Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Chest Congestion June 30, 2017

Constantly clearing your throat, coughing, and uneasiness because of the phlegm, as seen in chest congestion, can be both awkward and annoying. This respiratory issue that affects millions of people can be conveniently treated at home with some natural ingredients. Keep reading to know more.

Despite dire warnings issued by medical agencies, most people do not tend to take chest congestion seriously. It irritates the walls of your respiratory system that contain the mucus lining. This irritation leads to excessive production of mucus. Typically, if the mucus is expelled in the form of phlegm, it is a good sign as it indicates that the body is protecting itself by expelling harmful bacteria and irritants mixed with mucus. However, when the excess mucus secretion doesn’t go back to normal levels, it results in chest congestion.

In this article, we will be talking about the causes, signs and symptoms, and home remedies for chest congestion. Read on!

What Causes Chest Congestion?

Some common irritants and health problems that lead to excessive mucus production and chest congestion are:

  • Cigarette smoke
  • Diseases like flu, bronchitis, tuberculosis, and pneumonia
  • Gastroesophageal acid reflux (GERD)
  • Allergies
  • Asthma

Congestive heart failure is a rather uncommon but serious condition that is characterized by lung congestion due to the accumulation of fluids. More often than not, simple upper respiratory tract infections are the cause of chest congestion. Here are the symptoms associated with it.

Signs And Symptoms Of Chest Congestion

If you are suffering from chest congestion, you will probably experience

  • Chest pain while coughing
  • Wheezing or rasping
  • Coughing fits
  • Headache
  • Shortness of breath
  • Phlegm
  • Postnasal drip
  • Tiredness due to lack of sleep
  • Coughing up blood (in extreme cases) (1)

Though these symptoms seem minor, it is not wise to allow them to linger for too long. Chest congestion that lasts for more than 14 days can indicate some serious underlying illnesses. It is best to treat it with home remedies, starting from day three or four itself. However, consult a doctor without delay if the congestion continues even after 14 days.

Here are some home remedies to get you started on the easy road to recovery. Easy because they are easy-to-make and affordable.

How To Get Rid Of Chest Congestion

  1. Apple Cider Vinegar
  2. Essential Oil
  3. Teas
  4. Honey
  5. Heating Pad
  6. Ginger
  7. Mustard Poultice
  8. Onion Remedy
  9. Epsom Salt Bath
  10. Pineapple Juice Or Lemon Juice
  11. Steam Inhalation
  12. Turmeric
  13. Thyme Herb

Home Remedies For Chest Congestion

1. Apple Cider Vinegar For Chest Congestion

1. Apple Cider Vinegar For Chest Congestion Pinit

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • A cup of warm water

What You Have To Do

Dilute the vinegar in water and gargle with this.

How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this twice a day for best results.

Why This Works

The vinegar attracts the excess phlegm, and you will soon find yourself expelling it after the gargle (2).

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2. Essential Oil For Chest Congestion

2. Essential Oil For Chest Congestion Pinit

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

  • 2-3 drops eucalyptus oil OR tea tree oil OR peppermint oil
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil OR castor oil

What You Have To Do

  1. Mix the essential oil of your choice with any of the carrier oils.
  2. Apply this blend to the sinuses, neck, chest, and back.
  3. Leave it on for a couple of hours.

How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this once every day, preferably before going to bed.

Why This Works

No matter which essential oil you decide to use, all of them possess a certain set of similar properties that can help relieve chest congestion. These properties include mucus reduction, anti-inflammatory for the inflamed respiratory passages, and antimicrobial against the infection causing the congestion (3, 4, 5).

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3. Fenugreek Tea For Chest Congestion

3. Fenugreek Tea For Chest Congestion Pinit

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • A cup of water
  • 1 teaspoon honey

What You Have To Do

  1. Soak the fenugreek overnight in a cup of water.
  2. In the morning, strain the liquid and heat it up.
  3. Add honey and drink this herbal tea.

How Often You Should Do This

Drink a cup or two of this every day until the congestion goes away.

Why This Works

The anti-inflammatory properties of fenugreek help to reduce the inflammation in the respiratory tract. The antimicrobial compounds present in it deal with the infection-causing organisms and eliminate them (6).

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4. Honey For Chest Congestion

4. Honey For Chest Congestion Pinit

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • A glass of hot water

What You Have To Do

Add the honey and lemon juice to the hot water and drink this mixture.

How Often You Should Do This

Have one glass in the morning and one glass in the evening to relieve chest congestion quickly.

Why This Works

Honey is antimicrobial in nature and can help you get rid of the respiratory tract infection. It also soothes the irritated throat and reduces coughing (7).

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5. Heating Pad For Chest Congestion

5. Heating Pad For Chest Congestion Pinit

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

A heating pad or hot water bottle

What You Have To Do

Place this on the chest for 10-15 minutes.

How Often You Should Do This

Repeat if required.

Why This Works

The warmth from the heating pad can help break down the accumulated mucus so that it can easily be eliminated.

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6. Ginger For Chest Congestion

6. Ginger For Chest Congestion Pinit

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

  • 1-inch piece of ginger
  • A cup of boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon honey

What You Have To Do

  1. Chop the ginger and soak it in hot water for 4-5 minutes.
  2. Strain this and add honey to it. Mix well.
  3. Consume this herbal tea while it is warm.

How Often You Should Do This

Have 2-3 cups of ginger tea in a day.

Why This Works

The hotness of the tea can alleviate the symptoms of chest congestion by clearing up your airways. Ginger acts as an expectorant and antimicrobial agent. It reduces the phlegm to a great extent, and in cases where this congestion is due to a respiratory infection, the active phytochemicals found in ginger kill the harmful microorganisms (8).

[ Read: Benefits Of Ginger Juice ]

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7. Mustard Poultice For Chest Congestion

7. Mustard Poultice For Chest Congestion Pinit

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

  • 1/4 cup mustard powder
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 pieces of cloth (big enough to cover the chest)
  • Hot water
  • Coconut oil OR olive oil

What You Have To Do

  1. Mix the mustard powder and flour and then add water to get a smooth paste.
  2. Apply coconut oil or olive oil on the chest.
  3. Dip a cloth piece in hot water. Wring out the excess and place this on the chest.
  4. Over this, evenly spread a thin layer of the mustard powder-flour paste.
  5. Wet the second piece of the cloth in hot water and place it on the paste.
  6. Leave this on for about 15 minutes.
  7. Remove and rinse the area clean with normal water.

How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this after a day or two if required.

Why This Works

Mustard stimulates circulation and increases perspiration, causing the airways to clear up and relieving chest congestion (9).

Caution

If you feel any discomfort, irritation, or burning sensation, remove the poultice immediately.

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8. Onion Remedy For Chest Congestion

8. Onion Remedy For Chest Congestion Pinit

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

  • 1 small onion
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey

What You Have To Do

  1. Mix everything well and slightly heat it up.
  2. Consume this mixture.

How Often You Should Do This

Have this mixture thrice daily.

Why This Works

Never imagined you’d read about onions here, did you? Well, onion immediately soothes your aching throat and relieves chest congestion (10).

[ Read: Health Benefits Of Onions ]

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9. Epsom Salt Bath For Chest Congestion

9. Epsom Salt Bath For Chest Congestion Pinit

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

  • 1-2 cups Epsom salt
  • Warm water
  • A bathtub

What You Have To Do

  1. Draw a bath and add Epsom salt to the bath water.
  2. Soak in this for 20 minutes and then rinse your body with plain water.
  3. If you do not have a bathtub, add Epsom salt to warm water in a bucket and shower with this.

How Often You Should Do This

If you do not get relief after soaking in this after the first time, do it once again after a day.

Why This Works

Epsom salt draws out all the toxins from the body and relaxes your muscles and joints (11). The warmth of the bath water will decongest the mucus.

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10. Pineapple Juice For Chest Congestion

10. Pineapple Juice For Chest Congestion Pinit

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

1 glass fresh pineapple juice

What You Have To Do

Drink this with your meals or in between meals.

How Often You Should Do This

Have a glass or two of pineapple juice every day.

Why This Works

Pineapple is known to clear up the airways with its anti-inflammatory, detoxifying, and cleansing properties (12).

Caution

Do not drink canned pineapple juice as it is stripped of the wonderful vitamin C content that this fruit originally contains.

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11. Steam Inhalation For Chest Congestion

11. Steam Inhalation For Chest Congestion Pinit

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

  • A bowl of hot water
  • A few drops of eucalyptus oil (optional)
  • A towel

What You Have To Do

  1. Add the eucalyptus oil to the water.
  2. Lower your face over this bowl and cover your torso over it entirely with a sheet or towel. Don’t allow any outside air to enter this makeshift ‘face-tent’ as it will create further congestion.
  3. Deeply inhale the steam for about 10 minutes.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this preferably before going to bed. Repeat 1-2 times during the day.

Why This Works

Deep inhalation of steam is an easy and more convenient alternative to a hot, steamy bath. You will experience immediate relief from congestion, headache, and postnasal drip (13). This is a good way to end a day full of chest congestion.

Caution

When you sleep after steam treatment, cover your head and forehead as it will prevent cold air from coming in contact with the face and creating discomfort.

[ Here Is A Video For Chest Congestion Relief ]

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12. Turmeric For Chest Congestion

12. Turmeric For Chest Congestion Pinit

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper powder
  • 1 tablespoon honey

What You Have To Do

Make a thick paste by mixing the above ingredients and lick it to ease the discomfort of chest congestion.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this whenever you experience discomfort.

Why This Works

Turmeric has strong antibacterial properties and is an excellent healing agent (14). Black pepper acts as an expectorant and a decongestant (15). This mixture is very convenient to carry around in a small bottle or jar and can be of great help during the day.

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13. Thyme Herb For Chest Congestion

13. Thyme Herb For Chest Congestion Pinit

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • A cup of hot water

What You Have To Do

  1. Soak the thyme in hot water for a few minutes.
  2. Strain and drink this herbal tea.

How Often You Should Do This

Drink 2-3 cups of thyme tea in a day.

Why This Works

Thyme is an expectorant and antimicrobial agent that is commonly used to treat cold symptoms like chest congestion (16).

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These remedies work well in decongesting your respiratory system and helping you breathe with ease. They also relieve other symptoms like coughing and sore throat. Apart from using these remedies, make sure you drink a lot of water to get rid of the excess phlegm and mucus. Hydration is very important during chest congestion as the incessant coughing and wheezing can make the respiratory tract and throat very dry. This can lead to further irritation and more coughing. So, consume as much water as possible.

Let us now answer some commonly asked questions by our readers.

Expert’s Answers for Readers Questions

How long does chest congestion last?

Chest congestion rarely goes away by itself. Using remedies, hot soups, and herbal teas speeds up the process. If the congestion lasts longer than 14 days, consult a doctor immediately.

Foods to avoid chest congestion?

  • Dairy products
  • Foods high in sugar and salt
  • Junk and fried food
  • Fatty and processed meat
  • Preserved foods
  • White pasta and other refined grains

Can sinus infections cause chest congestion?

Sinus infections caused due to bacteria or viruses often have chest congestion as an associated symptom.

Despite using the chest congestion remedies listed above, if there is no improvement in your condition after two weeks, consult a doctor if your chest congestion is accompanied by any or most of the following symptoms:

  • Sudden appearance of reddish or yellow sputum
  • Fever and chills
  • Gasping for breath
  • A feeling of tightness in the chest

Chest congestion accounts for the loss of millions of man-hours each year. Sadly, most people continually choose to consider it as just a seasonal annoyance without giving a single thought to its possible consequences. The simple remedies in this article work for most people by providing quick relief. But, it is best to adopt the home remedies that work for you as lifelong practices to prevent chest congestion even before it occurs.

Do you know of any of any other remedies on how to get rid of chest congestion? If yes, do share with us by leaving a comment below.

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