Pneumonia is a serious condition, and home remedies will not treat or cure it. However, getting enough rest, drinking warm fluids — such as ginger or fenugreek tea — and other tips may help manage symptoms.

However, certain home remedies may help ease the symptoms and enhance healing during the recovery period.

Pneumonia is an inflammatory disorder of the lungs due to an infection of the airways. It can be life threatening. Medical help is essential, and many people will need to spend time in the hospital. Afterward, it can take several weeks or months to recover.

Although medical treatment is essential, home remedies can help a person manage the symptoms and improve their comfort levels when they are not in the hospital.

Factors that increase the risk of pneumonia include:

  • being under 2 or over 65 years of age
  • being a smoker
  • having exposure to air pollution
  • having asthma
  • having a weakened immune system
  • having other medical conditions, including COVID-19

In this article, learn more about the causes, symptoms, and home remedies associated with pneumonia and its effects.

a woman sleeping on the couch because she has pneumoniaShare on Pinterest
A person with pneumonia should get plenty of rest and drink lots of fluids.

Pneumonia can occur for various reasons. For example, it often develops due to another illness or infection, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, the flu, or COVID-19.

When a person’s immune system is healthy, their body can often prevent severe infections.

However, if bacteria, fungi, or viruses overwhelm the immune system, a more serious illness can result.

The most common symptoms of pneumonia include:

Depending on the cause of pneumonia, a doctor will prescribe medication to treat the infection.

During recovery, they will also recommend:

  • getting plenty of rest
  • eating nutritious foods
  • drinking lots of fluids

In addition, some home remedies may help a person manage the symptoms and enhance recovery. The following sections will discuss these in more detail.

If the lungs are producing extra mucus as part of an immune reaction, the body will use a cough to try to expel this fluid from the lungs. For this reason, a doctor may not recommend using a cough suppressant.

However, some natural methods may help reduce the severity of a cough, including:

1. Peppermint, eucalyptus, and fenugreek tea

Many warm herbal teas can help soothe a scratchy throat, but herbs may be more beneficial.

A 2011 study found that herbs, including peppermint and eucalyptus, had a soothing effect on the throats of people with upper respiratory tract infections.

These herbs may help break up mucus and ease the pain and inflammation caused by pneumonia.

A 2019 study notes that fenugreek might help break down mucus. A tea made from ground fenugreek seeds may, therefore, ease a persistent cough.

Eucalyptus and tea tree oils may also help relieve coughs. People can use these in a diffuser. However, they should try limiting their exposure at first, to ensure that the use of oils does not worsen their symptoms.

Although research suggests essential oils may have some health benefits, it is important to remember that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not monitor or regulate the purity or quality of these oils. A person should talk with a healthcare professional before using essential oils and research the quality of a particular brand’s products. It is also important to always do a patch test before trying a new essential oil.

2. A saltwater gargle

Mucus in the throat and chest can trigger more coughing and irritation. A warm saltwater gargle may help eliminate mucus or germs in the throat, which may provide some relief.

Shortness of breath is a common symptom of respiratory infections. If a person has difficulty breathing, they need immediate medical attention.

However, if the symptoms are mild, the following tips may help:

3. Caffeine

Drinking a small amount of caffeine, such as a cup of coffee or green tea, may help open up the airways in the lungs. This could help a person breathe more easily.

4. Warm, damp air

Inhaling warm, damp air may ease breathing and keep the throat from tightening. Breathing in the steam from a shower or breathing over a warm cup of tea may help.

5. Rest

Rest is vital for cellular repair in the body, but it may be especially beneficial for shortness of breath. A person with pneumonia may benefit from keeping physical exertion to a minimum.

Chest discomfort is a common symptom of pneumonia. The following remedies may help ease this symptom:

6. Ginger or turmeric tea

A persistent cough can result in chest pain. Drinking fresh, warm ginger tea or turmeric tea may help reduce this pain.

The roots of both of these plants can have a natural anti-inflammatory effect on the body.

Chop up a thumb-sized piece of either root and boil it in a pint or so of water. If a person prefers strong tea, they can boil it for longer or add more of the root. If the flavor is too sharp, they can try adding a spoonful of honey.

A person with pneumonia may also have a fever. As long as the fever is mild, a person may wish to use natural remedies to manage it.

If the fever is high or persistent, however, it is important to seek medical help. It could be a symptom of a severe infection.

The following remedies may help with a mild fever:

7. Hydration

When a person has a fever, consuming liquids and electrolytes can help prevent dehydration. Drinking cool beverages or eating homemade ice popsicles may help hydrate the body and cool it down.

9. Over-the-counter pain relievers

Some over-the-counter drugs, such as ibuprofen (Advil), may help reduce fever and pain. It is important to take these medications with food and not exceed the recommended dosage.

10. A lukewarm bath or compress

Soaking the body in lukewarm water may help cool it down.

If it is not possible to take a bath, apply towels or washcloths to the body after dunking them in lukewarm water and wringing them out. This may help the surface of the body cool. When the towels warm up, dip them in the water again and reapply.

Chills are often a secondary symptom of a fever. The following home remedies may help ease chills:

11. Warm liquids

Drinking warm liquids may help warm the body up and prevent chills.

Some examples include:

  • warm water
  • herbal teas
  • a bowl of soup

Avoid sodas and consume either water or liquids that contain nutrients.

Some foods contain compounds that may help boost the immune system, fight bacteria, and manage inflammation. These may help ease the symptoms of pneumonia more generally. For example:

12. Additional natural compounds

A number of at-home products contain compounds that may help boost the healing process. Examples include:

It is worth noting that none of these substances or remedies will treat or cure pneumonia or any of the diseases linked to it, including COVID-19.

However, as long as the symptoms are mild or the person is recovering, they may help them feel better and contribute to their overall well-being.

Anyone who has difficulty breathing should seek medical help for diagnosis and treatment.

It is essential to follow any medical treatment plan that the doctor recommends and request additional help if the symptoms worsen or do not improve after a few days.

A doctor can also advise on some ways to prevent pneumonia from developing again.

It is not always possible to prevent pneumonia, but some lifestyle choices can reduce the risk of developing it or experiencing severe symptoms.

These include:

Healthy lifestyle habits can help strengthen the body to fight off infections, including those that lead to pneumonia.

Below are some commonly asked questions about

What helps pneumonia go away faster?

For prompt and effective treatment of pneumonia, antibiotics are typically administered.

Getting plenty of rest, eating nutritious foods, and drinking lots of fluids will also aid the body’s immune response.

How does a person fight pneumonia without antibiotics?

Bacterial pneumonia is typically treated with antibiotics.

However, antibiotics may not be effective for viral pneumonia. In which case, the focus shifts to antiviral medicine and supportive measures like rest and hydration. Antiviral medicines may not work against every virus that causes pneumonia though.

A person should always follow treatment advice from healthcare professionals for pneumonia management.

How can a person heal their lungs from pneumonia?

A person should adhere to medical advice and take prescribed medications to heal their lungs from pneumonia.

Rest and hydration are crucial for recovery, while a saltwater gargle can aid mucus clearance.

A person should monitor their symptoms closely and attend follow-up appointments with their healthcare provider for proper management and assessment of lung health.

Pneumonia can be life threatening and usually needs medical treatment.

Many people will need to spend time in the hospital, and it can take months to recover fully.

Yet, there are strategies to alleviate symptoms and bolster the body’s recovery efforts at home. These home remedies serve as a complementary approach, offering relief and support during the recovery period.

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