Chapter 10 : Diet, Nutrition And Alternative Medication

In addition to what your doctor recommends to improve your condition, you can also use a number of alternative medications and treatments to improve your condition and quality of life.

One thing to note about alternative medications is that it is not a method of healing your condition.  There is no way of knowing if a particular treatment will work for you or not.  Each person reacts differently.  In addition, you should insure that any treatment that you do use is not going to interact with the medications or treatments that your doctor prescribes.


What you eat and the health of your body is directly related to your condition.  If you improve your nutrition intake, you improve your body’s ability to manage the stresses that it is under.

Your doctor is likely to screen your health for nutritional lacking aspects.  For example, those that have a body weight assessment that is poor will need to consider weight loss.  A body mass index that is between 22 and 27 is considered acceptable.  In addition, your doctor will screen for cholesterol to determine if it is at the right level as well.

For those that need to consider additional help, here are a number of nutritional benefits you can incorporate into your daily life. 

  • Meet with a registered dietician to work out a meal plan that encourages health and well being, and weight loss if necessary.  Your family doctor can help you to find this person.
  • Eat more meals but make them much smaller.  Implementing a diet that is basically fruits and vegetables with small portions of meat product is necessary.
  • Increase the amount of fat that is taken into the body.  Fat helps to decrease your levels of carbon dioxide production, which the lungs often have a difficult time pumping out of your body.
  • Increase the number of foods that are eaten that have high numbers of vitamins and minerals in them.  Foods with little to not nutritional value should be removed from the diet.
  • Increase the amount of fluid that is taken in, especially water.  Additional water helps to keep the body and cells hydrated as well as it keeps your mucus production thin and easy to manage.
  • Do not consume additional calories that have no nutritional value.  Increasing your weight can be detrimental to your health.

Your overall health and well being needs to improve, in order to give your body the necessary nutrients and fluids to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  While you don’t have to give up the foods that you enjoy, moderation of foods that are not healthy for you is the best way to gain healthy benefits. 

Most importantly, add vegetables and fruits into your diet that are rich in nutrients.  These give your body the tools to improve your health.


Even though you should consume a diet that provides you with the nutrition that your body needs, most American diets do not include enough nutrients in them to provide the highest level of nutrition.  Therefore, it is necessary to consider taking in supplements that can provide additional nutrients and give your body even more of an ability to fight your condition.

Supplements for chronic bronchitis can and will aid your health.  The first component of this is to take a good quality multi-vitamin.  These are packed with nutrients that provide for supplementation to any diet.  They are affordable and they are easily taken one time or two times per day.

If you are older, take a supplement that is geared towards the health of older adults.  These have specialized formulas that include nutrients that are lacking in older people or that are needed more now than ever.

Some nutrients are even more beneficial to the patient with chronic bronchitis and those are described here:

  • N-Acetyl-Cysteine (called NAC)

This type of supplement can be quite effective in helping your body to dissolve mucus.  This supplement will improve your symptoms and help you to feel better.

  • Zinc

Zinc is an excellent supplement to include in your diet.  It provides help to the immune system which can help to keep infections and viruses that cause colds and respiratory infections at bay. 

Additional supplements that you should take in include the following: 

  • Bromelain
  • Lactobacillus
  • Quercetin
  • Vitamin C

These will aid your body in keeping infections and illness at bay.  In addition, they can provide your body with the necessary fuel it needs to help overcome symptoms and improve your quality of life.

Most of these supplements can be purchased at your local drug store or you can get them online.  Quality does count, though!

Herbal Help

In addition to supplementing your diet, you can also increase the herbal products that you consume.  As an alternative medicine, herbs have been used for thousands of years to aid in healing and in generally well being. 

Today, there is a growing demand for herbal remedies and solutions that can provide your body with help that conventional medication simply can not.  Many people are turning to herbs because they are less likely to have side effects than medications, too.

Do talk to your doctor before taking any type of herbal product to insure that they will not interact with the medications that you are currently taking.  Never stop taking your medications without your doctor’s approval first.

Here are a few herbal products that can aid in improving your bronchitis symptoms.

  • Barberry:  Known for its ability to fight off infection, barberry also aids in improving your immune system.  Those that are ill can take barberry to lessen the effects of bronchitis.
  • Eucalyptus:  The use of eucalyptus has been in place for many years.  You can use it to help treat your cough and the phlegm production of your condition.  Purchase eucalyptus oil which will loosen your phlegm.  In addition, you can purchase eucalyptus to inhale which will give you relief from your bronchitis symptoms as well as from coughing and even flue like symptoms.
  • Peppermint:  Peppermint is a common herbal product that can be used to treat coughing and congestion.  It is used as a decongestant because it has menthol in it.  This will also help to thin out mucus and relieves the phlegm that most patients struggle with.  In addition, peppermint and improve your sore throat and dry mouth symptoms.
  • Slippery Elm:  If your chronic bronchitis causes a sore throat, then this herbal product can be an ideal tool to improve your condition.
  • Stinging Nettle:  This herb has been shown to improve a cough by working as an expectorant which makes a cough more productive in getting the phlegm out of your system.

Additional tools that you can use include a variety of herbs like astragalus, Echinacea, garlic, ginger, ivy leaves, linden, red clover, and saw palmetto.  Each offers its own unique way to helping you.

What To Do

You don’t need a prescription to get these herbs as most can be found at your nearby health food store.  But, what you should do is talk with a herbologist to determine what the right types of herbal remedies will work for you. 

They can help you by recommending what to take as well as how much to take and the method by which you should take it.

Additional Tools For Relief

In addition to these types of alternative medications, there are additional things that you can use that have shown to be beneficial.

For example, aromatherapy can be beneficial for those that are suffering from bronchitis.  Use a humidifier to release essential oils into the air.  Choose cedar wood, myrrh, jasmine, lavender, or tea tree.  This is quite beneficial at night.

Acupuncture is another solution.  Learn about acupuncture as a method of treating any illness including chronic bronchitis.  Many have found it to deliver relief and even improve their health condition.  A skilled acupuncturist is needed to make this a beneficial treatment.

Selecting these methods to gain help is a good way to go but couple them with the help of your medications.  Keep your doctor informed about what you are taking as well.

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