Chest congestion is a very common condition that most people have at some point during their lifetime. It is characterized by a buildup of mucus in the trachea and the respiratory tract that leaves your chest feeling heavy.
If not treated timely, it can cause an infection in your respiratory tract. The most common cause of chest congestion is the common cold. Allergens, bacteria and fungi can also cause chest congestion and infection. Some other causes include asthma, bronchitis, the flu, pneumonia and tuberculosis.
Common symptoms include a tightened chest, irritation in the throat, mild chest pain, cough, shortness of breath, dizziness and difficulty breathing.
Here are a few natural home remedies to get rid of chest congestion.
1. Salt Water
Gargling with salt water several times a day is an effective treatment for chest congestion. While the salt helps remove mucus from the respiratory tract, the hot water reduces irritation in the throat.
- Add 1 teaspoon of salt to a glass of warm water.
- Mix well until the salt is dissolved thoroughly.
- Gargle with it 2 or 3 times daily until your congestion clears.
Inhaling steam is another very effective way to get quick relief from chest congestion as the steam’s heat and moisture help break up and dissolve mucus.
- Fill a bowl with very hot water.
- Add a few drops of eucalyptus or peppermint essential oil.
- Place your face over the bowl and a towel over your head.
- Inhale the steam for as long as you can and breathe deeply.
You can also take a hot shower and breathe in the steam vapors for 5 minutes.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is another effective remedy against chest congestion. It helps thin the mucus in the chest, thus relieving congestion and helping you breathe better.
- Add 2 teaspoons of organic raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar to a cup of warm water.
- Mix in 1 teaspoon of raw honey.
Turmeric has an active compound called curcumin that helps expectorate the mucus and give you quick relief from chest congestion.
- Mix a pinch of turmeric powder in a glass of warm water.
- Gargle with it a few times daily.
Ginger can also help with chest congestion due to its anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties. The polyphenols present in ginger help inhibit the secretion of mucus.
- Add 1 tablespoon of freshly chopped raw ginger pieces to a cup of hot water.
- Cover and allow it to steep for 5 minutes.
- Strain, then add a little honey.
- Drink up to 3 cups of this warm tea daily.
You can also chew small ginger pieces throughout the day to get rid of congestion.
Garlic is another very effective home remedy for reducing chest congestion. Its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties help fight respiratory infections that cause congestion.
- Boil 2 to 3 crushed garlic cloves and Ω teaspoon of honey in 1 cup of water or milk.
- Strain and drink it 2 times daily until the congestion clears.
Eating fresh garlic cloves can also help relieve congestion.