How to Get Rid of Phlegm: Tips, Home Remedies, and Medications to Try
We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.
Taking over-the-counter decongestants, staying hydrated, and using a humidifer are some of the remedies that can help ease phlegm in your The throat. or chest.
When you are sick, phlegm is the sticky substance that hangs in the back of your The throat.. Most people notice it when it is. Did you know that you have this mucus all the time?
Mucous membranes make phlegm to protect and support your respiratory system. These membranes line your:
- The mouth.
- There is a nose.
- The throat.
- The sinuses.
- The lungs are large.
Mucus is sticky so it can trap dust, allergens, and viruses. When you’re healthy, the mucus is thin and less noticeable. When you’re sick or exposed to too many particles, the phlegm can get thick and become more noticeable as it traps these foreign substances.
Phlegm is a healthy part of your respiratory system, but if it’s making you uncomfortable, there are ways to thin it or reduce it.
You can learn about natural remedies, OTC medicines and when you might want to see your doctor.
Moisturizing the air around you can help keep mucus thin. You may have heard that steam can clear phlegm and congestion, but there isn’t a lot of scientific support for this idea.
Instead of steam, you can use a cool mist humidifier. You can run this humidifier safely all day long. You’ll just want to make sure you change the water each day and clean your humidifier according to the package instructions.
Drinking enough liquids, especially warm ones can help with mucus flow.
Water and other liquids can loosen your congestion by helping your mucus move. Try sipping liquids, like juice, clear broths, and soup. Other good liquid choices include decaffeinated tea, warm fruit juice, and lemon water.
Your drinks shouldn’t be the only thing that’s warm. You should be, too! Staying warm is an easy home remedy to soothe your respiratory system. That’s because you’re better able to fight off conditions that cause excess mucus (like the common cold) when you’re at a warmer body temperature.
Staying warm include methods.
- Warm showers.
- Warming clothing to keep warm in cold temperatures.
- A couple of people are in bed with an extra blanket.
Try consuming foods and drinks that contain lemon, ginger, and garlic. A 2018 survey found these may help treat colds, coughs, and excess mucus, though there isn’t much research to back it up.
Spicy foods that contain capsaicin, such as cayenne or chili peppers, might also help temporarily clear The sinuses. and get mucus moving.
- Licorice root is a root.
- There is a plant called ginseng.
- The berries are large.
- Echinacea is a plant.
- The fruit of the tree, pomegranate.
You might also be wondering about the classic many grab when they’re sick: chicken soup. Does it help get rid of phlegm too? Some research suggests yes.
Chicken soup might be good for treating colds and getting rid of excess mucus. This is because chicken soup slows neutrophils’ movement in your body. Neutrophils, a type of white blood cell, fight off infection. When moving slowly, they stay in the areas of your body where infection exists for longer.
More studies are needed to confirm the effects of these foods, but for most people, adding these ingredients to their diet is safe.
If you are taking any prescription drugs, you should ask your doctor before adding new ingredients to your diet.
Gargling warm salt water
Follow these easy steps when gargling salt water.
- The water and salt should be mixed together. Warm water will cause the salt to be dissolved more quickly. It is a good idea to use bottled water that does not contain chlorine.
- Put a bit of the mixture in your mouth.
- Let the mixture wash into your The throat. without drinking it.
- Gently blow air up from your The lungs are large. to gargle for 30 to 60 seconds, and then spit out the water.
- As needed, repeat.
If you don’t want to gargle salt water, there’s an easier, more effective alternative to thin phlegm: saline. Saline is a salt water solution you can use as a nasal spray or in a neti pot. It’s available over the counter and is a natural way to clear out the The sinuses..
Using eucalyptus essential oil may help reduce excess mucus in your chest. It works by loosening the mucus so you can cough it out more easily. At the same time, if you have a nagging cough, the eucalyptus may relieve it.
You can either use a balm or a diffuser to inhale the vapor.
While research suggests there are health benefits, the FDA doesn’t monitor or regulate the purity or quality of essential oils. It’s important to talk with a healthcare professional before you begin using essential oils and be sure to research the quality of a brand’s products. Always do a patch test before trying a new essential oil.
There are also OTC medicines you can use. Decongestants, for example, can cut down the mucus that flows from your There is a nose.. This mucus isn’t considered phlegm, but it can lead to chest congestion. Decongestants work by reducing swelling in your There is a nose. and opening up your airways.
You can find oral decongestants.
- tablets or capsule
- Liquids or syrups.
- There are powders that are flavoured.
There are many sprays for the nose.
You can try products like guaifenesin (Mucinex) that thin mucus so it won’t sit in the back of your The throat. or your chest. This type of medication is called an expectorant, which means it helps you to expel mucus by thinning and loosening it.
“The treatment usually lasts 12 hours, but you should follow the instructions. There are children’s versions for kids.”
The oil in the chest rubs can help with coughs and possibly get rid of mucus. You can rub it on your neck and chest up to three times a day. The company makes a baby-strength version of the product, but younger children should not use it at its full strength.
If you have certain conditions or infections, your doctor may prescribe medications to treat the root cause of your symptoms. There are specific medications that can thin your mucus if you have a chronic lung condition, like cystic fibrosis.
Hypertonic saline is a treatment that’s inhaled through a nebulizer. It’s stronger than an OTC saline solution, which means it can sometimes be more effective. It works by increasing the amount of salt in your air passages. It comes in different strengths and can be used on people ages 6 and older.
Hypertonic saline treatment only provides temporary relief and may cause some side effects.
- sore The throat.
- The chest is tight.
People with cystic fibrosis use dornea-al fa to treat their mucus-thinning condition. You use a nebulizer to inhale it. It is also suitable for people over the age of 6.
You may lose your voice while on this medication. Other side effects include:
- The throat. discomfort
- There is a high degree of fever.
- runny There is a nose.
Excess or thick phlegm from time to time is usually not a reason for concern. You may notice it in the morning because it’s accumulated and dried overnight. You may also notice phlegm more if you’re sick, have seasonal There are allergies., or if you’re dehydrated.
If phlegm becomes a regular occurrence, you might want to see your doctor. There are several health conditions that can cause phlegm.
- Acid reflux.
- There are allergies.
- cystic fibrosis (although this condition is usually diagThere is a nose.d early in life)
- Chronic bronchitis.
- Other lung diseases can be fatal.
Contact your doctor if your phlegm has been bothering you for a month or longer. Let your doctor know if you have other symptoms, like:
It’s important to remember that the body produces mucus at all times. When you notice excess mucus, it’s typically a sign your body is fighting off a cold, There are allergies., or something more serious.
There are many remedies and medicines that are tailored to different levels of severity. OTC medication and at- home remedies are great places to start.
“Home remedies that don’t have a lot of research on their effectiveness aren’t harmful to most people. OTC saline solutions and medications have been found to be effective in many cases.”
Severe cases of excess mucus can be treated with medication.
If you have excess mucus, you should contact your doctor.
- How much phlegm you have is something you are concerned about.
- The amount of phlegm has increased.
- You have other symptoms that worry you.