Cases of respiratory illness like bronchitis or asthma are on the rise as the air we breathe gets more and more polluted. And on top of this, cigarette smoke, which affects not just the one smoking but those nearby as well, is another reason why conditions like bronchitis are becoming a health issue all over the world. But before we get to the main point, we must first understand what bronchitis exactly is –including its causes, symptoms and all that there is to know when it comes to managing it.
What is Bronchitis?
Bronchitis occurs when there is an infection on the bronchioles (air-carrying tubes in the lungs), causing them to become swollen, irritated and inflamed. People who have bronchitis often end up with a nagging cough with thickened mucus.
Bronchitis can be categorized into two types: acute and chronic. Acute bronchitis is quite common and is often a result of a viral infection. It can last up to 10 to 14 days while the cough may linger for weeks. On the other hand, chronic bronchitis is a more serious one that requires medical attention. It causes persistent irritation and inflammation of the lining of the bronchial tubes that can cause airflow obstruction, which is grouped under the term chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Chronic bronchitis is persistent and never completely goes away.
There are different factors responsible for either type of bronchitis. Acute bronchitis is often a result of viral or bacterial infections like the flu and colds.
Chronic bronchitis is usually a result of excessive smoking or being exposed to second-hand cigarette smoke for a long time. However, it can also be caused by dust, air pollution or harmful substances in the air. Additionally, a family history of bronchitis, asthma, allergies and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can also increase a person’s chances of getting bronchitis.
What are the symptoms?
With breathing problems the main issue, symptoms of both acute and chronic bronchitis may include:
So now that we know what bronchitis is all about, let us find out how the extract of a simple spice like Turmeric can help in the treatment of bronchitis.
What is Curcumin?
In case you haven’t already known, Curcumin is the main active compound of the yellow spice, Turmeric. It is because of curcumin that turmeric has gained such a reputation in the world of nutrition today. And besides, curcumin is the one that gives the spice its distinct vibrant yellow colour. So, in all honesty, curcumin is the one that should be getting all the credit! And that is exactly what most people are starting to realize.
Considering all the incredible health-benefiting properties curcumin possessed, the popularity it has gained in recent years is no surprise. With rich anti-inflammatory, antioxidants, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, as well as anti-cancer properties, curcumin is truly an all-rounder miracle ingredient that benefits the human body in all kinds of ways, including respiratory health.
Let us now try to understand the health benefits of curcumin in detail and know why it may be the best natural medicine for bronchitis.
Curcumin Benefits for Bronchitis
1. Fights Inflammation
Curcumin, being rich in anti-inflammatory properties, has been known to help reduce airway obstruction by controlling inflammation to a great extent. In fact, several studies have suggested that the anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin are as effective and beneficial as most nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). It also has the potential to fight inflammation at the molecular level.
2. Helps Increase Antioxidant Activity
Besides anti-inflammatory properties, curcumin is also known for its potent antioxidant properties. This means that it can help reduce irritation and boost the immune system simultaneously. The rich antioxidant properties also help in fighting free radicals such as superoxide, hydroxyl, and hydrogen peroxide which are responsible for gradually damaging the airways and obstructing the air supply. Neutralizing these free radicals can help reduce the inflammation of the airways.
3. Builds Defence Against Allergies
Did you know that curcumin is also rich in anti-allergy properties? Well, this is also what makes curcumin so beneficial for respiratory issues like bronchitis. It helps prevent bronchitis from surfacing in the first place by boosting the immune system and making us less susceptible to most of the allergens out there.
4. Promotes Better Breathing
Acting as an expectorant, curcumin helps break down excess mucus and makes it easier for the body to remove them from the airways. This helps relieve coughing and clear the congested airways in people with breathing issues, like bronchitis and asthma, thereby promoting better breathing. Curcumin also helps improve the health of our lungs and also promotes its better functioning.
5. Reduces the Risk of Lung Cancer
With chronic bronchitis, curcumin is also known to help prevent the progression of COPD into Lung cancer. Animal studies have shown the positive result of curcumin inhibiting COPD like airway inflammation and lung cancer. It helps inhibit the growth of organisms that cause respiratory infections and help reduce the diffusion of lung cancer cells. Additionally, according to a study, curcumin increases the activity of enzyme histone deacetylase – 2 and improves steroid sensitivity in patients with COPD and asthma.
How to reap the benefits of Curcumin for Bronchitis?
Despite curcumin being an extract of turmeric, having the good-old yellow spice in your regular diet won’t do much good as far as curcumin’s benefits are concerned. This is because turmeric root contains only about 1-3% of curcumin. And besides its poor bioavailability, its absorption level is also relatively low, unless combined with additional compounds. Hence, supplements are your best bet when it comes to exerting 100% of curcumin’s therapeutic effect. You might one to check this one out!
Daily Boost Tea
What better way to reduce cough and support better breathing than with a soothing cup of Curcumin tea? Yes! Curcumin-based Daily Boost Tea from Preserva Wellness is an exquisite blend of 10 incredible herbs and spices, including 95% Curcumin, Assam Green Tea, Ginger, Liquorice, Cinnamon, Cloves, Cardamom, Long Pepper, Nutmeg and Black Pepper. The wholesome combination of potent ingredients makes this tea a perfect brew for strengthening the overall respiratory system. It is brimmed with anti-allergy and antioxidant properties, which is especially beneficial for managing bronchitis and other issues related to the airways. It is especially beneficial for restoring and enhancing the health of the lungs from the ill effects of cigarette smoke and pollution. You might want to try a sip of this aromatic tea if you are someone trying to quit smoking!
The Bottom Line
While many natural remedies promise significant relief from bronchial and asthmatic symptoms, curcumin is worth a try. You may not be a smoker but conditions like bronchitis can affect just about everyone, considering the polluted air we are breathing in each day. Therefore, it is never too early to be extra heedful when it comes to our health. It just might help you in the long run!
Black pepper or the ‘King of Spices’ is one of the most popularly known spices all over the world.
Cinnamon, a mild brown coloured bark, belongs to the family Lauraceae. It is widely used as a spice and is native to South America and Southeast Asia.
Clove aka Syzygium aromaticum, is the flower bud of a tree, belonging to the plant family Myrtaceae.
Ginger, scientifically known as Zingiber officinale, belongs to the plant family Zingiberaceae. Turmeric and cardamom also belong to the same botanical family.
Green Green tea is the most preferred tea by the health-conscious community all over the world. It is derived from Camellia sinensis plant.
Cardamom is a spice belonging to the family Zingiberaceae. The plant is native to India, Indonesia and Asia. Cardamom contains numerous triangular small black seeds enclosed in a light green pod.
Curcumin is a bioactive ingredient of turmeric and is known for its medicinal properties. Turmeric is a familiar dietary spice.
Long pepper is also known as pippali or Indian long pepper. The scientific name for long pepper is Piper longum and belongs to the family Piperaceae.
Mulethi refers to the herb liquorice which is scientifically known as Glycyrrhiza glabra. The plant is native to the countries of Asia and Europe, including India.
Nutmeg is the seed of Myristica fragrans, an evergreen tree. The tree gives two spices, mace and nutmeg.