Are there any home remedies for pneumonia?


Are there any home remedies for pneumonia?


Pneumonia is an inflammatory disorder of the lungs caused by an infection of the airways. It is a serious condition, and although home remedies will not treat and cure it, some may help to ease the symptoms and enhance healing.

Pneumonia can be life threatening, and so medical intervention is necessary. Many people require a hospital stay, and afterwards, it can take weeks or months to fully recover.

Certain factors increase the risk of pneumonia. These include:

  • being under 5 or over 65 years of age
  • having exposure to tobacco smoke and air pollution
  • having asthma
  • having a weakened immune system
  • having other medical conditions, including COVID-19

We will cover the causes and symptoms of pneumonia, and look into home remedies.

Causes and symptoms


Pneumonia often develops due to another illness or infection. Examples of such include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, the flu, or COVID-19.

A healthy person’s immune system can often prevent severe infections; however, if bacteria, fungi, or viruses overwhelm the immune system, a more serious illness can occur.

The most common symptoms of pneumonia include:

  • a cough
  • shortness of breath
  • chest pain
  • a fever
  • chills
  • fatigue and muscle aches
  • a headache due to a persistent cough

COVID-19 and pneumonia


The main symptoms of COVID-19 include a persistent dry cough and a fever. If chest pain or breathing difficulties develop, a doctor will treat it as pneumonia. If it is severe, the person may need to spend time in hospital and use a respirator to aid their breathing – home remedies will not help in this case.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) note that most people will experience mild symptoms and should stay at home until they feel better. However, if they develop more severe symptoms, they should seek medical attention immediately.

Home remedies for pneumonia symptoms


A doctor will prescribe medication to treat the infection causing pneumonia, depending on the cause.

During recovery, they will also recommend:

  • getting plenty of rest
  • eating nutritious foods
  • drinking lots of fluids

The following sections will discuss home remedies that can help to manage the symptoms.



Doctors may not recommend a cough suppressant as the body will cough to try to expel excess mucus from the lungs.

However, some natural methods may help reduce the severity of a cough, including:

1. Peppermint, eucalyptus, and fenugreek tea

There are several warm herbal teas that can help to soothe a scratchy throat, but herbs may be more beneficial.

2011 study showed that herbs, including peppermint and eucalyptus, helped to soothe the throats of people with upper respiratory tract infections. The herbs may also help break up mucus and ease pain and inflammation.

review from 2018 highlighted that fenugreek seeds may help break down mucus. Therefore, a tea made from ground fenugreek seeds may ease a persistent cough.

Eucalyptus and tea tree oils may help to relieve coughs when used in a diffuser – however, individuals should limit their exposure at first in order to ensure that the oils do not worsen their symptoms.

2. A saltwater gargle

A warm saltwater gargle may eliminate mucus or germs in the throat to provide relief from further coughing and irritation.


Shortness of breath


While breathing difficulties require immediate medical attention, mild shortness of breath can be remedied at home.

3. Caffeine

Small amounts of caffeine may help to open up the airways in the lungs. This could be done by drinking a black or green tea or a cup of coffee.

4. Warm, damp air

Inhaling warm, damp air may help to ease breathing and stop the throat from tightening. Breathing in the steam from a shower or breathing over a warm cup of tea may help.

5. Rest

Rest is important for cellular repair in the body, but may be particularly beneficial for shortness of breath. Someone with pneumonia may benefit from keeping physical exertion to a minimum.

Chest pain


Chest pain and discomfort are common symptoms of pneumonia. The following remedies may ease this:

6. Ginger or turmeric tea

Warm tea made with fresh ginger or turmeric root may help reduce chest pain caused by persistent coughing. Both of these plants can have a natural anti-inflammatory effect in the body.

A thumb sized piece of either root can be chopped up and boiled in a pint of water. If a stronger flavour is preferred, it can be boiled for longer. If the flavour is too strong, a spoonful of honey can be added.



A high or persistent fever requires medical attention, as it could be a symptom of severe infection. However, the following remedies may help to soothe a mild fever:

7. Hydration

It is important to stay hydrated during a fever. Drinking cool drinks or eating homemade ice popsicles can help to hydrate and cool down the body.

8. Fenugreek tea

As the 2018 review above notes, tea made from fenugreek seeds can encourage a person to sweat and reduce their temperature.

9. Over-the-counter pain relievers

Some medications such as ibuprofen may reduce fever and pain. These should be taken according to guidance.

10. A lukewarm bath or compress

Soaking the body in lukewarm water may help cool it down. If a bath is not possible, you can apply lukewarm towels or washcloths to the body.



Chills are often a secondary symptom of a fever. The following home remedies may help ease chills:

11. Warm liquids

Drinking warm liquids may help warm the body up and prevent chills.

Some examples include:

  • warm water
  • herbal teas
  • a bowl of soup

Avoid sodas and consume either water or liquids that contain nutrients.

General symptoms


Some foods can help to boost the immune system and reduce inflammation. This may help to ease the symptoms of pneumonia.

12. Additional natural compounds

Foods that help to boost the healing process include:

  • garlic
  • raw honey
  • cayenne pepper
  • tea tree oil
  • echinacea

None of these substances or remedies will treat or cure pneumonia. However, they may help the person feel better and contribute to their overall wellbeing.

When to see a doctor


Anyone with difficulty breathing should seek medical help for diagnosis and treatment. It is essential to follow any treatment plan that the doctor recommends and request additional help if the symptoms do not improve after a few days. A doctor can also advise on some ways to prevent pneumonia from developing again.

Preventing pneumonia naturally


It isn’t always possible to prevent pneumonia, but some lifestyle choices can reduce the risk of developing it or experiencing severe symptoms.

These include:

  • adopting a varied and healthful diet
  • getting regular exercise
  • not smoking
  • avoiding air pollution, if possible
  • managing stress levels and getting enough sleep
  • practicing good hand-washing to reduce the risk of infection
  • following any instructions the doctor recommends for staying healthy

In the case of COVID-19, experts advise physical distancing from other people in order to help prevent the spread of the virus.

Healthful lifestyle habits can help to strengthen the body and fight off infections.



Pneumonia can be life threatening and generally requires medical treatment. Many people will require a hospital stay, and it can take months to fully recover. However, some home treatments can help to make a person feel better and encourage their body to heal.

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