In acute cases of bronchitis, the patient should fast on orange juice and water till the acute symptoms subside. The procedure is to take the juice of an orange in a glass of warm water every two hours from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. During this period, a warm water enema should be administered daily to cleanse the bowels. After the juice fast, the patient should adopt an all-fruit diet for further two or three days. In case of chronic bronchitis, the patient can begin with an all-fruit diet for five to seven days, taking three meals a day of fresh juicy fruits such as orange, apple, pineapple, grapes and papaya.
After the all-fruit diet, the patient should follow a wellbalanced diet consisting of seeds, nuts and grains, vegetables and fruits. For drinks, unsweetened lemon water or cold or hot plain water may be taken. The patient should avoid meats, sugar, tea, coffee, condiments, pickles, refined and processed foods, soft drinks, candies, ice-cream and products made from sugar and white flour. The elderly patient should be persuaded to give up smoking as the habit still persists in old age and exercises adverse effects.
One of the most effective remedies for bronchitis is the use of turmeric powder. A teaspoonful of this powder should be administered with a glass of milk two or three times daily. It acts best when taken on an empty stomach.
Another effective remedy for bronchitis is mixture of dried ginger powder, pepper and long pepper taken in equal quantities, three times a day. It may be licked with honey. The powder of these three ingredients have antipyretic qualities and are effective in dealing with fever accompanied with bronchitis. They also tone up the metabolism of the patient.
Onion has been used as a food remedy for centuries in bronchitis. It is said to posses expectorant properties. It liquefies phlegm and prevents its further formation. One teaspoon of raw onion juice first thing in the morning will be highly beneficial in such cases.
The liberal use of Vitamin C rich foods has been found valuable in the prevention and treatment of bronchitis. Vitamin C is considered cell protective antioxidant. Food rich in this vitamin can therefore help protect the lungs from damage and consequent debilitating bronchitis. In a major study of 9,000 patients, Dr. Joel Schwartz of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, discovered that people who ate foods containing 300 109 of Vitamin C a day were only 70 per cent as likely to have chronic bronchitis or asthma as those eating foods with one-third that much or about 100 mg. The difference of 200 109 of Vitamin C can be obtained form two glasses of orange juice.
Dr. Schwartz says that a Vitamin C rich diet is especially valuable for cigarette smokers who are at high risk for chronic obstructive bronchitis, if they smoke long enough. Investigations show that smokers use up Vitamin C rapidly to counteract the toxic oxidative agents in cigarette smoke. They therefore need approximately three and half times more Vitamin C than non-smokers. Foods rich in Vitamin C are citrus fruits, Indian goosebery (amla), green leafy vegetables and sprouted Bengal and green grams.
Simple hot poultice of linseed should be applied over the front and back of the chest. It will greatly relieve pain. These poultices act by diluting the vessels of the surface and thereby reducing the blood pressure. The heat of the poultice acts as a cardiac stimulant. The poultice should be applied neatly and carefully and should be often removed, so that it does not hamper respiration. Turpentine may be rubbed over the chest with fomentation for the same object.
Fresh air and outdoor exercises are also essential to the treatment of bronchitis and the patient should take a good walk every day.