What Are Different Home Remedies for Respiratory Infection?

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  • Written By: Dan Harkins
  • Edited By: Kaci Lane Hindman
  • Last Modified Date: 13 May 2019
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Sufferers of respiratory ailments often turn to medicinal fixes for their headaches, chronic coughs, runny noses, shallow breathing and sore throats. Other medicines like antibiotics then attempt to kill the virus that causes those symptoms, if at all possible. Several home remedies for respiratory infection, however, can augment or sometimes replace those drugs, many of which can make a person sleepy or, conversely, too wide-awake. These home alternatives to treating respiratory infection range from antioxidant-rich foods that attack respiratory viruses to certain natural elixirs that can quell cold-suffering symptoms.

Some common home remedies for respiratory infection center around increasing the amount of healthy nutrients in the diet, which in turn builds immunity. Citrus fruits and some vegetables, like tomatoes, are rich in antioxidants that fight respiratory ailments as well as flavanoids, which are important for healthy cell division. Drinking extra water is another easy remedy that will ease any symptoms of dehydration. Another popular dietary addition is fresh garlic, which contains a cold-battling compound called allicin.


A range of exotic herbs may help to ease a variety of cold symptoms, when consumed. The Indian system of alternative herbal medicine, known as Ayurveda, recommends an herb called burdock for opening nasal passages to relieve colds and allergies. Other plant matter like green tea, grapeseed oil or pine bark all are reputed to improve immunity to help colds go away. Some people seek respite from their symptoms by rubbing poultice of linseed on the chest or by stocking their recipes with nasally enticing spices like cinnamon, hoseradish and nutmeg to reduce the strain of nasal congestion.

Some simple twists on regular household foods may be easier to come by, though. Warm teas and milk can ease sore throats. Other sufferers of respiratory ailments seek comfort from a vaporizer or a steamy shower. Gargling with salt water also can help with tight congestion, as can a heating pad applied to the chest. A common cold cocktail is equal parts honey and ginger to ease breathing problems and a sore throat. Another less aromatic home remedy is warm milk with about 1/2 teaspoon (or 2.5 ml) of black pepper for a pungent yet cold-fighting drink.

Medical treatment is most often recommended for chronic respiratory problems, such as cancer, emphysema, cystic fibrosis and tuberculosis. Many doctors will prescribe the appropriate medicines to battle those illnesses. A number of health professionals also may recommend an assortment of home remedies for respiratory infection to complement any prescribed medicinal approach.



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