Stressed about Respiratory infections: Try these Remedies for Instant Relief

Updated on April 7th, 2020

Respiratory infections are one of the most troublesome diseases that can disrupt everyday life, including your work. The infections can disrupt the functions of the lungs, which can, in turn, disrupt the flow of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the body.

Such conditions can build up toxins in the body and disorient the functions of the cardiac system, bloodstream, and other systems in the body. Taking proper care, following hygiene, and a nutrient-rich diet with some home remedies can help in both treating and preventing infections. Here, you will find out how to treat a respiratory infection using six natural remedies.

Natural Remedies for Respiratory Infection

  1. Natural Remedies
  2. Herbs
  3. Essential oils
  4. Home remedies
  5. Supplements

Respiratory infection is a general term that refers to infections in the lungs, throat, chest, nose, and sinuses. It bothers the sufferer with shortness of breath, cough, headaches, sneezes, throat aches, and also fever. These infections usually display the symptoms between one to three days after getting infected. It may last for days to weeks, depending on the person’s age, and health conditions, and remedies or treatments.

Viruses are the most common pathogens that cause respiratory infections; however, bacteria or fungi can also cause such infections. And especially during the winter seasons, viral infections such as cold and flu become more common.

Types of Respiratory Infections

There are two types of respiratory infections: Lower respiratory infection and Upper respiratory infection. These two are categorized based on the systems they infect.

1. Lower Respiratory Infections

It refers to infection of the trachea, lungs, bronchioles, and bronchial tubes. LRIs are more severe than upper respiratory infections.

What causes Lower Respiratory Infection?

  • Pneumonia
  • Bronchitis
  • Bronchiolitis (respiratory infection in babies)
  • Fungal respiratory infection or aspergillosis

Lower Respiratory Infection Symptoms

  • Shortness of breath
  • Fever
  • Coughing and weakness

2. Upper Respiratory Infection

It refers to any illness that affects your upper respiratory system like the nose, throat, etc.

What Causes Upper Respiratory Infection?

Viruses such as the common cold are the leading causes of upper respiratory infections. Most of the upper respiratory infections can be treated effectively with natural remedies.

Upper Respiratory Systems

  • Congestion
  • A headache
  • Cough and sore throat
  • Earache
  • A runny nose

1. Natural Remedies

Natural or home remedies are being used for centuries in various cultures around the globe. They help in treating and preventing infections. They also help in improving the treatment or recovery processes of chronic respiratory diseases.  Besides, these natural remedies are effective in treating the associated symptoms with little t no-side effects at all.

Everyone needs to include green vegetables and fruits in a diet for a healthy body. Such high-nutritious foods also help in alleviating respiratory diseases very quickly.

1. Garlic

This magical culinary ingredient will not only enhance the flavor of your dish but also relieves you from cold and flu, the most common cause of upper respiratory infections.

Garlic enhances the immune system, which can help the body in fighting infections at ease. The potent compounds present in garlic, including allicin, guard your body against the diseases

How to use it?

Check the below recipe of garlic tea to treat upper and also lower respiratory infections.

  • Take 8-10 cloves of crushed and peeled garlic.
  • Simmer it in two cups of water for 10 minutes.
  • Strain the mixture.
  • Add fresh lemon juice.
  • You can also add honey to enhance the taste.
  • To make it more effective, you can also add 1-3 tbsp of coconut oil at the end.
Your garlic tea for respiratory infections is ready to drink.


  • If you are sensitive to garlic, use only six or fewer cloves of garlic.
  • Garlic has a strong, pungent smell of garlic, which can disturb your sense of taste.

2. Ginger

Ginger is one of the most common and highly recommended home remedies by health experts. Alongside treating respiratory infections, it also helps in improving overall health.

Ginger acts as an expectorant and reduces inflammation, which makes it the bests a reliable natural remedy to treat a respiratory infection. The ginger concoction or ginger tea is also one of the best natural drink to treat bronchitis and similar lower respiratory infections.

How to use it?

Drinking ginger tea is an excellent option to fight cold and flu.

  • In a pan of boiling water, add few slices of ginger root.
  • Allow it to simmer for 10 minutes so that ginger enriches the water with its medicinal properties.
  • Remove from flame.
  • Add lemon and honey to it and drink while its hot or warm.

3. Pineapple

This tangy fruit works magically as a potent remedy to treat a respiratory infection.

How to use it?

You can make a tasty juice from pineapple, or you can slice it into small pieces and relish it.


Pineapple boasts of an enzyme called bromelain, which reduces inflammation. It also assists with coughing up phlegm.

4. Honey

honey benefits
Image: ShutterStock

Honey has antibacterial, antifungal, and antioxidant properties. It helps to fight cough, cold, and pneumonia effectively. These properties of honey make it one of a kind remedy that can help in treating various bacterial, viral, and fungal infections.

How to use it?

  • One tbsp of honey
  • A quarter of a glass of water


  • Mix the above ingredients well with the help of a spoon.
  • Consume this solution regularly.

5. Soup

Want to know how to treat a respiratory infection with a warm and delicious recipe? Chicken soup is your answer. It deals effectively with your upper respiratory infections. Chicken soup also helps you keep hydrated for long. Chicken soup is one of the best effective remedies to ease the symptoms of cold and flu. They work so by breaking up congestion in the respiratory tract and soothing the throat & nasal cavities.

How to use it?

  • Gobble on a spicy, delicious, hot chicken soup. Make sure to add a lot of green vegetables to add nutrients to the soup
  • You can also add noodles if you want

Foods to avoid:

  • Refined and processed foods
  • Dairy products
  • Sugar and excess-sugar products
  • High-fat foods
  • Alcohol

2. Herbs

Herbs contain potent compounds that work wonderfully in curing various health issues. They work quite effectively on the respiratory organs and give you instant relief.

1. Willow Bark

Willow bark is a magical herb that contains polyphenols and flavonoids that boast of fever-reducing properties. The properties of this herb also enhance the body’s immune system and treat various infections, including pneumonia.

How to use it?


  • One to two tbsp of willow bark
  • One cup of hot water
  • Honey


  • Boil a cup of water
  • Steep the barks of willow in this water
  • Strain the solution and add honey to this
  • Consume it hot


  • Avoid using willow bark during pregnancy.
  • Do not use or give this remedy to toddlers or young children.

2. Dandelion

benefits of dandelion
Image: ShutterStock

It has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects that kill infection-causing bacteria and viruses. With its decongestant property, the herb treats various symptoms of pneumonia, cold, flu, and other related infections.

How to use it?


  • One to two tbsp of dandelion herb
  • One cup of hot water


  • Add the herb to the bowl of boiling water
  • Allow it to steep for 5-10 minutes
  • Strain the mixture.
  • You can add honey for taste.
  • Consume the dandelion tea when hot

3. Echinacea

It boosts the immunity of the human body and reduces inflammation. If you are looking for how to treat a respiratory infection or even prevent the spread, then Echinacea is your solution. This useful herb is a potent remedy for treating infections dating back to more than 400 years.

How to use it?

  • Take a pan, add eight ounces of water, and boil it.
  • Steep two tbsp of Echinacea tea dry leaves in the boiling water for 2-3 minutes.
  • Allow it to cool and add honey.

3. Essential Oils

For those looking for ways to treat a respiratory infection with soothing and warm methods, then essential oils are one of the best available resources. You can easily purchase these oils from the market and use them to get away with respiratory diseases.

Below listed are a few such essential oils:

1. Peppermint Essential Oil

Enjoy the minty smell of this essential oil while using it as an excellent solution to get rid of a respiratory infection. Peppermint oil is known to relax windpipe or bronchial muscles, which helps in easing the breathing or cough problems.

How to use it?

  • Add a few drops of peppermint oil to a humidifier.
  • You can also breathe in the steam of the essential oil by adding a few drops of the oil to steamy water.
  • Add eucalyptus oil or rosemary oil in the water along with peppermint oil for the best results.


  • Keep your face at a safe distance from the steaming water bowl.
  • Always use essential oils in diluted form. Use a suitable carrier oil for dilution purposes.
  • If you are pregnant, consult your doctor before using this oil.
  • Avoid using these oils on kids.

2. Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender Oil benefits
Image: ShutterStock

If you are wondering to treat a respiratory infection with a sweet smell and soothing technique, then lavender oil is your best solution.

Lavender oil fosters decongestion and increases the overall immunity of the body. Its antimicrobial properties make it a reliable solution to fight infection-causing bacteria.

How to use it?

  • Take a few drops of lavender oil in your hands and rub it on the chest, back, and neck
  • You can also use it in humidifiers or vaporizers

Other Essential Oils to Treat a Respiratory Infection Include

  • Rosemary essential oil
  • Clove essential oil
  • Cedarwood essential oil
  • Tea tree essential oil
  • Oregano essential oil
  • Balsam fir essential oil
  • Ginger essential oil

4. Home Remedies

Home remedies are simple and effective solutions that are easy to implement and come with minimal to no-expenditure at all. If your busy schedule is tieing your hands and you are looking for ways on how to treat a respiratory infection at home, then you have come to the right place. Below listed are a few such remedies:

Salt Water Gargle

Image: ShutterStock

Gargling salt water reduces the symptoms of respiratory infection by easing out the pain and congestion in the upper respiratory tract.  It also loosens mucus, which helps in easy expulsion of bacteria and viruses from the system. The mucus also takes away dead cells and pathogens that are in its path.

How to use it?

  • Dissolve one tbsp of salt in a full glass of water
  • Swish it around the corners of your mouth and throat
  • Now spit it out.


This process is undoubtedly one of the most accessible techniques to treat a respiratory infection at home or work. It helps in regulating the body temperature, which helps the body in effectively fighting fever and symptoms associated with cold or flu.

How to use it?

  • Wet a small towel or washcloth with some lukewarm water
  • Squeeze out the excess water
  • Place this cloth on your forehead or chest
  • Repeat as often as you like


  • Don’t dip the cloth in boiling water.

Warm salt baths

This impressive salt bath gives you relief from inflammation and will also foster mucus removal. Sea salts allow the release of body toxins.

How to use:

  • One cup Epsom salt
  • Half a cup of sea salt
  • Half a cup of baking soda
  • Fifteen drops of eucalyptus essential oil


  • Mix all the ingredients to make a blend
  • Pour one cup of this blend in a warm bath
  • Soak for at least twenty minutes for best results


  • Make sure to use unrefined sea salt
  • Use eucalyptus radiate version of the oil as it is non-irritant and is suitable for kids

5. Supplements

In this busy schedule, we often forget to take care of the most important thing, and that is our body. We do not understand the importance of a balanced diet and gobble on junk food, which poses a threat to our health. Hence, doctors often refer to include supplements to diet to fill up the space of vital nutrients in your body. So for those wondering to treat respiratory infections with their food, here is your solution:

1. Probiotics

Probiotics enhance your immune system and keep your gut healthy. Probiotics yogurt provides you with vital proteins, calcium, and other essential compounds that can protect your body from respiratory infections.

How to use:

  • For a delicious taste and nutritious benefits rely on probiotic yogurt
  • You can consult a doctor who will provide you with some healthy probiotics pills and liquids.

2. Vitamin C

It relieves infection in the upper respiratory tract and also provides immunity to your body. Vitamin C also helps in repairing the damaged body tissues and boosting the immune system. Besides, they improve the lung function and also reduce the duration of the cold.

How to use:

  • Ask your doctor to prescribe you with good vitamin C pills and tablets
  • You can also include lemon to your diet for vitamin c inclusion in your diet
  • Other vitamin C rich foods include oranges, grapefruits, leafy greens, etc.

Conventional ways to treat a respiratory infection include

  • Maintain body hygiene as the respiratory infection is contagious and spreads from one person to another
  • Stay away from the person who is suffering from cold
  • Drink ample amount of water


The internet is full of remedies for treating respiratory infection(1). Some of those solutions might have been bizarre. Going through them, people often get more confused. So, anytime if you are looking out for natural or home remedies, make sure that they do not have any allergic reaction to you. If you are undergoing treatment or medication, consult a doctor and only then use these natural or home remedies.


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