Truth About Phlegm
Phlegm is a water based gel and is produced at your lower airways. It contains mucus with bacteria, sloughed off inflammatory cells and debris. The immune system, climate, and genetics can vary the composition of the phlegm.
The color may vary from transparent to pale dark yellow or green. It can also change from light to dark brown or dark grey.
The color of the phlegm forecasts your health status. So here we go to check out what the color of phlegm indicates.
White or Grey Phlegm
This often indicates sinus congestion or upper respiratory tract infection. When there is inflammation due to bacteria or virus. The phlegm from the sinus drips into your throat. This is not the case when you are healthy.
Grey phlegm may indicate that the body is getting rid of tars or resins due to excessive smoking. It may also be due to inhalation of smog and dust.
Green or Dark Yellow Phlegm
This indicates a sign of bacterial or viral infection and lower respiratory tract infection or sinus infection. This green color is due the presence of neutrophils. They contain a green protein which in large doses turns the phlegm into green color.
Researchers say that green or dark yellow phlegm does not always indicate an infection. This isan interesting news which you ought to know. If you cough green or dark yellow phlegm, and you have overall good health. There is no need for antibiotic treatment say the researchers.
The antibiotic treatment does not speed up the recovery. In fact, it exposes people to side effects, increases antibiotic resistance and undermines future self-care.
This coloration is due to excessive smoking. The body tries to cough back the resin, tar, and other particulate matter. And this results in brown phlegm.
The presence of blood in phlegm is known as haemoptysis. It can signify bronchitis, tuberculosis, cancer, pneumonia or pulmonary embolism. It would be in your best interest that you seek medical attention.
This may indicate fluid in the lungs known as pulmonary edema. This phlegm can have streaks of blood and have a frothy texture. It may signify underlying heart problems according to UK’s National Health Service.
Reasons for Excess Phlegm
These conditions may lead to excess phlegm production. They include
- Vocal abuse that includes excessive yelling and screaming
- Hay fever
- Air pollution
- During flu, cold or pneumonia
- Acute bronchitis
- Nasal polyps
- Esophageal cancer
- Anaphylaxis. It is the most severe form of an allergic reaction.
- COPD and
- Streptococcus infection.
- Excessive Cheese / Dairy Intake
Easy Ways To Get Rid Of Phlegm
These are some of the simple but efficient ways to remove phlegm from your throat.
1. Lemon and Honey
Lemon contains vitamin C. In animal experiments scientists found that dietary vitamin C increased the antimicrobial activity of the body. The bacterial growth inhibition zones were significantly elevated after supplementation of dietary vitamin C. The researchers say that vitamin C beneficially affects the skin mucus immune parameters.
Honey has antibacterial properties. It acts as a hypertonic osmotic.This means that it draws out the water out of inflamed tissues. This action soothes the irritated tissues and reduces swelling.
You can drink a hot cup of lemon tea to ease the sticky phlegm. Take a cup of boiling water. Add juice of half a lemon and two teaspoons of honey. You can add a tablespoon of brandy and whisky too. Mix everything and enjoy your cup of hot lemon tea.
The good old fashioned salt water gargle produces fast and effective relief. Add half a teaspoon of salt to a glass of warm water and gargle. Repeat this process every hour for a maximum benefit.
Salt draws out the water out of the mucous membranes. It also helps to clear the phlegm. It contains antiseptic properties. Water keeps the throat,and its lining hydrated and soothes the stinging throat.
You can also gargle with sage tea. Boil 8 ounces of water and add 4 tablespoons of dried sage. Allow it to stand for 4 hours, strain it and then you can use it for gargling.
Tabasco sauce gargle can remove phlegm from the throat. This is how you go about. Add 10-20 drops of tabasco sauce to water and gargle. This sauce is made from chilies and has antiviral properties. You should be careful not to swallow it.
You can gargle with bicarb solution to soothe your throat. Add half a teaspoon of soda bicarb to a glass of warm water and gargle.
Ginger is a natural decongestant and antihistamine. It improves circulation and helps to excrete toxins more effectively. It contains a compound called shagoal which is believed to kill cold viruses. So how would use ginger? Here are some amazing steps.
Take half a piece of grated ginger, a few cinnamon and a teaspoon of Carnation. Add a cup of hot water. Stir and filter it. Add a teaspoon of honey. It works wonders to remove the phlegm.
Slice a half or quarter inch piece of ginger and chew it. Drinking ginger tea produces great relief. Add ½ inch piece of ginger root to a cup of boiling water. Add lemon juice and honey to it. Filter and enjoy.
A ginger poultice is good to remove phlegm. Add a1-inch piece of grated fresh ginger in hot water. Make a fine paste. Add two drops of thyme or eucalyptus essential oil. Apply it to chest and throat area. Leave it for an hour or till it becomes uncomfortably hot.
Image Source: HerbCo
4. Slippery Elm for Phlegm
Slippery elm grows in North America, and its powdered bark is used to treat colds by the Native Americans. It is well respected among herbalists. We found the best slippery elm to get rid of phlegm, check it here at best price.
This wonderful bark powder is believed to cause phlegm to ball up. This makes it easier to cough it out. It is said to be mucilaginous. Slippery elm contains soluble fiber which when mixed in water forms a gummy gel-like substance. This substance coats the throat and soothes the inflammation.
Slippery elm can greatly reduce the phlegm in your throat. To make a hot tea out of it, add one tablespoon of the bark powder to one cup of boiling water. Your tea is ready.
You can also apply it as a poultice. Add the slippery elm bark powder to hot water and make a paste.Apply some oil to your chest and back. Spread the paste and cover it with a plastic wrap.
Put a towel over the poultice and keep a hot water bottle or heating pad to keep it warm. Remove after 15-30 minutes.
Slippery elm is considered safe. You should use it two hours before or after taking any medications. Do NOT apply it on any open wound.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar
It has antiseptic properties that fight against sinus infection and clears mucus. Apple cider vinegar has natural anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties that boost the immune system.
It has high pH levels which break up the phlegm and clears the throat. It thins the phlegm, boosts the immune system and prevents infection.
This is how you go about. Mix 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to a glass of warm water. Add stevia or honey to enhance the taste. Drink twice daily for best results. If you gargle this mixture along with the above process. The result would be stunning.
A hot steam helps to relieve the phlegm from your throat. Mix half a cup of apple cider vinegar and half a cup of water. Heat it on a stove for 5-7 minutes. Turn off the heat and inhale the steam with your eyes closed. Repeat it 2 times a day to get relief from the phlegm.
Apple cider vinegar with flax seeds and honey are a great combination to fight phlegm. Mix 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar or orange juice. Add this mixture to a¼ cup of flax seeds. Add a teaspoon of honey. Drizzle the mixture over a salad and enjoy. Check out here the best apple cider vinegar!
This yellow spice has great anti-inflammatory properties. The natural inflammatory compound curcumin is present in turmeric. This compound is so powerful that it matches the effectiveness of certain anti-inflammatory drugs.
No wonder turmeric can keep the bacteria that cause excess phlegm production at bay, it also strengthens the immune system.
You can mix half teaspoon of turmeric in a glass of warm water and drink it thrice a day. Mix one tablespoon of turmeric and a pinch of salt in warm water and gargle. This reduces the phlegm in your throat.
Add one teaspoon of turmeric to a warm cup of milk. Drink it in the morning and before going to bed. You can addhalf a teaspoon of turmeric to a bowl of chicken soup.
Turmeric produces quick relief, removes phlegm and soothes your throat. Get your own turmeric capsules for best results.
It is otherwise known as the stinking rose.Garlic has amazing anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral properties. Aged garlic is very effective in treating airway inflammation. So it helps to remove phlegm from your throat.
Garlic is rich in vitamin C, which is very effective for treating cold and flu. It promotes peristalsis and diuretic action. They are efficient flushing mechanisms and removes phlegm out of your throat. Garlic boosts immunity.
You can take a few cloves of raw garlic, crush it and have it along with water in the morning. Take a few cloves of raw garlic before going to bed.
Garlic nose drops help to loosen mucus. Crush fresh garlic to produce juice and dilute it with 10 parts of water. Use a nose dropper to administer it gently.
You can add garlic to soups and sauces. Sauté steamed spinach, garlic, and fresh lemon juice. You can also make garlic mashed potatoes, puree roasted garlic, olive oil, and cooked potatoes. Garlic in any form clears the phlegm in your throat.
In traditional Chinese medicine, phlegm is caused due to stagnant qi or energy. Steven Clavey, a practitioner of acupuncture in Melbourne Australia, says that the treatment of phlegm should first address the sluggish Qi that led to its creation.
The theory goes like this; the kidneys draw qi from the environment, and the liver governs its smooth flow throughout the body. So to treat phlegm, you must concentrate on these two.
The two acupuncture points for clearing phlegm are K27 a kidney point and Liv3 a liver point.
The Liv3 is the point between the bones of the big toe and the second one. With your thumb push into the space between them press downward toward the ankle. You can feel a tender spot, massage the spot and hold it until it is no longer painful. Repeat this process on the other feet too.
For the point, K27 follow the collar bone in toward the center where it joins the breastbone. The K27 rests in the hollow underneath the collar bone.
Raise your shoulder to make your collarbone protrude if you can’t find the hollow. Massage and press the less tender side. Then work your way to the more tender side. Do this until the point no longer feels sore.
Acupuncture produces effective relief. You can combine any of the above-discussedmethods along with acupuncture to maximize the benefit.
The main aim of this article is to help you to find relief quickly. You can also eat spicy foods such as horseradish or pepper. These act as a decongestant and brings out noxious phlegm.
You can drink hot liquids such as tea or chicken soup to soothe your throat. Drink plenty of water to flush away the phlegm.
Toast is also great because it breaks the phlegm and carry it down to your stomach. If you are addicted to smoking, try your level best to stop it.
Avoid exposure to hazardous chemicals and fumes which may irritate the respiratory system. Take a hot shower and relax.
Hum a melody because it is believed that the vibrations break up the phlegm. Always spit the phlegm out and never swallow it.
Take note that it is best to try natural remedies before resorting to drugstore expectorants. It never hurts to check the effects of natural treatments first because like prescriptions, they are proven effective and less likely to have negative side effects.
Last but not the least take plenty of rest and have a positive attitude.
Source – Positive Health Wellness