Illness, allergies, and environment all have the potential to cause chest congestion. Whether it is a few days event or lasts a few weeks, it can be frustrating. Once you know your congestion is not caused by a serious cause needing a medical visit, you can tackle it using any of these five home remedies for chest congestion.
Essential oils have become popular in the home remedies world. You can use them in a diffuser or apply them directly on the skin. For a chest congestion home remedy, choose peppermint oil as it acts as a natural decongestant.
Research has shown that a number of essential oils slow bacterial growth. Included in the study were thyme, lemongrass and cinnamon bark essential oils.
Diffusers can be purchased at most drug stores. You plug it in after adding the recommended amount of water and drops of essential oils. If you do not have a diffuser, you can achieve the same result by adding drops of oil to a bowl of hot water or steaming water on the stove.
Essential oils are also applied to the skin. Be sure to do a skin test first by mixing a couple drops of your oil with 12 drops of coconut or jojoba oil and apply it to the skin on your forearm. The coconut/jojoba oil will dilute the essential oil and reduce irritation of your skin reacts. If after 24 hours there is no reaction, you can apply the essential oil directly to the skin.
The old saying, “drink plenty of fluids” in relation to colds and flu actually has a medical basis.
Liquid consumption helps to thin and dilute thick mucus, thereby, making it easier to expel. Make sure you are choosing warm liquids, which will clean out your nose and chest at the same time. While a glass of warm water might not sound appealing, you can disguise that water in many ways.
Warm soup – chicken noodle soup has been shown to have properties that fight against cold viruses.
Heat up some apple juice – add a little cinnamon for a delicious hot remedy. If you do not care for apple juice, you can substitute another juice flavor.
Drink hot tea – choose black or green tea for best results.
Hot coffee – choose decaffeinated for this as caffeine is a diuretic and you don’t want to counteract the benefits of liquids and chest congestion.
If you would prefer cold liquids but do not want to drink plain water, you can choose juices, sports drinks or cold decaffeinated teas. Try to choose drinks that are not simply sugar water. If you are increasing your input, choosing one that is healthy and contains nutrients is always a good idea.
Another popular and long-standing solution among home remedies for chest congestion is steam. Inhaling steam helps clear it up by loosening the mucus so it can be expelled. If you have a humidifier at home, use it.
In addition, for a more concentrated effect, bring a pot of water to a boil on the stove, turn off the burner and carefully drape a towel over your head and bend over the pot. The steam that rises can be inhaled through the nose.
Alternatively, turn your shower on the hottest setting, sit in the bathroom with the door closed and breathe in the steam for 5-10 minutes. Be careful when you turn the water off as the faucet might be hot.
You can also stand or sit directly in the shower with the curtain closed, but be sure you turn the shower head away from the center of the shower area before you step into it. If it is summer or you live in a warm climate, you can use a cool mist humidifier for similar results. Move humidifiers into your bedroom and place it near your bed at night to help break up congestion while you sleep.
Research has shown that honey as a home remedy, can clear up congestion more effectively than medications do. The honey can be purchased at health food stores or online. Remember, children under 1-year-old should never be given honey because it contains a risk for botulism for that age group. For all others, take one to two teaspoons full a couple of times a day until congestion is gone.
You can purchase buckwheat honey at most health food stores and specialty food shops. Simply take a spoonful every few hours like you would any cough medicine. However, you shouldn’t give honey to children who are younger than 1 year due to the risk of botulism.
Salt Water Spray
Salt has long provided relief from many injuries and illnesses. For the relief of chest congestion:
Mix 1 teaspoon baking soda with 3 teaspoons of salt (use iodine free salt). Store in a container. Use a teaspoon of it with 8 ounces of distilled water and suck it into a bulb-ended syringe. Squirt the solution into your nostrils, (lean over a sink to do this and avoid a mess). Hold the other nostril closed as you do this. Let it all drain out and then treat the remaining nostril.
Note: it is important to always use distilled water or boiled water for this process as any other water might cause a nasal infection. In addition, the bulb and syringe need to be thoroughly cleaned after each use and left out to air dry.
Add This To Your List of Home Remedies for Chest Congestion!
In the world of home remedies, the goal is to use natural methods to treat illnesses. One of the best weapons you have against an illness that causes chest congestion is rest. When the cold or flu first appears, make arrangements to rest as much as your body tells you to. This gives your body a chance to fight off the illness, which in turn can reduce the amount of chest congestion you develop.
If your congestion worsens over time, or you develop more serious symptoms always seek the advice of a medical professional.
About the Author:
Susan Hamilton is a food engineer and a homemade-everything type of woman. When she’s not growing her own fruits and vegetables or creating homemade recipes for her family, she likes wandering around and having different meetups with her friends. Even with a hectic schedule, she loves writing and editing articles for her blog, where she shares her knowledge about following a healthy lifestyle.