You have mucus throughout your body that helps keep your system functioning optimally. However, phlegm is a type of mucus that your lungs produce when they are trying to eliminate irritants like inflammatory cells or bacteria from an infection, or irritants that may be leading to an allergic reaction.
The accumulation of phlegm is characterized by a constant need to clear your throat, a runny nose, coughing, and trouble breathing.
Before taking any pharmaceutical decongestant that may thicken phlegm and make it even more difficult to cough up, you may want to try these natural remedies to decrease phlegm:
– Essential Oils: Use a diffuser to waft the aroma of therapeutic grade essential oils throughout your house. Specifically, rosemary, eucalyptus, and peppermint essential oils have potent decongestant properties, which could help open your airways.
– Warm Compress: Soak a washcloth in hot water and then lay it over the affected area of your body because the warmth helps heat up as well as liquify the mucus.
– Turmeric: It is a spice that has been used for centuries due to its healing properties. The antiseptic properties of turmeric make it a remarkable all-natural antibacterial remedy that helps destroy the bacteria that result in excessive mucus. Also, this spice helps boost your immune system. Add 1 tsp. of turmeric to 1 glass of hot water, and then gargle.
– Nasal Irrigation: You should rinse your nasal passages with salt water. Simply pour a saline solution into one nostril in order to loosen up the mucus that has accumulated there. Next, drain it out of the other nostril. You may want to use boiled or distilled water when preparing your own saline solution as well as rinse the irrigation device after every use.
– Salt Water: Salt water serves as an incredible antibacterial agent. It helps decrease inflammation and relax your throat. All you need to do is mix a glass of warm water with a pinch of salt and gargle. Then, rinse your mouth and repeat the same procedure a few times on a daily basis.
– Chest Percussion: You should use a cupped hand to produce vibrations on your chest. This method helps move the phlegm into larger airways, thus allowing you to cough it up. This treatment can be performed in the comfort of your own home by a partner. However, you should consume your doctor before practicing it for proper instruction.
– Steam: Steam is among the most powerful options to loosen up stubborn phlegm in your throat and chest. Additionally, the hot steam helps liquify the phlegm and allow you to cough it up. So, you may want to have a long, hot shower. But, make sure you keep the doors closed and the fan off in order to seal in all the steam.
Or you can fill a basin or a mixing bowl with boiling water. Afterwards, use a towel to cover your head and then lean over the bowl. Breathe in the steam to loosen up the phlegm. Be especially careful with this treatment, because steam could contribute to serious burns. You should not put your face too close to the water, and make sure there are not pets or children around that may accidentally tip the water over.
– Honey: Raw, organic honey is considered to be a great demulcent that helps soothe your throat. Moreover, this natural remedy also possesses dextromethorphan present in most cough medicines. Fortunately, you can consume honey in various ways. Namely, you can mix 1 tbsp. of honey with a pinch of black pepper to help fight the infection. Or you can add some freshly squeezed lemon juice and honey to some warm water and consume it all day long. In case you do not suffer from diabetes, the consumption of a few tablespoons of raw, organic honey daily while you are unwell will not do you any harm.
– Lemons: Lemons are rich in vitamin C that can significantly boost your immune system. In addition, the acetic acid and antibacterial properties found in lemons make them an excellent cleaning product around your home. You can reap maximum benefits by adding 2 tsp. of freshly squeezed lemon juice and some raw, organic honey to 1 cup of warm water. Consume this beverage to lower phlegm.
– Hot Drinks: Most of the above mentioned remedies include warm water. This means that you should consume hot drinks while you are sick. Hot drinks help keep you hydrated and are beneficial for loosening mucus from your chest and throat. You should consume warm water with lemon, a cup of chicken broth, or herbal teas. Research examined the effects of cold and hot drinks in the treatment of flu. The researchers concluded that those who consumed hot drinks experienced immediate and prolonged relief from their flu symptoms.
- Ferrer, Gustavo; Lennihan, Burke. ”Cough Cures: The Complete Guide to the Best Natural Remedies and Over-the-Counter Drugs for Acute and Chronic Coughs”;
- Shu, Byron. ”Organic Herbal Remedies to Help Treat Today’s Common Ailments”;