During this time of the year, a lot of people find themselves feeling unwell- particularly those who live in cold regions with harsh winter weather. However, even those who live in milder climates are still susceptible to coming down with a variety of ailments. It’s best to begin treating sickness as soon as you notice symptoms. One common symptom people report experiencing is chest congestion. Fortunately, there are plenty of home remedies that can be used to manage the congestion and help one begin to feel better quickly.
If you are currently experiencing congestion, you know just how uncomfortable it can be. Chest congestion is a build-up of mucus which can lead to difficulty breathing, a feeling of pain or tightness in the chest, and coughing or wheezing. While there are countless over the counter treatments available, many people are turning to more natural methods to treat the problem. Continue reading to discover 10 highly effective chest congestion home remedies you can try today.
#1) Steam Inhalation
This method often brings quick relief to those suffering with congestion. All you need to get started is a pot of water and a towel. Bring the water to a simmer on the stovetop. Drape the towel over your head while keeping your face above the pot. Use caution while doing this so that you do not burn yourself or the towel in the process. The towel should create a tent-like shape which will envelope the steam rising from the water, allowing you to inhale it directly. The moist heat of the steam helps to break up and dissolve mucus in the chest, which makes you feel better almost instantly. Do this 2-3 times a day for best results. You can read more about how steam inhalation helps in this remedies for chest congestion article.
#2) Garlic and Lemon Soup
Soup is the ultimate comfort food. This recipe is an alternative to the classic chicken noodle soup. Fresh lemon juice is full of vitamin C, which boosts the immune system to fight infection, and studies show that garlic is a powerful natural antibiotic. This soup combines both ingredients to create an excellent remedy for congestion. To make it, you will need:
- 3 crushed cloves of garlic
- Juice of 2 lemons
- Salt and pepper
Mix the garlic and lemon in a small bowl of water, then pour it into a saucepan. Season with some salt and pepper. Simmer the soup for about five minutes, then consume.
#3) Essential Oil Salve
Essential oils have so many beneficial uses, and treating the symptoms of chest congestion is among them. To create a salve, you can use the following:
- One scoop of coconut oil
- 2-3 drops of peppermint essential oil
- 2-3 drops of eucalyptus oil
Warm the coconut oil in the microwave on a low heat setting just until it softens, but do not melt. Add a few drops of each essential oil. You can add more oil if desired to obtain a stronger scent. Rub some of the mixture on your chest. This salve helps because of the properties of the essential oils. Peppermint oil is antibacterial and an analgesic. Eucalyptus oil is antimicrobial and acts as an expectorant. The menthol in the peppermint also provides a cool, soothing sensation.
#4) Licorice Root Tea
Much like soup, drinking a hot cup of tea feels wonderful when we are ill. Warm liquids help to thin mucus, easing the feeling of congestion. Black licorice root is a natural expectorant, making this tea a great choice for those trying to reduce mucus build-up. Simply simmer a half teaspoon of licorice root in water and drink. Repeat a few times per day.
#5) Betel Leaf Compress
Betel leaves, native to Southeast Asia, grow on a vine and belong to the same plant family as black pepper. These heart-shaped leaves are known to ease respiratory issues and provide pain relief. Warm slightly and place the leaves on the chest as a hot compress to help loosen phlegm.
#6) Apple Cider Vinegar Gargle
Similar to a salt water gargle for a sore throat, apple cider vinegar is useful for chest congestion. The vinegar attracts mucus, causing you to cough and expel it from the chest. Stir one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar into one cup of warm water, then gargle and rinse.
#7) DIY Cough Syrup
This remedy also calls for apple cider vinegar, but in the form of a syrup. Not only does it help you to expel mucus, but also it is believed to boost immunity. This cough syrup also contains honey, which is a natural decongestant. To make your very own cough syrup you will need:
- 1/4 teaspoon each of ground ginger and cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon each of honey and apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons of water
Mix all ingredients and take 1 teaspoon every 3-4 hours.
#8) Turmeric Milk
Turmeric is a yellow spice that has both antiviral and antibacterial properties. Mix a teaspoon into a cup of warm milk with some honey, cinnamon, and a dash of pepper, and you’ll have a delicious decongestant that alleviates symptoms.
#9) Epsom Salts
Epsom salts contain a mineral compound that helps to draw toxins out of the body when dissolved in water. Sprinkle some in the tub for a relaxing, hot bath that will lessen congestion.
Last, but certainly not least, stay hydrated. Water thins out mucus and prevents it from getting stuck in the lungs. Water is essential in treating chest congestion.
Back to Health
Once you are feeling better, you can continue to use these tips to prevent reoccurrences. Using more than one of these home remedies at a time will provide the best results but trying at least one should bring relief as well. If your symptoms persist or worsen, it is recommended to see your doctor. A healthy life is a happy life, so stay well!
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