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It's Cold Season, let's learn about: Bronchitis!

Weekly newsletter of Ancestral Herbiary
It's Cold Season, let's learn about: Bronchitis!
By Ifayomi Fasola • Issue #15 • View online
So being that going back to school & work is in full effect, and we’re coming up on the winter months and cold season, I thought this would be a good time to discuss the commons ailments of this season. So, let’s start with Bronchitis!

  • Acute bronchitis causes slight fever, cough (dry or productive),flulike symptoms, chest pain, and reduced respiratory excursion.
  • Chronic bronchitis results in cough, sputum, difficulty in breathing, wheezing, asthmatic episodes, recurrences of pulmonary infection, respiratory failure, and exhaustion.
Bronchitis is inflammation of the bronchial passages, the airways that connect the trachea to the lungs, results in a chronic cough and, very often, significant amounts of phlegm . Bronchitis can manifest in one of two forms:
  • acute, which is the sudden onset of the illness, and which usually has a short duration
  • chronic, the persistent form of the disease that can recur over many years.
Viral infection usually causes acute bronchitis, though air pollution can also trigger the onset of the illness. Symptoms may be relieved by humidifying the lungs (through humidifier or inhaling steam) and drinking plenty of fluids.
Chronic bronchitis is defined as a cough, and the expectoration of phlegm can last as long as three consecutive months and can recur during two consecutive years. Chronic bronchitis can result in significant narrowing of the bronchial passages, causing obstruction of the airways to the lungs. Smoking is often the main cause of chronic bronchitis. The disease often coexists with emphysema. Emphysema is one of the diseases that comprises COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). Emphysema develops over time and involves the gradual damage of lung tissue, specifically the destruction of the alveoli (tiny air sacs.
From Traditional Medicine
Virtually all lung conditions are caused by repeated suppression of the common cold through the use of antibiotics and other forms of medication. The common cold is a normal and healthful form of cleansing of the body, and it’s debated if it should be allowed to run its course. 
Cough is one of the mechanisms by which the body eliminates mucus, airborne pollutants, and other waste products from the lungs. Thus, in theory, the bronchitis cough is a natural mechanism for cleansing the lungs, though, like the common cold, it is usually suppressed, which only makes it more chronic.
Traditional forms of medicine maintain that the main causes of bronchitis are poor diet, especially excess sugar, lack of exercise (which prevents adequate movement of lymph), and the accumulation of toxins in the lungs and bronchial passages that irritate the tissues and cause inflammation.
Acute bronchitis attacks occur most often in winter, most commonly among the elderly, smokers, infants, and those who suffer from lung disease. Most of those who are afflicted with chronic bronchitis are men over the age of 40; most of these people are smokers or live in industrial cities, where they breathe highly polluted air.
Foods to Eat
  • Two servings daily of leafy green vegetables, especially mustard greens, watercress, kale, and collard greens
  • Use ginger root as a condiment on vegetables twice a week. (Do not overuse ginger.)
  • White vegetables, such as daikon radish, turnips, and radishes (all considered traditional herbs for the lungs)
Foods to Avoid
  • Refined white sugar and foods containing sugar and other artificial ingredients
  • Dairy products, which weaken the lungs
  • Spicy foods, such as hot peppers
  • Acidic foods, such as spices, peppers, and tomatoes
  • Raw foods, especially salads, which irritate the lungs and exacerbate the condition
Traditional Recommendations:
Bronchitis can be a result of any of the following lung conditions:
Heat congesting the lungs irritates the tissues and creates inflammation and warm phlegm. To treat, cool the heat and reduce irritation and inflammation.
  • Prepare much of the diet in the form of soups.
  • Eat whole grains such as millet, barley, and rice.
  • Eat leafy greens, especially watercress, cabbage, and bok choy.
  • Eat peaches, pears, strawberries, and citrus fruits .
  • Eat seaweeds.
  • Eat root vegetables, especially dalkon, carrot, and pumpkin.
Phlegm in the lungs (If tongue coating is white the phlegm I cold. lf tongue is yellow, the phlegm is hot
  • Foods that digest easily such as vegetables, fruits, sprouts, grains, beans, and almonds (small amounts)
  • Watercress (cooling, for hot phlegm)
  • Onions ( warn1ing, for cool phlegm)
  • Turnips (neutral, for both conditions)
  • Daikon radish (cooling, for hot phlegm)
  • Seaweeds (cooling, for hot phlegm)
Foods to Avoid
The following foods either cause bronchitis or exacerbate (worsen) its symptoms.
Heat congesting the lungs:
  • Coffee
  • Alcohol
  • Animal products
  • Warming fish such as trout, salmon, and anchovy
  • Onion family ( especially garlic)
  • Ginger
Phlegm in the lungs:
  • Dairy products
  • Meat and poultry
  • Tofu and tempeh
  • Soy products such as miso and soy sauce
  • Sweeteners
Herbs to Treat Bronchitis
• Yerba Santa ( stimulate digestive juices and good for all types of bronchitis):
  1. Use as a tea. Steep thirty minutes, 2-3 oz., 3 times/day
• Lotus root tea with ginger
  1. Drink tea 3-4 times per day
• Squill (expectorant for dry cough):
  1. Tincture 5-20 drops, 2 or 3 times per day
• Flaxseed: (for hot phlegm)
  1. Decoction, 2 ounces of dried herb 3 times per day 
• Ginger Root:
  1. Grated into cooking (for cold phlegm)
• Slippery elm bark:
  1. Make gruel by mixing powder with small amount of water. Sweeten with honey and take a tablespoonful. Teabags can al o be purchased. Especially good with a little licorice.
• Lobelia (respiratory relaxant and stimulates catarrhal secretion and expectorant):
  1. Tincture 1 10-15 drops, 2-4 four times/day
Add pine needles, eucalyptus, to boiling water. Either the herb or oil form is okay. Make a tent covering yourself and the pot and inhale the vapors.
• Vitamin A (excellent for lungs ): 2000-20,000 IU, 2-3 times per day
• Vitamin B complex: 25 -50 mg, 3 times/day
• Vitamin C: 1000 mg 1-3 times per day
This does NOT replace medical advice, be sure to follow your doctor’s recommendation. Be sure to check with your doctor first before changing or trying a new regimen/remedy
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Ifayomi Fasola

I’m Iya Ifayomi! She/Her. Onisegun. Herbalist. Isese. Ifa, Egbe, & Olokun priestess. Rootworker. Mvskokxe. 2 headed. Bone Reader 🦴 Venmo:@ifayomifasola

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