There are lots of annoying symptoms that come with having a cough or cold, and while medications can help, there are also some great home remedies for chest congestion that can alleviate some of those symptoms.
Chest congestion remedies from home are useful when the congestion isn’t from a more serious underlying illness, and for pregnant women who can’t take over-the-counter or prescribed medications. The best part of at-home chest congestion remedies is that there are no side effects, which are often associated with pharmaceutical solutions. Aside from colds and flus, chest congestion can also be caused by bronchitis, asthma, pneumonia, and airborne allergies.
Home Remedies for Chest Congestion
Chest congestion home remedies are an easy and affordable way to clear up the mucus and fluid build-up. If the coughing and wheezing persists and becomes problematic, seek medical advice from your doctor. Signs of chest congestion can include coughing after eating, wheezing, chest pain and discomfort, shortness of breath, runny nose, and dizziness. Below are 10 easy chest congestion home remedies.
1. Lemon and honey tea: Honey is nature’s best defense against coughs and chest congestion, particularly Manuka honey, a dark honey with a strong taste. Honey is a natural antibacterial that helps reduce infections in the respiratory tract. If you don’t want it paired with lemon and hot water, simply take a tablespoon of honey, but eat it slowly. Lemon has a lot of vitamin C that your body needs to fight off infections. To make the drink, add a tablespoon of honey and the juice of half a lemon to hot water, stir, and drink.
2. Ginger tea: Ginger is an anti-inflammatory so it helps to reduce chest congestion. Buy some fresh ginger from the grocery store, peel it and then grate or chop the ginger. Grating is best because the drink will be much more potent. Add a rounded teaspoon of grated ginger to a mug and add hot water. Let steep at least 10 minutes. Add honey and lemon as well for a triple effect.
3. Steaming: Steaming is an incredibly effective method for clearing chest and nasal congestion. The steam helps break down mucus, allowing it to be released with much more ease. Be sure to have a box of tissues on hand so you can expectorate into them, because those fluids will want to come out. Boil some hot water and add it to a large bowl—large enough for you to place your face over it. Grab a towel and sit down.
Put your head over the bowl, far enough away that the heat from the hot water won’t bother you. Place the towel over your head, trapping the steam with it; basically, you’re creating a little steaming tent. Breathe in deeply and do this for as long as you can. You can take periods of rest if you find it too much, but try to do this for 15 minutes. Essential oils such as peppermint and eucalyptus can be added to the water to help further open up the air passages.
4. Drink water: Water really is a helpful chest congestion home remedy. Drinking more water than normal can help break up the phlegm and mucus and get them out of your system.
5. Elevate your head: When sleeping, use an extra pillow to elevate your head. This will help prevent mucus from building up overnight.
Sleeping is the most difficult time for people suffering chest congestion because mucus and phlegm settle and cause irritation and blockage. Elevating your head will reduce these issues.
6. Use a heating pad: Some people find steaming invasive and suffocating, so try a heating pad instead. Place a hot water bottle or heating pad against your chest and leave it there for 15 minutes. The heat will help break down fluids in the chest.
7. Avoid dairy: Dairy is not a good idea when you’re suffering with chest congestion, coughs, and stuffy noses because it causes mucus production. The last thing you need is more mucus, so avoid dairy until fully recovered.
8. Drink apple cider vinegar: Drinking apple cider vinegar can help clear up chest congestion and break down mucus, as well as strengthen the immune system.
9. Turmeric: Turmeric is a spice that has curcumin in it, which helps break down mucus so it can then be expectorated. You can add it to foods or add the spice to hot water as a drink. In fact, you can even add it to any of the hot drinks mentioned earlier.
10. Salt water: Gargling with warm salt water can help remove mucus from the respiratory tract. Add a tablespoon of salt to warm water, gargle for a few minutes, and then spit it into a sink. Repeat a few times a day.
Home remedies for chest congestion are a safe, affordable, and easy way to ease discomfort. Warm drinks and heat loosen the mucus from the respiratory tract, making it easier to remove. If the congestion lasts for longer than five days, see a doctor to determine if the underlying cause is something worse than a flu or a cold.
Sources for Today’s Article:
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