Ayurvedic treatment for Chest infection

Chest infection

Know More on ENT(Ear Nose Throat)

  • Definition
  • Causes
  • Symptoms
  • Diagnosis
  • Management
  • FAQS
  • References

Definition

Chest infection Ayurvedic treatment

Chest infections are commonly occurring infections. They usually occur during winters after an episode of cold or flu. Mild infections usually clear up on their own, and without the need of antibiotics.1

The two main types of chest infection in adults are acute bronchitis and pneumonia.1

According to Ayurveda perspective, most coughs are caused by excess pitta or kapha in the bronchial tree causing congestion and irritation of the bronchial mucous membrane.2

Causes

Chest infection

Viruses are the major cause of majority of the cases of bronchitis, whereas most pneumonia cases are due to bacteria. Coughing or sneezing of an infected individual causes the spread of these infections. This launches tiny droplets of fluid containing the virus or bacteria into the air, where they can be breathed in by others.3

Certain groups of people are predisposed to developing serious chest infections, such as:

  • Infants and very young children
  • Overweight people
  • Elderly people
  • Pregnant women
  • Smokers
  • People suffering from chronic health conditions, such as asthma, heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, cystic fibrosis or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • A recent illness, a transplant, high-dose steroids, chemotherapy or a health condition causing weakening of immune system

Symptoms

Chest infection

The common symptoms associated with chest infection include:4

  • A persistent cough
  • Coughing up yellow or green phlegm or coughing up blood
  • Breathlessness or shallow breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Fever
  • A rapid heartbeat
  • Chest pain or chest tightness
  • Feeling of confusion or disorientation

Diagnosis

Chest infection

The doctor most likely diagnoses this condition based on the symptoms and by clinical observation

In some cases, the doctor may need further tests – such as breathing tests, chest X-ray, and blood or phlegm tests, to confirm the diagnosis.4

Management

Chest infection

The basic strategy for managing this condition is to reduce the undesirable pitta or kapha that is creating this condition. To treat a cough most effectively, you need to determine whether it is a dry cough (vata), or productive cough with an increased mucous (kapha) production or whether pitta has also become involved. Infections of the chest are usually associated with productive cough.5

Ayurveda has a holistic approach in treating different conditions that include a combination of ahar (diet) and vihar (lifestyle regime) recommendations for effective management. These include:

Diet Recommendations (Aahar)

  • Eating a healthy, balanced diet can help strengthen the immune system, makes you less susceptible to developing chest infections.
  • Avoid milk products and other mucous forming foods like ice-cream, cold water, sugar salt refined flour, bread and fruit juices
  • Prefer hot food and drinks since they help in soothing the discomfort associated with cough
  • Preparations containing long pepper and dry ginger are helpful in treating cough
  • Ghee can be used to soothe the throat
  • Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated
  • Prepare a solution of a glass of hot water, half a lemon’s juice squeezed in it and a teaspoon of honey. Drink this mixture sip by sip
  • Avoid excessive consumption of tea, caffeinated and carbonated drinks

Lifestyle changes (Vihar)

  • Get plenty of rest
  • Avoid infections by maintaining a proper hygiene
  • Avoid smoking since it may aggravate the respiratory infections and increase the production of cough
  • Using a humidifier, taking a shower or inhaling steam from a heatproof bowl of hot water may also help in relieving the cough.
  • Make breathing easier by using extra pillows to raise your head up while sleeping
  • Practice steam inhalation to loosen up mucus in the lungs and throat
  • Inhaling the aroma of crushed caraway seeds help in excess mucus reduction

FAQS

Chest infection
  1. What is allergic rhinitis?

Allergic rhinitis is inflammation of the lining of the nose in response to an immune response given by body when it comes in contact with certain allergens (things causing allergy in a person). It simply means that immune system is overreacting to certain allergy causing substances such as pollen, dust mites, skin and saliva of furry animals such as cats, dogs, etc. Around 10 to 30 percent of population in the world may suffer from this condition. Allergic disorders in Ayurveda are widely elaborated under the concepts of Ama, Asatmya ahara vihar, Anurjta and viruddha aahara. Impaired digestion and metabolism causes Ama. It leads to the manifestation of Rhinitis or Pratishyaya by affecting Rasa and Rakta Dhatu.

  1. What causes allergic rhinitis?

Allergic rhinitis happens when your body releases histamine after coming in contact with an allergen. Histamine is a natural chemical that guards your body from the allergen. This chemical is responsible for the symptoms associated with allergic rhinitis, including a runny nose, sneezing, and itchy eyes.

Other common causes in addition to pollen, include

  • Grass
  • Dust
  • Animal skin
  • Mites
  • Moulds

Some external factors that can trigger or aggravate this condition, include:

  • Dampness
  • Cold temperature
  • air pollution
  • chemicals in Hairspray/perfumes/colognes
  • Wood smoke
  • Fumes
  • Smoking
  1. What diet changes I can do to avoid ear infection in my child?

Here are few diet tips to avoid ear infection in your child:

Since ear problems are associated with an imbalance in the kapha dosha, a diet that does not vitiate the kapha dosha, should be followed. The following dietary guidelines must be followed: -

  1. Sour foods must be avoided as it impairs the kapha dosha. These include sour fruits and curds.
  2. Fruits like bananas, watermelons, oranges, papayas and cucumbers must be avoided since the increase the risk common cold. This would aggravate the ear problem. All refrigerated foods must also be avoided for the same reason.
  3. Onion, ginger and garlic should be preferred during ear problems.
  4. Turmeric is also very good remedy for infections, and must be used for spicing the meals
  5. Avoid processed and oily food
  6. Avoid water getting into ear during bath.
  1. What are the causes of nosebleeds?

Nose bleeds can be caused by a number of things, including:

  • Scratching the inside of your nose with a sharp fingernail
  • Forcefully blowing your nose
  • blow to your head, or a fall
  • A minor injury to your nose
  • Presence of cold or flu which causes a blocked or stuffy nose
  • Sinusitis
  • Very dry environment or places that have hot, dry weather
  • Hay fever or other allergies
  • High altitude
  • Abuse of nasal decongestants
  • A crooked nose that's either present from birth or the result of an injury.
  • broken nose
  • Recent nasal surgery
  • Hardened arteries (atherosclerosis)
  • Medicines that cause you to bleed more easily, including aspirin
  1. What can I do to manage or avoid nosebleed?

Here are some tips to manage/avoid nosebleed:

  • Avoid mental pressure and stress.
  • Sound sleep for 7-8 hours is highly recommended.
  • Cold water is one of the best ways to stop nasal bleeding
  • Instillation of lemon juice should be dropped into nostrils provides excellent relief
  • Juice of fresh coriander leaves can be used as nasal drops
  • A cotton bud dipped in rosewater and kept inside the nostrils stops the bleeding
  • Tulsi juice mixed with honey will also help and provide extra strength to the body
  1. My husband snores a lot. What could be the reasons?

Snoring may be caused by a combination of factors which are as follows:

  • Sleeping on the back
  • Being overweight/obese
  • Congestion of the upper respiratory tract
  • Heavy consumption of alcohol in the evening prior to sleep
  • Use of sleeping pills and tranquilizers
  • Inadequate sleep
  • stress
  • Saggy and extra soft mattress
  • A pillow that is too low/high
  • History of smoking
  1. How is snoring treated in Ayurveda?

Ayurveda classifies sleep disorders as Kapha dominant disorders since they are highly associated with obesity as a main symptom, however, Vata and Pitta could have an impact on this disorder. Kapha dosha first accumulates, and aggravates in the digestive system, it then over-flows into the circulatory system, subsequently relocating into the Medas (Medovaha srota), then manifest and diversifies.2  Lekhana and Medohara (fat scraping/ reducing) ahara and vihar and Shodhana therapies may be beneficial.

Ayurveda has a holistic approach in treating different conditions that include a combination of ahar (diet) and vihar (lifestyle regime) recommendations for effective management.

  1. What are few tips to reduce snoring?

Here are few tips to reduce snoring:

  • Maintain a proper diet and exercise well to lose weight
  • Avoid alcohol consumption since it can increase sleep apnea
  • Prefer sleeping on the side (especially the left side as this promotes better digestion)
  • Avoid smoking
  • Ensure that you always get sufficient and a sound sleep
  • Sleep on a firm mattress
  • Use a pillow of an appropriate size and firmness
  • If possible, elevate the head end of the bed if possible
  • Use of nasal spray to relieves nasal congestion
  • Inhale steam with eucalyptus oil
  1. My child frequently gets chest infection, what diet can I give to improve his condition?

Following are the diet tips to improve/better manage chest infection:

  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet as it can help strengthen the immune system, makes you less susceptible to developing chest infections
  • Avoid milk products and other mucous forming foods like ice-cream, cold water, sugar salt refined flour, bread and fruit juices
  • Prefer hot food and drinks since they help in soothing the discomfort associated with cough
  • Preparations containing long pepper and dry ginger are helpful in treating cough
  • Ghee can be used to soothe the throat
  • Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated
  • Prepare a solution of a glass of hot water, half a lemon’s juice squeezed in it and a teaspoon of honey. Drink this mixture sip by sip
  • Avoid excessive consumption of tea, caffeinated and carbonated drinks 
  1. My child has crying spell and pulls his ear sometimes. Is he having ear pain?

The symptoms of ear pain in infants include:

  • Fever and irritability in babies
  • Pulling tugging or rubbing of ears in children
  • Babies do not feed well; loss of appetite in children
  • Sleep problems and restlessness at night
  • Coughing and runny nose

 

References

Chest infection
  1. Chest Infection. Available at: http://patient.info/in/health/chest-infection. Accessed on: 22 Sep. 16.
  2. 5 Best Home Remedies For Cough To Give You Instant Relief.Available at: http://heraldpost.in/5-best-home-remedies-for-cough-to-give-you-instant-relief/. Accessed on: 22 Sep. 16.
  3. Chest infection. Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Chest-infection-adult/Pages/Introduction.aspx. Accessed on: 22 Sep. 16.
  4. Adult chest infections. Available at: http://www.webmd.boots.com/cold-and-flu/cold-guide/adult-chest-infections?page=2. Accessed on: 22 Sep. 16.
  5. Lad V. The complete book of Ayurvedic home remedies. Harmony; 1999.
  6. Ayurvedic Treatment for Cough. Available at: http://www.ayurveddoctor.com/ayurvedic-treatment-for-cough.html. Accessed on: 22 Sep. 16.
  7. Chest Infection Treatments. Available at: http://www.home-remedies-for-you.com/articles/864/medicines-and-remedies/chest-infection-treatments.html. Accessed on: 22 Sep. 16.

Disclaimer: The information on this page is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Do not use this information to diagnose or ayurvedic treatment of ent and/or chest infection without consulting the doctor. Consult your physician before beginning an exercise regime. "While we have products /ayurvedic medicines for ent and/or chest infection, you must consult an authorized physician before taking any of the products. For more information on products, visit www.dabur.com or call 1800-103-1644"