There are few things as absolutely disgusting and consistently annoying as coughing up phlegm and mucus. In addition, having breathing difficulties can not only be scary, but also more or less debilitating. Breathing difficulties and coughing tends to occur as a result of nasal obstructions which are most commonly caused by an excessive amount of phlegm in the lungs (1).
Most people want to clear this out not only to save them from the annoyance of coughing, but also because of the possibility of it leading to some more severe health conditions (2). While our body produces phlegm through mucus membranes in order to protect it from viruses, dust, and allergies, an excess tends to lead to bronchial issues and even lung infection (2). When you are in perfect health, the mucus tends to be thin and barely noticeable, but when you’re sick or fighting an allergen or virus, it thickens in order to trap foreign substances (3).
So if you’re having trouble with the production of mucus in your throat, see the following list for some ideas on how to clear up your breathing pathways:
- Lemon and Honey (1). This mixture not only boosts your immune system, but it also prevents infections and soothes coughs. The lemon cuts down the mucus. Simply mix two tablespoons of lemon juice with a tablespoon of organic honey in a bowl and consume three times daily.
- Peppermint tea or oil (1, 4). Peppermint oil is commonly used as a decongestant, as the herb itself offers so many refreshing, cooling properties that clear up respiratory infections. Try boiling fresh peppermint leaves with a cup of water. Add in some honey if you need a sweetener and allow it to steep for a few minutes before consuming.
- Turmeric (1). Turmeric so happens to be one of the most versatile of the spices in your cabinet, as well as one of the healthiest. It has strong antibacterial and antiseptic properties, which means it is able to strengthen your immune system, fight infection, and clear excess mucus. Try making a turmeric/water/salt mixture and gargling with it.
- Garlic (1, 2, 3). This vegetable is abundant in antiseptic properties. It helps fight bacteria and boost the immune system, so it’s actually helpful in drawing out infections in more than just the throat. If you can bear it, try biting down on a garlic glove to suck up the juices—or, you could gargle with some warm water mixed with garlic oil.
- Eucalyptus tea or oil (1, 3). Since it also has antiseptic abilities, eucalyptus is good for fighting upper respiratory infections. It is able to handle the dryness of the respiratory tracts that often makes breathing difficult. After boiling eucalyptus in water and allowing it to steep, try sipping it throughout the day.
- Ginger tea or oil (1). Powerful as a decongestant, filled with antiviral and expectorant properties, ginger tea helps fight respiratory infections. Try slicing some fresh ginger and boiling it in two cups of water. Sweeten with honey.
- Steam inhalation (1, 2, 3, 4). This is one of the best ways to help clear up excess mucus from your nose, throat, chest, and lungs. It’s best if you can add in antiviral herbs or oils. This helps fight inflammation, soothe irritation, and treat any infections.
While some mucus and phlegm buildup is important and natural, it’s important that it doesn’t get out of hand. Natural remedies are always easier on your throat and lungs than heavy medications, so next time you’re stuck with a cough that won’t seem to leave you alone, try one of these methods!