9 Natural Remedies To Get Rid Of Mucus In Your Throat

how to get rid of mucus in your throat

Mucus is one of those silent workers in your body that you don’t even notice till you feel sick and miserable and start coughing it up. It’s produced by cells in your upper airways and lungs and made of proteins, water, and salt. And did you know that it plays a critical role? Mucus forms a protective layer that keeps your nose and airways from drying out and traps dirt and germs to stop them from entering further into your body. Antibodies in mucus also kill germs and protect you from infection. Normally, microscopic hair-like structures (called cilia) moves mucus to the back of your throat and it is then swallowed. But if your respiratory system produces excess mucus (otherwise known as phlegm) it can drip down your throat giving you a husky voice, sore throat or a cough. And thick, sticky mucus isn’t just irritating to your throat it can be difficult to clear too.1 So let’s take a look at what causes phlegm and how you can get rid of it.

What Causes Mucus?

Allergies or viral illness like the common cold can produce excess mucus, so can an infection in the upper airways or your lungs, for example, a condition like tuberculosis, pneumonia, or bronchitis. It may also be an indication of chronic lung disease (for instance, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) or asthma. And if you smoke then phlegm may point to lung damage caused due to this.2


How To Get Rid Of Mucus In Throat

Your doctor may prescribe medication to handle the underlying cause of excess phlegm – antihistamines (for allergies), antibiotics (for bacterial infections), or steroids (for asthma) can help. Cough suppressants and decongestants can also be useful.3 There are also a few things that you can do at home at might be helpful:

Drink Water

Make sure you have lots of fluids. Fluids can thin mucus, making it easier to expectorate.


Try A Salt Water Gargle

A teaspoon of salt dissolved into eight ounces of warm water makes a great gargle. Gargling with this helps you bring up mucus and also soothes a sore throat.4

Try Chicken Soup

It’s an old time favorite – a warm bowl of chicken soup when you’re down with a nasty cold. How does it work? Turns out the amino acid cysteine which is found in chicken meat can help thin mucus.5 So stick with the tried and tested chicken soup to get rid of phlegm.


Go For Steam Inhalation

Boil water in a wide rimmed pot. Once the water stops bubbling inhale the steam. It helps to drape a towel over your head and the pot as this will prevent the steam from escaping. Five to ten minutes of steam can help loosen and remove mucus.6

Use Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus is commonly used to treat respiratory problems and eucalyptus oil can loosen phlegm. Make a gargle with fresh eucalyptus leaves to soothe your throat. Adding a few drops of the essential oil to a steam inhalation can up its power and quickly clear congestion too.7 But do keep in mind that this remedy is not recommended for children or pregnant or breastfeeding women.8 However, you can still benefit from a plain steam inhalation!


Try Peppermint

The menthol in peppermint can loosen phlegm and thin mucus. A tea made from peppermint leaves should help clear congestion. A few drops of peppermint oil added to a steam inhalation can also help remove phlegm. But do keep in mind that this remedy is not recommended for children as inhaling menthol may be harmful for them.9 10

Check Out Thyme Tea

Thyme helps to remove mucus, has antiseptic properties and may even boost your immunity. So the next time your throat gets irritated by mucus, try some thyme tea to soothe it. You can also gargle with a decoction of thyme which is prepared by boiling this herb in water for ten to twenty minutes.11


Try Lemon And Honey

Lemon and honey have long been used traditionally for coughs and colds. Honey has antibacterial properties and is thought to soothe the throat while lemon is rich in vitamin C which boosts the immune system and is a powerful antioxidant. Lemons also have antibacterial and anti viral properties. Add about three tablespoons of lemon juice and a little honey to a cup of warm water. One study found that this remedy significantly reduced the severity and frequency of coughing in children.12

Drink Aniseed Tea

Aniseed is known to break up mucus and relieve congestion. Crush a couple of teaspoons of aniseed and let it steep in boiling water for ten to fifteen minutes. Strain and drink up to clear mucus!13


Do see a doctor if you have a cough that causes severe pain, shortness of breath, or lasts for four weeks or more. You should also get medical attention if you’re coughing up blood.14

What Precautions Can You Take?

  • Avoid germs and allergens. Remember to wash your hands frequently if you’re around someone who is struggling with a nasty cold, especially before handling food or touching your mouth or nose. Also, the best way to prevent an allergic reaction is to stay away from substances that you’re sensitive to.15
  • A healthy balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables can really help your immune system stay strong and healthy. This will help you fight off germs before they make you sick and give you a stuffy nose or a scratchy throat.16
  • Making sure you get proper exercise and sufficient sleep can do wonders for your immune system too.17
  • Try natural remedies like tulsi, yogurt, and garlic that can strengthen your immunity. Tulsi leaves have been traditionally consumed on a empty stomach to improve immunity in some parts of Asia and scientific research also indicates that tulsi can activate your immune system.18 Meanwhile, yogurt contains beneficial bacteria that may reduce the severity of the symptoms of respiratory tract infections and cut short their duration.19 And studies have found that garlic can have a protective effect against the common cold as well as help you recover faster if you do fall ill.20