Smorgasbord Health Column – Family Health – Bronchitis by Sally Cronin

In this series I am covering the most common health conditions that we all might face during our lifetimes. It is easy to dismiss some of these conditions as being isolated to certain parts of the body such as Athlete’s foot or bad breath but in fact they can often be an indication of a more serious health issue. By treating these conditions topically or in isolation, we run the risk of ignoring the body and its call for help.

At the current time any cough should be treated seriously especially if in combination with other recognised symptoms of Covid 19. However sometimes a cough can be associated with another condition such as bronchitis. Even if not accompanied by a high fever, body aches and pains, loss of taste, lack of appetite and extreme fatigue, it is important to have a cough checked out if it goes on for longer than four or five days.


For anyone who suffers repeatedly from the common cold, bronchitis is always a possibility. There are two types of the disease. Acute bronchitis refers to the here and now and will last up to six weeks whereas chronic bronchitis infers long term symptoms that can last up to two years or longer if the infection is topped up from time to time by colds and flu.

bronchitisBronchitis usually follows an upper respiratory infection and is caused by the inflammation of the mucous membranes in the bronchial tubes. The membrane swells, thickens and obviously narrows the already tiny airways throughout the lungs. Our body’s response is to cough continuously to rid us of the infection, which produces the classic symptom of bronchitis. Thick phlegm is produced and there is usually breathlessness, fever and sometimes middle back pain.

Acute bronchitis is nearly always caused by viral infections, and in someone with a robust immune system, bed rest and fluids will result in a full recovery. However, repeated attacks can lead to the chronic condition.

Chronic bronchitis is often caused by environmental pollution. It could be chemicals in the workplace or simply in the air around where a person lives. It is however very closely linked to long term smoking or passive smoking and as many people find it difficult to give up cigarettes the condition is never cured and usually leads to Emphysema.

There are some herbal remedies that may improve the symptoms and help the body rid itself of the infection.

Eucalyptus Oil

You can add 5 – 10 drops to a hot bath and inhale the steam which not only relaxes the body but helps clear the lungs.

You can also put drops into a carrier oil ( I use olive oil) and rub into the chest and back. As you inhale the Eucalyptus the mucus in the lungs should soften and make it easier to cough. The Medicine Woman’s Treasure Chest – #Aromatherapy – #Eucalyptus – Respiratory, Fevers and Pain


There are some old remedies that whilst not scientifically proven have a great deal of folklore attached to them. The old saying ‘An apple a day, keeps the doctor away has actually been verified in a number of studies and you can eat baked apple and honey which combines the benefits of both.. or you can drink apple juice daily. It has been found that people who eat an apple or drink the juice daily rarely suffer from colds and upper respiratory conditions.

Vitamin C is a key ingredient of a healthy immune system and that should be a year long priority and this might help: Vitamin C – Cook from Scratch Sally Cronin and Carol Taylor

Onions and Garlic

I eat onion and garlic daily…cooked I have to say and in fairly moderate amounts as bad breath is not the most attractive quality in any of us. However, as of this moment in time I have not had a cold or flu for over 10 years.  I do draw the line of the old remedy of putting a hot onion poultice on my chest! Smorgasbord Food Therapy – Onions and Garlic


This is another herb that is suitable for children who have bronchitis and is used extensively on the continent to improve the symptoms of chest infections. Drink the tea as hot as possible. You can find out more about this very useful herb here.
Food therapy chamomile

N.B. If you have had a cough that has persisted for longer than a week and it is accompanied by a high temperature, mid-back pain or there is evidence of blood, please see your doctor immediately.

I hope that you have found the post of interest and please feel free to share. Thanks Sally.


©Sally Cronin Just Food for Health 1998 – 2021

I am a qualified nutritional therapist with twenty-three years experience working with clients in Ireland and the UK as well as being a health consultant on radio in Spain. Although I write a lot of fiction, I actually wrote my first two books on health, the first one, Size Matters, a weight loss programme 20 years ago, based on my own weight loss of 154lbs. My first clinic was in Ireland, the Cronin Diet Advisory Centre and my second book, Just Food for Health was written as my client’s workbook. Since then I have written a men’s health manual, and anti-aging programme, articles for magazines, radio programmes and posts here on Smorgasbord.

If you would like to browse my health books and fiction you can find them here::Sally’s books and reviews


Thanks for visiting and I am always delighted to receive your feedback.. stay safe Sally.