15 Home Remedies for Pleurisy

man holding chest caption home remedies for pleurisy

A sharp pain that runs all the way through your chest whenever you try to breathe is enough to make you sit up and take notice. Among the many possibilities for such a pain is one known as pleurisy, which is inflammation of the tissue that lines the lungs and chest cavity. You will be relieved to know that there are 15 home remedies for pleurisy that can get rid of that sharp pain and have you breathing normally in no time.

What Causes Pleurisy?

There are a number of potential causes for this condition, including bad chest injuries, heart surgery and bacterial infections.

This condition’s name denotes its location – the pleural space between the plurae of each of your lungs. Under optimal conditions, this space is simply filled with fluid. However, it can become inflamed if air or other particles enter it in large quantities.

Issues ranging from lupus to fungi and parasites can affect this vital, yet vulnerable area. In fact, so many conditions can affect the body’s pleural space that many cases of pleurisy are deemed idiopathic or impossible to find the cause for. What can be treated, in the absence of a known cause, are the symptoms.

Be aware that some sharp pains in the chest and lungs are of a much more serious nature. It is best to consult a healthcare professional if you continue to have sharp pains in your chest over an extended period of time.

1. Flax Seeds and Sesame Seeds

To top off a list of home remedies that help to treat pleurisy are two potent little seeds. The compounds, vitamins and minerals found in these seeds not only helps to reduce inflammation, but also helps to heal the damaged tissue and reduce the pain.

What to do:

  • Dry 1 tsp each of sesame and flax seeds in the sun for an hour or so.
  • Grind the seeds together to make a powder.
  • Mix the powder in 2 tsp of honey and consume it twice daily until the pain is gone.

2. Dates

Pleurisy has met its match when it comes to dates, which are an excellent home remedy for the condition. Rich in phosphorus, iron, calcium, potassium, zinc and magnesium, dates help to regulate the inflammatory response in your body. In addition, vitamins A, K, folate, niacin and riboflavin are present to help boost healing of the tissues as well.

What to do:

  • Soak a handful of dates in a glass of water overnight.
  • Crush the dates into a paste, mix them with warm milk and drink them every morning.
  • Repeat this daily for a week or so.

3. Dried Figs

Dried figs are another home remedy for treating pleurisy that cannot be ignored. Their high concentrations of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids fight the inflammatory response which is causing the discomfort. They also help with other lung conditions that sometimes worsen pleurisy such as, bronchitis, chronic cough and asthma.

What to do:

  • Soak a handful of dried figs overnight with 1 Tbsp of honey in a glass of water.
  • Consume the dried figs the following morning.
  • Repeat this remedy daily for a couple of weeks.

cinnamon rolls

4. Cinnamon and Cloves

A simpler and more readily available home remedy more effective than this one cannot be found. The combination of cinnamon and cloves not only helps treat pleurisy but they also help ease the pain.

What to do:

  • Blend together 2 Tbsp each of powdered cinnamon and powdered cloves and seal them in an airtight container.
  • Add 1 tsp of the mixture to just about any recipe on a regular basis and/or add 1 tsp to your tea, coffee, juice or smoothie every time you drink.
  • Repeat this remedy as often as possible until the condition improves.

5. Milk

Warm milk is another simple home remedy which can be used to help treat pleurisy. Raw, whole milk is especially beneficial given its combination of fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals which help give the immune system a boost.

What to do:

  • Drink a glass of warm milk in the morning and at night.
  • Make use of milk in a number of the remedies we discuss in this list as well.

6. Amla

You are probably less familiar with amla, sometimes called holy basil, as a home remedy, than you are with most of the others on this list, but it’s not one you want to ignore completely. Amla is known for its high content of vitamin C and its anti-inflammatory properties both of which will help bring quick relief to pleurisy pain and discomfort.

What to do:

  • Consume 2 tsp of amla powder in a glass of warm water or warm milk every morning.

7. Pineapple

A home remedy involving one of the most potent tropical fruits known is also helpful in relieving the pain of pleurisy. Pineapple, with its concentration of bromelain is excellent when it comes to fighting inflammation and helping to heal tissue.

What to do:

  • Peel and cut up a fresh pineapple being certain to save the husks and the core.
  • Boil the husks and core for about 1 hour in a large pot of water.
  • Pour the boiled husks and core along with the water into a blender and liquefy them.
  • Strain out the juice.
  • Drink this juice two to three times a day.

8. Ginger

Plenty of studies show that ginger is effective at burning away mucus to help improve breathing. This becomes essential if you suffer from pleurisy as any resistance to breathing only intensifies the pain. In addition, ginger also has anti-inflammatory properties to help get you over the problem.

What to do:

  • Boil 1 Tbsp of thinly sliced ginger root in 2 cups of water.
  • Reduce and allow it to simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Strain out the tea, allow it to cool a bit, and then add a little bit of honey.
  • Drink this remedy 2 to 3 times daily until the issue subsides.

turmeric and ginger

9. Turmeric

A cousin to ginger, turmeric, is a home remedy which is powerful against inflammation. The compound curcumin is present in turmeric and is so powerful that it outperforms ibuprofen against inflammation and pain. Reduced inflammation and pain are great news to someone suffering from pleurisy.

What to do:

  • You can prepare fresh turmeric root in the same manner as ginger.
  • As an alternative, if you can’t get fresh turmeric, is to stir 1 tsp of turmeric powder along with a pinch of black pepper (to help with absorption) into a glass of warm milk.
  • Consume this a couple of times daily until symptoms improve.

10. Carrots and Onions

Two common ingredients in stew make a great home remedy for the treatment of pleurisy. Carrots are high in the antioxidant, beta carotene and also contain anti-inflammatory properties. The sulfurs in onions are not only anti-inflammatory as well, but also have antibiotic properties. The two together make a powerful combination.

What to do:

  • Obviously, adding carrots and onions to salads, soups and stews is a great way to consume them.
  • They can also be placed in a food processor and chopped into a paste.
  • Mix in some honey to sweeten the mix a little and put the mixture in your refrigerator in a sealed container.
  • Dip out 1 Tbsp of the mixture and swallow it whenever your symptoms are at their worst.

11. Warm Compress

A comforting home remedy that can take the edge off of pleurisy pain is a warm compress. The warmth helps to relax the chest muscles which tend to tighten and spasm. Additionally, the warmth can also help clear out any congestion that makes the pain even worse.

What to do:

  • Saturate a towel in hot water, wring out the excess and place it over your chest for 5 minutes.
  • Repeat the process several times until you get relief.
  • Another option is to take a hot bath or shower and allow the water the hot water to run over your chest.
  • Repeat either of these several times per day to gain relief.

12. Celery

Simple home remedies always work best when it comes to getting relief from pleurisy. Celery is such a remedy. Potent antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties along with antispasmodic compounds make celery a go to vegetable when you really want to get relief.

What to do:

  • Add celery to soups, salads and stews to keep as a regular part of your diet.
  • You can also eat raw celery with a dab of cream cheese in the middle or with your favorite vegetable dip.

13. Hibiscus Flower

Commonplace in Chinese herbal medicine, hibiscus flowers pack the necessary punch to help knockout pleurisy. Hibiscus flowers are known to boost immunity, act as an anti-inflammatory and tend to bring relaxation. Home remedies which help you relax are obviously of great benefit given the painful stress of muscle spasms associated with the condition.

What to do:

  • You can purchase and prepare hibiscus tea or make it from dried or fresh hibiscus flowers.
  • You can also grind 4 to 5 hibiscus flowers into a pulp, mix them with 3 tsp of honey and swallow the mixture.
  • Repeat either of these remedies 2 to 3 times daily for a couple of weeks.

14. Room Humidifier

Keeping the air moist in the room while you sleep is another excellent home remedy to help ease the pain and discomfort of pleurisy. As long as you keep it clean and do not allow bacteria and fungus to develop, a room humidifier will help break up mucus while you sleep so that you will not have the added discomfort of coughing up phlegm in the morning.

What to do:

  • Set up a cool mist humidifier in the room where you sleep and let it run throughout the night.
  • You can add eucalyptus, mint or lavender essential oils to help with relaxation and ease of breathing as well.

15. Basil

A final powerful home remedy to combat the effects of pleurisy is basil. The vitamins A, C, and K are in abundance in basil along with manganese, copper, iron, calcium, folate, and magnesium. This combination of nutrients helps to ease inflammation fight off bacteria and relieve the pain you are experiencing.

What to do:

  • Add 1 tsp of dried basil leaves or 1 Tbsp of fresh basil leaves to a cup of boiling water.
  • Reduce heat to a simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Allow the tea to cool and then strain out the leaves.
  • Add 1 tsp of honey, if necessary.
  • Drink this tea 2 to 3 times daily to achieve relief.


There is probably no more profound pain than the sharp pain associated with pleurisy, which will double you over in pain. Armed with our 15 home remedies for pleurisy you can combat the pain and get back to normal in no time. Please feel free to leave questions, comment, additional home remedies and success stories in the section provided below.

Images: depositphotos.com.