Home Remedies for Bronchitis


When you have bronchitis, your airways are inflamed and coated with thick mucus. Your cough may bring up mucus from your lungs, and you may also sound like you are wheezing when you breathe.

There are two types of bronchitis: acute bronchitis and chronic bronchitis. Colds and respiratory viruses are the most common causes of acute bronchitis, which usually improves in about 10 days, although a nagging cough often continues for a few weeks afterward, particularly in patients with a prior history of asthma.

Chronic bronchitis is a persistent and often long-term illness. If you have a cough that brings up mucus on most days of a three-month period for two years in a row, you have chronic bronchitis. You need to see a doctor for an accurate diagnosis — asthma, sinus infections, and even gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can mimic bronchitis.

As to whether bronchitis is contagious: It depends on the type you have.

“Acute bronchitis is most certainly contagious because it’s often caused by concurrent acute viral infections,” explains John Carl, MD, a pulmonologist at Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Pediatric Pulmonary Medicine in Ohio. If the cause is bacterial in nature, this type of bronchial infection can also be contagious because of droplet spread, he adds.

Chronic bronchitis, however, is not contagious, because it’s typically caused by longtime exposure to irritants such as cigarette smoke or air pollution.

If and when you do develop a case of acute bronchitis, the good news is that most cases clear up on their own. In the meantime, there are several home remedies you can try to help you manage your symptoms. Here’s what you can do to feel better faster.


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