Pleurisy is the inflammation of the two membranes that line your lungs. Both your lungs are lined by a thin membrane called the pleura. One layer is lining your lungs and the other is lining the inside of your chest wall. Between these two membranes is a small cavity known as the pleural cavity. It is filled with a small amount of lubricating fluid, which allows the smooth movement of the pleural membranes during breathing.
In pleurisy, this lining gets inflamed and causes the membranes to rub against each other with friction just like when two sandpapers rub against each other. The friction produced from rubbing causes a severe sharp, stabbing pain that is associated with breathing. The pain exacerbates as you breathe in deeply. As you take a deep breath, the lungs expand causing the two membranes to rub against each other, and therefore, causes pain.
Pleurisy is a very painful condition to live with. Here are some home remedies that you can try to reduce your pain and live a normal lifestyle as much as possible:
1. Apply heat to the painful area.
Apply heat to the area where the pain is for at least 30 minutes. The heat will help relieve the congestion in your chest, and therefore, give you some pain relief and comfort. An alternative method is to have a hot shower for about 20 minutes. This also helps in reducing chest congestion. However, if you are down with a fever, it is best that you use cold packs instead of applying heat.
2. Drink more and eat less.
Drink plenty of water for at least 8 to 10 glasses a day. Drinking water will help your body get rid of the toxins and also thin down the mucus, so that your lungs can easily cough them out. Eating less will keep your stomach light; hence, the less pressure applied on your lungs. Before trying this out, talk with your physician for further advice.
3. Steam inhalation helps.
Steam inhalation from a bowl of hot water will help you reduce the pain. Cover your head and bowl completely with a towel and inhale the vapor. Do this until the water bowl cools down. Repeat this every 3 to 4 hours until your symptoms reduce.
4. Garlic, onion, and honey
Prepare 4 to 6 cloves of garlic with half an onion. To this, add about 8 to 10 tablespoons of water and 2 tablespoons of honey. Blend this well and consume it about 30 minutes before your meal. This will open up your bronchial passages and loosen up the congestion, making you feel more comfortable. You can do this whenever you feel that your lungs are congested and painful.
5. Immersion baths
Have an immersion in a tub of water heated up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Use cold compressors on your shoulders, neck, and head. This will help your body cool as well as reduce the inflammation and congestion in your chest.