Pleurisy is the inflammation of membranes that cover our lungs (known as pleura) leading to severe chest pain during coughing. The inflamed layers of pleura rub against each other during inhalation, causing 'friction rub' and chest pain.
Cause: There are many causes of pleurisy including bacterial and viral infection of lungs, pneumonia, auto immune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, asbestosis, pulmonary embolism (blood clots entering lungs), chest injuries and high blood pressure.
Symptoms: Chest pain, difficulty in breathing, rapid breathing pain during coughing, laughing and other such activities which involve lung functioning, shoulder pain, fever, weight loss, sore throat and joint pains.
Treatment: Treatment is based on the cause. Antibiotics and antiviral drugs are commonly prescribed for treating infections. Anti-inflammatory and analgesics are recommended to reduce pain and inflammation. Herbal treatments are also successful in treating inflammation without side effects.
Pleurisy root tea is effective, clears chest congestion, expels phlegm and mucus from pleura.
Powder of dried root of Hogweed herb taken three times a day reduces inflammation and removes unwanted deposits.
Celery reduces cough and inflammation as it is antispasmodic.
Fruits containing vitamin C such as citrus fruits provide immunity against infections.
Chewing 5-6 holy basil leaves in the morning regularly can prevent and cure infections.
Drinking herbal teas made from ginger, peppermint leaves, liquorice roots, elecampane, feverfew and Echinacea helps fight infections.
Eucalyptus oil and Rosemary oil are also beneficial in reducing pain and infection.
Applying poultice of linseeds to the chest helps reduce pain.
Changes in life style is also equally important. Quitting smoking, avoiding acidic fruits, drinking plenty of water, spending time in open air, and breathing exercises are some ways to prevent pleurisy.
Contradictions: Pleurisy is a treatable condition but it should be treated without delay. Just like most other herbal treatments, medical advice is recommended.