Pleurisy is a condition that refers to the inflammation of the pleura. The pleura is the medical term for the double layers that surround and cover the lungs as well as line the rib cage. The most obvious symptom of this condition is the excruciating pain one feels when they breathe. This pain is worsened when one sneezes, coughs or moves around. Depending on one’s sleeping position, it is also very easy for one to worsen the pain. Other associated symptoms of pleurisy include a dry cough as well as shortness of breath.
Sometimes this is accompanied by the accumulation of fluid around the lungs, a factor which necessitates medical attention. There are different causes of pleurisy with the most common been viral infections, bacterial infections as well as trauma or injuries to the chest.
In some instances, drug reactions may also result in the inflammation of the double-layered membrane around the lungs. As a general guide, the severity of this condition is as varied as the underlying cause. For this reason, it is important to see a doctor immediately you start experiencing the symptoms linked to pleurisy.
Not only does this eliminate the risk of misdiagnosis, it also ensures speedy recovery. The home remedies listed below are to be used as an adjunct treatment option in addition to prescribed medication. This medication typically involves the use of antibiotics for bacterial infections alongside anti-inflammatory drugs to relieve the pain. Pleurisy that develops as a result of a viral infection often resolves on its own. Whichever the case, the following home remedies are a handy and practical way to manage the symptoms of pleurisy. If you have any concerns about any of the remedies, feel free to consult your physician.
1. Heat Therapy:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: Hot water in a basin and a clean towel. A hot bath to which olbas oil has been added is an excellent alternative.
Using heat therapy is one of the simplest ways to manage pleurisy. The heat from this remedy provides much-needed relief from the symptoms of the condition. Additionally, it eases breathing. Depending on the severity of the condition, it helps to apply the heat while simultaneously practicing deep breathing exercises. Prepare the heat pack using hot water and a clean towel. The other alternative involves taking a hot bath with the same mode of action. Olbas oil is added to the remedy to ease breathing and aid in the expulsion of sputum.
NOTE: If your pleurisy is accompanied by a fever, do not use heat therapy as a home remedy. This is because the increased external temperatures sustain, and may lead to severe complications as a result of the high fever. Instead, it is advisable to go for cold packs in order to lower the fever while provide relief from the pain. If there is no fever however, it is important to avoid using cold packs as these may lead to further congestion and make breathing more difficult.
- Place the clean towel in the hot water and soak for about 5 minutes.
- Transfer the hot pack to your chest and gently use it to massage.
- Ensure that you take deep breathing exercises as you rub the hot pack on your chest. You may start with shallow breaths to ease the process.
- Alternatively, add a few drops of olbas oil to your bath water and soak in it for half an hour to get relief from pleurisy.
2. Cayenne Pepper Drink:
Time Required: 15 Min
What You Need: 1 Teaspoon of cayenne pepper and 1 glass of hot water.
Cayenne pepper is a wonderful choice for the management of pleurisy using home remedies. This choice remedy not only gets rid of toxins from the body, it is also a potent anti-inflammatory. This goes a long way in reducing the pain linked to pleurisy. Additional benefits of using cayenne pepper include its ability to disintegrate mucus, aid in its expulsion as well as clear bacterial infections present. Simply prepare this remedy as indicated below to treat pleurisy at home.
- Take a teaspoon of cayenne pepper and place it in a glass.
- Pour in the hot water and stir.
- Allow to cool for a few minutes and drink. Use this remedy thrice daily.
- Alternatively, go with adding cayenne pepper to your food at each meal for effective home treatment of pleurisy.
3. Raw Ginger:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: Raw ginger root (1/2 inch is enough), 1 glass of water and 1 tablespoon of raw organic honey. You may need a clean piece of cloth, a string as well as pestle and mortar if you opt to extract the ginger juice.
Raw ginger is a popular option for the treatment of varied conditions, especially those that target and affect the respiratory system. This is not any different when it comes to the treatment of pleurisy. The raw ginger not only reduces the pain around the lungs, it also eases inhalation and exhalation. This particular remedy is also ideal as it breaks down mucus and helps in its effective removal. Honey is added for its antibacterial properties as well as its soothing effects on the respiratory system. Prepare ginger tea or extract the herb’s juice and drink for effective treatment of pleurisy.
- Peel the ginger and clean well to avoid introducing impurities.
- Cut the ginger into small pieces and place in a pan.
- Pour in the pan 1 glass of water and turn on the heat to boil.
- Once boiled, turn off the heat and allow the ginger herb to steep for 5 minutes. This is done to allow the herb’s potent ingredients to seep into the water.
- Sieve the mixture and allow to cool for a few minutes.
- Drink this ginger tea at least thrice daily to treat pleurisy.
- Peel the ginger then clean it well before using it to prepare the juice.
- Chop the ginger into small pieces and transfer to a mortar.
- Crush the ginger pieces until you have a paste-like substance.
- Place the resulting ginger paste on a clean piece of cloth.
- Tie both ends using a string and then tug the cloth in opposite directions.
- Collect the juice in a glass and add to it honey.
- Drink this mixture thrice daily until the symptoms of the pleurisy clear.
4. Amla :
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: 1 Tablespoon of dried amla powder and 1 glass of water.
One of the most reliable ways to treat pleurisy as well as reduce its recurrence, is to boost the body’s immune system. This is where amla comes in. Amla, a popular home remedy in the east, is effective in strengthening the body’s immune response. This is attributed to its high concentration of Vitamin C. Additionally, amla contains antioxidants that help clear the inflammation. Other benefits of using amla include its ability to decongest the chest, thus allowing the ease of breathing. For this remedy, you will need 1 tablespoon of dried amla.
- Place the amla powder in a glass and slowly add the water.
- Stir and drink the mixture at least once daily.
Time Required: 15 Min
What You Need: Turmeric powder, 1 glass of hot milk and 1 tablespoon of honey (optional).
Turmeric is a potent herbal remedy whose healing properties make it well suited for the home treatment of pleurisy. The herb has powerful expectorant properties that certainly aid in decongesting the chest. Additionally, turmeric helps reduce the inflammation present. It is believed that turmeric also has excellent anti-viral properties that make it ideal for cases where the pleurisy is the result of a viral infection. Milk is added to this remedy because it boosts the body’s immune system, therefore allowing it to mount a better immune response against the causative infections.
- Simply add the turmeric powder to the milk and stir.
- You may include honey in this remedy for its healing properties.
- Take this remedy thrice daily.
6. Use a Humidifier:
Time Required: Used overnight or as often as is required.
What You Need: A humidifier.
The purpose of a humidifier, just as the name suggests, is to add humidity to the atmosphere. This is key for anyone suffering from pleurisy. When the air is dry, it causes sputum to thicken, making it more difficult to expel. This further complicates the expulsion of mucus, and worsens the inflammation of the pleura. The catch in using this to treat the condition is to ensure that the humidifier is cleaned on a regular basis. Failure to do so leads to the accumulation of dirt and bacteria so that when turned on, causes these to circulate in the air. This actually makes the symptoms of pleurisy more severe.
- Use the humidifier at your preferred time, although it’s use is most effective overnight as this is when the pain tends to worsen.
- Remember to clean the humidifier on a regular basis depending on the usage.
7. Get Adequate Rest:
Time Required: Varies
What You Need: A comfortable and quiet place to rest.
It goes without saying that the discomfort caused by pleurisy is enough to cause you to get rest. This allows your body to recuperate and heal faster. The key is to find a position that eases the discomfort and use it for a while. Even after the condition has started improving, take caution in your positions of rest to avoid going overboard.
- Get a quiet place to lay and rest, ensuring you remain in a comfortable position.
8. Tips to Help You With The Use of Remedies For The Treatment of Pleurisy:
- Avoid lifting heavy weights as this will place a strain on your chest and cause sharp pains that intensify when the pleura is inflamed.
- Avoid irritants that cause chest congestion to avoid delaying the recovery period. These include smoke, dust and allergens among others.
- Massage the chest area as you take any of the aforementioned home remedies.
Pleurisy is a treatable condition whose symptoms manifest in chest pains and a dry cough. Since it may be difficult to know the causative agent at a glance, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Home remedies are recommended for use alongside medication for speedy recovery. In case of any doubts or complications, get in touch with your physician.