Pneumonia is respiratory condition that most of us are familiar with, but know little about. Pneumonia is a condition in which the lungs are afflicted with inflammation, often caused by infection. This results in an impaired process of respiration, with an obstruction to the intake of oxygen and the expulsion of carbon dioxide. Pneumonia is a very serious health condition, as the reduction in the supply of oxygen to the tissues and organs can even be fatal. With the advances in modern medicine the effectiveness of treatment is considerable and most people recover completely. The condition is still a common cause of death, but this is only when it occurs as a result of, or in combination with other complications.

The inflammation of the lung tissue may occur in just one or both lungs, and could be the result of infection with various micro-organisms, like bacterial, viral, fungal or parasitical. Bacterial infections are the most common cause of pneumonia and in such a scenario, antibiotics can be extremely effective. Treatment with home remedies for pneumonia can help to the extent that they may provide relief from the symptoms and can also help to strengthen immunity, hastening your recovery. Infections however, are not the only possible causes of pneumonia and in some cases the inhalation of toxic smoke or corrosive chemicals. In rare cases, the condition may develop as a result of exposure to some allergen.

Although not as common or nearly as fatal as it once was, pneumonia is still rather common and is often a cause of death among those over the age of 70. Of all those afflicted with pneumonia however, only 0.5% are likely to succumb to the condition.

Remedies for Pneumonia

Home remedies for pneumonia are highly sought after, but the truth s that there is no effective home treatment for pneumonia that can cure the condition. Lifestyle modifications and self care are important as they can help facilitate recovery, but there is no substitute for medical treatment. As most cases of pneumonia are caused by bacterial infection, treatment with antibiotics like penicillin is necessary. Pneumonia home cures don’t really help cure the condition, but they can help to counter the side effects of medications that may be prescribed to treat the condition, and they can also help to boost your immunity and facilitate healing. Treating pneumonia at home also involves the use of natural methods to provide relief from the symptoms. Most natural approaches to treatment of pneumonia, including diet modifications focus on immunity boosting, as pneumonia tends to occur most often when immunity is low. This is why the condition is most prevalent among the aged and among those who are already afflicted with an illness that weakens immunity.

  • Avoid any attempts at self treatment, particularly with antibiotics as the misuse of antibiotics has resulted in an increase in bacterial resistance.
  • Cayenne pepper is believed to help fight infectious pneumonia to some extent, because of its antimicrobial properties.
  • According to some studies Bromelain may be helpful as it was found to provide relief in patients suffering from various lung disorders.
  • Herbal preparations like barberry root bark and Oregon grape root or goldenseal are thought to help treatment of pneumonia because of the presence of berberine, which is a potent antibacterial agent.
  • According to some natural health enthusiasts garlic can also offer some help with pneumonia because of allicin, which is a potent compound present in garlic. This is what gives garlic its anti bacterial and anti viral properties. Whether or not these claims are valid, the fact is that garlic can help boost immunity.
  • Herbal teas like garlic tea or ginger tea can also provide some relief from the symptoms.

Symptoms of Pneumonia

Symptoms of pneumonia can often be confusing and it can be impossible to diagnose the condition conclusively at home. For this reason if you notice any of the warning signs or have any reason to suspect pneumonia, make it a point to consult with your doctor for an accurate medical diagnosis immediately. The symptoms of pneumonia can vary depending on the cause, and they can also be very subtle or go unnoticed in older individuals. Typically, the symptoms of pneumonia closely resemble those of a flu, starting with a cough and fever. This is why the condition often goes unrecognized until in a more advanced stage. The most common signs of pneumonia include the following:

  • Most cases of pneumonia are bacterial and the symptoms will include fever, shivering fits, chest pain and coughing.
  • The cough is usually dry at first, but phlegm production is observed within a day or two. You may notice a yellowish colored or seemingly bloodstained phlegm.
  • There is likely to be a sudden onset of high fever, with shaking and chills. In older people however, the fever may be mild or temperature may even be normal.
  • Breathlessness and shallow or rapid breathing is also observed and you may find yourself gasping for air.

In addition to these symptoms, you may also notice:

  • Confusion or disorientation is common in older adults or a change in mental abilities.
  • Headaches, fatigue and a loss of appetite may also be noticed.
  • Labored breathing, with wheezing sounds may be noticed and the symptoms of breathlessness and labored breathing are often accompanied with chest pain. Chest pain is often very severe when coughing or when breathing is labored.
  • If the infection is towards the lower lungs, patients may not experience breathing problems, but could suffer abdominal pain and vomiting. In children, bacterial pneumonia usually causes all of the symptoms and their onset is quite rapid. In viral infections, the onset of symptoms is a lot more gradual and less severe.

    Causes of Pneumonia

    Bacterial infections are the most common cause of pneumonia, but it can be caused by other types of infections, allergic reactions or chemical exposure as well.

    • Pneumonia caused by bacterial or viral infections can affect people of any age group, but older individuals are a lot more susceptible.
    • Some of the types of bacteria that may cause pneumonia include Streptococcus pneumonia, Chlamydia pneumoniae, and Mycoplasma pneumonia.
    • The inhalation of toxic chemicals and smoke may also be a cause for pneumonia because of the injury or inflammation caused to the lungs. This type of pneumonia is commonly referred to as chemical pneumonia.
    • In some cases, pneumonia could be caused by fungal infection, with specific types of fungi like the Coccidioidomycosis or blastomycosis.
    • In rare cases, pneumonia may be caused from breathing in an allergen and this type of pneumonia is termed as extrinsic allergic alveolitis. Farmer’s lung, which is caused by the inhalation of dust from mouldy hay is one such type of pneumonia.

    The risking of catching an infectious pneumonia depends on your age and physical health, the state of your immune system and the level of exposure, and also depends on the specific bacteria, virus, or fungus you were exposed to. Although it is a very common belief, the idea that pneumonia can be caused from venturing out into the cold or rain with inadequate protection is a misconception.

    Diet for Pneumonia

    There is no specific pneumonia diet as there are no real dietary causes or foods that help cure pneumonia. Your diet is important however, as it does have a direct effect on your general health and the functioning of your immune system. Following a healthy diet is important as this will help to boost your immunity, better enabling your body to fight off the infection naturally.

    • Include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet to get a blend of essential nutrients and also include some amount of protein rich foods like fish or lean meats like chicken. Any meat product should be consumed in moderation however.
    • It may be a good idea to consume a lot of fresh vegetable juices, like parsnip, cucumber or beet. Your fluid intake should be increased to prevent the risk of dehydration.
    • Cut down on your intake of sugar and any sugar rich foods, carbonated, caffeinated and alcoholic drinks.
    • Instead of using sugar to sweeten any drinks or foods, try and use honey as honey is known to antibacterial properties.

    Suggestions for Pneumonia

    In addition to medical treatment and home remedies there are some points that you need to keep in mind when afflicted with pneumonia:

    • Rest is absolutely essential and you should avoid any kind of exertion. The recovery period is also crucial so don’t start to over exert in an effort to compensate for lost time. A relapse can be a lot more severe and will simply prolong your illness.
    • If you do have a temperature, it would be best to stay home for at least a week. Your doctor would be the best judge of your condition and will advise you accordingly.
    • If you spend most of your time indoors with artificial heating or cooling, it would be a good idea to install a humidifier. This will help control loss of moisture and should help loosen up the mucus.


    1. Secor ER, Jr, Carson WFt, Cloutier MM, et al. Bromelain exerts anti-inflammatory effects in an ovalbumin-induced murine model of allergic airway disease. Cell Immunol. 2005;237:68–75.
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    4 Pneumonia remedies suggested by our users
    stabilised oxygen
    suggested by linda on Wednesday, March 5, 2008

    Stabilized oxygen increases the oxygen content of water by adding drops to a glass of drinking water. I find it helps tremendously with any respiratory problem.

    Cough Remedy
    suggested by Gerald on Tuesday, August 7, 2007

    During my recent bout with Walking Pneumonia, I discovered a way to help you from coughing. Take a sip of water and suck on it, move it from side to side. This saved me from alot of pain.

    Baking Soda for Pneumonia
    suggested by Maria on Sunday, March 25, 2007

    I got over a long bout of pneumonia and also use it for the first signs of a cold, flu or bronchitis or can be used to prevent. A quarter teaspoon of Arm and Hammer baking soda (generic brand didnt work as well) in a half cup of warm water a couple times a day. Read it in an old book and talked to other people that have tried it. It works!

    White Tea
    suggested by Mary on Monday, February 5, 2007

    Silver Needle white tea, the loose leaves have been shown effective in treating pneumonial. I have been using it and have found it to be fabulous. It tastes nice too.