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Chest infections

General characteristics

General characteristics

Chest infections are infections in the lung passages or the lungs themselves. Symptoms  can include chest pain or soreness, a cough with or without phlegm, tightness in the chest when breathing, a high temperature or fever and generally feeling 'under the weather'.
An infection in the chest can be caused by bacteria and viruses when the body vitality is low or weakened or after/during a cold or flu or other infection. It can range from acute bronchitis to pleurisy and pneumonia so a correct diagnosis is useful in determining what treatments and remedial actions to take.
 

Diet and lifestyle

Diet and lifestyle

A diet based on plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grains and the avoidance of processed, sugary, rich and junk foods will assist the body in healing itself.

Drink a few big glasses of fresh water daily and warming herb teas to stay hydrated.

Include plenty of garlic and onions in the diet to help fight infection and thin mucous making it easier to be expelled by the lungs.

You could try eliminating foods that cause excess mucous production such as dairy, sugar and highly processed carbohydrates.

Citrus fruits and foods rich in Vitamin C are known to help.

Have a teaspoon of honey in warm water with the juice of a lemon each day.

Include the warming spices like ginger, chilli, coriander seeds, cardamon pods, mustard, horseradish etc in your cooking for their circulatory stimulating and anti-microbial properties.

Stop smoking.


Useful herbs

Useful herbs

Immune boosting herbs like echinacea can be taken daily to assist the body in dealing with the infection. A teaspoon of tincture 3- 5 times daily will help.
A tea made from herbs such as liqourice root, balm of gilead buds, thyme, peppermint, mullein leaf, white horehound, elecampagne root, aniseed and marshmallow root can help to ease inflammation, soothe irritated airways, fight infection, expel mucous and improve circulation. Make a decoction using a teaspoon each of the roots and buds and half a teaspoon of liqourice, simmering gently in a pint of water for 20 minutes or so. While the mixture is still hot add a teaspoon each of the dried herbs and a pinch of chilli powder. Cover and stand for another 20 minutes or so then strain off the liquid, squeezing well to get all the juice out of the herbs. Drink a tablespoon of the liquid in a glass of hot water every couple of hours throughout the day. Make a fresh batch when needed and continue using until the infection has passed.
Drink nettle tea every day as a boost to your vitamin and mineral levels.
An ancient Indian remedy for chest infections is to chew several raw black peppercorns each day.

Natural healing

Natural healing

Steam inhalations can help loosen thick mucous from the lungs and help fight infection. Use olbas oil or a few drops each of thyme, eucalyptus and pine essential oils in a bowl of hot water and breathe in the vapour for a few minutes several times daily. Use the oils in a burner or drop a few drops on your pillow overnight.
Make a mustard poultice for the chest to increase circulation, loosen mucous and help fight infection. Use a tablespoon or so of mustard powder and mix with enough warm water to make a paste. Spread the paste on a thin cloth, fold over to keep the paste away from the skin and place over the chest area. Leave it on for half an hour or so then rinse with cool water.
Make onion syrup to thin and loosen the phlegm and for its antibiotic qualities. Roughly chop a strong white onion and place in a bowl. Add enough honey to cover the onion, cover and put in a warm place overnight. The next day the honey will be very thin and fluid, having drawn the goodness from the onion. Drink a tablespoon of the liquid throughout the day. Discard the onion and make a fresh batch for the next day.
Get plenty or rest.

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