chinese herbs bronchitis - Pollution: Checking the Damages Caused to the Respiratory System
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Pollution: Checking the Damages Caused to the Respiratory System

THE RESPIRATORY SYSTEM DAMAGE The long-term effects of air pollution include serious diseases like cancer. The highly polluted city air slowly metamorphoses our healthy and pink colored lung tissues into darkened particles of smog, dust, and other pollutants, making the lungs more vulnerable to infection. The highly sensitive respiratory system can be damaged in a number of ways.


Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale): Best known for its use as a liver tonic, making it ideal for a variety of digestive complaints and skin problems. A complimentary herb for all liver cleansing diets and de-toxifying.


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 Respiratory Distress Syndrome: It is also called RDS. The dysfunction refers to a cluster of symptoms. All point to severe malfunctioning of lungs. IRDS: Premature infants may suffer from Infant Respiratory Distress Syndrome (IRDS). IRDS happens when the alveoli fail to fully expand during inhalation. Alveoli expansion needs a chemical called surfactant. However, among the premature infants, the undeveloped alveoli fail to produce enough surfactant. The common treatment for IRDS is administration of air and surfactant through a breathing tube. This administration enables the alveoli to produce surfactant.

# Drinking fluids is very important because fever causes the body to lose fluid faster. Lung secretions will be thinner and thus easier to clear when you are well hydrated.

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Emphysema: This non-contagious disease affects alveolar tissue gets partially destroyed. The remaining alveoli gets enlarged and weakened. During exhalation, the bronchioles collapse. As a result, air remains trapped inside the alveoli. In the long run, emphysema affects the patient's ability for exchanging oxygen and carbon dioxide. The circulatory system also fails to function. This causes breathing problems. Emphysema can occur due to genetic factors besides infection, smoke, smog, and cigarette.

Raspberry Leaf (Rubus ideaus) Known as a pregnancy herb. Raspberry leaf tea helps to tone and prepare the womb for labour and helps relieve heavy periods. Also useful as a mouth gargle for sore throats, mouth ulcers, bleeding gums and inflammations

Occupational risks: Many professionals are daily exposed to impurities released by their activities. These workers run a high risk of suffering from respiratory diseases. Mention may be made of people picking cotton, those working in work in farms or shipyards, mechanics installing brake insulation or lining. Other people who suffer from such risks are miners, construction workers, quarry workers, stone cutters, and sandblasters among others.

Using Herbs From the earliest of times, herbs have been used as medicines, flavourings, colourings. Herbal medicine has developed by intuition and experimentation. Following the doctrine of signatures, wise medicine women and men over the centuries, have been able to develop the knowledge we now have which allows us to use herbs safely. The doctrine of signatures is simple and is helped along with intuition.

If your breathing becomes especially labored, a bronchodialator drug may be prescribed to open narrowed bronchi passages. And if your phlegm becomes gray or green, your physician may put you on an antibiotic. If treated properly, an episode of bronchitis typically clears up within 1 1/2 weeks with no lasting effects.

Laryngitis: Laryngitis is an inflammation of the larynx. Laryngitis is caused by various factors. They can be diverse like voice overuse, cigarette smoke or viral infection. Laryngitis leaves different effects on the voice. Till the inflammation subsides, it can either get hoarse, or get reduced to a whisper.

Garlic boosts our immune system, helps to keep the arteries clear and is good for any heart condition. Ginger warms us, by improving the circulation, eases nausea and is great for those suffering with arthritic aches and pains.

Pneumonia: This infection of the alveoli is caused by viruses or bacteria. Pneumonia is a potentially serious state of the lungs. In pneumonia the alveoli gets inflamed after fluid builds up. This gathering of fluid and the consequent inflammation impedes the flow of carbon dioxide and oxygen between the alveoli and capillaries.

Cigarette smoke: This is yet another dangerous emission. The passive smokers are the hardest hit. Burning fags pose a serious threat to our respiratory system. Tobacco smoke contains over 40 chemicals including the dangerous tar. Most of them are known causes of cancer. Approximately 90 per cent of lung cancer cases among men, and more than 70 per cent among women have been traced to smoking.

Modern medicine has followed the wisdom and knowledge of ancient ways and extracted the healing properties from herbs. The use of herbs in our modern society is just as popular as it has always been.

Peppermint is another great one we are all familiar with. There is a reason for those after dinner mints! It helps to ease the digestion and relieve after dinner indigestion.

A case of acute bronchitis usually lasts for a week or two. To make the coughing and hacking disappear more quickly, try these blended-medicine solutions.

The same viral infection that causes the common cold is the one most often responsible for causing acute bronchitis. The infection spreads from the head into the bronchi and lungs, changing from a cold to bronchitis. Influenza and strep throat can also cause the bronchi to become inflamed, resulting in bronchitis. If bronchitis does not clear up, it can become pneumonia.

Bank on an immune booster. An amino acid called N-acetylcysteine not only helps thin mucus but also fortifies your body's defenses, Dr. Brauer explains. You can buy N-acetylcysteine in most health food stores. Take the supplement according to the directions on the label.

If you are in one of the high-risk groups, your doctor will most likely prescribe all the above, but may also take a chest X-ray and phlegm culture to determine the seriousness of your condition and to rule out other conditions.

Best Choices Supplements "C" your way to relief. Vitamin C has been proven effective as a treatment for allergies and asthma as well as for the Common cold. Naturopath Joseph Pizzorno Jr., N.D., believes that C can help clear up bronchitis, too. He recommends taking 500 milligrams of the vitamin every 2 waking hours until your symptoms subside.

ALTERNATIVE TREATMENT FOR RESPIRATORY DISEASES Many traditional and alternative health systems like Yoga, Ayurveda, Unani and Homoeopathy have various means of treating the different types of respiratory disorders. Yoga has simple breathing exercises called 'Pranayam' that have proven track records. The other alternative health systems like Ayurveda, Unani and homoeopathy also have viable strategies to effectively treat the respiratory ailments.

An herbal infusion can also be used externally, allow them to cool before using. Herbs such as Sage, Thyme and Calendula are great for using on wounds to clean out any germs. We use sage and/or thyme with great success on our cat after he's been in a fight. This stops the infection that often leads to abscesses in cats. Eyebright is great to use on tired sore and/or itchy eyes. Herbs such as Rosemary, chamomile and sage can be used in the hair. Rosemary is used to fight dandruff and Chamomile and Sage can add shine, chamomile to lighten fair hair and sage for dark hair.

ARDS: Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) occurs when the lungs get severely injured. Many automobile accidents, poisonous gases, or lung inflammation can cause such a dysfunction. ARDS patients generally have to battle for life with 50 per cent survival rate.

Peppermint (Mentha piperita): A relaxing and refreshing drink. Stimulates digestive juices, calms stomach and digestive tract. Relieves nausea and vomiting, great for morning sickness. Valuable in the treatment of fevers especially with a cold or flu. Can relieve headaches, painful periods and eases anxiety and tension.

Some people are more susceptible to bronchitis than others: the elderly, infants, smokers, asthmatics, alcoholics, individuals with compromised immune systems, people with lung or heart problems, individuals in poor general health, and people who live in moist, polluted environments.

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DISORDERS & DISEASES OF THE RESPIRATORY SYSTEM Any portion of the respiratory tract can be affected by the disorders and diseases of the respiratory system. Though the common ailments of the respiratory system are trivial, yet at times they can be life threatening as well.

However, prior to taking recourse to any of them, one should consult experts of those systems. Obviously some of the obnoxious habits like smoking and taking of alcohol must be given up to get the optimum results. This holds true for any treatment.

Indoor air pollution: This is one of the most dangerous but often disregarded dangers. The offices and homes are mostly bases of indoor air pollution. Many cleaning compounds besides furniture and synthetic carpets, certain construction materials, and even air fresheners emit hazardous gases. These remain highly concentrated in unventilated or AC rooms. The most vulnerable sections of people exposed to these respiratory dangers are children, elderly people and those having a history of respiratory illnesses. These people generally spend most of their time within the four walls. The indoor air pollutants not only weaken our lungs but also invite infections.

Acute bronchitis usually develops on the heels of a cold or the flu. Your body's battle to defeat these infections leaves your bronchial tubes sensitive, irritated, and inflamed, explains Alan P. Brauer, M.D. This impairs the ability of the tiny hairs that line the bronchial tubes, called the cilia, to sweep mucus and other debris out of your respiratory tract. With your bronchial tubes inflamed and your cilia impaired, your body resorts to its coughing mechanism to keep those bronchi clear.

St John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum) The number one anti-depression herb. Used in depression and anxiety, in many circumstances. Has a sedative and pain reducing effect, especially where nerves are involved. Can also be useful during some viral infections, such as cold sores, chicken pox and shingles, both internally and externally.

 
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Chamomile (Matricaria recutita): Well known for it's calming effects, it can be used to ease insomnia and anxiety. Also a calmative for digestive complaints.

An herb may look a certain way; have a certain colour or taste. This leads to the knowledge of what the herb can be used for. For example, ginseng can look like a man, it is found to be an all over tonic for men. Pennywort looks like an ear, and is excellent for soothing ear aches. Herbs with a yellow colouring, eg Dandelion, are perfect for the liver, as are bitter tasting herbs.

Liquorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra): A delicious tea which is a soothing digestive remedy, for the relief of colic, gastric ulcerations, inflammations and diarrhoea. Useful for bronchial problems, such as catarrh, bronchitis and dry, asthmatic like coughs

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These substances settle down in the lungs' mucous layers. It takes almost an hour for the paralyzed cilia to recover. But repeated paralyzing from the heated tar eventually kills them. Mucus builds up as a result of repeated smoking. The accumulated mucus blocks the smaller air passages. The obstruction triggers the 'smoker's cough'. This familiar reflex cough is the distressed lung's effort to clear the air routes.

Herbs can be used in a variety of ways. We use them just for the enjoyment of their taste in cooking and in herbal teas. It is interesting to note that the herbs we use in cooking, generally, have a role in helping digestion. Herbs such as basil, oregano and thyme can all ease the digestive process. Garlic and ginger, used often in our cooking are very beneficial to our health. Both these herbs have many different medicinal qualities about them.

GOVERNMENT & NGO MONITORING OF POLLUTION All the governments have their independent agencies to monitor the pollution levels. There are also non-governmental agencies (NGOs) that carry out this activity. The OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) in USA, for instance, issues regulations for protection of workers. It has made mandatory the wearing of air masks with filters for certain jobs. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) monitors and also regulates the pollutants released into the air by different organizations and industries. In spite of such efforts, across the world, various types of respiratory illnesses have registered a rise.

Conventional Medicine In healthy people who have normal lungs and no chronic health problems, antibiotics are not necessary, even when the infection is bacterial. The productive (phlegm-producing) coughing that comes with acute bronchitis is to be expected and, in most cases, encouraged; coughing is your body's way of getting rid of excess mucus. However, if your cough is truly disruptive -- that is, it keeps you from sleeping or is so violent it becomes painful -- or nonproductive (dry and raspy sounding), your doctor may prescribe a cough suppressant. In most cases, you should simply do all the things you usually would do for a cold: Take or acetaminophen for discomfort and drink lots of liquids.

Sometimes acute bronchitis causes a dry, hacking cough, says Anne Simons, M.D. Other times the cough is productive, meaning that it brings up mucus.

Herbal teas are really popular. Whether you drink them just for the taste or for medicinal purposes, there is one or a combination of herbs that will suit everyone.

Besides tar several other chemicals enter our lungs from a burning cigarette. The tar from a single cigarette temporarily immobilizes the cilia of the upper and lower tracts of the respiratory route. The tar also temporarily paralyses the macrophages in the lung alveoli. When the cleansing and filtering functions are made inactive, the lungs and the air passages are laid bare to the different particles, viruses and bacteria that are airborne besides of course the tar.

Give symptoms the slip. Slippery elm bark can work wonders for a dry, hacking cough, says Varro E. Tyler, Ph.D., Sc.D., distinguished professor emeritus of pharmacognosy (natural pharmacy) at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. The herb is rich in mucilage, a soluble fiber that soothes the respiratory tract and suppresses coughing. Look for slippery elm bark lozenges in health food stores. Use the lozenges as directed on the package.

Tuberculosis: Also known as TB, it is caused by the tuberculosis bacterium. The lungs are primarily attacked in TB. At times, other body tissues also get affected. Unaddressed, the lung infection can even destroy the lung tissues. Earlier, tuberculosis was controlled by antibiotics. However, the bacterium has evolved an antibiotic-resistant strain posing a grave health problem.

Environmental pollution: One of the potent dangers is the environmental pollution. The environment smog contains many chemicals. Many of these chemicals are exhausted by the vehicles and the industries. What is more, several household cleaning products also emit such poisonous gases.

Sore throat Fever (in few cases) Conventional Medical Treatment If you are diagnosed with bronchitis, your physician will encourage you to rest as much as possible, increase your fluid intake, and use a vaporizer to keep phlegm loose enough to be easily coughed up. A physician may even advise aspirin or a non-prescription cough medicine.

Signs and Symptoms A hacking cough that produces mucus Wheezing Shortness of breath Burning, soreness, and/or feelings of constriction in the chest

# A cool mist vaporizer or humidifier can help decrease bronchial irritation. Read out for Liposuction cost. Check out avent breast pumps and folding treadmills

Making an herbal infusion (tea) is simple; even in you don't have teabags. To make herbal infusions or teas, place the desired amount of dried herb (usually 1-2 teaspoons) in a warmed teapot and cover with boiling water. Allow the tea to infuse for about 10 minutes. A tea infuser can be used in place of a teapot or bag, to make just a cup, or for the convenience of taking it with you when you are out. You may like to mix your herbs to make your own special brew.

Loosen the mucus. If you have a productive cough, you don't want to suppress it. Instead, you want to loosen the bronchial mucus so that it's easier to eliminate. The herbal expectorants licorice, horehound, and wild cherry bark can help. Dr. Pizzorno recommends taking anyone of these herbs as a tea or tincture. To make a tea, add 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried herb to 1 cup of boiling water. Steep for 10 minutes, then strain. Drink up to three cupfuls a day. To use the tincture, take 1 teaspoon up to three times a day, mixed into juice or tea.

Red Clover (Trifolium pratense) One of the most useful herbs for children with skin problems, such as acne, eczema, psoriasis and allergy type rashes. An expectorant for temporary relief of dry spasmodic coughs and bronchitis. Red Clover is also used for menopausal conditions, such as hot flushes.

Common cold, running nose & stuffy nose: Viruses cause colds by targeting the pharynx and the nasal passages. First, the viruses infiltrate the body through the respiratory system. Then, they target the cells in the nasal passage membranes. But before they can destroy the cells, the body's immune system fights back. The immune system increases the flow of blood to the area. Such reinforcement of white blood cells leads to swelling of the membranes. This causes the stuffy nose. Increase in mucous secretions to neutralize the viral attack leads to the runny nose. Mentionably, the infection can affect the sinuses -- membrane-lined cavities located within the head, besides the middle ear and the lower respiratory tract.

Resort to zinc. Several studies have shown that zinc gluconate lozenges help treat the common cold. Dr. Pizzorno also recommends them for bronchitis. His prescription: Suck on one lozenge containing 23 milligrams of zinc every 2 waking hours for 1 week. Don't use the lozenges any longer than that, he cautions. Over time, zinc can suppress the immune system.

Hay fever & asthma: These are allergic reactions of the respiratory system. These conditions are caused when the immune system is irritated by irritants like dust or pollen. The symptoms of hay fever are sneezing, watery eyes, and runny nose. It is a seasonal reaction when there is abundance of pollens in the air. Asthma attacks are generally mild. But, they can be life threatening too. A person suffering from asthma experiences difficulty in breathing. It occurs as the bronchi and bronchioles get inflamed and remain constricted temporarily.

Bronchitis: Bronchitis refers to membrane inflammation. The membranes lining the bronchioles or the bronchi get inflamed. Bronchitis occurs due to bacterial or viral infection. Bronchitis can also happen from irritating chemicals.

Lung cancer: The main cancer causing agents are uranium, asbestos, and tobacco smoke. Genetic reasons can also cause cancer. The respiratory cancerous tumors are formed in the lung tissue (alveolar), the bronchioles or the bronchi. Early detection of such tumors can halt their progression to other parts of the body. Then the treatments are more effective, and the prognosis for recovery is rather good. Unfortunately, 85 per cent of the lung cancers are diagnosed at a later stage when the tumors have already spread. In such extreme cases, the prognosis is poor.

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