Bronchiectasis is an irreversible widening (chronic dilation) of the bronchi and bronchioles, resulting from damage to the airway wall.
There is often secondary infection, usually involving the lower lobes of the lung.
The cause is usually repeated respiratory infections, such as chronic sinusitis,
allergies, pneumonia, influenza, whooping cough etc, which can directly injure the airway wall or can lead to injury by interfering with normal airway defences, but it can at times be attributed to a congenital malformation of the alveoli, airway obstruction by an inhaled object, a lung tumour or inhaling toxic substances such as toxic fumes, gases, smoke or toxic dust.
Part of the airway defences are tiny cilia on the cells that line the airways that move
the thin liquid layer of mucus that normally coats the air passages.
This mucusallows any potentially harmful particles or bacteria to be moved up to the
throat and expelled.
When the airway becomes chronically damaged and inflamed the bronchial walls become less elastic, wider and flabby, the cells with cilia can be destroyed, and mucus secretions increase. This mucus accumulates as the cilia can no longer move the mucus, so becomes a breeding ground for bacteria.
Any treatment will be directed towards removing infection, decreasing the build
up of mucus and inflammation and relieving airway obstruction.
Fresh air, sunshine, good diet and plenty of rest are all essential. I have seen good improvement in people who shift to warmer climates for the winter, hence avoiding
the cold and damp of our winter and living a more relaxed life style!
In others I have seen improvement when they opted to take immune enhancing and respiratoryherbs on a continual basis.
Herbs that soothe the respiratory tract are herbs such as Marshmallow, Elecampane and Liquorice.
Herbs that can help expectorate mucus are herbs such as Horseradish, Manuka, Peppermint and Eucalyptus.
Others such as Echinacea, Cloves, Thyme, Sage, Garlic, Andrographis and Manuka have immune enhancing effects.
These can often be combined to make extremely effective herbal blends.
Contact us for individually made herbal remedies.
Some remedies can also be effective anti-inflammatories.
Vitamin C and the bioflavonoid Quercetin would come into this category.
Quercetin in particular is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory and also
reduces histamine release which overall means that it greatly helps prevent
irritation of mucus membranes.
Go to On-line shop for Quercetin.
I have also seen inflammatory conditions improve with the use of Olive leaf preparations.
In some cases the use of food enzymes have been known to help as they will help avoid excess build up of mucus due to poor protein digestion if this was a contributing factor.
See page on Enzymes – facts.
I have also had reports of people getting good results from the use of N-Acetyl cysteine.
One of the actions of N-acetyl Cysteine results in the breakup of muco-proteins in lung mucus, reducing their chain lengths and thinning the mucus. This can help improve
conditions such as bronchitis and Bronchiectasis. Apparently it is advisable to
take Vitamin C at the same time as N-acetyl c cysteine.
All these plus others can be useful in cases of Bronchiectasis.
Treatment would have to be ongoing however as prognosis depends on how well the condition is controlled.