Imagine you have an important presentation to make, but you are suffering from severe cold and chest congestion. It is not rocket science to know that you will not be at your best. What are you supposed to do to pep up your performance?
What is Chest Congestion?
Chest congestion causes difficulty in breathing and occurs due to inflammation of the lungs. It is caused by the accumulation of mucus and fluids. When the mucus membranes that line the airways become overactive, it results in chest congestion.
When you breathe in bacteria, dust, pollen or viruses, the mucosa cells become irritated and inflamed. Inflammation of the mucosal cells leads to headache, chest congestion, pain and a stuffy nose. The symptoms can also include wheezing, heavy snoring, shortness of breath and dizziness. It results in labored breathing and hampers peaceful sleep.
I will discuss here some awesome efficient natural remedies that give stunning results.
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Causes Of Chest Congestion
It is a respiratory disease where the bronchial passage becomes inflamed. It shuts off the tiny airways in the lungs.
This action cause coughing spells accompanied by breathlessness and phlegm. Acute bronchitis is mostly caused by lung infections which are viral in origin.
If you suffer from repeated attacks, then it might turn into chronic bronchitis. Both these types hinder normal respiration and causes chest congestion.
It is a respiratory disease in which the bronchial passages become inflamed. It shuts off the tiny airways in the lungs. This action cause coughing spells accompanied by breathlessness and phlegm. Acute bronchitis is mostly caused by viral lung infections. If you suffer from repeated attacks, it might become chronic bronchitis. Both these types hinder normal respiration and cause chest congestion.
It can be caused by fungal, bacterial, viral or parasitic infections in the lungs. The most common symptoms of pneumonia include fever, shaking chills, chest congestion, confusion, and headache. The severity of pneumonia varies from mild to fatal, depending on the strength of the immune system. It is most serious with the very young, and the very old.
Cognitive Heart Failure
Lung congestion can cause the heart to fail to pump the blood effectively. This occurs due to the accumulation of fluid in the lungs.
It is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. This bacterial infection can attack the lungs, kidneys, brain and spine. This disease can cause severe coughing and lung congestion. It could be fatal if left untreated.
Common cold is the most common cause, others include
- Cystic fibrosis – It is a genetic disorder that makes the lungs produce more mucus and slowly clogs the lungs.
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder- It is caused due to the inflammation of the bronchial lining. COPD may cause irreversible damage to the airways.
- Occupational hazards- people working in certain industries have a high chance of inhaling dust, which hinders normal airflow to the lungs.
Lets move to the main story; natural ways to cure chest congestion. Scroll down to find some amazing and interesting information.
Chest Congestion Remedies
Gargle Salt Water
This is a most basic step, but it works. Salt water gargling can do wonders for your inflamed throat.
Gargling helps to break the congestion by rumbling it loose. The salt seeps into your throat and draws the mucus out of the tissue. It pulls the congestion off your throat.
For best results, mix half a cup of water with 1 tablespoon of salt and a pinch of turmeric. Stir it well and gargle it down your throat for a couple of minutes. Repeat this 3-4 times a day.
Take A Hot Steam Shower
Steam produces instant relief for congestion, dissolving mucus in the lungs and throat.
Try filling a bowl with very hot water. Keep your head above the bowl and trap the steam by covering your head with a towel. Inhale the steam as deeply as you can.
Or you can take a hot shower to ease congestion and feel refreshed.
Get A Good Night's Sleep
While you are sleeping, keep your head elevated by using 2-3 pillows, or place a couple books under the front legs of your bed. This promotes proper drainage of mucus and avoids nose block. This action can help result in a restful slumber. Good sleep is essential for a high quality of life.
Use A Humidifier
Humidifiers are good for the sinus health, and provide moisture and humidity to the inside of the nose. They open up nasal passages and promote healthy breathing. The University of Maryland’s Medical Center says that using a humidifier is an effective way to treat chest congestion.
There are two types of humidifiers cool and warm. The cool ones are considered safe to use around children and pets, while the warm ones can harbor bacteria.
Drink lots of water; this will thin out the mucus that has got thickened.
Drink lots of water; this will thin out the mucus that has got thickened.
Thick mucus gets stuck in the lungs and increases the severity of chest congestion.
Poor hydration will coagulate the mucus in the lungs and make it difficult to remove.
It is wise to drink warm water throughout the day to thin out the mucus.
Use A Netipot
A neti pot is a container designed to rinse your nasal cavities. It can help clear your nose, and provide relief from headaches, cough, facial pain, nasal congestion and watery discharge.
To use a neti pot, mix 16 ounces of previously boiled water with 1 teaspoon of salt. Add ½ a teaspoon of baking soda to buffer the solution, so it is easy on the nose. Fill the neti pot with the above liquid mixture. Tilt your head over a sink at a 45-degree angle. Place the spout into the top nostril and gently pour the saline solution into your nose (do not inhale, but keep your mouth open).
The salt solution will flow through the nasal cavity to the other side. Turn your head, and repeat it on the other side of the nostril. Some water may run into your throat, if that is the case, just spit it out. This brings good relief to congestion.
Clean the device after each use and allow it to air dry.
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Remember "Vicks VapoRub?" You can make something like it for a very effective salve that clears up your congested chest and gives prompt relief.
- Heat ¼ cup of coconut oil in the microwave until completely melted.
- Add 1 drop of olive oil, 5 drops of peppermint oil, and 8 drops of eucalyptus oil and 3 drops of camphor oil.
- Mix it well and pour it into a glass container and refrigerate it. After one hour apply the salve gently to the neck and chest.
- You can apply this before bedtime for effective results.
- This salve can be stored in a cool, dry place for about 6 months.
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Foods That Help To Ease Chest Congestion
The aroma of delicious chicken soup will bring life to your tired soul, and there are many heart-warming stories about grandma's chicken soup and chest congestion. But the old tales are not based on myth.
A recent research study proves that chicken soup is good for chest congestion, and contains salts, liquids, and nutrients that reduce inflammation.
Chicken soup can slow the migration of neutrophils or white blood cells to fight chest congestion.
Neutrophils are essential for the processes by which cellular debris, solid particles, and bacteria are removed. But they are also involved in the mucous release.
Ingesting cayenne pepper and chili powder can help clear congested airways. Cayenne pepper contains anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties and helps the irritated chest to heal. Capsaicin present in cayenne pepper helps to relieve congestion.
This ancient spice may help reduce the inflammation in the airways. A cup of hot ginger tea will soothe the inflamed regions of the chest and throat.
Add1 tsp of crushed fresh ginger in hot water. Add a pinch of crushed cloves and cinnamon. Allow it to settle for 2-3 minutes and then filter it.
This will provide good relief for chest congestion.
You can add fresh pieces of ginger to your stir fries and salads. Add a small piece of ginger to hot water.
Add 2-3 black peppercorns. Strain the water. Add a teaspoon of honey and enjoy your drink. You should drink it twice or thrice per day to remove congestion from your chest.
Thyme is a great herbal expectorant that was used by the ancient Greeks to cure chest congestion. Thyme contains volatile oils such as thymol and flavonoids. These have great antioxidant properties to scavenge harmful free radicals. Thyme contains terpenes, which stimulate the hair-like structures called cilia that line the lower respiratory tract and flush mucus out of the lungs. Thyme contains several antimicrobial compounds. They fight against the various strains of fungi and bacteria that cause respiratory infections.
This amazing herb naturally boosts the immunity of the lungs to fight against the microbes causing chest congestion. You can include thyme by preparing a delicious cup of hot steaming tea. Remember, just like chicken soup, teas provide needed hydration, as well as the benefits of their ingredients.
Add ½ teaspoon of thyme to 1 cup of boiling water.
Allow it to stand for 5 minutes. Add a teaspoon of honey to make it sweet and enjoy.You can also dilute thyme oil with olive or corn oil in a 1:1 proportion. In other words, equal amounts and gently rub on the chest to remove congestion.
This bright yellow spice has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. The yellow pigment curcumin present in turmeric provides anti-inflammatory benefits.
- Add a teaspoon of turmeric powder to a glass of lukewarm milk or water.
- Enjoy this concoction 2-3 times a day.
The anti-inflammatory compounds of turmeric will fight the congestion and produce excellent relief.
Honey is an effective cough medicine. It forms a protective layer in your mouth and throat that soothes irritation. The beautiful blend of sugar, vitamins, minerals, trace elements and amino acids makes honey an amazing sweetener. Honey also has antifungal properties.
To loosen the congestion you can:
- Mix a teaspoon of honey and lemon juice and drink it like tea.
- Repeat this for 2-3 times a day for amazing results.
- Add honey to sweeten some of the other teas we have recommended
Honey and pepper are effective in reducing the thickness of phlegm. Diluted phlegm is easier to expel.
Take 1 teaspoon of honey and half a teaspoon of black pepper and make a paste.
Swallow this paste twice a day for effective results.
Licorice thins mucus and clears congestion. It makes a cough more effective in clearing phlegm and mucus. It helps relax painful bronchial spasms and soothes the throat, fighting the overproduction of mucus.
Licorice tea is a popular herbal treatment for chest congestion.
Boil 4 to 8 ounces of water.
Add 1 teaspoon of dried licorice root.
Remove from the stove and allow it to stand for 5 minutes.
Filter and add a teaspoon of honey to enhance the taste.
Do not use licorice tea for more than a week, and do not give it to children.
This beneficial herb provides a natural remedy for chest congestion. Take fresh bay leaves and put it in a cup of boiling water. Allow it to stand for a while and drink.
Bay leaves can also ease congestion as a hot compress.
- Boil some bay leaves in water.
- Allow it to stand for five minutes, then strain.
- Soak a clean cloth into the strained water. Place it on the chest.
Colds, coughs and chest congestion causes a lot of discomfort and reduces our performance.
You can find quick relief with these awesome natural remedies. If the problem persists, it would be wise to consult your doctor.
Prevention is better than cure, a healthy diet coupled with proper exercise will keep you fit and healthy.
Drinking plenty of fluids is a good old way to prevent or reduce chest congestion. Hot herbal teas and chicken soup provide both needed liquid, and active ingredients. Hot compresses and inhaling steam can also help, but use caution.
Do you have a great remedy for chest congestion that we missed? We would love to hear about it.
Let us know in the comments below!
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