Pneumonia. Find the Best Supplements & Treatments Made Easy

Updated: 10/30/23

Are you looking to find out more about pneumonia, its available treatments, and the best dietary supplements to help boost your recovery? Pneumonia is an infection in one or both lungs that causes inflammation in the air sacs of the lungs. Symptoms can range from mild fever and cough, to chest pains and a lack of energy. For some patients, symptoms can become quite severe. With so many potential forms of treatment as well as natural remedies available–it’s no wonder people are wondering where to start when searching for the right solutions to combat their pneumonia diagnosis. Fortunately look no further–as this blog post will guide you through all tips on what options are available when it comes to alleviating pneumonia symptoms!

What is Pneumonia?

Pneumonia is a common respiratory infection affecting the lungs and causing inflammation. It can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi and is often contracted through breathing in droplets from coughs or sneezes of an infected person. It is a common illness that can affect people of all ages but can be especially dangerous for children and older adults or those with weakened immune systems.

Pneumonia is the leading cause of death among children under five, with an estimated 2,400 children deaths per day. The condition is also responsible for 7 percent of all deaths in adults. The American Lung Association estimates that there are over 30 different causes of pneumonia.

Pneumonia is an inflammatory condition caused by a bacterial, viral or fungal infection, affecting primarily the alveoli in the lungs. The alveoli are the small air sacks in the lungs where the exchange of oxygen in the blood takes place. These air sacs fill with fluid or pus, making it difficult for oxygen to reach the blood. This results in a cough with phlegm or pus, difficulty breathing, fever and chills. Pneumonia can range in severity from mild to life-threatening. This depends on several factors like age, medical history and strength of the immune system. It is more severe in infants, young children, individuals older than 65 and those with weak immune systems.

Types of Pneumonia

Viral Pneumonia

This type of pneumonia is caused by different viruses like the flu and accounts for about one-third of all cases. Individuals with viral pneumonia are more prone to bacterial pneumonia. An individual may develop viral pneumonia by sneezing, coughing or interacting with an object contaminated by an infected person. The symptoms of viral pneumonia include chills, fever, stuffy nose, headache, muscle pain and dry cough, which can get worse and cause mucus.

Fungal Pneumonia

Fungi are not a common cause of pneumonia. A healthy person is unlikely to get fungal anemia unless they have a weak immune system as a result of chemotherapy, an organ transplant, HIV and medications that treat autoimmune diseases. Fungal pneumonia develops when people inhale tiny particles called fungal spores, hence it can affect people in jobs like construction and landscaping where they interact with a lot of dust. Symptoms of fungal pneumonia are fever and cough.

Pneumococcal Pneumonia

This is the most common type of bacterial pneumonia. Pneumococcal pneumonia results from bacteria that live in the upper respiratory tract. It can easily be spread through coughing. Some of its symptoms include chest pain, fever, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing and excessive sweating. Pneumococcal pneumonia can be caused by smoking, asthma, diabetes and chronic health conditions like COPD. Protection against pneumococcal pneumonia can be done by vaccination.

Atypical Pneumonia

Atypical pneumonia is caused by bacteria or viruses that are not commonly associated with typical pneumonia. These cases can be difficult to diagnose, but if identified quickly, it can be treated with antibiotics or antiviral medication. Walking pneumonia is a non-medical term used to describe these mild cases of pneumonia or pneumonia that is not severe enough for hospitalization. The symptoms are so mild that an individual feels there is no need to stay home but instead walks around. Walking pneumonia spreads like any other typical pneumonia when an infected person sneezes or coughs. Walking pneumonia can be treated by using antibiotics if the cause is bacteria.

Community-acquired Pneumonia (CAP)

This type of pneumonia is commonly caught during day-to-day interactions in your community. It can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi. CAP usually needs antibiotics for treatment and can only be diagnosed through chest X-ray examination or a few blood tests.

Hospital-acquired Pneumonia (HAP)

HAP is an infection that patients get while staying in hospitals or other health care facilities. The infection can result from hospital procedures, usage of breathing machines, or poor infection control in hospital rooms. HAP tends to be more severe than CAP, and treatment tends to be more complex. This is because bacteria in hospitals can be more resistant to antibiotics.

Aspiration Pneumonia

This type of pneumonia occurs when you breathe in food, drink, or vomit into your lungs instead of your stomach. These fluids can irritate the lungs, cause inflammation, and lead to pneumonia. Aspiration pneumonia is common in people with swallowing problems or who are under general anaesthesia.

Bronchitis vs. Pneumonia

Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchial tubes, which are the air passages that lead to the lungs. It’s usually caused by a viral infection, although sometimes it can be bacterial. The hallmark symptom of bronchitis is a persistent cough that can last for weeks. Other symptoms can include chest congestion, wheezing, and shortness of breath. Bronchitis is typically less severe than pneumonia and can often be treated with rest and over-the-counter medications.

Pneumonia is a more serious infection that affects the lungs and can be caused by viruses, bacteria, or fungi. It’s often characterized by a high fever, chills, coughing up mucus, and chest pain. Pneumonia can be life-threatening, especially in older adults, young children, or people with weakened immune systems. Treatment for pneumonia usually includes antibiotics, rest, and plenty of fluids.

The symptoms of bronchitis and pneumonia can be similar, so it can be difficult to tell them apart. However, there are a few key differences to look out for. Bronchitis usually starts with a cold or flu-like symptoms, and the cough may not produce any mucus. On the other hand, pneumonia symptoms tend to come on suddenly and are more severe, with a high fever and difficulty breathing. If you’re unsure about your symptoms, it’s always best to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis.

Pneumonia Symptoms

The main symptoms of pneumonia are the following. They may develop gradually over a few days or may progress faster.


A persistent cough is the most noticeable symptom of pneumonia. The cough can be dry or productive, accompanied by mucus or phlegm. The cough may worsen at night or with physical activity.

Shortness of Breath

Shortness of breath is a result of the lungs’ inability to breathe in enough oxygen owing to the inflammation and fluid build-up in the lungs. It is usually detected during physical activity, but it can also happen when sitting or lying down.

Chest Pain

Chest pain occurs when the lung lining becomes inflamed. This pain may worsen when you take a deep breath or cough. Pneumonia chest pain happens on the side of the affected lung. You also may experience discomfort or aches in your chest.


Fever is a common symptom of most infections, including pneumonia. Pneumonia fever typically ranges from 100°F (37.8°C) to 103°F (39.4°C). However, some people may not have a fever with pneumonia.


Pneumonia can cause exhaustion and fatigue. Even minor physical activity may become difficult. Fatigue is a common symptom, among others, in the elderly who have pneumonia.


Confusion and disorientation are possible symptoms of pneumonia, particularly in the elderly. When pneumonia affects the brain, it can cause seizures and other neurological symptoms.

Nausea and Vomiting

Nausea and vomiting are possible symptoms of pneumonia. These symptoms are usually a result of the toxins released by bacteria during the body’s immune response.


Pneumonia patients may notice excessive sweating during their sleep or when lying down due to fevers or chills

Causes of Pneumonia

Pneumonia results from several infectious agents and develops when the lungs fill up with pus, fluid and mucus, making it difficult to inhale, get enough oxygen and control coughing. The disease mostly affects the alveoli, sacks that allow for an individual to breathe properly.

The following are the primary causes of pneumonia:

Airborne Bacteria and Viruses

This is where a person inhales the infection. An infected person can cough or sneeze then another person inhales the infected particles. This is more likely in poor ventilation in rooms or spaces, or people in close proximity with each other. Streptococcus pneumonia is the most common cause of bacterial pneumonia in infants and young ones. Viruses are the leading cause in children under five years. Viral pneumonia has mild symptoms but can be severe at times.


Fungi from animal dropping or the soil can cause pneumonia when a person inhales large quantities of the organisms. Some fungi found in soil that can cause pneumonia are histoplasmosis, coccidioidomycosis and Cryptococcus. Fungi can also cause pneumonia in an individual with a weak immune system or chronic conditions. Pneumocystis pneumonia is a severe fungal infection that manifests in people with weak immune systems as a result of HIV/AIDS or prolonged use of medications that suppress the immune system.

Inhalation of Chemicals and Irritants

You may be at a higher risk of pneumonia if you inhale irritating substances at work or home. This could be anything from fumes, chemicals, and dust to smoke and pollution. Inhalation of these irritants can cause the airways to narrow, making it easier for bacteria and viruses to enter the lungs.

Chronic Diseases

Individuals with chronic diseases such as diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and COPD have a higher risk of developing pneumonia. This is primarily because their immune systems may be weak, making them more prone to infections. Additionally, chronic diseases can cause damage to essential organs such as the lungs, predisposing them to pneumonia.

Weather Changes

Extreme weather conditions such as cold and dry climates can increase your chances of developing pneumonia. During colder months, the risk of developing pneumonia is higher as people tend to spend more time indoors where ventilation may not be optimal. Cold weather can also irritate the airways and cause inflammation of the lungs.


Age is a significant risk factor for pneumonia, particularly in older adults. This is because as we age, our immune system becomes weaker, and we tend to develop other chronic illnesses. Older adults may also struggle to clear mucus from their lungs, allowing bacteria and viruses to thrive and cause respiratory infections.

Causes of Pneumonia

Diagnosing Pneumonia

Diagnosing pneumonia can be difficult due to the varying symptoms. It involves identifying the cause of the disease. This can be by:

  • Medical history: The doctor asks questions about a patient’s signs and symptoms to know when and how they began to try and find if they were by a virus, bacteria or fungi.
  • Physical exam: The doctor listens to a patient’s lungs using a stethoscope. If the lungs have infection, there will be a crackling sound.
  • Diagnostic tests: These may include a sputum test, chest X-ray, blood tests and pulse oximetry that measure the level of oxygen in the blood.

Pneumonia Treatment

Pneumonia treatment options vary depending on the severity of the infection, your overall health, and the cause of the infection.


One of the most common treatments for pneumonia is antibiotics. These medications work by killing the bacteria or viruses that are causing the infection. Your doctor will prescribe a specific type of antibiotic based on the type of pneumonia you have and your overall health. It’s important to take antibiotics exactly as directed, even if you start feeling better before the full course of medication is completed.

Oxygen Therapy

If your pneumonia has caused low oxygen levels in your blood, you may need oxygen therapy. This treatment involves the use of a machine that delivers oxygen through a mask or nasal cannula. The extra oxygen can help alleviate shortness of breath and other breathing difficulties.

Fluids and Rest

When you have pneumonia, your body needs plenty of rest and fluids to help fight off the infection. Your doctor may recommend that you take time off from work or other activities and drink fluids such as water, juice, and broth. In severe cases, hospitalization may be necessary to receive intravenous fluids and other treatments.

Pulmonary Rehabilitation

After you have recovered from pneumonia, you may experience weakness in your respiratory muscles and decreased lung function. Pulmonary rehabilitation is a treatment program that can help you improve your lung function and breathing ability through exercise and other techniques. Your doctor may recommend this type of treatment to ensure a complete recovery.


The best way to avoid pneumonia is to take steps to prevent infection in the first place. Get an annual flu shot, practice good hygiene by washing your hands frequently, and avoid close contact with people who are sick. If you smoke, quit immediately as smoking can increase your risk of developing pneumonia.

Can Pneumonia Kill You?

We’ve all heard about the dangers of pneumonia and its potentially fatal consequences. While some cases of pneumonia may be mild and easy to manage with appropriate treatment, it can be a very serious illness that can lead to death in some individuals. Preventing pneumonia is key to avoiding its potentially fatal consequences. 

Can Pneumonia Heal on its Own?

So, can pneumonia heal on its own? The honest answer is: it depends. Bacterial pneumonia, which is by bacterial infections, needs medical treatment. Without treatment, it can lead to severe complications that can be life-threatening. On the other hand, viral pneumonia, caused by viral infections such as flu, usually heals on its own. Your immune system can fight off the virus and heal it without any external help. However, you may still need to take some steps to speed up the healing process.

One of the ways you can help yourself heal from pneumonia is by getting lots of rest and drinking lots of fluids. Rest allows your body to focus on fighting the infection, while fluids help your immune system flush out all the toxins. You can also take pain-relieving medication to relieve the symptoms of pneumonia. Consult your healthcare provider before starting any treatment on your own.

Pneumonia for Elderly

Elderly people are often at higher risk of getting it because their immune systems are weaker than younger adults. This makes it harder for them to fight off infections, which can lead to more severe symptoms and complications. Common symptoms of pneumonia in elderly people include coughing, fever, difficulty breathing, and chest pain. It is important to see a doctor right away if you experience any of these symptoms, as pneumonia can quickly become serious and lead to hospitalization or even death.

The treatment for pneumonia in elderly people varies depending on the cause and severity of the infection. Antibiotics are prescriptions for bacterial pneumonia, while antiviral medications may be used for viral pneumonia. Other treatments may include oxygen therapy, nebulizer treatments, and IV fluids. It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions closely and take all prescribed medications as directed.

Prevention is key when it comes to pneumonia in elderly people. The best way to prevent pneumonia is to get your vaccinations against pneumococcal bacteria, which is the most common cause of bacterial pneumonia. The flu vaccine can also help prevent viral pneumonia. Other preventive measures include practicing good hygiene, such as washing your hands frequently, avoiding contact with people who are sick, and avoiding smoking and other harmful substances.

Pneumonia Home Remedies 

Stay Hydrated

Taking warm water can work miracles for people who don’t take peppermint tea. This will help them stay hydrated while keeping them warm inside. Taking a bowl of hot soup can also replenish vital fluids in the body while helping to keep warm. Take at least 8 cups of water or fluid per day. This helps to thin the mucus and keep the fever down.

Steam Therapy

Steam therapy is an effective way to loosen up mucus and relieve congestion in the lungs. You can use a steam inhaler or boil a pot of water and breathe in the steam with a towel over your head. Adding essential oils like eucalyptus or peppermint to the water can also help to soothe respiratory symptoms.

Garlic and Onion

Garlic and onion have natural antiviral and antibiotic properties that may help your body fight respiratory infections like pneumonia. Both ingredients are to stimulate the immune system, making it easier for the body to combat the infection. Add crushed garlic and diced onions to your meals to help improve your respiratory health and speed up recovery.

Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus oil contains compounds that help to break up mucus and open up the airways, making it easier for you to breathe. You can diffuse eucalyptus oil in your room or add a few drops to your bathwater or humidifier to experience its soothing effects.

Honey and Lemon

Combining honey and lemon creates a natural cough syrup that can help to soothe a sore throat and reduce coughing. Honey has natural antibacterial properties, while lemon contains vitamin C, which is vital for boosting the immune system and fighting infections. Simply add a few teaspoons of honey and a squeeze of lemon juice to a cup of warm water and drink it several times a day to alleviate symptoms.

Other Remedies

  • Get enough rest: Enough rest helps the body get enough time to heal and recuperate properly. Enough rest also helps to prevent relapse.
  • Saltwater gargle: This can help get rid of a reasonable amount of mucus in the throat and reduce irritation. Gargling with just water for 30 seconds and then spitting it out. The process should be on repetition for three times daily.
  • Don’t smoke: Smoking may damage the lungs natural defense against respiratory infections.
  • Practicing good hygiene: Like washing hands regularly can protect against respiratory infections like pneumonia.

Pneumonia Supplements

Pneumonia victims can experience death if left without treatment and that’s why it’s important to bolster your immune system with good nutrition and immunity-boosting supplements. Supplements can complement your treatment and expedite the healing process.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps fight off infections by stimulating the production of white blood cells. When you have pneumonia, vitamin C can help dislodge mucus from the lungs, which makes it easier for your body to cough up. Taking 500 milligrams of vitamin C supplements twice a day can be very effective at preventing and treating pneumonia.


Zinc is a mineral that plays a crucial role in immune function. It’s been proven to reduce the duration and severity of the common cold, which is often a precursor to pneumonia. Zinc also helps your body create and activate white blood cells that fight infections. It’s recommended to take 25 milligrams of zinc supplements daily for pneumonia prevention and treatment.


Probiotics are helpful bacteria found in fermented foods and supplements that support immune function. They’ve been researched to decrease the incidence of respiratory infections and can help shorten the duration of illness. Probiotics also help replenish good bacteria in the gut, which is important because 70% of our immune system is in the gut.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is known as the “sunshine vitamin” because it’s produced in your body when your skin is exposed to sunlight. It’s been proven that vitamin D improves immune function and can be helpful in preventing respiratory infections. To get enough vitamin D, it’s recommended to take 1000-2000 IU of vitamin D3 softgels daily.


Elderberry is a popular natural remedy known for its anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties. It helps boost the immune system and significantly reduce the duration of flu-like symptoms, including pneumonia. You can take elderberry syrup or supplements to help fight off pneumonia and other respiratory infections.


Taking warm peppermint tea may be beneficial in soothing a scratchy throat. According to a study on Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, peppermint can have a soothing effect on the throat of individual experiencing upper respiratory tract infections. Peppermint may ease the pain and thin the mucus and inflammation that results from pneumonia. As a dietary supplement, take 700 mg (about 1/3 tsp) of peppermint extract powder once or twice daily, or as directed by a physician. Best taken with meals.


Turmeric can be helpful when dealing with chest pain. Chest pain mainly results from a persistent cough. Warm tea made from turmeric root can deal with the cough and reduce the pain. Turmeric root has a natural anti-inflammatory effect on the body. Curcumin turmeric extract powder is to be taken in one dose of 1,000 mg or less per day, depending on the intended effect. It needs ingestion along with water or a meal. Roughly, 1,000 mg for this product is equal to less than ½ tsp, or a little more than 3/8 tsp.


Ginger is also important in reducing pain with its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. It’s very efficient for chest pain. As a dietary supplement, take 1,000 milligrams (about ½ tsp) of ginger root extract powder once daily, or as directed by a physician. To avoid any heartburn, take with at least 8 ounces of water.

The Bottom Line

Pneumonia is a contagious and sometimes severe infection of the lungs that results from viruses, bacteria and other microorganisms. Symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath, fever, chest pains and coughing. Protection against it can be by boosting the immune system by taking a healthy diet with a supplement like a peppermint, ginger and turmeric. Pneumonia can also experience prevention of it by treating respiratory illnesses, breastfeeding infants, minimizing exposure to pollutants and toxic substances and controlling symptoms of a fever.

Incorporating supplements into your daily routine is a great way to strengthen your immune system and reduce the risk of infections like pneumonia. Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Zinc, Probiotics, and Elderberry are all excellent supplements to add to your diet to support a healthy immune system. However, it is still best to incorporate a varied and balanced diet with regular exercise and good sleep hygiene to achieve maximum health benefits. Consult your healthcare professional before incorporating any supplements into your daily routine, especially if you have underlying medical conditions. Stay healthy and strong!

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease

Author: BulkSupplements Staff