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|This Month's Man Polls
Man Poll Number 1:
If you had to choose a
woman to sleep with other
than your wife or girlfriend,
who would it be?
Top Choices (So far):
Jessica Alba 79%
Eva Mendez 0%
Jessica Biehl 0%
Man Poll Number 2:
Should Eliot Spitzer Have
Resigned for Sleeping With
Man Poll Number 3:
Is Barack Obama manly
enough to be
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Last updated October 21, 2017, originally published November 26, 2016
By A. Weinberg, Featured Columnist
For many of us, our morning ritual includes a trip to the
bathroom sink to clear our throat, which is routinely
clogged. Often, a bit of blood comes out with the clearing
and we worry. Why am I seeing blood? Is it tuberculosis?
Why in the world could be bleeding inside my head or
In more romantic times, coughing up blood probably
meant tuberculosis. Tuberculosis can in fact be fatal. Here
in the United States, tuberculosis is relatively unknown
among native born Americans. Recently, however, the
Centers for Disease Control reported a slight increase in
2016 in tuberculosis cases, with two-thirds of the increase
among Asian immigrants. Today, some 11 million
Americans have "latent tuberculosis", which shows no
major symptoms. Which is all to say that, no, the reason
you are coughing up blood is probably not tuberculosis --
but get checked anyway.
Tuberculosis not only affects your lungs, it is a danger to
all your body organs. You can even develop tuberculosis in
Sadly, the most likely global cause of coughing up blood is
still tuberculosis. However, if you're reading this article,
and you're in United States or another county in the
developed world and don't feel too terrible, the causes are
likely somewhat more innocuous.
The reason you are coughing up blood could be
bronchiectasis or chronic bronchitis, lung cancer, heart
and blood vessel issues, inflammation, clogged sinuses or
allergies, or simply a little object that got lodged there
temporarily in your throat.
Clogged sinuses, in particular, are responsible for many of
the minor cases of coughing up a bit of blood when you
first clear your throat and nose in the morning.
But in 15-20% of cases, people just have no idea how to
diagnose it. It's one of those things that just happens.
If you're coughing up a lot of blood, get to the emergency
room immediately. However, if it's a little bit of blood
mixed with spit, the most likely scenario, get a diagnosis as
soon as possible from your physician, but don't freak out.
The official term for what you have is “hemoptysis.” So
you can say, “Doc, I'm suffering a bout of hemoptysis.”
But first read up on some natural remedies that could help
you out in the meantime, and afterwards as well,
depending on your diagnosis.
1. Try a Saline Solution
If the cause is rather benign, or likely due to clogged
sinuses, sinusitis, or allergies, using a saline solution is a
good first line of defense.
Rosa Cordovilla from the University of Salamanca in Spain
recommends this option, as applied to various kinds of
hemoptysis. To make a homemade saline solution, you can
put 240 milliliters of distilled water into a clean container.
If you use unfiltered water, boil it to sterilize first, and
then let it cool down. Then, add a half teaspoon of salt and
a half teaspoon of baking soda. Then, use a syringe, nasal
cleansing pot, or squeeze bottle, and put it in your nostril,
aiming at the back of your head. It should be released via
the other nostril or your mouth. Blow your nose several
times to get everything out. It seems a bit weird at first,
but it could be solution to coughing up blood as well as
clearing out your air passageways to breathe better.
After a visit to the beach, you may notice that your sinuses
clear up, largely because the ocean air acts as a natural
2. Do Embolization with a Coil
This is a procedure you can consider with your doctor, if
your root causes are bronchitis-like.
Embolization is a relatively conservative therapy, and has
been shown effective in a number of cases. In 2016, Y.
Miyano from the Tokyo Women's Medical University
analyzed the background, symptoms, findings, and
prognosis of 27 cases between April 2005 and October
2011. In the short term results, there were 25 successful
In general, embolization was found to be safe and a
minimally invasive manner of treating bronchitis-based
hemoptysis. Embolization is a technique to thoroughly
discuss with your physician.
3. Take Toxins Out of Your Environment
One more superficial cause of spitting up blood may be the
things you are surrounding yourself with or ingesting. H.
Kenneth Walker, W. Dallas Hall, and J. Willis Hurst write
about some of the possible causes of hemoptysis in their
1990 manual Clinical Methods, 3rd Edition.
If you are a chain smoker, or even sometimes when you
ingest second hand smoke, your body could start to react
negatively, resulting in an unhappy throat.
Alcohol can also be a trigger for some folks. A less obvious
one that you may inhale more passively in your
environment is asbestos. Asbestos tends to hang out on
ceilings, and may be present in your home and work
Do a scan of your living space and your office to see if
there is asbestos present. If you can, eliminate it.
4. Get a Specialized, Prescribed Herbal Mix
Sometimes, along with whatever other treatments you are
doing, it can be helpful to get an herbal mix as an
A natural medicine specialist, Chinese doctor, or advanced
herbalist should be able to help you out. This proved
effective for one woman experiencing bronchiectasis-
induced hemoptysis. Zhi-Ming Zhang from the First
Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University,
Guangzhou China wrote about her case in a 2013 report.
The woman ended up being prescribed 9 commonly used
herbs: Radix Aconiti Lateralis Preparata (pre-decocted one
hour) 35.7%, Ramulus Cinnamomi 7.9%, Rhizoma
Atractylodis Macrocephalae 7.9%, Poria 7.9%, Radix
Astragali 15.9%, Radix Angelicae Sinensis 7.9%, Herba
Asari 4.8%, baked ginger 7.9% and prepared Radix
After a few weeks of taking them, along with continuing
some of her other treatments, her condition had resolved.
So, if you're already treating your particular hemoptysis,
consider supplementing it with herbal remedies, too.
5. Try Rose Petals or Rose Hips?
Roses are red, your throat is bloody, when you've got
hemoptysis, these flowers can be your buddy. This is one
of those things that has been in herbal medicine for years
It's recommended by many, including Jonathan Pereira, a
pharmacology expert graduated from the University of
London, in his book The Elements of Materia Medica and
There are several options, including making your own rose
water or juice rose hips and putting them in your morning
smoothie. Or try rose hips tea.
Check with your doctor to see if rose is a good option for
you, but it should be pretty harmless, and if it doesn't
work out, it won't do you any harm.
Rose hips contain lots of vitamin C and other nutrients.
6. Do Acupuncture
Acupuncture has been found to be extremely effective for
all kinds of hemoptysis, including moderate and massive
Ren Zhang, a cardiovascular specialist and graduate from
the Peking Union Medical University wrote about
acupuncture's various uses in his book Introduction to
Acupuncture and Moxibustion.
In the case of hemoptysis, after analysis of various kinds,
he found it to have a 90% effectivity rate. Of course, since
hemoptysis is such a heterogenous condition, check with
health professionals and acupuncturists to gauge safety
and see which kind is best for you.
7. Use Vasoconstrictors/Vasodilators
The most common ones these days are adrenalin and
vasopressin. They tend to be topical. This may be a good
option to supplement other treatments.
In one case, observed in 2010 from Yi Pin Zhou from the
Guangdong Medical College in China, a woman diagnosed
with bronchiectasis and pulmonary tuberculosis who had
been struggling with persistent hemoptysis was saved by
nitroglycerin. Her condition cleared up entirely.
This has so far been the exception and not the rule, as a
vasodilator, as vasoconstrictors are more common to clear
up this condition. However, depending on your case, using
nitroglycerin may work. Consult your physician to see if
either a vasoconstrictor or vasodilator is a good option to
try for you.
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