A little over three weeks ago, I came down with a head cold. A few days later, the head cold moved down into my chest and I had the typical symptoms of a chest cold - coughing, sneezing, congestion, etc. A few days after that, I came down with a fever - 101.9. Not terribly high, but enough to make me feel absolutely awful with a headache, chills, and achiness. The next day it got worse. The fever stayed the same, but the pain in my head and limbs increased. I thought it was some kind of 24 or 48 hour virus so I figured I would just ride it out until it passed. I felt so absolutely horrible that all I could do was lie around. My headaches were so bad that I couldn’t read or concentrate on anything. Half of the time it was so bad that I couldn’t even watch TV! I could barely even hold a conversation with anyone, it felt like all my body and mind wanted to do was focus on fighting whatever was inside of me and causing this sickness.
The only breaks that I had from the fever and pain was when I took a Tylenol. (I hate taking Tylenol and it has literally been years since I took one. Pain has to be really bad for me to give in to that). An hour after taking a Tylenol, my fever would break and I would have a few hours of feeling a little better to actually get something done, but once the Tylenol wore off, the fever and pain would come right back. After three full days of solid suffering, I realized that I didn’t have a typical 24/48 hour virus that was going away. It was something worse.
Since it was in the evening, after typical doctor office hours, I decided to go to a local walk-in clinic to get examined. My pulse was normal, I had good oxygen levels, my blood pressure was normal, there were no signs of an infection when the doctor looked in my ears, throat, etc. I had no swollen glands. When she listened to my chest it sounded fine. I told her all of my symptoms and what I’ve been going through and she diagnosed me with Acute Bronchitis. I was told to buy Mucinex (Guaifenesin) and Ibuprofen (Advil) and take those for two days. One Mucinex every 12 hours, and Ibuprofen every 4 to 6 hours. If nothing improved in two days, then I was told to call my doctor and schedule another appointment for more tests.
I spent two more days lying around in the same amount of pain and with the same level of fever that I had before. I was taking the Mucinex and Ibuprofen but they didn’t seem to be doing a damn thing. I finally decided to give in to the bronchitis and call my doctor to schedule an appointment and get some antibiotics since I couldn’t take much more of the pain and discomfort. Even though I absolutely HATE taking antibiotics since they are what caused my digestive problems years ago, I thought it was my only option.
As fate would have it, when I called my doctor’s office to make an appointment, they wouldn’t take me because they don’t deal with my insurance company any more. This is the doctor that I’ve been going to for almost 15 years, the doctor that treats most of my family members, and the doctor that has a history of my health on record. Absolutely none of that matters with the current health care system because it’s so incredibly inefficient, unethical, and corrupt. Instead, I had to try to find another local doctor who would take an emergency appointment. I asked around for recommendations and the closest doctor recommended to me by a friend was over 30 minutes away. I needed someone closer. After doing some research online, I came up with two in the nearby area that had decent reviews and that I knew accepted my insurance. I called them both in the middle of a Friday and neither one answered their phone! One went straight into an answering machine and the other just rang without anyone or anything ever picking up. That’s when I got so pissed off that I vowed to take matters into my own hands. I didn’t know how I was going to do it, but I was determined to beat this bronchitis myself.
Thank God for the internet and Dr. Oz. After doing a bunch of research online, I came across his information about bronchitis.
SOUTH AFRICAN GERANIUM
An article posted at http://www.thehealthierlife.co.uk/natural-remedies/herbs/south-african-geranium-health-benefits-01023.html states:
South African Geranium: Pelargonium succeeds in treating acute cases of bronchitis where antibiotics fail
The clinical evidence for pelargonium is impressive, particularly its ability to treat acute bronchitis - a condition for which there is no effective conventional treatment, despite the fact that it is one of the most common reasons why people seek medical care.
The condition causes the tissue lining the bronchi (the main air passages in your lungs) to become irritated and inflamed, stimulating increased secretion of mucus and a narrowing of the airways - this in turn produces the characteristic cough. Because in 95 per cent of cases it is caused by a virus, acute bronchitis does not respond to antibiotics - although this does not always stop doctors from prescribing them!
A recent large, multi-centre study involving more than 2,000 adults, children and babies with acute bronchitis, was carried out at 440 separate sites located in Germany. The researchers found that pelargonium root extract reduced the severity of symptoms from an average ‘Bronchitis Severity Score’ rating of 6.3 to just 0.9 at the end of the seven days treatment period - a really remarkable improvement. Side effects from the treatment were mild and rare (less than one per cent) . The researchers concluded that pelargonium extract is an effective and well-tolerated treatment for acute bronchitis.
In a separate clinical trial, involving 205 patients with acute bronchitis, pelargonium reduced symptoms of cough, chest pain and wheezing. More than 60 per cent of the patients taking pelargonium in this trial described their condition as ‘much improved’ after just one week .
Unlike some other herbal treatments, pelargonium appears to get to work really fast. In an earlier Russian study, almost 70 per cent of acute bronchitis patients reported that pelargonium had a positive effect on their symptoms within the first four days of treatment .
Manuka Honey’s famed antibacterial properties are now being used in hospitals to ward off antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria that cause potentially life threatening conditions such as MRSA and VRE. In addition to its impressive antibacterial activity, studies have also revealed Manuka Honey’s antiviral properties which make it effective in treating cold and flu symptoms.
It has also been discovered that Manuka Honey contains more vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants than other types of honey. This helps is boost the immune system which prevent colds from coming on as well. Most people who ingest Manuka Honey on a regular basis find that they almost never get sick and also have more energy. Many true believers feel that Manuka Honey can be more effective than any over-the-counter cold and flu medication found in pharmacies. Here’s the link to Manuka Honey on Amazon - Manuka Honey
Armed with all of this info, I set out for my local Whole Foods, hoping that they would carry both South African Geranium and Andrographis. After inspecting aisle after aisle of supplements, I didn’t see them anywhere so I had to ask someone who worked there. When I asked her about the Andrographis, she led me straight to a box of Kold Kare. It was with their immunity boosting supplements, and although it says Andrographis paniculata on the front of the box, it’s kind of in smaller secondary print so it’s not quite so noticeable. I doubt I would have found it myself without asking. It comes in a box of 40 tablets, and each tablet contains 300 mg Andrographis paniculata (leaf). The suggested dosage is one tablet 4 times I day. Here’s the link to Kold Kare on Amazon - Kold Kare
Unfortunately, when I asked about the South African Geranium, I was told that they didn’t carry it. Thankfully, the local Vitamin Shoppe is less than a half mile away from Whole Foods so I headed there next. And thankfully, I had my iPhone. There are no products in Vitamin Shoppe that are labeled as South African Geranium, so I quickly looked it up online and found out that the proper name for it is Pelargonium sidoides. Pelargonium sidoides is found in a line of cold care products called Umcka. They make several different varieties - tablets, syrup, drops, etc. I ended up purchasing the Umcka ColdCare Alcohol-Free Drops because they had the fewest ingredients - Pelargonium sidoides, purified water, and vegetable glycerin. It came in a one ounce dropper bottle and the suggested dosage was 1 ml 3 to 5 times daily. Umcka must be a very popular treatment and a good seller for Vitamin Shoppe because there were only one or two of each left on the shelf. Here’s the link to Umcka Drops on Amazon - Umcka Drops
I then headed home and began my personally prescribed natural treatment for my acute bronchitis. I took a dropper full of Umcka drops followed by a glass of water. 15 to 30 minutes later I took a Kold Kare tablet with a little more water and I followed that with half a tsp of manuka honey with 1/4 to 1/2 cup of applesauce or canned fruit (I had very little appetite and needed something light and easily digested). I repeated this regime every 4 hours or so. It ended up being 4 times a day. When I went to bed at night, I took 2 Mucinex to lighten up the mucous and congestion when i was sleeping. Oh, and I also made sure that I had a vaporizer running all night to help further thin out my mucous and congestion. I would put a few drops of Eucalyptus essential oil in it before I went to bed and again when I woke up since Eucalyptus also helps clear out mucous.
Within 24 hours of starting this natural treatment, I felt I had about a 30% improvement. I still had a fever, but it was not as high, peaked at only about 100.9 that day. Most of my body aches had disappeared, and my headaches were about a third less severe. After almost a full week of misery, I was so happy to make even the slightest improvement! I continued my treatment and the next day was even better! Once again, my temperature was even lower, I had no body aches at all, and only a very dull headache. I was so happy and thankful that I was kicking this naturally and didn’t have to surrender to the typical course of antibiotics.
But the third day of taking the natural products, my fever and headaches had gone, my mucous and congestion had been loosening up and coming out. I still wasn’t 100% cured because I was still weak, run-down, and suffering from extreme fatigue, but I felt like the darkest days of the sickness were behind me. I continued taking the umcka, kold-kare, honey, and mucinex for another week. During that week, I kept feeling better and better, and by the end of that week the only major symptom that I had left was fatigue and exhaustion. I would spend half a day in the office and then come home and have to take a nap for a few hours before being able to get up and function again. I would then be tired again by 9:30 or 10pm so I would go to bed early. I was getting a long full nights sleep as well as taking a 2 or 3 hour nap but I was still tired most of the time.
Just a few days ago, I had left my office early, around 3pm to head to the mall and try to get some Christmas shopping done. The next thing I knew, I was walking around Macy’s and I was so tired that I could barely keep my eyes open! All I could think about was finding a comfortable place on the floor to lie down and take a nap. It was only 5:30pm. Thankfully, I didn’t have far to head home and immediately took a two hour nap. Needless to say, I was getting so tired of being tired! I like to be active and have full days and it felt like all I was doing was sleeping. It was so annoying.
And there you have it. That’s the story of my Acute Bronchitis and my journey to finding a natural treatment for it that really worked. I’m very happy to now have this knowledge and to be able to pass it on to whoever might find it useful. From now on, I will definitely be keeping Umcka, Kold Kare, and Manuka Honey on hand at all times to use as preventative medicine at the first signs of a cold or flu. I highly recommend all of these products.