While many people may feel revolted by the mere thought of it, the thick, sticky mucus actually has an essential role in the body, lubricating the nose, mouth, sinuses, throat, lungs, and gastrointestinal tract and serving as a filter preventing potentially harmful elements entering your body.
The mucus also contains enzymes and antibodies which deter and eliminate detrimental bacteria and viruses.
But as useful as it may be, mucus can be vexing and factors like smoke, environmental pollution, cold, flu, allergies all affect the mucus in your body and make it barely tolerable.
But we have here over a dozen natural remedies that can help you discard excessive mucus in your body and relieve your clogged nose and chest.
1. Blow Your Nose Properly
While this is the most straightforward and expected way to dispose of extra mucus from your body, many people fail to do it properly and oftentimes blow hard, causing small openings in the sinus areas that can push bacteria and other irritants further into the body.
Use clean tissues and be sure to wash your hands afterwards just to make sure that you prevent any bacteria from spreading.
2. Drink Warm Liquids
One other thing to manage mucus is staying hydrated by drinking warm drinks which, along with giving you a certain comfort, drinks like warm water, herbal teas, and lemon water will discard mucus from the nasal passages and chest.
According to a study conveyed by the Common Cold Center at Cardiff University in Britain that gave people suffering from flu hot and cold drinks, they learned that those who drank the hot beverages immediately felt relieved and experienced reduction in sore throat, sneezing, coughing, and fatigue.
3. Inhale Steam
Inhaling steam has been practiced as a means to enhance health for thousands of years and is as effective as it is cleansing.
Inhaling steam softens the mucus and phlegm and makes it easier to discard from your body. You can either inhale steam from boiling water or, to add to the effect, you may add herbs or tea into the boiling water.
Just place a towel over your head and lean over the steaming water (not too closely, mind you) and keep breathing in deep breaths for up to 10 minutes. You can do this a couple of times a day for several days till your body discards any excess of phlegm and mucus.
4. Raise the Humidity
Adding extra moisture to the air in your home will help to thin out mucus in the nose and phlegm in the chest.
Another great way to deal with mucus in the chest and nasal passages is raising the moisture in the air of your home by simply using a warm-mist or a cool-mist humidifier, but the latter one is recommended. It is an inexpensive way and it uses less energy than the warm-mist humidifier.
But always remember that it is principal to keep the humidifier clean as there’s always the risk of spreading of bacteria and molds that will only make things worse, mucus-wise.
5. Use a Neti Pot
The Neti pot, which is, in appearance, almost identical to a small teapot, is a popular means of performing nasal saline irrigation i.e. flushing out the sinuses and nasal passages with salt water.
According to research, a DIY salt water rinse is more effective than an over-the-counter decongestant spray!
Scientists at the University of Michigan tested saline nose sprays and saline rinses in adults with stuffy noses and sinus pain, and although all took part in the study reported fewer symptoms after eight weeks of treatment, the participants who used nasal rinse showcased far greater improvement in severity and frequency of symptoms.
You can yourself make your own concoction by mixing a cup of distilled or boiled, and cooled water, half teaspoon of salt and half teaspoon of baking soda. Use this liquid in a neti pot to clean cleanse your nasal passages from mucus.
6. Apply Warm Compresses
Putting warm compresses on areas congested with mucus further loosens up the mucus and allows it to flow out and drain from the nose. Just gently place a small towel steeped in warm water over your eyes, nose, cheeks, and leave it on for several minutes.
Repeat this procedure two to six times a day until all the mucus has been drained.
7. Diffuse Essential Oils
When it comes to discarding mucus from your body, essential oils are a potent remedy.
Some of the most effective anti-mucus oils include:
- Eucalyptus– antiseptic, antiviral, and decongestant.
- Tea tree– an effective antimicrobial, expectorant and antiseptic.
- Peppermint– helps to open nasal passages.
- Thyme – powerful antiseptic and great for colds, flu, and chills.
- Basil – an antiseptic that helps open nasal passages.
- Rosemary– an antiseptic that helps open nasal passages.
- Pine – decongestant and antimicrobial.
- Lavender– antihistamine, antiseptic and antimicrobial.
- Chamomile – relieves and soothes congestion.
- Pick an oil and add a few drops of a single oil, or even a blend of the above oils, to your diffuser or oil burner and allow them to waft through the room.
Moreover, you could also take a steamy bath scented with the oils, or add a few drops on a tissue and hold it in front of your nose, without touching the skin.
If you happen to have issues with mucus that is especially concentrated in your throat, gargling fairly salty warm water might just do the trick. This combination creates a high-salt barrier which works to pull out fluids from the tissues in the throat, and is helpful against mucus, irritants and infections.
It doesn’t get simpler than this. Dissolve a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water, allow the water to cool down just enough for you to be able to gargle. Repeat this a few times a day until you feel relief.
9. Adjust Your Pillows
This effortless way of simply raising your head on a pillow is an excellent means to relieve clogged nasal passages.
Furthermore, sleeping with your head elevated prevents mucus from reaching and accumulating in your lungs which can lead intense coughing.
Some people may find sleeping with two pillows too uncomfortable. A good trick in this case is to place the additional pillow between the mattress and the box springs to create a more gradual slope.
10. Avoid Exposure to Irritants
A stuffy or runny nose can be caused by anything that irritates or inflames the nasal tissues, which is why it’s important to become aware of your triggers and avoid them where possible.
Mucus in the nasal passages or throat can be caused by things that irritate the nasal tissues, and staying away from such mucus-causing factors is paramount.
It is different for everyone, but things that irritate the nasal tissue often include smoke – from fire or cigarettes – being in polluted areas permeated with smog and dust, and you should try and avoid such places as much as you can.
11. Black Elderberry
The black Elderberry is herbal medicine used to soothe swollen mucus membranes and ease nasal congestion, but also to ward off infections that can cause bronchitis and sinusitis.
According to studies, this berry possesses anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that are particularly effective in preventing fly, especially if consumed within 24 or 48 hours after symptoms occur.
Black elderberry comes in liquid or capsule form.
12. Licorice Root
Like several of the abovementioned remedies, licorice root tea helps loosen up mucus in clogged passages, making it easier to discard from the body. It also repels viruses that can result in the overproduction of phlegm and mucus.
You can combine licorice root with herbs such as cayenne or ginger to help your organism fight colds and flu.
13. Apple Cider Vinegar
This natural remedy packed with potassium helps alleviate runny noses, dissolves mucus in the body and eases chronic sinusitis and allergy symptoms.
You may also add apple cider vinegar to your pot of boiling water just before inhaling. Add one tablespoon of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar in a glass of water and drink it. Repeat this as much as three times a day until better.
14. Hit Your Pressure Points
This two minute video shows you how to utilize this alternative therapy to help move phlegm out of the throat and chest.
Practitioners of acupressure are firm believers that applying pressure on particular points in the body stimulates the body’s lines of health-giving energy.
15. Strike a Pose
When we say a pose, we mean a yoga pose, naturally. But doing yoga can be incredibly helpful in cleansing your body’s passages from phlegm and mucus.
These five poses are particularly thought effective: the Bridge Pose, Camel Pose, Plow Pose, Bow Pose and Head Stand.
16. Change Your Diet
This may be the most challenging one yet. Being on a strict dieting regime is not something many people can adjust to overnight, but a well-balanced and healthy diet only helps your body defeat infections that cause mucus formation.
For instance, a 2006 research deduced that diets that include sodium, meat, and refined carbohydrates can result in the formation of mucus, whereas diets that are packed with fiber, fruits, vegetables, and soy only help to prevent it.
Below are some particular foods which, if you are dedicated to expelling mucus and phlegm from your body for good, you should avoid altogether:
- Fish and shellfish
- Meat and poultry
- Dairy and chocolate
- White bread, white pasta, white rice
- Cakes and pastries
And here is something which you can eat as much as your soul desires:
- Water and warm drinks
- Soybeans, other beans and lentils
- Fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables
- Wholegrain rice, pasta, bread and other whole grains
- Garlic and other herbs and spices
- 17. Eat Spicy Meals
Lastly, it would be only fair to stress out the significance of spice in lessening congestion that occurs as a result of phlegm and mucus.
Many spicy and chilly foods contain capsaicin – a chemical which causes your tongue/throat to burn when you consume it – which reduce pain and it is an element at the core of many health advantages of spices.
One other benefit from capsaicin is that it irritates mucus membranes in the nose and stimulates it to ‘run,’ ergo expelling microbes, phlegm, and mucus congested in places in the body.