Something to steam & breathe for painful lungs.....

Discussion in 'Alternative Health' started by jill.costello, Jan 2, 2007.

  1. jill.costello

    jill.costello Well-Known Member

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    Hi all,
    Wanted to see if anyone had a remedy or soother for painful lungs.
    Quick history:
    I developed pneumonia in Iraq when I was in the Army 3 years ago. Afterwards, I developed mild Asthma from the sand in Iraq causing scarring while I was sick. I have had pneumonia 2 more times since then. (anytime I have even the slightest cold or nasal drip, the 'wet' goes straight to my lungs and lands me in the hospital).
    I am only 32 years old, and fairly active around the farm, etc. I use my Albuterol inhaler maybe 1x per week at most; I don't have acute Asthma attacks, but my chest/lungs are painful (feels like I've been dry coughing for hours when I really haven't).

    I dream of something to put in a steam kettle that I can tent my head over with a towel......Any ideas?
     
  2. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

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    check your environment for particulate matter suspended in the air- an old heating system, dust, dander... an air purifier might help. humidity will also help settle any matter in the air. drink plenty of fluids to loosen any secretions, and plenty of aerobic exercise to strenthen the action of your lungs. thes will help prevent flare ups in the future.

    for immediate help, i use an old stand by... a big bowl of hot water, a big fingerful of vicks salve floating in it, a big towel over your head and shoulders and breathe in the steam. eucalyptus is also soothing.

    your lungs are too dry, is the reason they feel like that. do you take decongestants regularly? perhaps time to back off a bit?
     

  3. jill.costello

    jill.costello Well-Known Member

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    Wow, Marvella- I didn't even consider that! I've been on prescription strength Guiafenesin (sp?) for congestion for two weeks with the pneumonia. After the pneumonia cleared enough, the doctor gave me a steroid shot for the lung inflamation/swelling. I have had the painful breathing ever since.
    I will look for a small humidifier unit on eBay today! Thanks for the suggestion.
     
  4. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

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    the guaifenisin is the same as robitussin. it is supposed to thin secretions, but if you don't have any secretions, you don't need it.

    try keeping yoruself well hydrated. that works as good as the guafenisin. (i can't spell it either. :) )
     
  5. Milkwitch

    Milkwitch Well-Known Member

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    there is a plant that grows wild here I am not sure about further south, Mullein. I have used this often for colds and flue particularly with a cough. I used it a lot after I quit smoking cigarettes it really helped clear my lungs. The friend who told me about it had been asthmatic all his life, he was smoking it like a rolled cigarette and said he had tried it out of desperation because the inhalers were no longer helping. He said he had never tried it before because he could not get his mind around smoke of any kind helping him breath, but that it very much did help. He has not used inhalers for 12 years now, asthma flair ups are not as often and he still uses mullein. Health food stores should be able to find out more...
    Hope you find help!!!!


    http://botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/m/mulgre63.html

    http://www.naturalark.com/herbencm.html
     
  6. suburbanite

    suburbanite Well-Known Member

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    Have you discussed this problem with your allopath?

    Though it is usually used for cancer-related cough, for bronchial pain you might ask about Benzonatate ('tessalon'). It is an anesthetic that evaporates from your stomach and the vapor reduces the sensitivity of your airways. So it doesn't affect secretions or inflammation and it doesn't work on the cough centers of your brain. It can have serious side effects if misused. Anyway, maybe its worth asking about.

    If you've got problems with airway irritability, I'd think smoke would be the last thing you want to be exposed to, though I've read about that use of mullein before.
     
  7. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

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    i agree about the mullein. it can be smoked, is fairly mild and works well. you can also make a tea that works too. just pack dried leaves into a tea ball and steep in a cup of hot water, sweeten to taste. it grows freely along roadsides in most of the country if you know what to look for.

    http://images.google.com/images?hl=en&q=mullein&btnG=Search+Images

    the tessalon pearls work well too. i use them when i get that awful tickly non-productive cough, to let me sleep at night. i have a particular interest in this because i have asthma too. didn't know that about the cancer treatment. :)

    about the 3 years ago in iraq... did you have a chemical pneumonia? has anyone mentioned atalectasis? you are very young for your lungs to be in that kind of condition.
     
  8. jill.costello

    jill.costello Well-Known Member

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    Mmmmmm.......Marvella, you have touched on a pretty sore subject; the Army treated me for the first case right there in Iraq, and then the next case after I was back at Ft. Hood, and now I've just had another as a retiree. The Army may or may not believe I have chemical pneumonia....they certainly didn't document that in my 'official medical record'...but then, I GOT the "pneumonia shot" BEFORE I deployed..... had to sign some paper, too.....
     
  9. heelpin

    heelpin Well-Known Member

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  10. Kee Wan

    Kee Wan Well-Known Member

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    If THis were me.....

    I'd get the book "detoxify or Die" bu Dr. Sherry Rogers. It talks about what all could be the CAUSE of all of this, and offers long-term type solutions....

    ANd in addition to trying the suggestions above (I liked the mullien and WATER!WATER!WATER! suggestions the best) I'd look into hydrogen peroxide. There is some medical evidence that suggests that inhaling a fine mist of food grade H2O2 (diluted to about 3% - what comes in that little brown bottle from the pharmacy) (you want food grede because there are not-so-nice stabilizers in the pharmeceutical preps) can be amazingly beneficial to lung efficiency and health....I, personally, have not tried it,m but then my lungs are asymptomatic...so I don't really need to....

    CHeck it out.
     
  11. suburbanite

    suburbanite Well-Known Member

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    Talk to your doc about the tessalon. Sometimes you get into a vicious cycle where you cough and rough up your bronchial membranes, which makes them irritated, so you cough, which roughs up your bronchial membranes....

    If you try the tessalon on a schedule for a week or two (if your doc thinks its a good idea) it could give time for your bronchial linings to heal and break the vicious cycle, if that is what is going on.
     
  12. Marilyn

    Marilyn Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I like tea tree oil in steaming hot water. Then the old towel draped over my head when I lean over the steam - very soothing.
     
  13. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I find oil of peppermint very good for congestion. I use it two ways... a drop or two on a kleenex or 5 or 6 drops in a pot of water on the stove. The scented steam is very soothing and eases congestion.

    With your history of serious illness, Jill, please be careful trying suggestions like mine. What works for me when i have a bad cold might only make things worse for you. I'd try it outside first so you can escape any negative consequences that might occur. Indoors, even with windows open, it can take a long time to get rid of a smell that irritates membranes. (My Dad had severe asthma following an attack of viral pneumonia complicated by emphysema from smoking - and any time one of inadvertantly brought in a triggering odour he suffered for hours.)
     
  14. BasicLiving

    BasicLiving Well-Known Member

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    I've read several threads on this forum where using mullien was discussed. We have a weed that grows everywhere on our property, and I thought it was mullien based on pictures I've seen, but I was told by a friend that it is lamb's ear. Well a few weeks ago a good friend of mine told me her husband had gotten a virus and his lungs were very irritated. She said he dried out some mullien leaves and smoked them and it helped tremendously. I told her I wish I knew where to find it, and she said "You have it all over your property! I've seen it a hundred times!"

    So now that I know I have mullien, it's winter and it's not available :Bawling: I have asthma and am anxious to try it. My friend also told me she boils the leaves and then gives the liquid to her kids when they have coughs. She says it really works. I can't speak from first hand knowledge, but this is what I've been told.

    I can speak to the hydrogen pyroxide mist though. I started doing this about a month ago and notice a big difference. I only do it twice a day (because quite frankly the taste makes me gag) and I think I'd notice more improvement if I did it more often. I can't remember the website, but I read about it from a guy who used the mist every few hours and swears it will cure all lung ailments. I followed his directions and put it in a nasal pump (not the squeeze kind, but the pump) spray container I thoroughly cleaned first. I inhale about 7 pumps each morning and evening. The relief is immediate.

    Having said all this, I agree with MaggieJ - be very careful when trying these suggestions. If you decide to do it, start small and for short periods.

    Penny
     
  15. culpeper

    culpeper Well-Known Member

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    The very best steam-inhalant herb is eucalyptus. You should be able to buy the essential oil at any chemist, or even your supermarket. Just a drop or two is enough.

    Another good one, if you can find it, is Japanese Menthol Mint, Mentha arvensis. It has a delightfully strong perfume that leaves spearmint and peppermint for dead! You'll probably need to order it from a herb supplier as a plant.

    Thyme is a good inhalant, too.

    Or you could look for the Vicks Plant, Plectranthus tomentosa.

    Consider taking a cup of Fenugreek tea every day, and include plenty of garlic in your diet. You could also try drinking a cup of parsnip juice each day.