We often experience some kind of obstruction in the nasal passage or throat which leads to difficulty breathing and persistent coughing. These problems occur due to increased phlegm in the lungs. Phlegm is a thick substance secreted by the mucous membrane of the respiratory tract and is responsible for fighting infections such as severe colds. When it accumulates in the throat and chest, the body uses coughing to expel it. However, excess accumulation of phlegm in the lungs due to a cold, the flu, bacterial or viral infections can cause big problems.
Increased presence of phlegm in the lungs may result in fever, weakness, runny nose, persistent cough and difficulty breathing. If not expelled, the excess phlegm may block the bronchial tubes and cause much bigger problems, which are hard to treat with conventional medications. Luckily, there are some natural remedies which can reduce the amount of phlegm and treat respiratory infections easily and effectively. Here are the best of them:
Honey and lemon
A mixture of honey and lemon can soothe your irritated respiratory tract and bring much needed relief. Honey is a powerful antibacterial and antifungal agent, and we can say the same for lemon as well. This tropical fruit is rich in vitamin C which will reinforce your immune system and reduce congestion easily. Here’s how to prepare the mixture:
- 1 tablespoon of organic honey
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
Just mix the ingredients in a bowl and that’s it. Drink the mixture up to 3 times a day to fight the congestion and relieve the infection.
Ginger is a powerful natural decongestant and antihistamine that possesses expectorant and antibacterial properties. The root can soothe your chest and throat congestion by drying out the phlegm and stimulating its elimination. In order to treat respiratory infection and keep yourself healthy, eat 3-4 slices of ginger every day, or drink a couple of cups of ginger tea. Here’s how to prepare the tea:
- 6-7 slices of ginger
- 2 cups of water
- 1 teaspoon of honey
- 1 teaspoon of black peppercorns
Cook the water in a pan, then add the ginger and peppercorns when it start to boil. Now, cover the pan and leave the mixture to boil for a minute, then lower the heat and simmer for 5-7 minutes. Take the pan off the heat and leave it to cool down, then strain it and add a teaspoon of organic honey. Drink 2-3 cups of ginger tea every day to relieve the congestion and breathe easier.
Apple cider vinegar
ACV is one of the most powerful natural antibacterial agents. The liquid can prevent excess phlegm production in the body and maintain a healthy pH balance as well. To benefit from its properties, drink a tablespoon of raw ACV in a glass of water every day. You can also gargle the liquid to soothe sore throat.
Turmeric contains curcumin, a compound that has powerful antibacterial properties. Here’s how to use the spice to treat respiratory infections:
- 1 teaspoon of turmeric
- ½ a teaspoon of salt
- A glass of warm water
Add the turmeric in a glass of warm water and mix well, then add the salt and mix again. Gargle the solution for a few minutes 3-4 times a day to reduce the amount of phlegm in your chest and fight respiratory infections. Gargling with salt water can also help – the warm water will soothe your throat, while the salt destroys the bacteria.
Steaming is one of the best ways of reducing chest congestion and loosening up the mucus in the chest. Breathing in the vapors and steam will loosen up the clogged mucus and provide some much-needed relief, and you can get even better results by infusing the water with herbs. Here’s how:
- ½ a teaspoon of dry rosemary
- ½ a teaspoon of thyme
- 4-5 cups of boiling water
Add the thyme and rosemary to boiling water in a bowl, then lean over it with a towel over your head and inhale the steam. Repeat the process 3-4 times a day for best results.
To prevent excess phlegm in your lungs, you should blow your nose regularly and stop consuming cold food and drinks. You should also quit smoking, as the nasty habit leads to chest congestion and irritates the respiratory tract. To control the production of mucus in your body, use a humidifier in your home, and avoid exposure to paint fumes, household cleaners and chemical as they irritate the throat, nose and lungs. Finally, when you notice phlegm in your throat, don’t swallow it – just gargle some warm water and salt and spit it out. To thin it out and break up the congestion, consuming spicy foods such as garlic and peppers can help.