Chest congestion can cause chest pain, breathing difficulty and wheezing, all of which can leave you worried, fatigued and sleepless. More often than not, it is also accompanied by a cough, a telltale sign that your body is desperately trying to eliminate excess mucus from your airways.
Usually, chest congestion is brought about by the common cold and flu. There are instances, however, in which it can also be blamed on:
- Acid reflux
- Chronic bronchitis
- Cystic fibrosis
- Other respiratory system-related concerns
Especially if your chest congestion is accompanied by various unusual symptoms or doesn’t seem to improve after a couple of days, it’s a good idea for you to get seen by a doctor without delay.
In the meantime, there are certain things that you may do at home in order to keep chest congestion to a minimum. Some of the most effective are the following:
Drink Plenty of Water
Chest congestion is brought about by the presence of too much thick mucus in your airways. It’s for this reason why thinning mucus can put an end to the problem — your body will have an easier time coughing up excess mucus.
In order to thin mucus effectively, consider drinking plenty of water per day.
Aside from water, you may also consume other fluids to speed up the process of eliminating thick mucus. You can have plenty of soup and drink herbal teas most especially those with anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties.
Consume Hot Water With Honey or Lemon
Have no access to herbal teas? No worries! You can easily whip up a cup of chest congestion-fighting drink with a cup of hot water and a teaspoon of freshly-squeezed lemon juice or pure honey.
We all know that lemon juice is packed with vitamin C that helps to strengthen the immune system.
Honey, on the other hand, has soothing properties that make it highly effective for battling chest congestion and many other symptoms associated with the common cold or flu. A cup of hot water with a teaspoon of pure honey stirred into it is best done at bedtime for a good night’s sleep.
Breathe in Humidified Air
You can thin mucus by directly introducing water into it, and such can be attained by inhaling humidified air. Needless to say, plugging in a humidifier is a highly effective home remedy for chest congestion.
Worry not if you don’t own a humidifier as you can simply inhale steam.
All you have to do is place boiling water in a glass bowl, place your face a few inches above it, drape a large towel over your head to keep steam from escaping, and then start to take slow and deep breaths. You may add a couple of drops of peppermint, oregano or lavender essential oil to boiling water for best results.
Try Essential Oils
Speaking of essential oils, it’s also a wonderful idea for you to try to address your chest congestion with aromatherapy — an all-natural form of ancient treatment that uses aromatic products such as essential oils for the attainment of or restoring optimum physical and mental wellness
Aside from the ones mentioned earlier, other essential oils perfect for relieving chest congestion are clary sage, eucalyptus, and rosemary.
You may take a whiff of any essential oil of your choice straight from the bottle, or dilute with your preferred carrier oil and then apply on the chest area in order to have your upper airways opened up.
Gargle With Warm Salt Water
More often than not, chest congestion is accompanied by other highly unfavorable symptoms such as a sore throat and bad breath. Well, you can deal with them quite easily by gargling with warm salt water a few times a day.
In a glass of warm water, dissolve a tablespoon of rock salt and then gargle away.
Doing this particular home remedy can help to deal with all the other issues that tend to come with chest congestion, thus making it so much easier for you to bear having the common cold or flu.