With the arrival of spring, we have also greeted our allergies at the door. Many of us often experience some kind of blockage in the nasal passages or throat, persistent cough, and find it hard to breathe.
No matter how hard you heave, it feels like you’re going to cough up a lung before any of that stubborn phlegm. While the phlegm is essential to your sinus health, it can also be an indicator of poor health.
Phlegm is a thick viscous substance secreted by the mucous membrane of your respiratory tract whose role is to fight infections, especially in the case of a severe cold.
Excess phlegm is a common symptom associated with a cold, flu, sinusitis or some other viral or bacterial infection. Also, it can be caused by an allergic reaction to irritants as in hay fever, asthma or damaged vocal cords.
It is often accompanied by a runny nose, constant cough, fever and weakness, and difficulty in breathing. If not treated on time, the phlegm might lead to clogging of the bronchial tubes, and secondary upper respiratory infections.
The following homemade remedies will eliminate phlegm and mucus in the throat and chest, and treat all these accompanying symptoms, in a safe and effective way.
Honey and lemon
Honey has antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties that make it a great home remedy for soothing an irritated throat and eliminating phlegm. Plus, it has antiseptic properties that help boost the immune system to fight off infections faster.
Lemon, on the other hand, is a great ingredient for loosening mucus and phlegm. Also, lemon’s antibacterial property and high vitamin C content improve the body’s resistance to infections.
In a bowl, add 1 tablespoon raw, organic honey and 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and stir well. Drink the concoction right away three times daily to relieve congestion.
Ginger can also help with chest congestion due to its anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties. The polyphenols present in ginger help inhibit the secretion of mucus. Plus, ginger fights infection to get rid of the underlying cause of chest congestion.
Add 1 tablespoon of freshly chopped raw ginger pieces to a cup of hot water. Cover and allow it to steep for 5 minutes. Strain, then add a little honey. Drink up to 3 cups of this warm tea daily. You can even chew small ginger pieces or ginger candies throughout the day to get rid of congestion.
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is another effective remedy for chest congestion. It helps thin the mucus in the chest, thus relieving congestion and helping you breathe better. Apple cider vinegar also boosts your immunity, which greatly helps prevent chest congestion in the first place.
You can add a tablespoon of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar to a glass of water and mix well. Then, drink it 2-3 times daily to eliminate phlegm or gargle to soothe a sore throat.
Turmeric has an active compound called curcumin that helps expectorate the mucus and give you quick relief from chest congestion. Also, its anti-inflammatory property helps deal with a cough, pain and other symptoms of chest congestion.
Mix a teaspoon of turmeric powder in a glass of warm water. Gargle with it a few times daily. You can also add 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder to a glass of milk and boil it. Mix in 2 teaspoons of honey and a pinch of black pepper. Drink it hot 2 or 3 times daily.
Inhaling steam is another very effective way to get quick relief from chest congestion as the steam’s heat and moisture help break up and dissolve mucus.
Fill a bowl with very hot water. Add a few drops of eucalyptus or peppermint essential oil. Place your face over the bowl and a towel over your head. Inhale the steam for as long as you can and breathe deeply.
- You should regularly blow the nose to expel the phlegm
- Do not consume colds drink and foods
- Avoid smoking, as it leads to congestion and irritates the respiratory tract
- Use a humidifier to control the mucus production
- Avoid exposure to household cleaners, paint fumes, and hazardous chemicals, as they irritate the nose and throat
- Do not swallow the phlegm or mucus, but gargle and spit it out to accelerate the healing process
- Consume spicy foods such as garlic and peppers to thin the mucus and break up the congestion.