Herbs for Pneumonia
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Sherry
Posted on: January 21, 2005

My father has had pneumonia for 4 weeks now and it just isnīt going away. The doctor prescribed medicine, which is doing nothing. Are there any herbs that you can think of that may or may not boost him a little bit more to get away from the illness? It should be mentioned that he does have a heart condition and the pneumonia is causing him more heart problems. I dont want to mix him up any concoction that may make the situation with his heart worse.

There are different types pneumonia (lung inflammation) and different stages of the disease, which must be treated differently, and according to the symptoms and needs of the individual. Pneumonia must always be treated in conjunction with a qualified medical practitioner. The herbs may be used in conjunction with antibiotic drugs.

Herbal treatment should be supervised by a qualified medical or clinical herbalist or naturopath.

Pneumonia with heart weakness is usually treated with a heart strengthening herb like hawthorn berry (Crataegus oxyacanthoides), 5 drops of the tincture 4-5 times daily. Garlic, 5 fresh cloves daily taken with food to avoid digestive upset, provides antibiotic, antiviral and antifungal activities. Thyme, (Thymus vulgaris), 5 ml of the tincture three times daily, is also antibiotic, antiviral, antifungal and expectorant. Both are usually recommended in all cases of pneumonia. Ginger tea (simmer 1/4 inch of the chopped root or 1/4 teaspoon of the powdered root in a cup of water for 15 minutes) provides anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and expectorant actions, stimulates blood circulation and aids digestion. Three or four cups daily.

Externally, a mustard poultice is very effective in lung disease to relieve congestion and chest pain. You will need mustard powder, flax seed and a clean piece of cotton, like an old sheet, cut to a size about 4 times the size of the patient’s chest. Bring one liter of water to a boil; grind 500 grams of flax seed; add the flax seed to the water and stir until soft; sprinkle the mustard powder evenly in the middle of the cotton material, on an area the size of the patient’s chest; spread the flax mixture evenly over the mustard powder; fold the free ends of the cotton material over the flax mixture; prop the patient up in bed at a 45 degree angle, keeping the patient warm; apply olive oil to the chest area; test with the back of your hand that the poultice is not too hot (the chest area is very sensitive); apply poultice to chest area so that the mustard layer of the poultice is closest to the chest. The patient should feel the heat of the mustard, but it should not burn. Ask the patient how it feels, check that the skin is not burning, and leave in place for 30 minutes. Once daily.

Inhale the steam of a very good quality of tea tree essential oil: add three drops of the oil to a bowl of freshly water; cover head and the bowl with a large towel and inhale the stem for 15 minutes; twice daily. Tea tree is very strong, so keep the eyes closed or covered to avoid contact. Tea tree has proven as effective as some antibiotics used in serious lung disease.

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