Whenever we come down with a cold, one of the worst things we have to deal with is chest and nasal congestion. When our respiratory tract becomes inflamed, excess mucus is produced. This mucus clogs up our airways and makes it very difficult to breathe. However, you don’t have to suffer through it like a martyr. There are many home remedies that can alleviate chest congestion and help you breathe properly again.
1. Bay Leaf
Bay leaves are powerful herbs that can cut through mucus immediately. To ease your chest congestion with bay leaf, one of the easiest ways to use is in the form of tea. Brew bay leaf tea by steeping fresh bay leaves in boiling water. Drink this mixture through the day and you’ll start to breathe easy again.
Thyme is another herb with powerful medicinal qualities. Thyme was often used in ancient medicine to heal respiratory illnesses. It kills the bacteria which causes excess mucus secretion and thus clears up your airways. Add half a teaspoon of thyme to hot water and drink this to ease congestion almost immediately. You can also use thyme essential oil to clear congestion from the outside. Dilute the oil with equal parts of a carrier oil live olive oil. Rub this mixture all over your chest.
Steaming is one of the oldest ways to clear chest congestion. Heat up water until it comes to a boil and take it off the stove. Add a few drops of an essential oil like thyme or peppermint. Place your face above the bowl of hot water and wrap a towel around you and the bowl so none of the steam escapes. Breathe in the steam for a quick and effective cure. Remember to keep your eyes closed the whole time or they might sting.
4. Turmeric Milk
Turmeric milk is an ancient Ayurvedic cure for most illnesses including chest congestion. Turmeric is a powerful spice and can boost the body’s immunity. Drinking it while you’re sick will help you recover much faster. To make turmeric milk, boil a glass of milk (nut milk is fine too) with half a teaspoon of turmeric powder and a small pinch of pepper. Once it’s heated through, take it off the flame and add a tablespoon of honey.
5. Onion-Infused Honey
This might sound distinctly unappealing, but it is actually very effective against mucus congestion. Onion contains sulfur, a compound that inhibits mucus production and improves immunity. Honey contains natural antibiotics which kill harmful bacteria that can exacerbate the problem. To get the benefits of both, place a slice of onion in a bowl of honey and let it sit overnight. The next morning, remove the onion slice and consume the honey through the course of the day.
6. Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea has been used as a natural remedy against illnesses since ancient times. This mild-tasting tea is still used for medicinal purposes because it’s so effective. When you buy chamomile tea bags, make sure they’re organic and have no added preservatives. Dip the tea bag in hot water for a few minutes and drink this tea through the day. You can also add a spoon of honey to improve the taste and make it more powerful.
7. Apple Cider Vinegar
Vinegar in general is very effective against mucus congestion, but apple cider vinegar is even better. This is because it has natural vitamins and probiotics within it which don’t just kill mucus-causing bacteria, but also improve your immunity. Dilute a spoonful of apple cider vinegar in hot water along with a spoon of honey and drink this thrice a day. Don’t overdo it though as it can irritate your stomach.
Ginger is very effective at treating respiratory diseases because of its main compound, gingerol. Ginger can clear up your airways almost immediately and help you get better. Boil an inch of peeled, fresh ginger with a glass of water and add some black pepper to it. You can also add a spoon of honey to make it stronger. Drink this a few times a day to clear up all the mucus blocking your airways.