Having a lung infection is never a pleasant experience. Pneumonia is a serious inflammatory condition that can be caused by a number of viruses, bacteria, and in some cases, microorganisms. The right diagnosis and proper treatment are essential when dealing with this health problem, as they can prevent further complications and speed up the recovery process. Home remedies are used by numerous people as they are safe and can be just as effective as the pills when used correctly.
Pneumonia: Most Common Types
Because pneumonia can be caused by different factors, there exist several types of this condition. The ones that affect people most often include:
1. Bacterial pneumonia
In the majority of cases, bacterial pneumonia develops as the result of Streptococcus pneumoniae influence. This health condition is the one that can either develop on its own or after a person doesn’t properly recover after the flu or severe cold. This type of pneumonia is the one that can affect both children and adults.
2. Viral pneumonia
As opposed to the bacterial type, viral pneumonia is most common among elderly people and children. This type of pneumonia develops due to the respiratory viruses and, in the majority of cases, it is less severe. However, the flu virus is something to be especially careful with as it can lead to serious health problems or even death. People who already have lung or cardiovascular diseases are especially at risk.
3. Mycoplasma pneumonia
Mycoplasma organisms are separate from bacteria and viruses, but they can also lead to the development of different diseases, including pneumonia. Usually, mycoplasma pneumonia affects younger adults and children and its symptoms are less severe when compared to viral and bacterial pneumonia types.
4. Other Types
Other types of pneumonia generally affect people suffering from problems with the immune system and those with suppressed immune systems, such as individuals that have AIDS. In these cases, pneumonia can be of different severity and caused by fungi, inhaling dust, certain liquids, and other factors.
Depending on the type of pneumonia, a patient may experience some or all the symptoms.
What Is the Etiology of Pneumonia?
The vast majority of pneumonia types caused by microorganisms are independent diseases. Less commonly, pneumonia types are manifestations of the acute infectious diseases. In 80-90% cases, when it comes to the community-acquired pneumonia, the etiological agents are:
- Streptococcus pneumoniae (the most common one – 70-90% of all cases);
- Haemophilus influenzae;
- Mycoplasma pneumoniae;
- Moraxella catarrhalis
Other etiological agents leading to pneumonia include Chlamydia psittaci and Klebsiella, but they are significantly less common.
When we talk about intrahospital pneumonia, it can be caused by a wide variety of etiological agents, including gram-negative flora (enterobacteria, acinetobacteria, Pseudomonas aeruginosa), Staphylococcus aureus, and anaerobes. In addition to the mentioned bacteria, patients suffering from immunodeficiency can also develop pneumonia as a result of Pneumocystis carinii, viruses (including cytomegaloviruses, which are considered the markers of HIV infection), fungi, and mycobacteria. If such patients have neutropenia in their blood tests, then the most common etiological agents are Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Since the main cause of aspiration pneumonia is the ingression of the microflora of the oropharynx or stomach into the respiratory tract, the main pathogens include anaerobic bacteria, gram-negative microflora and Staphylococcus aureus that are present in the nasopharynx. The main pathogens of the atypically occurring pneumonia are Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Legionella pneumophyla, Chlamydia psittaci, Chlamydia pneumoniae, and Coxiella burnetti.
During the influenza epidemic, the role of virus-bacterial associations increases (staphylococci are the ones that can be encountered most often) as well as opportunistic pathogens. In the case of viral-bacterial pneumonia, respiratory viruses play an etiological role only during the initial phase of the disease: bacterial flora remains the main etiologic factor determining the clinical picture, severity, and outcome of pneumonia.
What is the Pathogenesis of Pneumonia?
Pathogenesis of pneumonia has been studied quite thoroughly and there are several ways this condition can develop:
- Penetration of the pneumonia pathogens into the respiratory parts of the lungs by the:
- bronchogenic ways (in most cases);
- hematogenic ways (due to the sepsis, general infectious diseases, endocarditis of tricuspid valve, etc.);
- per continuinatem (directly from the affected organs located close, for example, with liver abscess);
- lymphogenous pathways followed by the adhesion to the epithelial cells of the bronchopulmonary system.
In the latter case, pneumonia develops only when the function of the local bronchopulmonary defense system is disturbed. Also, the condition can develop because of the overall reduction of the body reactivity and the mechanisms of nonspecific protection.
- Development under the influence of the local inflammatory process infection and its spreading to the lung tissue.
Some microorganisms (pneumococcus, E. coli, H. influenzae) produce the substances that increase vascular permeability. As a result of such influence, pneumonia spreads through the lung tissue. Other microorganisms, such as staphylococci and Pseudomonas aeruginosa secret exotoxins, which destroy the lung tissue. This leads to the development of the areas of necrosis, which then merge and form abscesses. A major role in the development of pneumonia is played by the production of cytokines (IL-1, 6, 8, etc.) by leukocytes.
- The development of immuno-inflammatory reactions and hypersensitivity to the infectious agents (hyperergic reaction of the body leads to lobar pneumonia while normo- or hypergic- reactions – to focal pneumonia).
- Activation of the lipid peroxidation and proteolysis in the lung tissue that has a direct damaging effect on the lung tissue and promotes the development of the inflammatory process in it.
Indian Home Remedies: Best Ayurveda Recipes
Indian remedies are used not only on the territory of the country but all over the world because they are extremely effective. When it comes to pneumonia, it can definitely be treated with the help of the safe and efficient Ayurveda remedies, so you should take them into consideration if you have access to such ingredients.
The most widely used Indian home remedies are:
1. Sesame seeds
Sesame seeds can not only be added to the dishes to get an interesting flavor but you can also use them to help improve your condition if you suffer from pneumonia. All you should do is take a teaspoon of seeds and add some boiling water. Once the seeds get soft, you can drink the water.
Ginger is among those remedies that seem to be recommended almost in all cases if you suffer from an infection. When it comes to pneumonia, you can get great results by using the juice of ginger and mixing it with lemon and honey to make the mixture even more potent.
This herb is definitely an essential part of Ayurveda thanks to its antiseptic, antiviral, and antibacterial properties. As a remedy for pneumonia, turmeric is usually mixed with some milk or warm water and a pinch of salt. This mixture is best consumed before going to bed so that you don’t drink or eat anything afterward.
4. Mixture of herbs
Herbs are at the basis of the Ayurveda treatment and their thoughtful combination can bring the most amazing results to those suffering from pneumonia. A great mixture of herbs that you can use when dealing with the respiratory infection includes Chyvananprash, Stiopaladi, Pipali, Punarnala, and AbhrakBhasama.
5. Ashtadashang Quath
This Indian herb is considered quite rare but it has outstanding properties when it comes to treating pneumonia. The extract of this plant should be consumed in the morning to cure the condition.
It’s not a secret that garlic has excellent anti-inflammatory properties, which is the reason it is widely used to treat numerous health problems. It is also effective at reducing the temperature. When it comes to treating pneumonia, garlic can be used in several different ways. Some of the most popular recipes include eating garlic with lemon and honey and blending garlic with milk and water. Also, you can rub it into the skin of the feet and put socks on before going to bed.
Ayurveda recipes have been used for thousands of years so they can certainly be trusted. You should choose the ones that work best for you and stick with them until you get the needed results.
Which Home Remedies Are Used Most Often?
Pneumonia is a serious disease that should be treated under the supervision of medical professionals, but there is a variety of home remedies that can help you cure the health issue.
Some of the best ones that you should definitely look into are:
1. Vegetable juice
Vegetables have a lot of vitamins, which are essential when you recover from the diseases, such as pneumonia. Drinking vegetable juices will not only strengthen your immune system but will also detoxify your body, thus leading to much faster recovery. Some of the best vegetables to use include spinach, carrots, beets, and cucumbers. To get the best results, you should drink such juices several times a day.
2. Tea tree oil and eucalyptus
Using chest rubs is an excellent way to speed up the process of treating pneumonia. Some of the best oils that you can use when suffering from this condition are eucalyptus and tea tree oil. All you need to do is take some base oil, add a couple of drops of eucalyptus and tea tree oils, and then rub the mixture on your chest before going to sleep.
Inhaling steam is a great way to get rid of cough when you suffer from pneumonia. You can purchase a special inhaler or simply fill a bucket with hot water, add some essential oils (tea tree, lavender, or others), put your face over it, and cover your head with a towel. Continue to inhale the steam until the water starts to get colder.
4. Turpentine and camphor
Another chest rub that has been proven to be highly effective when dealing with cough involves camphor and turpentine. Simply take equal parts of camphor and turpentine, mix them together thoroughly, and apply the mixture to your chest using rubbing motions. Then, put on a sweater to make sure that the chest rub continues to stay warm as long as possible.
5. Cayenne pepper
When treating pneumonia, it is essential to eliminate mucus that builds up in the respiratory tract, as it makes it difficult to breathe. Cayenne pepper is a great solution for this problem, especially in combination with lemon juice. All you should do is add these ingredients to water and drink this mixture several times a day.
6. Fenugreek seeds tea
Fenugreek tea has long been used to help people recover from respiratory problems. This tea helps remove congestion from the chest and also allows the body to eliminate the toxins through perspiration, which is something that significantly speeds up the recovery process. All you should do is simply steep the Fenugreek seeds, add some lemon juice, and drink several times a day.
7. Salt water
Taking care of the throat is also essential when you suffer from pneumonia, which is why gargling using salt water is something that you should do at least several times a day. You can also put some baking soda into the salt water for added benefits.
8. Parsnip juice
As you may know, parsnip is high in potassium, which is extremely beneficial for those that want to recover from pneumonia. In addition to that, parsnip is full of valuable vitamins that will strengthen you immune system. The best way to use this remedy is by making fresh juice and drinking it every day.
These remedies are not overly complicated, which allows you to use them effectively at home. The most important thing is that they are also safe, which is not something that can be said about the majority of chemical drugs.
Grandma’s Home Remedies to Remember
When it comes to the grandma’s recipes, they are the ones that often get ignored despite the fact that they can be highly effective. Paying attention to the old methods of treatment is undeniably a great idea, because there are numerous remedies that will not only help treat pneumonia but also improve your overall health.
The best methods that you can use include:
1. Pumpkin leaves
Pneumonia is often accompanied by chest pain, which can be extremely tiring and make it difficult for a person to get proper rest. A great grandma’s recipe in this case is using pumpkin leaf stalks that should be fried with olive oil. The prepared paste should be rubbed into the chest and ribs to eliminate the pain.
The Astragalus plant is an excellent remedy that can help you boost the immune system and eliminate the inflammation of the lungs. You can simply simmer the dried roots of Astragalus for about 30 minutes and then consume several tablespoons throughout the day.
Echinacea is widely known for its antiviral properties and using it is also an excellent way to strengthen the immune system naturally. In addition to that, consuming Echinacea helps reduce the amount of mucus in lungs, which is an important step in recovering from pneumonia.
4. Pleurisy Root
When we talk about grandma’s recipes for pneumonia, pleurisy root is certainly the one that should be taken into consideration. This plant is excellent at reducing inflammation thanks to the fact that it contains asclepiadin and resin. Also, it boosts the detoxification process in the body.
Another plant on the list is Goldenseal and there is a good reason why it is mentioned here. Strengthening the immune system should always be a priority when dealing with any health condition and Goldenseal is a great plant for this purpose. In addition to that, it works amazingly at removing the congestion, eliminating mucus, and healing sore throat.
No list of herbs that help deal with pneumonia is complete without elecampane. This plant has great properties that allow it to treat a number of conditions, including bronchitis, tuberculosis, and chronic cough. The way it works is by breaking down and removing mucus, thus leading to a significant relief in patients.
Coltsfoot is another plant that has been widely used to treat pneumonia. Similarly to other plants that are effective at treating this health condition, it reduces the inflammation and production of mucus. Also, it helps remove the irritation in the throat.
If you want to treat pneumonia in the shortest terms at home, you should definitely give these grandma’s recipes a go. It is important to determine that you don’t suffer from any allergies or individual sensitivity to any of the mentioned plants.
Home remedies are undoubtedly effective when used correctly and at the right time. Severe cases of pneumonia should definitely be treated under the careful supervision of medical specialists but less serious forms of this disease can be cured at home. The mentioned home remedies have already been used by numerous people and have been recognized as some of the most effective ones. You should focus on finding the recipes that work for you and continue using the remedies on a daily basis until you achieve the full recovery.