Q. Dear Terry, “What do you recommend for pneumonia? I’ve had chest congestion and a cough for several weeks now. My symptoms are getting better, but are still bothersome.” — Dee R., Huntington, WV
A. Dear Dee, Recovering from pneumonia can take several weeks, or even months. I have found that supporting our body’s natural defenses and using botanicals to help alleviate some of the symptoms can be very useful.
My favorite botanical for respiratory issues is boswellia. Boswellia works on a specific inflammatory pathway in the body called 5-LOX, which has a major role in lung conditions and diseases. When there is excessive inflammation in the lungs, then more mucus is produced and the possibility of infections, like pneumonia, is greatly increased. Fortunately, boswellia is able to open the airways, reduce bronchial and sinus swelling, and help you to breathe easier.
When choosing a boswellia extract, I believe an extract standardized for AKBA content (acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid) is essential. This is one of boswellia’s most powerful components, which is why it is so often the focus of research. However, there is another compound in boswellia that is actually pro-inflammatory, which is called beta-boswellic acid (BBA). The boswellia extract I recommend is standardized to high levels of AKBA and virtually free of BBA.
In addition to boswellia, there are a few herbs that can work synergistically with boswellia to alleviate some of your symptoms.
Thyme stops spasmodic coughing, relaxes the airways, and strengthens the activity of the cilia (tiny, projections in the sinus cavities and respiratory system). Cilia are very important in the fight against mucus because they help loosen phlegm and keep mucus moving out of the body. Ravintsara is a strong antibacterial and helps to relieve inflammation and oxidative stress. Myrtle is an antiseptic and antibacterial shrub that is excellent for treating bronchial and lung infections. It also helps to stimulate the cilia to more effectively clear mucus from the lungs.
I would take a combination of boswellia, ravintsara, myrtle, and thyme two to three times per day.
Additionally, you may also want to consider a combination of thyme and climbing ivy. These botanicals function as expectorants (helps to cough out phlegm) and mucolytics (breaks up congestion). I suggest taking these ingredients three times a day.
Terry . . . Naturally
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