Chest congestion is one of the most common symptoms of infections that occur in the respiratory system. A common cold is one such infection, and which potentially has the capacity to wreck havoc in the respiratory tract. The cause of a blocked chest usually results from the over sensitization of the mucous membrane which in turn causes mucous accumulation in the airways.
Some of the most common triggers of this mucus accumulation include the presence of irritants such as dust, viruses or allergens. When these triggers find their way to the respiratory tract, they cause the mucus cells to get inflamed, so that the extra mucus produced to get rid of the irritants leads to chest congestion.Another feature that contributes to this congestion is the fact that this mucus tends to be thicker too.
The presence of these irritants creates a natural need to cough and get rid of the particles; this is the body’s defense mechanism of eliminating potential pathogens from your system, so coughing more is actually healthy. When your chest is congested, you tend to cough more often.There is medication available to help you deal with the coughs, excessive mucus and general discomfort. The downside of using these pharmaceutical products is that many of them tend to have unpleasant side effects. The best option for those who would like to avoid these side effects is natural remedies that help get rid of the congestion chest. Natural remedies are not only easy to get, they are also affordable and will do your body good.
Below are some of the most effective natural solutions to dealing with a congested chest. Under each remedy, you will find the approximate time you need to prepare and use the remedy, what you require as well as the difficulty level of the respective remedies. This adequate information is to help you make the right decision when choosing any one particular remedy. It also ensures that you have an accurate picture of what you require prior to settling on your choice home remedy.
The other advantage of these home remedies is that they can be prepared with relative ease, and from the comfort of your home. The next time you are feeling a little under the weather because of a congested chest, here are some handy remedies for you to look up.
Time Required: 5 Min
What You Need: A glass of warm water to drink.
This is the golden rule as far as dealing with most infections in the respiratory tract is concerned. The reason why you should remain hydrated is that drinking adequate amounts of water helps thin the accumulated mucus in the tract. This makes it easy to expel, and goes a long way in preventing congestion in the chest. It is preferable to drink warm or hot water as the temperatures help sooth the respiratory tract. While at it, make sure you stay away from drinks and beverages that cause dehydration. Typically, you should steer clear of carbonated/fizzy drinks, caffeinated drinks and alcohol. Dehydration allows for mucus to thicken and enhances chest congestion.
- Bring to boil the equivalent of a glass of drinking water and sip on it to ease the congestion.
- You could even make a point of only drinking hot water throughout the day for the period of your infection.
2. Steam Therapy:
Time Required: 25 Min
What You Need: Boiling water, a bowl, a clean washcloth, a few drops of your choice essential oil (peppermint or eucalyptus oils work exceptionally in this remedy).
Inhaling steam is a variation of staying hydrated, but deserves mentioning on its own because of the simple yet remarkably efficient techniques involved. Inhaling the steam helps loosen the thick mucus in the airways, thus giving you the chance to de-congest your chest. The addition of the essential oils goes a long way in loosening the hardened mucus. Both peppermint and and eucalyptus oils contains ingredients that clear the respiratory tract when inhaled. Note that these oils should NEVER be used internally.
- Transfer the boiled water to the bowl so that it is halfway full.Bend your head over so that you are just a few inches away from the surface of the water. Exercise caution to protect yourself from the risk of scalding.
- Add three drops of your choice essential oil to the water.
- Cover your head with the towel so that the steam is contained allowing you to inhale it.
- Note that you may want to close your eyes during this process as the presence of the essential oils can cause irritation of the membranes in the eye.
- Repeat this procedure twice daily, preferably in the morning and before bedtime as this is when the congestion is worst.
3. Gargling Salty Water :
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: Half teaspoon of salt, a glass of warm drinking water.
Salty water is one of the most common remedies for conditions that affect any part of the respiratory tract, and especially those that exhibit symptoms such as coughing, a runny nose, sore throat, clogged ears and a congested chest.This is because at the core of this remedy is the use of salt that helps loosen phlegm and clear congestion in the chest. The use of warm water is intended to soothe the tract and reduce inflammation.
- Add the salt to the glass of water and stir to dissolve.
- Gargle using the water for about 5 minutes.
- Repeat this procedure thrice daily, or until you start to notice that your chest feels lighter and the congestion has cleared.
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Quarter teaspoon of turmeric powder, a glass of warm water, a teaspoon of honey, a pinch of black pepper.
Turmeric is best know for its excellent qualities as a condiment in the culinary world, but you should also be aware of the excellent role it plays in getting rid of chest congestion. One of the actives in this spice is known as curcumin that is an excellent expectorant, and which enables you get rid of the accumulated mucus. This active also has anti-inflammatory properties that offer relief from the chest pain.
The relief from using turmeric for easing chest congestion makes it a simple yet effective remedy. The incorporation of black pepper in this remedy is actually to enhance the synergistic effect between the two products. Black pepper has been show to improve the absorption of curcumin found in turmeric. The honey on the other hand is loved for its myriad of antimicrobial and antiviral properties. The combination of turmeric, honey and black pepper is a formidable remedy against chest congestion.
- Transfer the quarter teaspoon of turmeric powder and black pepper to the glass and add the warm drinking water.
- Stir in the teaspoon of honey until it dissolves.
- Gargle using the turmeric mixture thrice daily or until the chest congestion eases.
Time Required: 15 Min
What You Need: Raw ginger/ ginger powder, a glass of hot water, a teaspoon of black pepper, a teaspoon of cloves and a teaspoon of honey.
Ginger is a warming spice that also doubles up as an excellent remedy for chest congestion. Its anti-inflammatory properties, coupled with its capacity to boost the immunity makes it an effective home remedy altogether. In addition to this, ginger contains compounds known as polyphenols which help to inhibit the mucus-secreting cells from producing excessive amounts of mucus. This goes a long way in preventing congestion in the chest. By fighting off the causative agents of the respiratory infection, ginger is one of the must-have home remedies that works wonders.The addition of honey makes this an excellent remedy by all means.
- Peel the raw ginger and wash it under running water.
- Cut the ginger into small pieces, so as to increase the surface area for the extraction of the active ingredients.
- Place the small pieces of ginger in a glass and add the hot water.
- Let the mixture steep for about 5 minutes.
- Using a strainer, pass the ginger mixture through to get rid of the small pieces, before adding the honey to the strained mixture.
- Use this remedy thrice daily for improved results.
- You could also choose to mix the dry ginger (in powder form) with black pepper and cloves.
- Divide the powder in three portions and take each portion mixed with water and a little honey.
- Use this remedy until your chest congestion clears.
6. Red Onion:
Time Required: 15 Min
What You Need: Medium-sized red onion, a teaspoon of each of the following: lemon juice, water and honey, an extractor, some sugar.
Red onion is a great remedy for treating chest congestion. This is because it contains quercetin, an active ingredient that effectively allows for the dissolution of mucus. Its antimicrobial properties are also integral to the prevention of the causative microorganisms. Lemon juice has a high concentration of Vitamin C, which is known to be an effective immune booster.Add honey to this mixture and you have a simple yet effective home remedy to treat your chest congestion.
- Peel the onion and get rid of the flaky layers before using the extractor to get the juice.
- Add to the onion juice the lemon juice and honey, and stir well to ensure proper mixing.
- Heat the mixture so that it is moderately hot, and comfortable to drink.
- Take this mixture thrice a day or until your chest clears off the congestion.
- The other alternative to using the onions as a remedy is to chew raw slices of the onion mixed with sugar.
- The purpose of the sugar is to extract the juice from the onions, offering the benefits of the combination upfront.
TIP: To get rid of the characteristic smell of onions, wash your hands with lemon juice, and make sure to sip some of it too for its benefits.
Other remedies that you use to treat chest infection include raw apple cider vinegar which not only thins the mucus, it is also an effective immune-booster, chili/cayenne/red pepper that contains capsacin and effectively unclogs mucus from the congested chest as well as giving up lifestyle habits such as smoking. These natural remedies go hand in hand with a proper diet.