Respiratory Tract Infection or RTI is an infection of the upper or lower respiratory tract. Infections of the Upper Respiratory Tract include common cold, acute rhinitis, laryngitis, tonsillitis, acute otitis media, and acute rhinosinusitis. Lower Respiratory Tract Infections include bronchiolitis, bronchitis, tracheitis, and pneumonia. The infection may be caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi, allergens, or anything that triggers irritation in your respiratory tract.
RTIs are extremely common and may affect people from all age groups, including children. In fact, children are amongst the most affected age groups when it comes to RTIs.
As we proceed, we shall discuss the chief set of symptoms and causes of Respiratory Tract Infections and then move forward to talk about measures that may help one to Avoid Respiratory Tract Infections and the herbs that may be used for its prevention and ayurvedic treatment.
Symptoms of Respiratory Tract Infections
The symptoms of RTI typically include:
- Sore throat.
- Cough with or without phlegm.
- Chest pain.
- Shortness of breath.
- High temperature.
- Sore muscles.
- Runny or stuffy nose.
Causes of Respiratory Tract Infections
Common causes and factors that are usually responsible for causing a Respiratory Tract Infection both in the upper and lower tract are:
- Seasonal change.
- Bacteria, viruses, or fungi.
- Irritation is caused by allergens in the respiratory tract.
- One may also catch it from surfaces or objects touched by an infected person.
- Commonly spreads through the coughs and sneezes of infected people.
Steps to Avoid Respiratory Tract Infections
Certain measures and steps if taken can ensure to avoid respiratory tract infections naturally. A few of these steps are:
- Items of personal use mustn’t be shared to avoid any chances of contamination by infection-causing germs.
- Always make sure you wash your hands thoroughly after visiting public places.
- Avoid or minimize coming into contact with a person who exhibits symptoms of respiratory infections such as sneezing or coughing.
- Ensure your surroundings are clean and hygienic at all times.
- Avoid touching your face so as to prevent germs from entering the system.
- Eat a nutritional and balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals.
- Smoking must strictly be abstained from to avoid any respiratory conditions.
- Alcohol consumption must also be avoided.
- Sleep for at least 6-7 hours to allow the body to function efficiently.
- Physical workouts keep our system strong and healthy and prevent germs from causing infections.
Herbs for Respiratory Tract Infections
According to Ayurveda, herbs can play an efficient and magical role in treating almost all kinds of curable ailments. RTI stands as no exception, certain herbs that play a vital role in helping cure this infection are:
|Herb||Common Name||Infection Cured|
|Allium Sativum||Garlic||Parainfluenza, Rhinovirus|
|Glycyrrhiza spp||Licorice||Influenza, RSV, Rhinovirus|
|Forsythia suspense||Weeping Forsythia||RSV|
|Geranium sanguineum||Bloody Crane’s||Influenza|
Natural Treatment of Respiratory Tract Infections
Besides the herbs mentioned above, Ayurveda also suggests a few treatment measures that help in avoiding and treating Respiratory Tract Infections:
- Steam Inhalation: One of the most popular and widely practiced home remedies of inhaling steam is a powerful technique to kill the bacteria and viruses present in the respiratory tract. It helps in clearing the tract of mucus membranes by melting them and then lubricating the tract. One liter of water boiled with the addition of camphor may be used for steaming for about 10-15 minutes for the infected people.
- Ginger: The antifungal, anti-microbial, and anti-inflammatory properties of ginger help in fighting against the root cause of Respiratory Infections. Chewing ginger with salt or drinking ginger tea may both help equally.
- Saltwater Gargling: One of the most effective remedies to provide instant relief from irritation of the throat and the nose. One glass of lukewarm water along with one teaspoon of salt helps in thinning the mucus and thus helps in easily expelling it out of the system.
- Eucalyptus: Eucalyptus oil helps in relieving nasal congestion. A few drops of the oil may be added to boiling water for inhaling steam or leaves may be boiled with water for the same purpose.
- Honey: Anti-bacterial properties of honey help in fighting against infection-causing bacteria. It’s suggestive to give it to kids as they cannot inhale the steam.
- Sun Basking: Deficiency of Vitamin D in the body can also often lead to respiratory infections. Taking early morning sunlight may add to your relief if you are suffering from an RTI.
We sincerely hope this article will help you prevent contracting respiratory infections and if not so it will at the least assist you in aiding them. Besides the guidance, if you would want to get personal assistance you may contact us at IAFA®, where our Ayurveda Healthcare providers can help you with certain Ayurvedic remedies besides the ones mentioned above to help you benefit some instant relief.