7 Natural Remedies You Can Try for Chest Congestion
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Guarding ourselves from dangerous viruses and bacteria has probably never been easier than in 2020. However, the cold season can still bring its own dose of unpleasant symptoms – chest congestion included.
What is chest congestion? It’s that feeling of mucus stuck in your chest you just can’t eliminate no matter how much you cough or blow your nose. We’ve probably all experienced this sign – and some people are naturally more prone to developing it as soon as the temperature starts dropping.
Whether it’s caused by the common cold, the flu or other related condition, chest congestion can become extremely uncomfortable and medication may take a while to do the trick.
For these moments, I’ll introduce you to 7 expert-recommended natural remedies that may help you break up chest congestion once and for all.
Method #1: Use a humidifier
I’ve always been skeptical about humidifiers, but the large number of positive reviews from specialists convinced me to get one.
The positive effects provided by a humidifier vary widely depending on the disease laying behind your chest congestion. However, this device provides extra moisture in the air around you which loosens the mucus weighing down your chest. This way, your body can eliminate the excess mucus much more easily through coughing.
Alan Mensch, MD, pulmonologist and senior vice president of medical affairs at Northwell Health’s Plainview and Syosset Hospitals in New York, says that you must be careful not to use a humidifier excessively and always follow instructions written on the label. High humidity levels can increase the likelihood for mold and fungi, which can cause infections in the long run. It’s equally important to clean your humidifier frequently to avoid any pollution.
Method #2: Take a warm shower
Aside from improving your mood and helping you relax, taking warm showers can be much more targeted to your chest congestion than using a humidifier.
If you’re feeling too sick to spend extra time in the shower, here’s another trick: run some hot water in your sink and cover your face with a thin towel.
Alice Hoyt, MD, assistant professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, says that breathing in the steam helps to open up your airways. This, in turn, might make it easier to eliminate extra mucus.
If you’re suffering from a cold or the flu, this technique may also open up your pores and therefore increase sweating, which can bring a fever down and ease your symptoms.
ATTENTION! If you have asthma, inhaling steam could constrict your airways, so it’s best to avoid this technique or ask for professional advice first.