Holiday season is the most cheerful time of the year and there’s not a person in this world who’d detest it! Winter snows, festive cheer and the magical aura just make you want to step outside and take a stroll around the neighborhood! Unfortunately, winter does is not all rainbows and unicorns – it brings the dread of flu, cold and all other phlegm related disease. Getting rid of phlegm can be quite tricky and it’s best to let it go before the onset of a horrible throat infection that might last a week. Now, there are a bunch of myths floating around about getting rid of mucus, but let’s bust those and get down to 10 simple home recipes that really do the trick!
1. Honey and pepper
Well, most of you must have heard that honey works wonders when it comes to a cold, throat ailments or anything as such. Adding to this miracle worker however, are the soothing effects of pepper. Honey has antibacterial and antioxidant properties that whisk away soreness in your throat and builds your immunity. Pepper, strong as it is in flavor as well, contains a bunch of nutrients including Vitamin C, flavonoids and antioxidants too! So you understand how this combination is so effective. Crush three to four corns on pepper and sprinkle them on a teaspoon of honey. Slowly lick this off and keep repeating this 3-4 times a day!
2. Masala Chai
Everybody knows that tea is good when you have a cold. Green tea, ginger tea – the whole lot. But nothing beats a steaming cup of masala chai when you’ve got a clogged throat! Now masala chai is available at almost every herb store but it’s always great to brew it fresh. First you’ll need to crush some cinnamon and cardamom together and then add this to a pan with some water and get it to boil along with some ginger and pepper. Add milk and sugar to taste and once boiled, you can have it with a bit of cinnamon powder on top!
3. Salt water gargle
If you’ve already caught a throat infection, there’s no way out of that thicket other than a saline gargle. The saline gargle helps because when it reaches it throat and osmosis tends to enact itself. The salt creates a barrier and pulls out fluids in the area. This might also be why you tend to feel dryness in your throat after the gargle. Half a tablespoon of salt in 250 ml of water should do the trick. Do this one in the morning and also at night before bedtime for best results. Added benefit of salt water gargling is that it strengthens your teeth and gums.
Sorry, but as pleasant this can be, it’s downright effective. It’s pretty straightforward, boil a bowl of water, place it on the floor, get a blanket over you and inhale the steam for four to five minutes. Make sure the blanket completely covers your body and doesn’t allow the steam to get out. To make the most of it, add some vapor rub to the steaming water and keep stirring with a spoon until the steam stops forming.
5. Lemon juice and ginger
While Lemon juice is always a welcome, ginger might not fall under the list of tastiest ingredients in the world. But what ginger does have are pain killing, antibacterial and antifungal activities. It also naturally tends to create a balance in the body by removing the clogged area in your trachea. Lemon as you already must know is an exceedingly rich source of vitamin C. It doesn’t really say if lemon does help rid mucus from your system, but if the mucus is preceded by a cold, intake of lemon juice does reduce the later. Also, it’s advised to take as much fluids as possible so lemon ginger juice is not doing any harm. And while these two ingredients are packed with medicinal value, their combined effect is pretty massive.
6. Eucalyptus Oil
Let’s face it, Eucalyptus oil is widely known for its medicinal properties. But even so, prior knowledge of what it does and doesn’t do could help you multifold. First up, Eucalyptus oil should never be administered in its bottled state. It’s very strong and must be diluted well before intake. The oil is so highly effective in clearing fluids in the respiratory system that it’s also used to treat tuberculosis and pneumonia. Being an antiseptic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial, its medicinal properties extend to a wide range of uses.
7. Apple cider vinegar
This home remedy can be used to cure or at the least curb throat and respiratory ailments of most kinds. Mix equal parts of the vinegar with warm water and gargle every other hour – it ought to do the trick! The trick is that this concoction induces your body into a state of alkalinity and hence balances out pH levels. This in turn prevents the body from producing mucus in excess.
8. Yoga all the way
Now I know that this might be hard to digest but some forms of yoga are indeed effective in reducing phlegm in your throat and chest. If you aren’t familiar with yoga, you can try the bridge pose and the bow pose alternatively which are pretty simple and easy to follow. The bridge pose requires you to lie flat on your back. Now bring your knees back by bending them back until your feet are flat on the floor and your thighs are off it. Make sure your calves are straight up from the ground and push your pelvis into the air. Hold this for 60 seconds and you can switch to Bow pose. This one is pretty simple. Lie flat on your stomach and slowly lift your feet in the air. Bend them back until you can reach back with your hands and grab both feet. Again, hold this for 60 seconds and alternate.
9. Cough it out
If none of the other remedies worked, sorry to say but this is the only one that’s going to help it out. Get a bunch of tissues and a dustbin by your bedside and keep blowing it out. And if the congestion is in your throat, get ready to spend some time over the sink coughing it out. Because even if your body doesn’t really produce mucus, the existing phlegm is going to sit there and not make matters any better.
Goes without saying, refrain from drinking cold water. Warm or something between warm and hot water is recommended. Drink loads of water and fruit juices. Fluids help in more ways than once by either cutting through the mucus congestion in your throat, they also keep your metabolism running and reduce a bad cold which might be the reason behind the mucus in the first place!