Mucus. Phlegm. Words as unpleasant as the experience itself. For those who regularly suffer from excess mucus in the throat, this can be an entirely embarrassing and quite frankly, frustrating issue. So how does one get rid of phlegm stuck in the throat? While there are many varying types and causes of mucus, these natural tips will support your body and help to clear your phlegm-y throat!
Water. Water. Water.
It may seem too simple, but you may be surprised how many individuals go through their day dehydrated, drinking little to no water. Water consumption will help you to loosen up phlegm, as well as wash down any that has deposited itself in your throat. Further, if you have a sneaking suspicion that your mucus build-up is due to an illness such as the common cold, staying hydrated is especially important – as running a fever causes your body to lose water (1).
Eucalyptus Essential Oil
If using a vaporizer or diffuser is part of your normal routine to help break up excess mucus, consider adding eucalyptus essential oil to the water! According to a study conducted on the effects on eucalyptus oil, the inhalation of the oils of this plant may not only help one to reduce the amount of mucus or phlegm in the throat, but it in the case of viral illness, it may also stimulate the immune system and help one feel better more quickly.
Turn Up the Heat
… Only figuratively, of course. While we don’t recommend turning your heater on “full blast”, we do recommend trying to incorporate some spicy foods in your diet! Your body’s natural response to the consumption of spicy foods is to decongest – many times seen in the reactions of a runny nose and watery eyes. If you’re feeling brave, try adding spicy foods such as chilies into your dishes and see if it helps alleviate your symptoms (3).
Avoid Dairy Products
I know… We are telling you to eat spicy foods and then avoid the dairy milk that would help to tame the burn afterwards, however, research shows that the fat content in dairy products can cause ones throat mucus to thicken. So while dairy itself may not cause an increase in mucus production, it certainly will not help one to clear out and regain comfort from preexisting mucus build up (4). If you feel like you can’t give up your daily glass of milk, consider trying dairy alternatives such as almond, cashew or soy milk!
Herbs, Spices, and Homeopathy
As always, nature seems to provide many natural sources of symptomatic relief for nearly every ailment and issue, and for that, we are eternally grateful! If you’re looking to turn to the long term support of herbal remedies, you may consider adding turmeric into your health regimen. In addition to its immune strengthening qualities, turmeric also has been shown to have antibacterial properties perfectly suited for supporting a healthy respiratory tract.
An additional immune strengthening herb to consider incorporating into your phlegm fighting repertoire is ginger. Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, ginger has the ability to help soothe an inflamed, mucus ridden respiratory tract. Try slicing fresh ginger into a warm cup of tea to harness its full effects, while also hydrating and breaking up a phlegm-y throat with warm liquids (5).
For more immediate symptom relief, mucus suffers may want to explore the supportive effects of homeopathy. If you’re new to the principles of homeopathy, it may be worth seeing a local naturopath to describe your symptoms and have them tailor a course of action to you and your unique symptoms. They may suggest any of the following homeopathic ingredients:
Kali mur 6X HPUS
Utilized for any combination of the following symptoms: discharge of white mucus from the eyes, catarrhal conditions of the middle ear, earache and congestion, phlegm white and thick, stuffy cold in the head, throat swollen, or pain on swallowing.
Kali sulph 6X HPUS
Utilized for any combination of the following symptoms: secretions that are light yellow and sticky or slimy, watery or greenish matter, swelling of the Eustachian lining, colds with yellow slimy expectoration, and itching of the nose.
Kali bich 6C HPUS
Utilized for any combination of the following symptoms: large amounts of mucous secretion which is jelly-like and may form thick yellow-green membranes, viscous and stringy mucoid secretions which hang in long filaments and are sticky, yellow or greenish-yellow and membranous in texture, profuse nasal watery discharge, and violent sneezing.
The Native Remedies formulation, Mucus-Clear™ combines all of the above ingredients to help alleviate the symptoms associated with excessive mucus, such as throat congestion, vocal cord strain, and repetitive throat clearing.
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- John, Dr. Tina M. St. “Why Do You Need to Drink Plenty of Water When Sick?” LIVESTRONG.COM, Leaf Group, 3 Oct. 2017, http://www.livestrong.com/article/415493-why-do-you-need-to-drink-plenty-of-water-when-sick/.
- Lopez-McHugh, Nancy. “7 Spicy Foods That Help Fight Congestion and Sinus Headache Pain.” The Spruce, http://www.thespruce.com/spicy-foods-that-help-fight-congestion-3877348.
- “Milk Products and Mucus in COPD.” COPD Foundation, http://www.copdfoundation.org/COPD360social/Community/Blog/Article/293/Milk-Products-and-Mucus-in-COPD.aspx.
- Toole, Michelle. “3 Herbs and Spices to Reduce Phlegm.” Healthy Holistic Living, 2 Jan. 2015, http://www.healthy-holistic-living.com/spices-reduce-phlegm.html.