Natural Remedies to Clearing Mucus and Phlegm

I think everyone has dealt with a stuffy nose at least once in life. Not being able to breathe is a pet peeve for me so it is essential that I keep clear nostrils! Below is a few different methods that can be applied.

Diffuse Essential Oils

With their strong aromas and antimicrobial properties, essential oils can be a powerful therapeutic tool when clearing away mucus and phlegm.

Some of the most potent mucus fighting 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.

Add a few drops of a single oil, or a blend of the above oils, to your diffuser or oil burner and allow them to waft through the room.

You could also take a steamy bath scented with the oils, or shake a few drops on a tissue and hold it in front of your nose, being careful to avoid contact with the skin. At night time, sprinkle some on your pillow to loosen mucus as you snooze – lavender is particularly effective as it also encourages a restful sleep.

Black Elderberry

This herbal remedy is frequently used to soothe and shrink swollen mucus membranes, relieve nasal congestion, and to fight off infections that may lead to bronchitis and sinusitis.

Research has shown that it has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities and may even reduce the amount of time people experience flu symptoms, especially if taken within twenty four to forty eight hours after symptoms begin.

Black elderberry comes in liquid or capsule form.

Licorice Root

Another favorite of herbalists for mucus, licorice root tea is said to ease congestion by helping to loosen and thin mucus in airways so that it can be expelled from the body. It may even fight the viruses that lead to an overproduction of mucus in the first place.

For colds and flu, licorice root can be combined with herbs like cayenne or ginger to intensify the effect

Apple Cider Vinegar 

According to the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, apple cider vinegar (ACV) breaks up mucus in the body and relieves chronic sinusitis and allergy symptoms. Because it is also rich in potassium, it helps get rid of runny noses.

Add a tablespoon of the raw, unfiltered ACV with ‘the mother’ to a glass of water and drink it, repeating up to three times a day until symptoms clear. Apple cider vinegar may also be added to your bowl of boiling water before inhaling the steam.

Change Your Diet

Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet will help the body fight off any infection that may be causing mucus formation, as well as helping to break up phlegm and congestion. In fact, a 2006 study found that diets high in sodium, meat and refined carbohydrates may increase mucus, while those containing plenty of fiber, fruits, vegetables and soy can limit it.

With this in mind, it’s advisable to avoid the following specific foods:

On the other hand, feel free to eat a variety of the following:

  • Soups
  • 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

Read the full list of remedies at NaturalLivingIdeas