Chest congestion is one of the most common sicknesses, caused by virus infection in the lungs. While being exposed to a respiratory virus, your bronchi will build mucus excess. This thick fluid hinders airflow and causes coughing, common colds, rainy noses, sore throats, as well as chest tightness. Chest congestion might not be a serious health problem, but it leads to annoying discomfort and does affect our routines. Throughout this article, we will share 4 effective tips on how to quickly relieve chest congestion at home. Read on!
Healthy food and herbs you can find in your kitchen
Back to basic, you might be surprised by how hot beverages can help you from congestion and its accompanying symptoms. As proof, a study published in the journal Rhinology revealed that hot drinks provide immediate and sustained relief from the common cold and flu, as well as congestion.
What we suggest for food and drink when you feel sick are as follows:
- Chicken soup or other broths
- Decaffeinated tea
- Herbal teas
- Warm milk
- Simple warm water or saltwater
Honey is not only delicious but also surprisingly curative, thanks to its antiviral and antibacterial properties. That’s why it has been widely used for making medicines, Ayurveda treatment, and wound healing since the ancient Rome era.
According to one study published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, honey can also treat upper respiratory tract infections that result in coughing and sleep disturbance. Moreover, honey can prevent acute coughs in children as well.
If you want to use honey, you may add 1 tablespoon of honey and a few drops of lemon juice to a cup of hot water and slowly sip it at least 2-3 times per day. After that, honey will help soothe your sore throat and your chest. Aside from its deliciousness and great health benefits, honey and lemons provide lots of vitamins C, a big plus for your immunity system. As a final note, honey is safe for adults and children, it is not suitable for infants under 12 months of age due to the risk of botulism.
According to a study by researchers at the Columbia University Medical Center, ginger carries anti-inflammatory and bronchial relaxant properties. Ginger itself cannot directly cure chest congestion but helps relieve some accompanying symptoms such as clearing out the airway.
Some people find that it is difficult to put ginger in your mouth due to its pungent flavor. To solve this problem, we suggest you drink fresh ginger tea mixed with honey instead of eating it as is.
Turmeric is a miracle herb from India with multi healing benefits. For a long time, turmeric has been used for ayurvedic healing and other illnesses, including chest congestion. Many researches indicated that turmeric contains a high amount of curcumin which fights effectively against bacteria, inflammation of the airways, and acute sinusitis.
In order to use turmeric, you may add a pinch to a cup of warm water and gargle. It will dissolve the tick mucus and help relieve cough as well as the common cold.
Apart from skin moisturizing and stress reduction, essential oils can alleviate your chest congestion symptoms as well. Breathing aromatic fragrances with essential oils like sandalwood, geranium, eucalyptus, peppermint, and rosemary can help loosen thick mucus in your lungs and ease your respiratory tract. Besides, some studies reported that peppermint oil is very effective to relieve cough.
Here are 3 easy ways of using essential oils for congestion remedy:
- Inhale directly from the bottle
- Use an essential oil diffuser and place it in your room
- Add some essential oil you like in a steam bath
In addition, coconut oil mixed with other essential oils can be used as a vapor rub. We recommend applying it to your chest.
Finally, please note that essential oils are for external use only, and do not forget to test a product for skin irritation before applying it to your body.
Some doctors and naturopaths believe that steam inhalation can loosen mucus and help you expelled the latter by coughing. For this reason, you might put a cool-mist humidifier or steam vaporizer in your house to relieve your lung irritation. Just make sure the humidifier is already cleaned and get rid of all bacteria and other harmful pathogens. Moreover, you can soak in a warm steam bath or shower because the steam from hot water in your bathroom will alleviate chest congestion and also provide pleasant relaxation at the same time.
Elevate the head
People who suffer from chest congestion might experience sleep difficulties as well due to mucus excess in the chest that obstructs the airway. In this case, we suggest that you change your pillows to gently elevate your head at an angle. This position will help you ease coughing so that you can finally have a great night’s sleep. Chest congestion symptoms usually go away within 2 weeks, or maybe faster if you take good care of yourself. We hope this article will be useful and answered all your questions about chest congestion. May good health stay with you!