Complementary Medicine - Cam
About This Condition
A constant, nagging cough may point to a case of acute or chronic bronchitis. According to research or other evidence, the following self-care steps may be helpful.
About This Condition
Bronchitis is an inflammation of the mucous membranes of the deep inner lung passages called the bronchial tree.
Bronchitis may be either acute or chronic. Acute bronchitis is frequently caused by a viral or bacterial infection . Acute bronchitis may also result from irritation of the mucous membranes by environmental fumes, acids, solvents, or tobacco smoke. Bronchitis usually begins with a dry, nonproductive cough. After a few hours or days, the cough may become more frequent and produce mucus. A secondary bacterial infection may occur, in which the sputum (bronchial secretions) may contain pus. People whose cough and/or fever continues for more than seven days should visit a medical practitioner.
Chronic bronchitis may result from prolonged exposure to bronchial irritants. Cigarette smoking, environmental toxins, and inhaled allergens can all cause chronic irritation of the bronchi. The cells lining the bronchi produce excess mucus in response to the chronic irritation; this excess mucus production can lead to a chronic, productive cough.
Bronchitis can be particularly dangerous in the elderly and in people with compromised immune systems . These people should see a doctor if they develop a respiratory infection.
Acute infectious bronchitis is often preceded by signs of an upper respiratory tract infection: stuffy or runny nose, malaise, chills, fever, muscle pain, and sore throat . The cough is initially dry and does not produce mucus. Later, small amounts of thick green or green-yellow sputum may be coughed up.
Chronic bronchitis is characterized by a productive cough that initially occurs only in the morning.
Healthy Lifestyle Tips
Breast-feeding provides important nutrients to an infant and improves the functioning of the immune system. Studies have shown that breast-feeding prevents the development of lower respiratory tract infections during infancy.1 , 2 Whether that protective effect persists into adulthood is not known. Exposure to environmental chemicals, including passive smoke, can increase the incidence of respiratory illness among children.3
Chronic bronchitis is frequently associated with smoking and/or environmental exposure to chemicals or allergens . These exposures should be avoided to allow the cells of the bronchi to recover from chronic irritation and to decrease the burden on the immune system .
The right diet is the key to managing many diseases and to improving general quality of life. For this condition, scientific research has found benefit in the following healthy eating tips.
What Are Star Ratings?
Our proprietary “Star-Rating” system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.
For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.
3 Stars Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
2 Stars Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
1 Star For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.
1. Pisacane A, Graziano L, Zona G, et al. Breast feeding and acute lower respiratory infection. Acta Paediatr 1994;83:714–8.
2. Kerr AA. Lower respiratory tract illness in Polynesian infants. New Zealand Med J 1981;93:333–5.
3. Jin C, Rossignol AM. Effects of passive smoking on respiratory illness from birth to age eighteen months, in Shanghai, People’s Republic of China. J Pediatr 1993;123:553–8.
4. La Vecchia C, Decarli A, Pagano R. Vegetable consumption and risk of chronic disease. Epidemiology 1998;9:208–10.
5. Rautalahti M, Virtamo J, Haukka J, et al. The effect of alpha-tocopherol and beta-carotene supplementation on COPD symptoms. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 1997;156:1447–52.
6. Rowe AH, Rowe A. Food Allergy: its role in emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Dis Chest 1965;48:609–12.
7. Hill DJ, Duke AM, Hosking CS, Hudson IL. Clinical manifestations of cows’ milk allergy in childhood. II. The diagnostic value of skin tests and RAST. Clin Allergy 1988;18:481–90.
8. Cohen GA, Hartman G, Hamburger RN, O’Connor RD. Severe anemia and chronic bronchitis associated with a markedly elevated specific IgG to cow’s milk protein. Ann Allergy 1985;55:38–40.
9. Hide DW, Guyer BM. Clinical manifestations of allergy related to breast and cows’ milk feeding. Arch Dis Child 1981;56:172–5.
10. Sanchez A, Reeser JL, Lau HS, et al. Role of sugars in human neutrophilic phagocytosis. Am J Clin Nutr 1973;26:1180–4.
11. Stey C, Steurer J, Bachmann S, et al. The effect of oral N-acetylcysteine in chronic bronchitis: a quantitative systematic review. Eur Respir J 2000;16:253–62 [review].
12. Boman G, Backer U, Larsson S, et al. Oral acetylcysteine reduces exacerbation rate in chronic bronchitis: report of a trial organized by the Swedish Society for Pulmonary Diseases. Eur J Respir Dis 1983;64:405–15.
13. Riise GC, Larsson S, Larsson P, et al. The intrabronchial microbial flora in chronic bronchitis patients: a target for N-acetylcysteine therapy? Eur Respir J 1994;7:94–101.
14. Jackson IM, Barnes J, Cooksey P. Efficacy and tolerability of oral acetylcysteine (Fabrol) in chronic bronchitis: a double-blind placebo controlled study. J Int Med Res 1984;12:198–206.
15. Tattersall AB, Bridgman KM, Huitson A. Acetylcysteine (Fabrol) in chronic bronchitis—a study in general practice. J Int Med Res 1983;11:279–84.
16. Fiocchi A, Borella E, Riva E, et al. Double-blind clinical trial for the evaluation of the therapeutical effectiveness of a calf thymus derivative (Thymomodulin) in children with recurrent respiratory infections. Thymus 1986;8:331–9.
17. Hunt C, Chakravorty NK, Annan G, et al. The clinical effects of vitamin C supplementation in elderly hospitalised patients with acute respiratory infections. Int J Vitam Nutr Res 1994;64:212–9.
18. Hemilä H. Does vitamin C alleviate the symptoms of the common cold?—A review of current evidence. Scand J Infect Dis 1994;26:1–6.
19. Menzel DB. Antioxidant vitamins and prevention of lung disease.Ann N Y Acad Sci 1992;669:141–55.
20. Matthys H, Eisebitt R, Seith B, Heger M. Efficacy and safety of an extract of Pelargonium sidoides (EPs 7630) in adults with acute bronchitis. A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Phytomedicine 2003;10 Suppl 4:7–17.
21. Blumenthal M, Busse WR, Goldberg A, et al, eds. The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. Boston, MA: Integrative Medicine Communications, 1998, 153.
22. Meyer-Wegner J. Ivy versus ambroxol in chronic bronchitis. Zeits Allegemeinmed 1993;69:61–6 [in German].
23. Koichev A. Complex evaluation of the therapeutic effect of a preparation from Plantago major in chronic bronchitis. Probl Vatr Med 1983;11:61–9 [in Bulgarian].
24. Matev M, Angelova I, Koichev A, et al. Clinical trial of Plantago major preparation in the treatment of chronic bronchitis. Vutr Boles 1982;21:133–7 [in Bulgarian].
25. Mills S, Bone K. Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy: Modern Herbal Medicine. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, 2000, 209.
26. Schulz V, Hänsel R, Tyler VE. Rational Phytotherapy: A Physicians’ Guide to Herbal Medicine. Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 1998, 159–60.
27. Bone K, Morgan M. Clinical Applications of Ayurvedic and Chinese Herbs: Monographs for the Western Herbal Practitioner. Warwick, Australia: 1996.
28. See DM, Broumand N, Sahl L, Tilles JG. In vitro effects of echinacea and ginseng on natural killer and antibody-dependent cell cytotoxicity in healthy subjects and chronic fatigue syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome patients. Immunopharmacol 1997;35:229–35.
29. Wichtl M. Herbal Drugs and Phytopharmaceuticals. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 1994, 254–6.
30. Blumenthal M, Busse WR, Goldberg A, et al, eds. The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. Newton, MA: Integrative Medicine Communications, 1998, 328–9.
31. Wichtl M. Herbal Drugs and Phytopharmaceuticals. Boca Raton, FL: CRC press, 1994,192–4.
32. Blumenthal M, Busse WR, Goldberg A, et al, eds. The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. Newton, MA: Integrative Medicine Communications, 1998, 126–8.
33. Leung AY, Foster S. Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients Used in Food, Drugs, and Cosmetics, 2d ed. New York: John Wiley, 1996, 303.
34. Blumenthal M, Goldberg A, Brinkman J, eds. Herbal Medicine: The Expanded Commission E Monographs. Newton, MA: Integrative Medicine Communications, 2000, 205–7.
35. Philipov S, Istatkova R, Ivanovska N, et al. Phytochemical study and antiinflammatory properties of Lobelia laxiflora L. Z Naturforsch (C) 1998;53:311–7.
36. Foster S, Tyler VE. Tyler’s Honest Herbal. New York: Haworth Press, 1999, 2265–6.
37. Koichev A. Complex evaluation of the therapeutic effect of a preparation from Plantago major in chronic bronchitis. Probl Vatr Med 1983;11:61–9 [in Bulgarian].
38. Matev M, Angelova I, Koichev A, et al. Clinical trial of Plantago major preparation in the treatment of chronic bronchitis. Vutr Boles 1982;21:133–7 [in Bulgarian].
39. Mills S, Bone K. Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy: Modern Herbal Medicine. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, 2000, 209.
40. Newall CA, Anderson LA, Phillipson JD. Herbal Medicine: A Guide for Health-Care Professionals. London: Pharmaceutical Press, 1996, 213–4.
41. Blumenthal M, Busse WR, Goldberg A, et al. The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. Newton, MA: Integrative Medicine Communications, 1998, 219–20.
42. Ferley JP, et al. Prophylactic aromatherapy for supervening infections in patients with chronic bronchitis. Phytother Res 1989;3:97–9.
43. Menzel DB. Antioxidant vitamins and prevention of lung disease.Ann N Y Acad Sci 1992;669:141–55.
Last Review: 02-05-2013
Copyright © 2013 Aisle7. All rights reserved. Aisle7.com
The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2014.
Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.