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White Phlegm

White Phlegm

The color of phlegm indicates the severity of the throat condition. Here is an overview on white phlegm in throat.
Pragya T
Last Updated: Jun 3, 2018
White colored phlegm indicates mostly a viral infection, however it can be a bacterial infection too. Throat infections can occur due to many reasons, but with some home care one can get rid of the mild throat infection which gives a person phlegm in chest. White phlegm means there is throat infection, and so intake of antibiotics may not be necessary. Antibiotics are required if the person has yellow, green, brown or bloody phlegm and severe symptoms like fevers, chills, chest pain, etc. Also, green, brown or bloody phlegm condition require immediate medical attention. But this throat condition can be treated with some home care. Here are some of the causes, symptoms and treatment related to it.


A person can experience the following symptoms along with the cough and phlegm, when suffering from a throat infection.
  • A person can experience throat pain along with discharge of phlegm
  • A person can also feel scratchy-itchy sensation in the throat
  • Difficulty while swallowing is another common symptom of throat infection
  • Mild to severe coughing is also experienced
  • Mild fever is often experienced when a person suffers from a throat infection
  • Lack of appetite is sometimes experienced when a person has throat infection

Some of the common causes for white phlegm in throat are given below.
  • Cold and flu
  • Lung infection like pneumonia or acute bronchitis
  • Sinus infections
  • Sore throat
  • Allergy to a certain weather
  • Lung diseases
  • Inflammation of larynx or pharynx
  • Allergies to foodstuffs
Treatment for Throat Infection

The best treatment for clearing up the phlegm in throat include home remedies like salt-water gargling and myrrh gargling. Salt water gargling will help to treat and soothe throat, and thus reduce the production of phlegm. Homeopathy remedy of myrrh, works as an expectorant which means it helps in coughing up phlegm.

Salt-Water Gargling: Boil two glasses of water with 2 tablespoons of salt. Wait till the solution becomes lukewarm and then use it to gargle your throat. Repeat this remedy 2-3 times a day, till you get better.

Myrrh: Myrrh is antimicrobial and greatly helps to soothe mucus membranes, and has an expectorant effect. Add ½ teaspoon of myrrh to 2 cups of lukewarm water, gargle with this solution, and then swallow it. Keep repeating this remedy 3 - 4 times a day, till you feel better.

Lemon Tea: Lemon tea is an excellent remedy for scratchy throat. To make lemon tea, boil 1 cup of water in a pan and add ½ teaspoon of green tea to it. Boil for 1 more minute, strain in a cup and add juice of 1 lemon and honey for taste. Repeat 2 - 3 times a day.

Garlic: Garlic is antibiotic in nature, and used to treat many throat infections. You can chew on two cloves of garlic slowly and the juices will help to heal the throat faster. However, if you find the taste of garlic strong, then have it with a spoon of honey. Repeat twice a day.

Over-the-Counter Remedies: For over-the-counter treatment, buy a cough syrup which has an expectorant effect, as it will help in coughing up white phlegm. Make sure you read the label properly as there are cough syrups which can make you drowsy. You can also buy some throat lozenges and suck them whenever you get a coughing sensation.

Steam: If it becomes difficult for you to breathe and you feel like your throat and nose is blocked, then consider taking steam. Boil a pot of water and place it on a table, then cover your head with a towel and inhale the steam. This will help to breathe and feel better. Alternatively, you can also take a hot water bath. But, steam works better.

More Tips: An important home care tip for white phlegm is to drink a lot of fluids. Drink around 2 - 3 liters of water throughout the day. You can also drink pineapple juice blended with a piece of ginger root, as it helps to cure throat ailments. Increase the intake of vitamin C foodstuffs in your diet, as they help to fight throat infection. However, if you don't get better within a week's time by using the above remedies seek medical help.

Above were the various remedies which you can use to cough up the phlegm. However, if you have persistent coughing and have been coughing out phlegm for many weeks now, then it is important to cure the underlying cause. To figure out the cause of the phlegm, contact your doctor. The doctor will perform a physical exam and ask you questions regarding your condition. The doctor might also recommend certain tests. Once these tests are done, doctor will tell you the underlying cause for persistent coughing. Early diagnosis is important to prevent the infection from spreading and becoming severe. Ensure, you follow the treatment specified by the doctor properly.