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Bronchitis home remedies: Tips

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 203 views

Many people use home remedies for bronchitis. For example, parents and grandparents made or inhaled chest wraps with potatoes. In fact, such home remedies for bronchitis can relieve the symptoms and support healing. Here is a selection of the best bronchitis home remedies!

ICD codes for this disease:

ICD codes are internationally valid codes for medical diagnoses. They can be found, for example, in doctor’s letters or on certificates of incapacity for work.

J42 J44 J21 J20 J40 J41

Which home remedies help with bronchitis?

There are many home remedies for bronchitis that serve different purposes. Some are intended to loosen the mucus in the airways, others to soothe the irritated mucous membrane or alleviate accompanying symptoms such as fever or sore throat, headache and body aches.

However, sometimes it is necessary to treat bronchitis with medication, especially if the symptoms are more severe. For example, if the bronchitis causes breathing difficulties up to and including shortness of breath, a doctor must always be consulted.

Conventional medical therapy can still be usefully supplemented with various home remedies. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Inhalation for bronchitis

Many patients find inhalation for bronchitis very beneficial. Inhalation can loosen mucus from the upper airways and reduce local inflammation.

To do this, heat water and put it in a bowl. Sit in front of the bowl and keep your head above it. Cover your head and bowl with a towel so that the water vapor does not escape. Breathe in and out slowly and deeply for 10 to 15 minutes. Repeat this once or twice a day.

Possible additives for inhalation are salt, chamomile blossoms, thyme herb or a few drops of essential oil (e.g. eucalyptus or thyme oil).

Before inhaling essential oils (such as thyme or eucalyptus oil), you should seek advice from your doctor or pharmacist. Some essential oils are not recommended or only recommended to a limited extent, especially for children and pregnant women.

You can read how to dose the additives correctly in the article Inhalation .

Warm pads, compresses and chest wraps for bronchitis

In the case of bronchitis, warmth on the chest can relieve the symptoms. Heat increases blood flow and helps loosen and cough up phlegm that has become stuck. The simplest method for bronchitis: place a hot water bottle or a warm seed pillow (cherry stone pillow) on the chest or upper back.

The following compresses, wraps and pads are also suitable as home remedies for bronchitis:

Moist and warm breast wrap

A moist, warm chest wrap often has an expectorant effect. To do this, roll up a cotton towel from both sides towards the middle and fold lengthways into a tea towel. Then place the roll in a bowl with the ends sticking out and pour 500 to 750 milliliters of boiling water over it. Let the wrap sit for 15 minutes. You can also add one to two teaspoons of thyme tea or the slices of half an organic lemon.

Gently wring out the wrap (warning, hot!) and then wrap the inner sheet tightly around the patient’s chest. Tie two more towels over it. Let the breast wrap work for 20 to 30 minutes and rest – even after using this home remedy. You can use the moist, warm breast wrap twice a day.

Mustard flour compress

A mustard flour compress (once a day) is said to help with narrowed airways and relieve pain: Put ten to 30 grams of mustard flour about two millimeters thick on a piece of cellulose. Fold this in and wrap it in a cloth. Then place the compress in 250 milliliters of warm water (max. 38 degrees) and let it soak. Then gently squeeze the compress (do not wring).

Place the compress on your chest with as few wrinkles as possible. There you fix the household remedy with another cloth. As soon as you feel skin burning, leave the compress on the skin for another one to three minutes. Then quickly remove and rub the skin with olive oil. Then rest covered for 30 to 60 minutes.

You can read more about the effects of mustard in the medicinal plant article mustard.

Curd wraps for bronchitis

In many cases, a quark pad at body temperature helps as a home remedy for bronchitis: it is said to inhibit inflammation, reduce fever, relieve pain and loosen mucus from the bronchi. To do this, spread 250 to 500 grams of quark (room temperature) on a gauze compress once or twice a day. Cover the compress with the excess gauze and a cotton cloth.

Warm the pad on one or between two hot water bottles and then place the wrap on your chest. For a better grip, fix the pad with a (hand) towel. Leave the curd topping on the skin until the curd is cold.

ginger wrap

A ginger wrap is also said to loosen mucus, relax the chest muscles and relieve pain. Mix one to two teaspoons of freshly ground ginger powder in some water. Allow the mixture to swell briefly and then pour it into 500 to 750 milliliters of hot water (75 degrees).

Roll up a cotton towel from both sides towards the middle and then roll it lengthways in a tea towel. Place the wrap in the water with the ends sticking out. Allow to soak well and wring out (caution, hot!). Wrap the inner cloth tightly around the breast without any creases and secure it with one or two towels. Let the ginger wrap work for 15 to 30 minutes and then rest in bed.

You can find out more about the effect in the medicinal plant article Ginger.

beeswax compress

A cloth compress coated with beeswax stores heat for a very long time and releases it continuously. This can have an expectorant effect in bronchitis. To do this, put the compress of the desired size in a plastic bag and heat it with a hair dryer or on a hot-water bottle until the wax is supple.

Place the compress without foil on the breast and cover it with a cloth. Leave the compress on for 20 minutes to several hours. You can use this bronchitis home remedy once or twice a day. The compress is reusable.

Heat treatment with red light for bronchitis

You can also support the treatment of bronchitis with red light. The local heat treatment promotes blood circulation. The stubborn mucus is loosened and the pain relieved.

Warning! Infrared rays can damage the eyes – even when the eyelids are closed. Therefore, keep a sufficient safety distance (30 to 50 centimeters, see also instructions for use), especially when using in the face area, put on suitable safety glasses and close your eyes in a relaxed manner.

However, such heat applications are only advisable if you find the heat pleasant. In the worst case, they even make the symptoms worse.

Red light therapy is not advisable in the case of fever, acute inflammation, blood clots (thrombosis), severe heart disease and severe diabetes mellitus. Always talk to your doctor before use!

Tea for bronchitis

If you have bronchitis, make sure you drink enough. This helps to loosen the mucus in the bronchi and make it easier to cough up. The following medicinal plants are suitable as cough and bronchial tea:

  • Plantain and marshmallow soothe the irritated mucous membrane and relieve the urge to cough
  • Thyme, anise, primula, linden blossom and mullein support the evacuation of bronchial mucus and relieve the urge to cough
  • Fennel and verbena have an anti-inflammatory and germ-inhibiting effect and liquefy the stubborn mucus from the bronchi
  • Licorice root has antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, expectorant and mucosal-protecting properties
  • Ginger has an anti-inflammatory and germ-inhibiting effect
  • Elderberry has a sweat-inducing effect and increases mucus production in the bronchi

You can find out how to prepare the tea correctly in the relevant medicinal plant text.

Healing Drinks

Various other drinks such as juices and syrups made from medicinal plants can also be used as home remedies for bronchitis.

Children in the first year of life should not eat honey. It can contain harmful bacterial toxins.

Honey milk soothes irritated throat mucosa and promotes a good night’s sleep. In addition, honey milk has a slightly expectorant and anti-inflammatory effect. To do this, heat milk for a glass or mug and dissolve a teaspoon of honey in it. Drink in small sips before bedtime.

Onion syrup is said to have an anti-inflammatory and germ-inhibiting effect and to relieve coughs and colds. To do this, peel and dice a large onion, which you then fill into a clean mason jar. Add two tablespoons of sugar, close the jar tightly and shake vigorously. After about two hours, the sweet onion syrup forms. Take one to two tablespoons several times a day.

You can read more information about the effects of the medicinal plant in the article Onion .

Radish honey is said to have a germ-inhibiting and expectorant effect. Cut the “lid” off a (round) radish and scoop it out with a spoon. Now add honey, put the lid on and let it stand for several hours (in the fridge). After that, pour the honey enriched with radish juice into a clean jam jar.

Older children and adults can take two to three teaspoons up to four times a day – directly or in tea. However, it must not be too hot, otherwise too many valuable ingredients would be destroyed.

Radish juice also has a germ-inhibiting and expectorant effect, stimulates the flow of bile and promotes digestion . For this home remedy for bronchitis, peel a black radish, chop or grate it and then squeeze it out (eg through a cloth). Refrigerate the juice for a few hours. This makes him mild. Consume helped a tablespoon of fresh radish juice several times a day. If necessary, add sugar. The daily dose is around 50 to 150 milliliters of radish juice.

You can read more about radish and its effects in the article Black radish.

Chicken Soup : An old bronchitis home remedy is chicken soup. It is said to have a beneficial effect on the irritated mucous membranes and to promote the dissolution of mucus. This is probably mainly due to the warmth and moisture that the warm chicken broth brings to the body.

It is possible that some components of the chicken soup also inhibit certain white blood cells (neutrophils) that promote inflammatory processes. This is indicated by various scientific experiments.

Essential oils for bronchitis

The essential oils from medicinal plants can be used as home remedies to treat bronchitis, and there are several possible uses.

oil bath

Warm baths have a calming and relaxing effect. If you add the essential oils of thyme or eucalyptus to the bath water, the bath also has an expectorant effect.

You should use an emulsifier so that the oil is well distributed in the water. Cream, milk, honey or salt are suitable. Mix the emulsifier and the oil and add the additive to the running bath water.

The bathing temperature should not exceed the measured body temperature. After ten to twenty minutes, finish the bath, dry off and rest in the preheated bed for at least half an hour. You can bathe once a day.


A proven home remedy for bronchitis is chest rubs . Use diluted lavender or thyme oil for this – this loosens stubborn mucus and relieves the urge to cough. Warm a few drops of the oil in your hands and rub gently on your chest for several minutes. Don’t apply too much pressure. The affected person should then rest well covered for about half an hour. You can do the chest rub two to three times a day.

back rub also loosens stubborn mucus. When applying, avoid the spine and rub the back to the right and left of it. Then let it rest, well covered, for about 30 minutes.

Alternatively, you can also use oils from mountain pine, eucalyptus or camphor for the rub.

Bronchitis: home remedies for children and babies

The listed bronchitis home remedies are suitable for babies.

Inhalation: You can buy special inhalers for children in the pharmacy. The application here is usually safe.

The use of essential oils for inhalation by children should always be discussed with a doctor or pharmacist. Some substances can cause life-threatening spasms in the respiratory muscles in children. Also, never let children inhale alone over a bowl due to the increased risk of burns.

Wraps and compresses: Warm wraps are suitable home remedies for children with bronchitis, as they are for adults. Suitable additives include thyme tea or lemon. However, before putting on the wrap, you should always test the temperature on the back of your hand or your own chest. There is a risk of burns!

If your child suffers from fever in addition to bronchitis, you can lower the body temperature with cold calf wraps. You can read how this works in the article calf wrap .

Teas : Fennel tea is an excellent home remedy for babies with bronchitis. Children tolerate this medicinal plant tea well. Make sure the tea is not too hot.

Bath: A warm bath with herbal additives such as chamomile blossoms or thyme is usually also suitable for children. If you bathe your child, check the bath temperature beforehand. You should also not leave your sick child alone and stop the bath immediately if the child becomes uncomfortable.

Many essential oils are not suitable for babies and children. Therefore, always speak to a doctor or pharmacist before use.

What else helps with bronchitis?

Physical rest and avoiding stress are important for a speedy recovery. Especially during sleep, the body can gain much needed strength to fight disease. Therefore, in the case of bronchitis, you should consider the following points in addition to treatment:

  • bed rest
  • drink a lot
  • Ventilate regularly
  • Avoid tobacco smoke
  • reduce stress

Does vitamin C help too?

It is often recommended to take a lot of vitamin C at the first sign of an acute respiratory illness such as a cold or bronchitis . This should help against the symptoms and make you healthy again faster. However, the vitamin has a preventative effect against infections. It is found in many over-the-counter preparations used to prevent and treat the common cold.

Blackcurrant Juice: The berries are high in vitamin C. Dilute the unsweetened juice with hot water and drink in small sips. This can be beneficial for coughs and bronchitis. You can also drink a glass with lunch and dinner during the recovery period (convalescence) and to prevent a cold.

You can read more about the healing effects of currants in the currants article on medicinal plants.

Hot lemon : The “hot lemon”, ie a mixture of fresh lemon juice and hot water, is a proven cold and bronchitis home remedy. It is said to help particularly with emerging infections and have a prophylactic effect.

Sauna for bronchitis?

Regular visits to the sauna are good for preventing colds. High humidity and temperatures stimulate the immune system and thus strengthen the body’s defences.

However, if you have acute bronchitis, you should not go to the sauna. The high temperature puts a heavy strain on the heart and circulatory system and can lead to a poorer general condition. There is also a risk of infecting other sauna guests in the narrow cabin.

Home remedies have their limits. If the symptoms persist over a longer period of time, do not get better or even get worse, you should always consult a doctor.

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