9 Soothing Home Remedies For Chest Congestion
Chest congestion discomfort is not something new to most people. While it's a common problem, most of us don't actually know the underlying cause behind it.
What causes Chest Congestion
In most cases, chest congestion results from respiratory tract infections such as and bronchitis influenza that result in excessive mucus production. These invaders may result from allergies, inhaling an irritant, allergies, a cold, or breathing in smoke, among others.
However, this doesn't mean that mucus is entirely bad, no. In fact, mucus is meant to protect the respiratory tracks from its invaders. As well, a little mucus in the respiratory tract is necessary for moisturizing and protecting body tissues.
However, too much mucus production causes chest and throat pains, as well as phlegm, build-up, which makes the chest feel quite heavy. This may also cause difficulties when food is swallowed.
Home remedies for chest congestion
For decades, Indians and other cultures have been using home remedies to manage regular ailments, including chest congestion. Usually, these home remedies have numerous health benefits, and in most cases, no side effects. This means that they are absolutely safe to use. Here are several home remedies for chest congestion that you should try today.
1. Warm Salty Water
Warm salty water can lower the mucus viscosity in the throat. It also has the potential to reduce through irritation that is caused by inflammation. To prepare this remedy, a warm glass of water and add a little salt.
Mix well and sip. Make sure that the water is not hot so as not to cause additional discomfort. Gargle the saltwater at the back of the throat. Do this like three times a day until the symptoms disappear.
2. Inhale Steam
According to The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, using a steam vaporizer can help to loosen excessive mucus in the respiratory tract, thereby reducing chest congestion.
To perform this remedy, put water in a large boil and allow it to boil and put off the heat. Lean over the bowl with the hot water and breathe in the steam for a few minutes. As well, you can dip a towel in hot water, squeeze it, and then place it over your face.
3. Having A Hot Shower or Bath
Having a hot shower is another effective way to reduce chest congestion. Hot water releases a lot of steam that opens up the respiratory system, thus loosening the excess mucus in the respiratory tract. Make sure you drink at least one glass of water after the hot shower to prevent dehydration.
4. Body Exercise
Exercises have numerous benefits besides helping you get through chest congestion. Activities such as biking, jogging, and walking can help you to loosen the mucus buildup in your chest. However, remember not to overdo the exercise. Rest is essential for healing.
5. Honey Intake
Honey is a must-have ingredient in your kitchen if you really care about your health. Honey contains both antibacterial and antiviral properties that can help treat infections in the upper respiratory tract, thus preventing mucus congestion and coughing.
Doctors recommend that you drink at least 8 glasses of water daily. If you have chest congestion, you should make sure that you are hydrated as dehydration can thicken the mucus in the respiratory tract, thus making it difficult to be eliminated from the body. It's also important to avoid caffeinated drinks as they can worsen the condition.
7. Use Essential Oils
According to research, essential oils are used to treat illnesses such as chest colds and sinus infections. By breathing in the vapor contained in essential oils, you can manage chest congestion. The vapor makes the mucus in the chest loosen. As well, it prevents bacteria growth in the respiratory tract.
8. Use Turmeric
Turmeric contains curcumin, which aids in dissolving the excess mucus that causes chest congestion. You should put a pinch of turmeric in hot water and gargle for some seconds. Do this about three times a day until chest congestion disappears.
Humidifiers are used to eradicate inflammations that result from excessively dry air in the respiratory tract. Humidifiers also help to get rid of pathogens that cause chest congestion. When using humidifiers, ensure you have closed all the doors and the windows, especially at night for better sleep.
For optimal body health, you should always maintain the best possible self-care measures. For instance, maintain proper hygiene, eat healthy foods, and avoid drinks that can worsen the condition.
When To See A Doctor
In most cases, chest congestion doesn't demand any medical treatment. It can be managed at home using the above-explained or more home remedies for chest congestion.
However, if you notice the following symptoms, it's a good idea to see a doctor immediately;
- Chest congestion persist
- Mucus turns green or yellow
- Blood in the mucus
The doctor will examine to determine the underlying problem and give you the right advice or treatment for your condition.
Home remedies are a great way to manage and treat common illnesses. The good thing about home remedies is that they are natural and rarely have side effects. However, if you notice any side effects, you should stop using it immediately. As well, if you don't see any improvement after a few attempts, you should seek the help of a health professional for further diagnosis and treatment. Sometimes persistent chest congestion may be an indication of a much serious health condition.