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Homeopathic Remedies for Bronchitis

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Bronchitis occurs when the mucous membranes that line the upper breathing tubes become inflamed. Acute bronchitis often follows a viral illness such as a cold or flu, and can last for several weeks. Chronic bronchitis may develop if a person has repeated bouts of illness that are not well cared for, or if other factors such as smoking, exposure to polluted air, and allergies have lowered the person’s resistance and made the lungs susceptible. Homeopathic remedies may help relieve discomfort caused by coughing and help the body overcome infection. Serious or prolonged bronchitis requires a physician’s attention.

For dosage information, please read the information at the end of this section. See also “Using Homeopathy With Professional Guidance” in What Is Homeopathy?

Antimonium tartaricum: This remedy is indicated when the person has a feeling of wet mucus in the chest, and breathing makes a bubbly, rattling sound. The cough takes effort and is often not quite strong enough to bring the mucus up, although burping and spitting may be of help. The person may feel drowsy or dizzy, and feel better when lying on the right side or sitting up.

Bryonia: This remedy is often indicated when a cough is dry and very painful. The person feels worse from any movement, and may even need to hold his or her sides or press against the chest to keep it still. The cough can make the stomach hurt, and digestion may be upset. A very dry mouth is common, and the person may be thirsty. A person who wants to be left alone when ill, and not talked to or disturbed, is likely to need Bryonia.

Calcarea carbonica: This remedy is often indicated for bronchitis after a cold. The cough can be troublesome and tickling, worse from lying down or stooping forward, worse from getting cold, and worse at night. Children may have fever, sweaty heads while sleeping, and be very tired. Adults may feel more chilly and have clammy hands and feet, breathing problems when walking up slopes or climbing stairs, and generally poor stamina.

Causticum: Bronchitis with a deep, hard, racking cough can indicate a need for this remedy. The person fees that mucus is stuck in the throat and upper chest, and may cough continually to try to loosen it. A feeling of rawness and soreness can develop, or a sensation as if a rock is stuck inside. Chills can occur along with fever. Exposure to cool air aggravates the cough, but drinking something cold can help. The person may feel worse when days are cold and clear, and better in wet weather.

Dulcamara: When a person easily gets ill after being wet and chilled (or when the weather changes from warm and dry to wet and cool) this remedy may be indicated. The cough can be tickly, hoarse, and loose, and worse from physical exertion. Tendencies toward allergies (cats, pollen, etc.) may increase the person’s susceptibility to bronchitis.

Hepar sulphuris calcareum: The cough that fits this remedy is usually hoarse and rattling, with yellow mucus coming up. The person can be extremely sensitive to cold—even a minor draft or sticking an arm out from under the covers may set off jags of coughing. Cold food or drink can make things worse. A person who needs this remedy feels vulnerable both physically and emotionally, and may act extremely irritable and out of sorts.

Kali bichromicum: A metallic, brassy, hacking cough that starts with a troublesome tickling in the upper air-tubes and brings up strings of sticky yellow mucus can indicate this remedy. A sensation of coldness may be felt inside the chest, and coughing can lead to pain behind the breastbone or extending to the shoulders. Breathing may make a rattling sound when the person sleeps. Problems are typically worse in the early morning, after eating and drinking, and from exposure to open air. The person feels best just lying in bed and keeping warm.

Pulsatilla: Bronchitis with a feeling of weight in the chest, and a cough with choking and gagging that brings up thick yellow mucus, may respond to this remedy. The cough tends to be dry and tight at night, and loose in the morning. The fever may be worse in the evening and at night. Feeling too warm or being in a stuffy room tends to make the person worse, and open air brings improvement. Thirst is usually low. A person who needs this remedy often is moody and emotional and wants attention and sympathy. (This remedy is often helpful to children who are tearful when not feeling well and want to be held and comforted.)

Silicea (also called Silica): A person who needs this remedy can have bronchitis for weeks at a stretch, or even all winter long. The cough takes effort and may bring up yellow or greenish mucus, or little granules that have an offensive smell. Stitching pains may be felt in the back when the person is coughing. Chills are felt more than heat during fever, and the person is likely to sweat at night. A person who needs this remedy is usually sensitive and nervous, with low stamina, swollen lymph nodes, and poor resistance to infection.

Sulphur: This remedy can be indicated when a person has had many bouts of bronchitis (sometimes the resistance has been weakened by taking antibiotics too often for minor complaints). The cough feels irritating, burning, and painful; yellow or greenish mucus may be produced. Problems can be worse if the person gets too warm in bed, and breathing problems at night may wake the person up. Redness of the eyes and mucous membranes, and foul-smelling breath and perspiration are often seen when a person needs this remedy.

Homeopathy Dosage Directions

Select the remedy that most closely matches the symptoms. In conditions where self-treatment is appropriate, unless otherwise directed by a physician, a lower potency (6X, 6C, 12X, 12C, 30X, or 30C) should be used. In addition, instructions for use are usually printed on the label.

Many homeopathic physicians suggest that remedies be used as follows: Take one dose and wait for a response. If improvement is seen, continue to wait and let the remedy work. If improvement lags significantly or has clearly stopped, another dose may be taken. The frequency of dosage varies with the condition and the individual. Sometimes a dose may be required several times an hour; other times a dose may be indicated several times a day; and in some situations, one dose per day (or less) can be sufficient.

If no response is seen within a reasonable amount of time, select a different remedy.

For more information, including references, see What is Homeopathy? and Understanding Homeopathic Potencies.

(See also Homeopathic Remedies for Cough and Asthma.)

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