Pleurisy is a condition involving inflammation (caused by bacteria or a virus) of the pleura (the covering of the lungs and inner surfaces of the chest walls). Pleurisy occurs as a side effect of another ailment (it does not occur in the absence of other ailments) such as a recent cold, auto-immune diseases, pneumonia or rhematic fever.

The inflammed pleural layers rub against each other every time the lungs expand to breathe in air. This can cause sharp pain with breathing (also called pleuritic chest pain), shortness of breath and rapid shallow breathing.


Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory medication and gives relief by inhibiting the production of prostaglandins (which promote inflammation). Many herbal medicines, although they do not work as immediately and as powerfully as pharmaceuticals, may help to reduce the amount of anti-inflammatory medication you are prescribed for this serious condition.


  • Replenish depleted nutrients and proteins by concentrating on a healthy alkalising diet which includes plenty of green leafy vegetables, yoghurt, quality protein, herbal teas, lemon juice, vegetables juices, garlic, onions, chilli, ginger and turmeric, fish and water
  • Reduce acidic foods from your diet such as red meats, sugar, dairy, wheat, alcohol, tea, coffee and preserved and processed foods. These foods put a further strain on the immune system and contribute to inflammation and reduced digestive function
  • Improve your diet by reducing acidic and inflammatory foods such as tea, coffee, alcohol, sugar, dairy, wheat, preserved and processed foods as these all place a burden on the liver and digestive system and contribute to suppression of immunity
  • Increase cleansing and vitalising foods such as lemon juice, fruits and vegetables, grains, sprouts, soups and broths, vegetable juices, nuts and seeds, fish, flaxseed oil, quality organic protein
  • Ensure adequate hydration (at least 2 litres of water/day) as dehydration can contribute to many lymphatic and immune illnesses
  • Herbal teas such as Echinacea, licorice, elecampagne, fennel, ginger, elder, lemon and Manuka honey.


  • Proper rest, fresh air, sunshine
  • Avoid getting cold as this may further deplete Kidney energy reserves and slow down the healing process
  • Avoid smoking


  • Anti-oxidants such as Vitamin C and Zinc
  • Immune Herbs such as Echinacea, olive leaf, astragalus, elecampagne, reishi mushrooms, chickweed, licorice, elder, golden seal and garlic
  • Anti-inflammatory herbs such as Boswellia, eucommia, devils claw, ginger, chamomile, Japanese knotwood, turmeric, white willow bark and feverfew
  • Herbs which help to promote lung function may be of benefit to strengthen the lungs and improve recovery time such as Elecampagne, Licorice, White Horehound and Pinellia