy. I continued to make the drink for 2 more nights.

I just wanted to give a big thanks to EarthClinic & the users who've posted this "cure".

Replied by Karen
1 out of 5 stars

I used the same thing, but not the cinnamon. May try it because it flared up this winter. Manuka honey is more expensive, but you get good results.

Replied by Karen
Michigan, US

I forgot to should not use hot water when you use the lemon and vinegar with honey. The hot water destroys the enzymes thus rendering the mixture ineffective to help you.

Replied by Rachel L.
Tarpon Springs Fl
5 out of 5 stars

I just want to thank this person who cured their chronic bronchitis with apple cider vinegar! I used organic acv only kind I use its the best! (: mixed with 1/2 of a squeezed lemon I added entire half of lemon squeezed to my coffee mug along with himalayian acacia raw organic honey 1 to 2 teaspoons depending how you like taste! I love honey and all its benefits especially raw so I did 2 teaspoons! (: with 1 teaspoon of powdered regular dollar store cinnamon or you can use organic if you prefer! or 1 cinnamon stick! I used just dollar store brand cinnamon and last but not least boiling water and omg!

I was coughing up thick dark yellow mucus! phlem! and my lungs hurt so bad coughing! ): I've been suffering with this for 4 months off and on!! ): and as soon as I drank just half a glass mucus came up so easy like crazy! but turned white right before my eyes! infection gone!!! I'm so happy I want to cry! (: instant relief from months of sheer agony on my poor lungs from coughing so much! (: and I owe it all to that one awesome person who was suffering who posted it! (: and now I'm giving my testimony to help others suffering from horrible chronic bronchitis I had! or any respiratory illness! (: I've been taking lots of other stuff granted vitamin c zinc oil of oregano very very potent on infections especially bronchitis! and very good probiotic! (: but my relief was immediate from this miracle concoction!

Thank you acv, I believe is the utmost cure! Research it my friends!

Replied by Gina
Austin, Texas
3 posts

I just want to thank you for offering a simple but feasible drink cure for bronchitis. I've been battling this for over a month and am exhausted from coughing. Thank you. I will be trying this soon and also sharing this with my mom who gets bronchitis every year. Thank you so very much.

Posted by Marie (Naperville, Il) on 05/09/2012

After mixing up the acv, honey and water I tried this and it is very similar to Theraflu-which I thought was both interesting and helpful because I had ok luck with Theraflu but you are only supposed to take it about every 4 hours, I need more relief than that at times.

Replied by Karen
Clarkston, Mi
5 out of 5 stars

I have been using and recommending to everyone this protocol for bronchitis cough. Mix juice of 1/2 lemon, 3 capsfull of ACV, 1 TBSP of raw honey, add 4 ounces of hot water and mix up. I would drink or sip on it. When you have night time coughs that keep you up... Mix up a batch and set beside your bedside. That way you wake up and take a sip or drink more.. Then turn over and get sound nights sleep. Worked charms for me!!!

Replied by Jill
1 out of 5 stars

I tried your method for two days and got no relief. I went to the doc today and was diagnosed with Bronchitis. I was up most of last night coughing. I just took the meds prescribed so I'm hoping to be out shortly.

Posted by Jenn (Philadelphia, Pa) on 05/23/2010
5 out of 5 stars

ACV and Bronchitis

Everyday a cup of ..2 Tbsp of ACV (raw, unfiltered), and 1 Tbsp honey in a cup of warm water helped me a great deal.

Posted by Kristen (Wyoming, Michigan) on 05/30/2009
5 out of 5 stars

I had chronic bronchitis and the doctor prescribed me and inhaler and 50mg of prednizone for 5 days. I took the prednizone once and woke up the next morning with a terrible headache to the point of bruising the back of my neck from trying to make it go away. finally most of it went away but the terrible cough. I had been going to work on 2 hours of sleep and my throat has been killing me. Last night i stumbled upon this website, Thankk God! I read all the post on the avc remedie and decided i had nothing to lose. I mixed 2 Tbls. of avc with 1 tbls honey in 1 cup of water and heated it up. i quit coughing and was able to sleep the night through by drinking only half the cup. I'm drinking it right now because i woke up coughing but its helping to make it stop again already. Im very happy i found this website. I can finally get some sleep!!

Posted by Anna (USA) on 12/08/2008
5 out of 5 stars

My story is that i was ill for that past two weeks with bronchitis and i also lost my voice. i went to my Doctor who told me to use my inhaler and rest. As i am a singer i needed my voice back in a hurry. So while i was laid up in bed i found your website. I always get most of my medication from the health shop, but i must admit i had never heard of your ACV. So i bought all my supplies and started making up all the potions i had read about, and sure enough after the first day i really felt so much better. My voice was back in full strenght in a few days, and a few other problems i had got much as well. I am sold for life. i cant stop telling people about it. It has also worked for my family and friends. Thank you for this wonderful site. Anna

Replied by Artemis
5 out of 5 stars

Apple Cider Vinegar with the Mother is the best (organic is what you want also)?I get mine along with many other things at Whole Foods - or you could just go on-line and purchase. Everything is out there on the "net"?..

Be well - stay with Mother Nature and you will never lose!!!

Posted by Jennifer (Rockford, Illinois) on 01/06/2008
5 out of 5 stars

I am very predisposed to having cold, sinusitis, bronchitis, and up til now, I have taken probably 1/2 dozen different antibiotics, nasal and oral inhalers, and decongestants. Taking so much at once tended to make me feel worse, and the inhalers ultimately irritated my sinuses. I finally tried a couple different acv recipes to relieve my cough and sore throat. I have not taken one prescription since, and I'm having trouble less often. As soon as I feel a tickle in my throat, I reach straight for the acv. My preferred recipe is 3 parts acv, 3 parts lemon juice, and 2 parts honey with a shot or so of hot water to help dissolve the honey. I've read that organic would be better, but I've just used the standard grocery store stuff, and it's still been nothing short of miraculous. The taste is honestly not as bad as any cough syrup or decongestant I've ever taken, and it's easily twice as effective. The tickle in my chest that precedes a serious coughing fit is STOPPED ALTOGETHER before I even finish drinking this. I am still sort of stunned at how effective this is. Last night I didn't get a chance to mix up a little thermos to bring to work with me, and I regretted it this morning. The congestion in my chest had built up during the evening and overnight, and this morning the cough had settled in a bit. I've been taking a dose every couple of hours, or whenever that tickle comes back, and I've already gotten a lot of congestion out of my chest and sinuses, and my ears have cleared out and everything. This is the most phenomenal and fastest-working remedy I've ever used. I've been spreading the word to my friends and family since. I'll never take decongestants again! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Replied by Enc
Islington, Newfoundland

Apple cider vinegar for bronchitis. ACV, lemon juice and honey. How much should I mix up at one time? How much do I take ? and how long does it last in the fridge?

Posted by Ginger (Wadsworth, us) on 10/11/2007
5 out of 5 stars

My 6 year old daughter was coughing uncontrollably EVERY 2 seconds yesterday. She has allergies and a cough that accompanies it. Her allergies and cough lasts throughout the school year. However, yesterday she sounded like she had bronchitis. The cough was non- stop. I was very desperate for a solution for her cough. I stumbled across the site and went out and bought Apple Cider Vinegar. I tried the remedy and it worked. Today I bought _ Apple Cider Vinegar with "The Mother" and THAT DID IT. It has been 20 mins now AND NO COUGH. I am SO AMAZED I FEEL LIKE SHOUTING IT FROM THE ROOF TOP. I have spent so much money on cough syrups that DON'T WORK... this is all it took. My entire family will be taking this EVERY day as it has MANY MANY other health benefits as well. If you are desperate for a cough remedy THIS IS IT... please go and get ACV NOW, IT WORKS..

Replied by Karen
Clarkston, Mi

I just tried that and it does work, if only for an hour. Suppose I could keep doing it hourly? My head throbs from the violent coughing... And my bladder has been squeezed all day from coughing. Where does all this phlegm come from? All day producing it!!! I think I have coughed every ounce of urine out of my body too! Not trying to be gross here... But what can one do for that awful tickling cough... It feels like I am breathing in obnoxious fumes... And yet it is chemical free over here. Breathing is very constricted too. What to do...HELP???

Posted by P. (Jackson, IL)
5 out of 5 stars

I bought ACV when someone told me that you could loose weight with it. It also lowers blood pressure. I had a virus this year, I coughed so much the doctors put me on Prednisone. It did not help. I have asthma and recently found I have bronchitis. Nothing helped me to stop the hacking, painful cough I had, plus the sneezing and the sinus draining. I started drinking ACV and taking vitamins. It took some time, (two weeks) but finally the cough has subsided. I only cough once in a great while. You cannot use regular ACV because, it has been processed, filtered and what ever else companies do to food. You must buy natural ACV or make your own. I bought ____s because its available and the Mother has not been filtered from it. If there was another brand I was sure of and cheaper I would use it. ACV is good for regulation, drink gobs of water. You won't need much ACV, a teaspoon or so. Oh! I did loose a few pounds but, you have to drink it 3xs a day every day. Unfortunately, I am not an every day person. After reading this site I am going to try taking ACV more often to loose weight.

Apple Cider Vinegar, Baking Soda and Olive Oil  

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Posted by Susan (Galloway, NJ) on 04/18/2007
5 out of 5 stars

I have suffered with sinus infections and allergies for 30 years Today I tried the acv baking soda and honey for my bronchitis I developed. I did it twice and then saw that someone wrote about using olive oil instead so I used 1/4t of baking soda 2T of olive oil 2T of ACV and decaf tea and haven't been coughing Thank God. I also have been using the Salt/baking soda/water to cleanse my nose out. I also rubbed vicks on my chest to help with the pain from coughing earlier. Thank you for putting this information out there. I appreciate any help other than expensive antibiotics that make me sick to my stomach. Thank you so much.

Replied by Nicole
Faribault, Mn

Can you take this pregnant? I was told Apple Cider Vinegar was not good for pregnancy.

Replied by Isabelle
Orlando, Florida

I'm pregnant and I'm also wondering the same thing. I searched online and it seems that the information is unclear for the medical field. On the other hand, some websites have real mothers answer this question and they said ACV works well for them even when pregnant.

Replied by Mama To Many
Middle, Tennessee

I took Apple Cider Vinegar my whole last pregnancy with only good results. I drank water with ACV all day and it completely controlled my heartburn. I used to live on Tums and presciption medicine for this in all my other pregnancies. I also had no gall bladder trouble during pregnancy which I usually have. I put perhaps 1 teaspoon per glass of water and drank maybe 6-7 glasses a day.

Baking Soda  

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Posted by Jerryrigged4 (Springdale, Arkansas, USA) on 01/26/2013
5 out of 5 stars

I use ACV and baking soda practicly everyday for all sorts of reasons. But when I have Bronchitis or sinus issues or just feel a cold moving in. I steam with baking soda. In a small pot of boiling water with a teaspoon of olive oil that is steaming real good sprinkle some baking soda, about a 1/4 tsp at a time and sniff and inhale while the baking soda is fizzling. It is so soothing, it will move the mucus out and kill molds virus and bacteria. Do it as much as you want its harmless unless you stick your nose in the hot water.

Cabbage and Honey  

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Posted by Kristina (Pittsburgh, Pa) on 03/13/2014
5 out of 5 stars

Hello, wanted to share my bronchitis remedy

I month ago I had a terrible pain in my chest, it felt like a very sharp pain, I knew I had bronchitis. After couple days my symptoms got worse and my mom recommended to use cabbage leaf with little bit of honey. Each night I would put cabbage and tiny bit of honey on my chest covered with parchment thin paper (compress) and went to bed. As I woke up I felt such a relief!!! I stopped coughing, the pain was gone and all the bad stuff was coming out of me, I would ran to bathroom and spit out some greenish mucus :( I did that remedy for about 4 days and I was so happy for my cure! Cabbage is such a great vegetable! If you have sensitive skin put very tiny bit of honey, not too much! Make sure to avoid the heart area to put honey.

I'm glad I didnt take any antibiotics!


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Posted by Alicia (Birmingham, United Kingdom) on 12/02/2008
5 out of 5 stars

Chest infection/ Strep throat

I came across this site when searching for cayenne pepper uses as I knew there was something pretty special about it. I have a chest infection, which when combined with asthma is pretty horrific. I haven't been able to breathe and my throat has been so sore. I tried cayenne pepper in orange juice, in the first cup i used only a few sprinkles, in the second 15 minutes later i poured loads in. The burn didn't really effect me. Immediately I feel a little more alive, and my nose is less clogged. I think this will really work if I take it every day. Miracle cure!

1 teaspoon in total in 400ml of orange juice.

Posted by Leota (Los Angeles, CA) on 01/21/2008
5 out of 5 stars

ok. so the first time i really found out cayenne pepper could cure sickness was when my ex put it in tomato soup when i was really sick with bronchitis. the first day he put it in i didn't taste it and the second day i finally did. i took no antibiotics. just cayenne pepper in tomato soup. healed myself in a matter of 4 days so now, i make cayenne pepper beans and soups to protect myself from getting sick. ill eat it when i'm tired and feel like im coming down with a cold. It works, it's like it burns the germs away.

Cinnamon, Clove, and Oregano Oils  

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Posted by Mark (Las Vegas, Nv) on 02/22/2011

Regarding the Oil of Oregano drops. YOU MUST use diluted Oil of Oregano drops. NEVER use pure undiluted or it will burn your mouth and cause damage. You can diluted it yourself or buy prediluted.

I speak from expereince I burned my taste buds off of my tongue and it took two weeks for them to grow back. It was miserable not to be able to taste anything when I ate. Never use any undiluted essential oils.

Replied by Mark
Las Vegas, Nv

I'll second that in the burning of the tatse buds off. It really sucks to eat food you can't taste! Always dilute!

Replied by Angie
Pine Island, FL

Actually, while Oil of Oregano is very much the way you describe (it needs dilution. ) What I've done quite successfully (including treating a life threatening illness ) is put it in capsules.

But NOT all essential oils need diluting. That is not true, so I wanted to clarify. I have used plenty without any dilution quite effectively (and I am pretty sensitive actually). You just have to know which ones are safe to do so.