A nasty chest infection warrants medical investigation if you are suffering from fever, chills, shortness of breath or chronic lethargy. It is advisable to seek the support of a health care professional who can properly diagnose your individual case and give you the support you require if you are unsure. If you have a history of reoccuring immune system weakness such as coughs, colds and flus then this bout of chest infection may need to anti-biotics, the decision is yours to make.
If you decide on using antibiotics please take the whole prescribed course for the recommended days and also remember to take a probiotic supplement afterwards and definitely consider taking an immune boosting supplement as listed below.
If you do take a prescription of antibiotics it is really important to work to rebuild immunity by re-establishing beneficial gut bacteria to support immunity. Always consider a quality probiotic supplement along with increasing fermented foods in your diet also to work on gut immunity.
Diet tips for congestion and immunity
- Herbal teas such as fenugreek and rosehip, licorice, echinacea, lemon with ginger and honey may help to ease congestion and also provide the body with vitamin C
- Ensure that you keep properly hydrated (at least two litres of fluid/ day) as dehydration will slow down your recovery and reduce the amount of metabolic wastes excreted via the kidneys
- Eat simple alkalising foods such as chicken soup, miso soup, vegetable juices and steamed green leafy vegetables. These meal ideas will lighten the load on the digestive system and leave more energy reserves for the immune system, encourage liver detoxification, reduce acid and provide the body with anti-oxidants
- Reduce acid forming foods that contribute to mucus congestion such as dairy foods, sugar and wheat
- Naturopathic philosophy considers that alkalising the body is one of the most important practices for revitalising your health. Our diets tend to be mostly acid forming. The only alkaline foods are fresh fruit and vegetables, and a couple of different grains (millet, buckwheat). All ‘alive’ growing foods like sprouts and soaked grains and seeds are alkaline forming also
- Eat plenty of garlic, ginger, chillies and horseradish in your diet as these will act as a decongestant to eliminate wastes.
Lifestyle factors for congestion
- Use some essential oils such as Thyme, Myrrh, Eucalyptus and Lemon which when added to a carrier oil such as olive oil, sweet almond oil or avocado oil and rubbed on the chest may help to break down any congestion and help to warm the lungs
- Use steam inhalations of eucalyptus oil in a bowl of hot water. Lean over the bowl with a towel over your head and spend ten minutes inhaling the vapours. This may temporarily alleviate congestion associated with respiratory infection
- It is very important to keep warm and keep cold wind (the invading pathogen) away from the kidneys, this includes keeping your chest and neck warm by wearing a singlet and scarf
- Get plenty of rest and sleep so that your body recovers properly and reduce over strenuous exercise for the duration of the respiratory illness.
Natural remedies for congestion
- Herbs such as Mullein, Fenugreek, Garlic, Ginger, Echinacea, Andrographis, Licorice, Poke Root, Golden Seal and Olive Leaf help to restore immune function, build white blood cells, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, reduce fever and congestion, reduce the symptoms associated with a cold, cough or flu and also provide anti-oxidants to the immune and lymphatic system to cleanse the body of impurities
- Vitamin C, Zinc and Bioflavinoids are important nutrients for the immune system, break down congestion and help to provide anti-oxidants to the respiratory system and help reduce inflammation in the throat
- Probiotics to help restore the immune system by providing it with beneficial bacteria
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