Chest congestion is a common occurrence especially for those suffering from cough, cold and flu. The accompanying symptoms include breathing difficulty, choked or blocked nose and even wheezing at times. The condition can cause major discomfort and treating it as soon as possible is necessary to avoid further complications like asthma, bronchitis and bacterial infection in the respiratory tract.
Though there are a number of medicines available for cold or flu, they tend to only suppress the symptoms and may not necessarily relieve the condition. Some of the best home remedies that can completely cure and also provide instant relief from this condition are mentioned below in detail.
Some Natural Remedies
For the remedies mentioned here, try to use fresh ingredients. These ingredients are easily available and assist in eliminating excessive mucus from the respiratory tract and clear the congestion completely.
► Steam or Vapor Inhalation: This is one of the easiest and quickest natural remedy for chest congestion. Boil half a pot of water, add one tablespoon of either shredded cabbage, basil or lemongrass leaves and inhale the steam for around fifteen to twenty minutes. Keep yourself covered, even your feet, for around half an hour to allow the steam's warmth to settle. Repeat this three times a day.
► Chicken Soup: Having a hot bowl of chicken soup is a well-known remedy for cold and cough. Similarly, it also helps in reducing the inflammation of the mucus membranes and also facilitates the easy release of thick mucus.
► Olive and Eucalyptus Oil: Warm three tablespoons of olive oil and apply it to your chest and throat. Cover your chest and throat with something warm, so that the heat released by the olive oil can be trapped. This will help thin the mucus, which will help easy drainage from the chest and throat. Rubbing three tablespoons of warm eucalyptus oil to the chest and throat will also have a similar effect.
► Hot Packs: Make a hot pack by roasting some fenugreek, carom seeds or cloves for two minutes. Drop them into a handkerchief and bundle them together. Use this hot pack on the chest and throat by placing it there for a few seconds, especially at night.
► Herbal Tea: To prepare herbal tea, boil two tablespoons of lemongrass leaves, with half a tablespoon honey, pepper and ginger root in water. Once all the ingredients have blended well, strain the mixture and consume when warm. Drinking fresh peppermint tea or thyme tea twice a day is also known to help cure chest congestion.
► Ginger Root: Add a tablespoon of extracted ginger root juice to half a tablespoon honey and some lime juice, and consume this thrice a day. Three - four tablespoons of this juice can also be added to hot tea or warm water and consumed.
► Turmeric: Consuming turmeric is a very effective remedy. Mix one teaspoon turmeric powder with one glass warm water or a glass of warm milk. Have this early in the morning and before going to bed at night. This not only relieves congestion, but also treats and prevents infections and speeds the recovery process.
► Hot Toddy: Squeeze the juice from two fresh lemons and pour it into a saucepan kept on a slow flame. Add ¼ cup honey to this and allow it to boil on the slow flame. Remove this mixture from the heat and allow it to cool. Once cooled, add 3 teaspoons of rum or brandy to it and drink it while it's still warm.
► Vapor Rub: Vicks VapoRub or Bee Balm, that have eucalyptus and peppermint contents in it, helps heal this condition quickly. Rub it on the chest, back of neck or on the soles of the feet and cover your feet with socks.
► Onions, Curry Powder and Olive Oil: Sauté two thinly sliced onions in one teaspoon curry powder and two tablespoons extra virgin olive oil until the onions turn transparent. Have this preparation at least twice a day.
► Saline Rinse: Prepare a solution of two tablespoons of salt in half a glass of water and using a syringe, spray this solution into both the nostrils and wait until it travels down the throat. Follow it up with a glass of warm water. This will help clear the nasal passages, as well as the bronchial tract.
► Aromatherapy: A blend of essential oils used in aromatherapy can help considerably in relieving chest congestion. To make this blend, mix 1 part each of lemon, rosewood, eucalyptus and lavender essential oils with three parts of ravensare oil. Use this blend as a diffuser in steam inhalation or add it to your bath water. You can also gargle with a drop of tea tree oil in warm water, but be careful not to swallow it.
These remedies are not recommended for infants or toddlers, please consult a healthcare professional or a doctor if your child is suffering from chest congestion. Avoid cold/fried foods, eggs, dairy products and smoking as these tend to increase mucus production and aggravate respiratory infections. Home remedies as such are effective when combined with natural herbs, it thins the mucus and facilitates easy drainage. Make sure you consume as much fluids as possible and get adequate sleep and rest. Include plenty of fruits such as pineapples, mangoes, watermelon and oranges, vegetables like tomato, carrots, red bell pepper, cauliflower and asparagus. Garlic, ginger, sage, peppermint, lemon, and thyme are all helpful foods that cure this condition.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for professional medical advice.