Question: Do you have any advice/natural remedies to treat – what I think – is bronchitis in my 6 month old son?

He has a wheeze and a wet productive-sounding cough. I want to take him to the doctor today, but I know he’s just going to want to put him on steroids and/or an antibiotic. I would like to try an alternative before that.

Any recommendations?

Larry’s Response:

The following material is NOT intended as a treatment approach for a child, especially one that’s only 6 months old. Treatments for infants is entirely up to the professional judgment of a physician. While a pharmacist may have some insight to offer the decision of a physician must be honored first.

Bronchitis is technically, “inflammation of the bronchioles”, the little air sacs in the lungs. It can lead to bacterial infections and even viral infections. The standard treatments usually include steroids – such as prednisone.

While the steroid can reduce inflammation, it can also impede the natural immune system, and end up contributing to further problems. Steroids must be used sparingly and with caution. It is best to discover the causes of bronchitis – and avoid them. This is not easy. Lungs can become inflamed from inhaling practically anything – depends on the individual. At the present time, the air is filled with substances that trigger bronchitis and asthma attacks. The soybean and corn harvest is in full swing in late September and throughout October and the dust is even visible to the naked eye. Prevention involves clean indoor air. Good air cleaners are costly, but a quality air cleaner can do wonders in the prevention arena.

Some cases of bronchitis – probably a large percentage – is a reaction to a variety of allergens. I think using a preventative product like Ortho Molecular’s D-Hist is helpful. It strengthens the system to help ward off sensitivities. It is not a drug. Here’s a link to information about D-Hist.

Also, coughing should be encouraged NO COUGH SUPPRESSANTS. The inflammation produces mucous that ought to be eliminated. Some cough preparations contain ONLY glyceryl guaiacolate(guaifenesin). They might help loosen mucous and make it easier to expel. However, they also contain alcohol. Alcohol can be drying and possibly counter-productive. I don’t recommend it for children.

I have long been a fan of SSKI (Saturated potassium iodide). It tastes like sin, but a few drops twice a day (swallowed with water or juice – tomato juice hides the taste best) loosens mucous very efficiently. SSKI requires a prescription. It is safe – not a drug – when used correctly.


Also, humidity is important. Some people use a small ultrasonic humidifier with distilled water (and, sometimes, a little hydrogen peroxide). Distilled water is important so you don’t put calcium and magnesium dust back into the air. Also, evaporative humidifiers will increase humidity without the risk of more dust.

Finally, I am a big fan of probiotics and vitamin D/omega 3s, specifically cod liver oil. They strengthen lung tissue and the immune system.