Although we now know acute bronchitis in adults and children is caused by a virus 95 percent of the time, doctors still prescribe antibiotics in about one-third of cases, which only adds to drug resistance and sometimes serious toxicity. Frightening!
What is Acute Bronchitis?
Home Remedies For Acute Bronchitis
This is a species of South African geranium that’s been used for centuries in Zulu medicine (it’s also one of my picks for cold symptoms; see the Common Cold and Flu section). It contains compounds that may protect cells from viral infection. There have been at least two randomized trials with Pelargonium showing some improvement of symptoms of acute viral bronchitis, including cough, difficulty breathing, chest pain when coughing, sputum, and others. You can get Pelargonium sidoides (a.k.a. EPs 7630) in the United States and other countries in a supplement product called Umcka ColdCare, and the dosage is based on age (so follow the package instructions). The trials with this product used good (not great) methodologies, and they showed some consistent and real potential benefits. There are a number of supplements that have been proven useless for acute bronchitis (and more that will be), so for now, stick with P. sidoides.
In a famous head-to-head study (published in the prestigious journal Lancet more than a decade ago) from Cook County Hospital (now John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County) and Rush University Medical Center, both in Chicago, 1,500 milligrams of vitamin C worked as well as azithromycin for acute bronchitis (about 90 percent of the subjects in each group returned to work by day 7 of their illness).
This has good evidence for treating chronic bronchitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, because it’s a mucolytic (breaks up mucus), so I’m confident about its ability to help with acute bronchitis as well.