8 Effective Home Remedies For Chest Congestion

Dr. Jayakumar Arjun
February 15, 2021

Falling sick to the seasonal flu is quite common, especially when there’s a change in climate. During this period of sickness, it is normal for you to experience a stuffy nose or some cases, chest congestion. This happens when there is inflammation and a build-up of mucus in the chest that can cause symptoms like coughing, sore throat, or even wheezing. Having occasional mucus build-up isn’t out of the ordinary but it is a matter of concern if this congestion persists. So, knowing how to get rid of mucus with home remedies for chest congestion can be quite helpful.

Depending on the severity of your cold, you may be able to address all your symptoms without the need for any specialised care. Sometimes all you need is a chest decongestant that you can get at any pharmacy. However, if you’d rather avoid medications and are looking to clear chest congestion naturally, you will need to fall back on trusted practices.

To help you learn how to get rid of phlegm, here are some home and natural remedies for chest congestion.

Consume honey

Honey is a home remedy for several common illnesses, and it works just as well if you have a congested chest. This is mainly because it has antibacterial and antiviral properties, both of which can help provide relief. In fact, a study found that buckwheat honey may be more effective than certain traditional medications. For this natural decongestant to work effectively, consume a tablespoon every 3 to 4 hours until your symptoms start to lessen. However, avoid giving honey to infants as it could lead to complications such as botulism.

Use a vapour rub

While it may not be a natural chest decongestant, vapour rubs have ingredients that possess decongestant properties. Studies found that these are a better alternative to petrolatum ointments when it comes to clearing chest congestion. These are easily available at any pharmacy and you should look for vapour rubs that contain camphor and menthol. One of the best chest decongestants is Vicks VapoRub and it isn’t hard to find or heavy on the pocket.

Hydrate yourself

Consuming enough fluids, and the right ones, keeps you hydrated. This is important for thinning the mucus, which makes it easier to expel. In fact, it was found that warm beverages do the trick best, providing chest congestion relief near-instantly and also alleviating related symptoms like wheezing, chills, and sore throat.

Ideally, you should try to consume broths, soups, warm water, and herbal teas. The goal is to keep the mucus hydrated enough to get expelled easily. In similar vein, avoid consuming drinks that could dehydrate you. A few examples are caffeinated drinks, alcohol, and coffee. Dehydration thickens the mucus and helps it linger in the system.

Gargle with saltwater

When you have chest congestion, you are bound to experience some form of irritation in the back of your neck or throat. This is due to mucus and it is important to expel it in order to feel relief. One of the best and oldest ways of doing so is to gargle with saltwater. Saltwater solutions work effectively at removing phlegm from the throat, thus providing relief. Here, all you need to do is add a teaspoon of salt to warm water, gargle for a few seconds, and rinse. Do this several times a day for maximum effect and constant relief.

Inhale essential oils

Essential oils play an important role in chest decongestion. This is because some of their properties help loosen the mucus build-up in the chest and others can inhibit the growth of infectious bacteria.

Some of the common essential oils include:

  • Rosemary
  • Tea tree
  • Peppermint
  • Eucalyptus
  • Lemongrass
  • Oregano
  • Basil
  • Cinnamon bark
  •  Thyme

You can inhale these directly from the bottle or use a diffuser if that’s more comfortable. Additionally, you can also add an oil to hot water and do steam inhalation.

Do some form of physical exercise

Exercise helps loosen mucus build-up and it is advisable to do some light walking or brisk running. However, due to your unwell state, you are weaker than normal, and so it is important to recognise your limits. Do not over exhaust yourself as this can slow down recovery.

Try using a humidifier

Steam helps with clear chest congestion as it loosens up the mucus. This is where a humidifier comes into play as it helps create steam or cool mist. Ideally, you should use a humidifier in the night, as you sleep, as this helps ease chest congestion while you’re asleep.

Get a decongestant

These are available at any pharmacy and do not require a prescription. They can offer instant relief and come in the form of tablets, nasal sprays, or liquids. Some of the common options include pseudoephedrine and oxymetazoline. These may speed up your heart rate, so avoid using them before bedtime as they can make it harder for you to sleep.

Relying on home remedies for chest congestion can be cost-effective and easier than visiting a doctor, especially if you’re on a busy schedule. However, it is important to recognise when your symptoms start getting worse and the chest congestion remedies aren’t working. This is a sign of a greater underlying problem, that may require a doctor-prescribed medicine for

chest congestion. Even the best chest decongestant in the pharmacy may not be able to solve your problems and prolonging professional care can cause lasting damage to your lungs or throat. To avoid this, consult the best physician in your area and do so in a timely manner with the help of the Bajaj Finserv Health App.

This digital healthcare tool is designed to simplify the accessibility and availability of healthcare services. With it, you can locate the top physicians in your area in a matter of minutes and book an appointment completely online, via your smartphone. To make things easier, you can choose to consult your doctor virtually over video. The app also allows you to track your vitals, perform a health assessment, and learn about sicknesses. This information can help you care for yourself better while you await medical care. To get these perks and benefits right away, download the app for free from Google Play or the Apple App Store today.