Are you suffering from chest congestion, and looking for a natural treatment? Luckily, there are numerous natural remedies, and best of all, they are all incredibly effective! Believe it or not, one of the biggest things you can do to treat chest congestion is to change your diet. It doesn’t have to be permanent, but certain foods cause your body to produce more mucus, which adds to the congestion.
If you are willing to temporarily alter your diet, then here are the foods you should avoid during times of congestion:
- Dairy (Milk, Cheese, Ice Cream)
- Overly salted foods (Fast foods, eating out)
- Fried Foods
Basically, eat as healthy as possible during periods of congestion. This will help your body naturally heal, by providing your body with all of the nutrients necessary to fight off the virus or bacteria. Adding to this, healthy foods can help combat mucus creation directly! Eating these foods can help ease chest congestion and prevent the accumulation of excess mucus:
- Spicy foods (curry, salsa)
- Citrus Fruits (Or try lemon water!)
Another thing to do in addition to diet change, would be to drink tea. Warm tea can help break up congestion and dissolve the mucus. The best teas to drink for this purpose are Peppermint Tea, Ginger Tea, or Chamomile Tea. A nice cup of Chamomile tea with a touch of honey helps heal the lungs, and comfort the soul! Who doesn’t love a nice cup of tea when they’re sick?
Gargle. Although it’s not always fun, gargling can help clear the mucus in your throat, and open up the passageways- easing congestion. If you have a sore throat as well, I would definitely recommend an Apple Cider Vinegar gargle to help the sore throat, and ease congestion. Mix half a cup of warm water with 2 tsp of apple cider vinegar. Add honey if you like. Gargle for a minute, then spit. The apple cider vinegar helps kill bacteria in the throat, clear out excess mucus, reduce inflammation and more! If you don’t have apple cider vinegar handy (you should!) then you can use a salt gargle. Mix half a cup of warm water with 2 tablespoons of sea salt. Mix together, then gargle.
The most well known natural, medicine free, treatment of congestion is a nice hot shower. Much like drinking hot liquids, the heat and moisture of the steam help to dissolve and break up the congestion in the lungs and throat. Let the hot water run over your face, and breath in the steam. This will help you feel good as new! Unfortunately, the effects of a shower are not long lasting. For me, I tend to get congested again after about 30 minutes post shower. If you don’t feel like taking a shower, you could boil some water, and inhale the steam.
One of my favorite remedies for congestion is boiling water and eucalyptus essential oils. (The cover image is actually a Koala on a eucalyptus tree) Its very simple to do, and is incredibly refreshing, and makes you feel good as new! First, boil some water. Once the water is boiling, transfer it to a heat-safe bowl. Add 2-3 drops of Eucalyptus essential oil into the water, and begin inhaling. I prefer to use a towel to drape over the bowl, so that the steam is held in around my head. Eucalyptus is the main scent/ingredient in Vicks Vaporub, so the smell should be familiar. The reason that this natural treatment works so well, is its essentially using an all natural version of Vicks Vaporub.
Of course with all sicknesses, its important to keep well hydrated. If you become dehydrated, this causes the mucus in your lungs to thicken and coagulate- this sounds as terrible as it feels. Dehydration can contribute to chest congestion, so staying hydrated is a must! Warm water is preferred during this time, since the warm water will help break up congestion. Drink plenty of fluids including water and tea!