Pneumonia once caused dread to those who heard they or a loved one had this sickness. However, thanks to modern medicine, while still serious, it is no longer considered a death sentence. Nonetheless, pneumonia can still result in death if not treated properly, especially in the elderly and children younger than one year old. These days treatment can be based solely on western medicine, alternative medicine, or a combination of both.
What is Pneumonia?
Pneumonia is most commonly the result of an infection caused by bacteria or a virus, or by the inhalation of vomit, mucus and some types of chemicals. The word pneumonia means an ‘inflammation of the lungs’.
There are several types of pneumonia which are differentiated by the bacteria which caused it. In fact, there are said to be around 30 different types, but they are grouped under two main headings, namely, aspiration and infective pneumonia. Aspiration pneumonia results from the inhalation of vomit or harsh chemicals into the lungs.
Infective pneumonia results from the Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria. Some other bacteria which can cause the condition are pneumococcus and staphylococcus. The worst form of the sickness, lobar pneumonia is caused by the pneumococcus bacteria.
Regardless of the cause, the result is lungs that cannot properly do their job, thus preventing oxygenated blood from reaching cells. Pneumonia generally results in air sacs becoming filled with mucous and pus.
Treatment of Pneumonia
Treatment depends on the type and severity of the pneumonia. When caused by bacteria, pneumonia is commonly treated with antibiotics such as penicillin, erythromycin and Augmentin. Most persons with pneumonia do not need hospitalization. However they have to take their medication, drink lots of fluids and get plenty of rest.
When pneumonia is viral, administering antibiotics is not an effective treatment. In fact, this type tends to go away on its own over time with rest and lots of fluids. Pain and fever can be controlled with over-the-counter medications.
Natural Treatment For Pneumonia
Like most illnesses, pneumonia can be effectively treated naturally. One often recommended treatment option is a vitamin C regimen. Other recommended courses of treatment include:
This is recommended especially in the early stages of the infection. Drinking tea made from Fenugreek helps to shorten the timeframe during which the fever lasts. The recommended dosage is four cups per day. It is recommended that for best results, the stomach should be empty before drinking the tea. In fact, fenugreek tea works best during a period of fasting.
Garlic can be taken internally as well as used externally for pneumonia. Garlic tea helps with clearing the respiratory system. Applying a paste of garlic on the chest is also helpful, but be on the lookout for possible skin irritation. If irritation occurs discontinue external use.
An infusion made from sesame seeds, linseed, salt and honey helps to remove mucus and other matter from the bronchial passage. Around 15g of sesame seeds is steeped in 250 ml of water and allowed to brew for a few minutes.
The nutritional and healing powers of vegetable juices are well known. Use any combination of vegetables you want for your vegetable juice to help speed recovery from pneumonia. One combination can be carrots, parsnip, cucumber and beet. Very few vegetables are excluded, you can do single vegetable juices such as spinach or you can combine them. Avoid adding sugar or artificial sweeteners to your vegetable juices. If so inclined, use a little honey.
It is always best not to self-diagnose if possible. If you suspect you have pneumonia, get checked out by a doctor to confirm this. Once you receive confirmation you can determine how to proceed with treatment.
How long Does it take to be Cured
The time it takes to cure pneumonia depends on the type, severity and the general health of the patient. The course of treatment also plays a role in recovery time. Generally, a healthy person should make a full recovery within two to three weeks if they complete their treatment. This timeline is especially true for younger persons. Seniors may take a little longer to recover from pneumonia. The coughing can however take up to eight weeks to stop completely.
Most important, whether you are using western medicine or alternative medicine to treat pneumonia, some things are constant. These are a well balanced diet, lots of fluids, fresh air and lots of rest.
March 20th, 2009
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