When there is an infection in the upper respiratory tract, then you get chest congestion. There are more than 200 different types of cold and flu viruses that can be responsible for chest cold. It results in phlegm build up inside the chest, nose, and sinus cavities that causes irritation in the bronchial lining. It gives you some of the most uncomfortable symptoms such as a dull and heavy feeling, stuffy nose, cough, sneezing, watery eyes, headache, and so on. You may need to know how to get rid of a chest cold quickly for several reasons. Firstly, the symptoms are so annoying that you find it difficult to focus on your work. Then at night when you badly need some sleep, the chest congestion and cough may keep you awake all night long. Most importantly, if you do not treat it properly it can stay with you for several months.
There is no medicine available that can cure chest congestion. This is because there are a wide variety of viruses that can cause this condition. Hence, it is difficult to identify the virus and give specific medicines to eliminate it. Antibiotics which works really well on bacteria are absolutely ineffective on common cold viruses. So, the medicines that are used for chest congestion can only provide you some relief from its symptoms. To clear off runny nose, nasal decongestants can be administered orally as well as topically. Then there are expectorants that help in thinning of the phlegm in the chest, and thus, facilitate its easier drainage. It is often accompanied by cough suppressant medicines which reduces the body's urge to cough. Pain relieving medicines are good for getting rid of headache and fever. All these medicines are available over the counter, but it is advisable to take advice from your doctor before trying any of them.
There are various side effects related to many of the medicines that are used for the treatment of chest cold. For this reason, many people opt for natural treatments.
Inhalation of Steam: This is a simple and popular method used for chest congestion relief. Pour some boiling water in a pan, bring your head near it and inhale the steam. This gives an instant relief from the heavy feeling of the chest. For better results, you can add some vinegar to it.
Ginger Tea: Drinking ginger tea once or twice a day is an excellent remedy. Ginger is an amazingly rich source of enzymes that can invade the virus and provide you with much-needed relief. Make thin slices of fresh ginger root and put it into a cup of boiling water. Let it boil for 5 minutes and then strain out the tea. Have it after adding one teaspoon of honey.
Garlic: The antiseptic and antispasmodic properties of garlic helps a lot to get rid of chest congestion. You can simple crush a few cloves of garlic, add some honey to it and then eat it everyday. If you cannot tolerate the smell of raw garlic, then include it in the recipes of your favorite dishes.
Hot Chicken Broth: Drink a bowl of hot, steamy, chicken broth and I am sure you are going to feel much better. This is possible because its steam helps in thinning the mucus and then eases off the pressure associated with chest congestion. Not to forget it will provide you with a good amount of nutrition too.
Drink Plenty of Fluids: You have to drink 8 to 10 glasses of water. It will replenish the lost fluids, and at the same time it will flush out the harmful virus from your system. Fruit juices are also helpful in this condition as they are rich source of vitamin C that can fight off the infection.
Usually, it takes around 3 to 5 days to get relief from this condition. You can prevent its recurrence and keep bronchitis at bay by maintaining a healthy lifestyle which will enable you to build up a strong immune system that can resist any kind of infection.
Disclaimer: This HolisticZine article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.