Traditional Chinese Medicine for Bronchitis
From the perspective of traditional Chinese medicine, bronchitis is a disruptive invasion into the body by external pathogens. In TCM theory, there are six external forces invade the human body to cause diseases. They are called the six external pathogens, namely wind, heat, dampness, fire, dryness and cold. Bronchitis is often caused by wind cold and wind heat.
TCM practitioners often offer acupuncture combined with herbal formula for bronchitis. After identifying the cause of bronchitis, an herbal formula will be used based on your condition and constitution, along with a personalized acupuncture plan.
Chinese Herbs for Bronchitis
For wind cold type of bronchitis, it mostly occurs during winter or in a cold environment. Main symptoms include dry cough and white phlegm. Ma Huang Tang, an herbal formula is often used for wind cold type of bronchitis. It is commonly used in China for asthma, bronchitis and upper respiratory tract infection. It contains herbs include Ma Huang, Gui Zhi, Xing Ren and Gan Cao. Gui Zhi Tang can also be used for wind cold type of bronchitis and asthma. It contains herbs include Gui Zhi, Shao Yao, Gan Cao, Sheng Jiang and Da Zao.
For wind heat type of bronchitis, it mostly occurs during spring and summer or in a hot environment. Main symptoms include chesty cough and thick yellow phlegm. Sang Ju Wan, an herbal formula can be used. It has been traditionally used to clear wind and heat in the lungs. It contains herbs include Sang Ye, Ju Hua, Bo He, Ku Xing Ren, Jie Geng and more.
Ru Xiang (Boswellia) can be used to improve symptom management for breathing problems due to its anti-inflammatory effects. Studies suggest that it can be useful for bronchitis, asthma, cough and bad throat. Huang Qi (Astragalus Root) can be used to reduce inflammation and help to prevent upper respiratory infections.
Acupuncture for Bronchitis
Acupuncture is effective for chronic bronchitis. According to the World Health Organization, acupuncture has shown therapeutic effect on bronchial asthma, but for which further proof is needed (1).
Acupuncture points for asthma and bronchitis are very similar. TCM practitioners believe that acupuncture combined with Chinese herbal formula can shorten the duration of symptoms. Also, many studies suggest that acupuncture can increase immunoglobulin production and stabilizes overall health for elders with chronic bronchitis (2).