Chest congestion is a common health issue that affects both adults and children. It occurs when fluid and mucus accumulates in the lungs.
Although, not a life threatening condition, it comes with some problematic symptoms such as persistent coughing, wheezing and difficulty in breathing which affects the quality of life.
Common cold and flu are two of the main causes of chest congestion. But it can also be caused due to bronchitis and sinus infection.
Whatever might be the cause, the good news is that the condition can be treated efficiently using home remedies which make use of all-natural ingredients and have no side effects.
Home Remedies to Get Rid of Chest Congestion
Honey – The viscous nature of honey creates a protective coating in the throat and helps to soothe throat irritation and cough. In addition, it can also help to clear out chest congestion by thinning the mucus which makes it easier to drain out. Potent antiviral and antibacterial properties of honey also fight off infection.
- Consume a teaspoon of raw organic honey 3 to 4 times a day
- You can also add the honey to a glass of warm water and drink it
Caution – Don’t give honey to children aged 1 year or below because it may cause infantile botulism.
Onion – Compound quercetin present in onion acts as a thinning agent that dissolves the thick mucus present in the lungs and also prevents further congestion. Antimicrobial properties of onion also prevent future infections.
- Take a medium sized onion and peel it
- Grate this onion using a grater and then squeeze out the juice from the pulp
- Add a teaspoon each of lemon juice, honey and water to it and mix with a spoon
- Heat this mixture till it turns lukewarm
- Drink it 3 to 4 times a day
Tip – You can also use shallots instead of onion for this remedy.
Apple Cider Vinegar – Apple cider vinegar reduces the production of excess mucus that is responsible for chest congestion. In addition, the probiotics found in apple cider vinegar helps to boost immunity and helps to prevent cold and chest congestion.
- Take a glass of warm water
- Add 2 teaspoons of raw organic apple cider vinegar to it
Mix it well
Drink this solution 2 to 3 times a day for few days
Ginger – Anti-inflammatory properties of ginger helps to heal inflammation of the lungs and airways which is one of the main causes of chest congestion. It also helps to restore normal breathing. The polyphenols present in ginger reduce excessive secretion of mucus.
- Take a cup of hot water
- Add 1 tablespoon of freshly chopped ginger to it
- Cover the cup and let it steep for 5 minutes
- Strain the water, add a teaspoon of honey to it and drink the tea
- Drink 2 to 3 cups of ginger tea every day for a week
Garlic – Active compound allicin present in garlic is a powerful antibiotic that fights off chest and lung infections that cause congestion. It also boosts the immune system and supports the body to fight off recurring colds.
- Take 2 to 3 cloves of garlic and crush them with your thumb
- Bring a cup of water to boil and add the crushed garlic to it
- Next, add a teaspoon of honey to it and boil for a few minutes
- Now, strain the water and drink it twice every day until congestion clears completely
Lemon – Lemon helps to treat congestion in several ways. Citric acid present in lemon juice thins the mucus and makes it easier to drain, thus clearing out congestion. Vitamin C found in lemon boosts the body’s immune system and increases its capacity to fight off colds, chest congestion and bronchitis.
- Take a glass of hot water
- Add the juice of half a lemon to it
- Add a teaspoon of honey and stir using a spoon
- Drink this solution 2 to 3 times a day for a few days
Licorice – Licorice works as a natural expectorant that thins the mucus and breaks up the congestion that blocks the airways and cause cough and shortness of breath.
- Boil a cup of water
- Add 1/2 teaspoon of licorice root to it
- Cover the cup and let it steep for 10 minutes
- Stain and water, add a teaspoon of honey to it and drink it 2 to 3 times a day
Mustard – Mustard, when used topically as a salve helps to clear chest congestion by boosting circulation and opening up the airways.
- Take dry mustard powder and flour in 1:4 ratio in a bowl
- Add some water to it and mix well so that it forms a smooth paste
- Apply some coconut oil or olive oil in the chest
- Place a piece of warm wet cloth on the chest
- Apply a thin layer of the mustard paste over it spreading evenly
- Cover it with another piece of warm wet cloth
- Leave it on for 15 minutes and then clean your chest with water
Caution – Remove the slave immediately if you feel any burning sensation, irritation or discomfort.
Thyme – Thyme is a powerful antiviral, anti-fungal, and antibacterial herb that is widely used for treating various conditions such as colds, flu, bronchitis, sinus infection, etc. Expectorant and antitussive actions of thyme help to reduce excessive mucus production and thin the mucus.
- Take 1 teaspoon each of dried thyme and mint leaves in a cup
- Pour boiling water over it, cover the cup and let it steep for 10 minutes
- Add a teaspoon of honey to sweeten the drink and have it 2 times a day
Turmeric – Active compound curcumin present in turmeric contains potent anti-inflammatory properties that help to treat chest pain and inflammation associated with chest congestion. It also helps to expel mucus and open up the clogged airways.
- Add a teaspoon of turmeric to a glass of warm water
- Use this solution for gargling and then drink it up
- Repeat it 2 to 3 times a day for a week
Tips to Soothe Chest Congestion
Salt Water Gargle – Gargling several times a day with lukewarm saline water can help to speed up the thinning and expulsion of mucus and relieve throat irritation, sore throat and cough.
Inhaling Steam – Steam inhalation can also help to break up and dissolve the mucus in the lungs and throat. Just fill a large bowl with hot water and add a few drops of peppermint or eucalyptus oil to it. Bring your face over the bowl and breathe deeply.
Keeping the Head in Elevated Position – Keeping you head in an elevated position by adding a couple of extra pillows under the head will prevent mucus build-up overnight and promote the drainage of mucus from the lungs.
Staying Well Hydrated – Drinking plenty of water, herbal teas and fruit juices to helps you to stay hydrated and prevents the mucus from coagulating and thickening.
Using a Humidifier at Night – Dry air irritates the nasal passages and throat and causes congestion and cough. Using a humidifier while sleeping helps to add moisture to the dry air and prevent cough and congestion.
Although, there home remedies and precautions can help you to get rid of chest congestion efficiently, it is best to see a doctor if things don’t get better even after 3 to 4 days of using these remedies, or if chest congestion is accompanied by fever, chest pain or breathing problem.