Pneumonia and home remedies

What is Pneumonia?

Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs that is caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites. It is characterized primarily by inflammation of the alveoli in the lungs or by alveoli that are filled with fluid (alveoli are microscopic sacs in the lungs that absorb oxygen). At times a very serious condition, pneumonia can make a person very sick or even cause death. Although the disease can occur in young and healthy people, it is most dangerous for older adults, babies, and people with other diseases or impaired immune systems.

Statistics:  About one in four of all infants who die from flu-related pneumonia live in India, new research from the University of Edinburgh has found. Every year more than 370, 000 Indian children under five die as a result of pneumonia and as many as seven per cent of those die after contracting flu. The statistics are included in a study published online today which estimates that 90 million cases of seasonal flu occur in under-five children each year globally. 20 million of these are flu-related pneumonia resulting in 1 million hospital admissions. Flu related pneumonia is responsible for 28,000 to 115,000 deaths around the globe in this age group, according to the study.

In the United States, more than 3 million people develop pneumonia each year, and about 17% of these receive treatment in a hospital. Most people with pneumonia recover, but about 5% will succumb to the condition.

What causes pneumonia?

Bacteria and viruses are the primary causes of pneumonia. When a person breathes pneumonia-causing germs into his lungs and his body's immune system cannot otherwise prevent entry, the organisms settle in small air sacs called alveoli and continue multiplying. As the body sends white blood cells to attack the infection, the sacs become filed with fluid and pus - causing pneumonia.

Who gets pneumonia?
Some people are more likely than others to develop pneumonia. Individuals at higher risk include those who:

Abuse alcohol.

Have other medical conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, asthma, or HIV/AIDS.

Are younger than 1 year of age or older than 65.

Have a weakened or impaired immune system.

Take medicines for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Have recently recovered from a cold or influenza infection.

Are malnourished.

Have been recently hospitalized in an intensive care unit.

Have been exposed to certain chemicals or pollutants.

Are Native Alaskan or certain Native American ethnicity.

Have any increased risk of breathing mucus or saliva from the nose or mouth, liquids, or food from the stomach into the lungs.

What are the symptoms of pneumonia?

Symptoms of pneumonia caused by bacteria usually come on more quickly than pneumonia caused by virus. Elderly persons and small children may actually have fewer or more mild symptoms than expected for such high risk groups. Most people with pneumonia begin with cold and flu symptoms and then develop a high fever, chills, and cough with sputum.

Although symptoms may vary greatly depending on other underlying conditions, common symptoms include:


Rusty or green mucus (sputum) coughed up from lungs


Fast breathing and shortness of breath

Shaking chills

Chest pain that usually worsens when taking a deep breath (pleuritic pain)

Fast heartbeat

Fatigue and feeling very weak

Nausea and vomiting




Muscle pain

Confusion or delirium

Dusky or purplish skin color (cyanosis) from poorly oxygenated blood

Prevention:  Pneumococcal vaccine protects against pneumococcal (pronounced new-m'COCKL) infections, which mostly strike children under age 5 and can lead to some of the worst childhood diseases.

In February 2010, the FDA licensed a new vaccine to prevent pneumococcal disease in children: Prevnar 13, or PCV13. PCV13 protects against more strains of pneumococcal bacteria than the previous vaccine, PCV7. This protection is important because PCV7 doesn't protect against certain strains of bacteria that have become more common in recent years. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the new vaccine offers protection against the strains of pneumococcal bacteria that most often cause severe pneumococcal infections in children.

Some Home Remedies:

Turmeric has several medicinal properties and is widely used in treating a number of ailments. It also helps in treating pneumonia. Other herbs such as black pepper, fenugreek and ginger are also beneficial for your lungs. You can take these herbs in raw or cooked form.

Sesame seeds are also helpful in treating pneumonia. Add 15 grams of sesame seeds in 250 ml water. Add a pinch of common salt, a teaspoon of linseed, and a tablespoon of honey in this mixture. Consume daily to expel phlegm from the bronchial tubes.

Ginger is a popular home remedy for treating most of the respiratory disorders. Take 10 ml juice of the fresh ginger, or one or two grams dried ginger powder along with honey two times daily.

Mix some camphor with warm turpentine oil and apply it on the chest. Gently massage to get relief from pneumonia.