Pneumonia refers to the acute inflammation of the lungs. It is
one of the most serious infectious diseases. A common
complication of all kinds of pneumonia is pleurisy. Pleurisy is
an inflammation of the pleura, a serous membrane which envelopes
the lungs and also lines the inside of the chest.
It can affect just one lung or both.
Pleurisy may be acute or chronic and mild or severe, It may be limited to one side of the chest or it may
include both the sides. This disease can attack people of all
ages, from children right through to the very elderly. Like any
other viral infection, pleurisy can occur in small epidemics.
The membranes that cover the lung are called pleura.
membrane, known as partial pleura, is applied to the inner wall of
the thorax, and the inner membrane, known as the visceral pleura,
covers the substance of the lungs. There is a capillary space
between the two membranes which is filled with fluid.
enables the lungs to move freely in the chest. The parietal
membrane is reflected from the chest wall to cover the upper surface
of the diaphragm and, in the midline, it covers the mediastinum, the
partition which separates the two sides of the chest and contains
the heart, great vessels and other structures which run through the
The onset of pleurisy is generally marked by a sharp and stabbing
pain, which may be felt in any part of the chest wall or over the
diaphragm. Deep breathing or coughing increases the pain.
cases, the disease begins with a chill, followed by congestion of
the pleura and later by fever. The degree of the fever determines
the severity of the disease.
The inflammation destroys the tissues
and chokes the circulation within the tissues. Breathing becomes
difficult due to the clogging of the circulation and by pain and
swelling within the chest.
Later a liquid effusion escapes from the
pleura, filling the open spaces in the chest cavity till the effect
of the distension becomes oppressive. After absorption takes place
or after the drainage of the effusion, the pressure is lowered, the
pain is reduced and the patient feels relieved. It is sometimes dry
pleurisy, a form where there is little or no effusion or the
effusion may be circumscribed. The effusion may become gangrenous,
or become mixed with blood, or be of a dirty brown colour with an
offensive odour, leading to much suffering.
The most common among the immediate causes of pleurisy is that of
‘catching cold ‘ followed by congestion and swelling of the pleural
membrane. It is a disease that is not caused by germs. There will be
germs of putrefaction later in the ooze of serum from the tissue.
The disease may be a complication of pneumonia, or pneumonia may be
a complication of pleurisy. In a few cases , the diseases may also
occur in rheumatic fever, uraemia and other conditions.
At the first sign of pleurisy, the patient should observe a complete
fast, abstaining from all liquid and solid foods. Nothing should be
taken except plain mineral water, hot or cold, as desired. Water may
have bad taste, but at least three or four glasses should be taken daily for
the first few days. The quantity of water should be gradually increased to
five or six or more glasses each day.
A hot chest pack should be
applied two or three times a day allowing it to remain for an hour
or so each time. If the fever becomes high, the packs may be changed
to cold ones. If, however, the reaction is not prompt and complete,
it would be advisable to use the hot packs. Heat is always helpful
for relieving the sharp pain associated with pleurisy. This should
be applied for half an hour twice daily. The patient should practice
deep breathing during this period.
Adequate rest and abundance of
fresh air are essential. In cases of dry pleurisy, further relief
from pain can be obtained by strapping the chest. Heat is not used
when the strapping is employed.
A hot bath at
100F with a few drops of olbas oil for one hour daily has also been found beneficial in the
treatment of pleurisy.
After the acute symptoms have subsided, the patient may adopt a
diet. In this regimen, 250ml of goat's milk should be taken every
two hours on the first day, every 1 1/2 hour on the second day,
every hour on the third day and every three-quarters of an hour on
the fourth day and onwards. The quantity of milk should not exceed
four litres daily. The patient may also take one orange or
tangerine (which is easier on the stomach) daily
along with the milk diet. As soon as the patient has gained slightly
in strength, they should undertake moderate exercise as a routine,
on the skin and a dry
friction bath can be useful. If there is any
particular disease, present along with the pleurisy whether as a
causative or as a complicating condition, the same should also be
given appropriate attention.
Chronic pleurisy should be treated in the same manner as to the diet
and the application of heat. All efforts should be made to increase
the vitality, reduce toxaemia, and restore normal freedom of chest
movements. Several short fasts, at regular intervals, followed by
milk diet may be necessary depending on the progress for
There are basically two types of pneumonia, called lobar pneumonia
and bronchopneumonia They, however, run into each other and are
treated in the same way. The disease becomes more serious if both
the lungs are affected. It is called double pneumonia in common
Most cases of pneumonia begin with a cold in the head or throat. The patient
generally feels chill, shivering, difficulty in breathing and sharp pain in
the chest. This may be followed by a cough with pinkish sputum which may
later become brownish. The patient usually suffers from fever and headache.
serious cases of pneumonia, the sputum may be of rusty colour. In your
children, the disease may cause delirium and convulsions. Most patients feel
very miserable and sweat profusely. The temperature may rise to 105 o F and
pulse may go up to 150 beats per minutes.
is caused by various types of germs such as streptococcus, staphylococcus
and pneumococcal varieties. At times, certain viruses are also responsible
for the disease. Other causes of diseases are fungal infection, irritation
by worms, inhaling foreign matter, irritant dust or noxious gases and
vapours such as ammonia, nitrogen dioxide or cadmium.
cause of pneumonia, however, is the toxic condition of the body, especially
of the lungs and air passages, resulting from wrong feeding and faulty life
style. Persons with healthy tissues and strong vital force are unlikely to
develop pneumonia. It is only when the system is clogged with the toxic
matter and the vitality is low that the germs of pneumonia invade a person.
To begin with, the patient should be kept on a diet of
raw juices for five to ten days, depending on the severity of the
disease. In this regimen he should take a glass of fruit or vegetable juice
diluted with warm water every two or three hours. Fruits especially
kiwifruit, tangerine, orange, mosambi, apple, papaya, pineapple and grapes
and vegetables like carrots, avocado & tomatoes (drunk together) may be used
for juices. Avocado helps the body absorb the
carotenoids from carrots and tomatoes.
diet of raw juices, when the fever subsides, the patient should have three
or four further days on an exclusive fresh fruit diet, taking three meals a
day of juicy fruits such as kiwifruit, apple, grapes, pineapple, mangoes,
tangerine, orange, lemon and papaya.
Thereafter, the patient may gradually adopt a
well-balanced diet of natural foods consisting of seeds and
grains, vegetables and fruits with emphasis on fresh fruits and
raw vegetables. The patients should be given a warm warm enema daily
to cleanse the bowel during the period of
raw juice therapy and all
fruit diet and thereafter, when necessary.
The patient should avoid
strong tea, coffee , refined foods, fried foods, white sugar, white
flour and all products made from them. They
should also avoid all meats as well as alcoholic beverages and
smoking. To reduce temperature naturally, during the course of the
fever, the procedure outlined on the
may be followed.
Sipping of cold
mineral water has also been found beneficial in the treatment of
pneumonia. The patient should sip cold water at short intervals so
long as the fever continues.
NATURE CURES PNEUMONIA
Certain home remedies have been found beneficial in the treatment of
pneumonia. During the early acute stage of this disease, a herbal
tea made from
fenugreek seeds will help the body to produce
perspiration, dispel toxicity and shorten the period of fever. In
can be taken up to four cups daily. The quantity should be reduced
as condition improves. To improve flavour, a few drops of
juicecan be used. During this treatment, no other food or
nourishment should be taken as fasting and fenugreek will allow the
body to correct these respiratory problems in a few days.
Garlic is a the ultimate remedy
for pneumonia, if given in sufficient quantities. Garlic will bring down the temperature as well as the
pulse and respiration within 48 hours. Garlic juice can also
be applied externally to the chest with beneficial results as it is
an irritant and rubefacient.
valuable in pneumonia . An infusion of the seeds, mixed with a
flaxseeds, pinch of unrefined sea salt and a
desert spoon of pure honey, should be given in the treatment of
this infection. This will help remove catarrhal matter and phlegm from
The pain of pneumonia can
be relieved by rubbing oil of turpentine over the rib cage and
wrapping warmed cotton wool over it.
When suffering a fever,
the patient should avoid any supplements containing
zinc, iron causes great tension in a body that is
fighting infection and zinc is not absorbed by the body during fever.
NATURE CURES DIET TO AID
RECOVERY FROM PNEUMONIA AND PLEURISY
Try blending steamed vegetables listed with the
herbs and spices listed and serving as a potage soup. Similarly blend a
selection of the fruits together with nutmeg and honey to provide a tasty
nutritious 'smoothie' which will provide all the nutrients required. Add
organic live yoghurt to make 'smoothies' or soups creamy.
(as often as possible throughout the day)
Drink at least 6 glasses of bottled
mineral water with freshly squeezed
lemon juice per day.
Whole nuts and seeds if suffering
from diverticulitis (grind to a fine powder first).
NOTE: Motherwort may be habit forming.
CAUTION: Many herbs are powerful and can react with medications. Always check before taking at the same time as any drugs.
NOTE: Some nutritional yeasts, especially
brewer’s yeast, can also interact with medications. Those who are on Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor antidepressants (MAOIs) medication are especially at risk. It is also best avoided by those carrying the herpes virus as it can induce a attack.
When suffering with pleurisy or any lung disorder avoid the following:
Homogenised or non-organic dairy products from non-grass fed cattle
Table salt (use Himalayan pink crystals or unrefined sea salt)
Nat H Hawes SNHS Dip (Advanced and Sports nutrition) is a qualified nutritional and sports therapist and author of the new book, Nature Cures, who has been researching natural foods and their health benefits since 2003.
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"Nature cures not the
Hippocrates 460 BC
DISCLAIMER: The information on this websiteis not intended to diagnose medical problems, prescribe remedies for illness, or treat disease. Its intention is solely educational.If you are in any doubt about your health, please consult your medical or health professional.