How To Manage IPF (Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis) Naturally?

Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis is a chronic, progressive, degenerative lung disease mostly affecting the elderly. The lung tissue becomes damaged, thick and scarred making it difficult to work. It is termed as Idiopathic because the exact cause of scarring of tissues cannot be determined. Some causes may be exposure to pollutants or toxins in the environment, radiation exposure due to treatment for lung or breast cancer, side effects of certain medications and even medical conditions like sarcoidosis, pneumonia, scleroderma, and rheumatoid arthritis. It could also run in the family.

IPF is more common in men over 50 years of age.

How To Manage IPF (Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis) Naturally
Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis


There are an inflammation and scarring in the air sacs and their supporting structures, the patients with IPF often find themselves out of breath, taking fast or shallow breaths and find it a challenge to do any physical activity. The lungs ability to deliver oxygen to the blood stream gets impaired which may keep the internal organs from getting oxygen that they need for normal functioning. As the age progresses, and the scarring gets worse, one feels shortness of breath, even while sitting or resting.

Chronic dry cough is another symptom experienced by the patients.

Along with these, the patient experiences fatigue, weakness, joint and muscle pains, unexplained weight loss, chest pain, loss of appetite and clubbing of fingers which means finger tips and toes get wider and rounder at the ends and swelling in lower legs.

Some people have stable disease for years, without any change in symptoms, but in some, the case gets worse quickly.

The patient becomes sad and depressed. They get angry quickly, feels stressed out and frustrated most of the time.


Blood test, breathing tests, exercise testing, chest X rays and High-Resolution CT scan of the chest are done to diagnose IPF. In some cases, lung biopsy is also done.

Medical history and family history of the patient is taken to understand the condition better.

The severity of the disease is measured by the score on a forced vital capacity test (FVC). The lower the FVC score, the more difficulty one may have in breathing on their own.


A person who has been physically active all this life, finds it’s very difficult to cope up with IPF as one feels slowed down and less spontaneous. A person feels disabled or dependent being on oxygen and going through a chronic cough. All these factors make a person reluctant to go out in the public.

IPF can be divided into stages like recently diagnosed, needing oxygen only during physical activity, needing oxygen day and night even while sleeping and the last stage where one has advanced oxygen needs. These stages are called mild, moderate, severe and very severe stages.

Certain Life style changes are necessary to improve symptoms of IPF. Maintaining a healthy weight by doing mild exercises like walking or biking or even practicing Yoga is very helpful in overcoming stress and relieving symptoms of IPF. If the movement is limited, one may try doing breathing exercises while sitting and practice meditation to relieve stress.

Eating a good balance nutritious diet and staying well hydrated is the key to solve all problems. People generally feel the loss of appetite and loose weight as it is uncomfortable to eat. One needs to try eating smaller meals more often throughout the day to get adequate daily calories. Fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low fat dairy products are recommended. Avoid too much salt, oil and too much sugar in the diet.

The diet must contain Citrus fruits as they are rich in Vitamin C which stimulates the production of WBCs. WBCs reduces inflammation in the lungs caused by IPF. Fruits also help in naturally reducing the scarring in the lung tissue over time. One must include berries, grapes, oranges and lemons to their daily diet. Among vegetables, it is good to consume kale, spinach, turnip.

Getting enough sleep is very important for faster recovery. Resting helps to relieve stress.

Quitting smoking can help improve quality of the life and extend life expectancy of the patient. It is important to quit smoking completely and avoid being around people who smoke.

Getting Vaccinated: It is very important to receive vaccination for pneumonia and get annual flu shots to avoid risks of more respiratory infections.

Monitor the oxygen, keeping stress and anxiety under control help in faster recovery.

Herbs like Tulsi (Basil) and Turmeric (curcumin) are excellent in fighting any kind of inflammations and infections. They should be included in daily diet or taken in the form of capsules daily to relieve symptoms of dry cough and breathlessness associated with IPF.

Herb Giloy is another excellent remedy for lung infections. The herb is known for its anti-microbial and healing properties. It strengthens the immunity with time and help the patient to overcome symptoms of fatigue and tiredness associated with IPF. The herb is also available in the form of capsules.

Other useful herbs that are known to be very beneficial in lung disorders are Neem, Ashwagandha, Haridra, Shirish, Mulethi, Vasa, Anantmool, Kantkari, Bharangi and Twak.

Baking soda: Baking soda mixed in a glass of water and taken before meals helps in treating acidity by making the body alkaline and also helps in eliminating toxins out of the body. It is useful for GERD patients, as acid reflux may enter the lungs and damage them further. Thus, baking soda helps to manage the symptoms of IPF naturally.

There is no known treatment to help the body reverse scarring in the lungs as once it happens, it stays there. The treatment focuses on improving the symptoms. Adjusting to the symptoms need patience and support from other family members around. Some patients go for a lung transplant but that depends on their health condition and age.

As the condition progresses, a person with Pulmonary Fibrosis is at risk of other health problems like heart attack, stroke, and other lung infections. Early diagnoses and treatment definitely help in slowing down the progression of the diseases.