Have you ever been up half the night coughing, spluttering and finding it hard to breathe with chest congestion? You might have tried over the counter products like Robitussen, but found little success in curing this ailment. This is because these products only treat the symptoms not the cause. For chest congestion not related to a more serious illness there are many natural home remedies that not only treat the symptoms, but help put you in a better health less likely to get re-occurrences.
These home remedies include:
HONEY-honey contains the anti-bacterial agent hydrogen peroxide. The consumption of honey will help your body fight bacteria and viruses. If you have chest congestion it has been shown to decrease the amount of coughing you will suffer from.
WATER- it is fairly common knowledge that water flushes things from our system. When you have chest congestion you should drink as much water as possible. If you become dehydrated the mucous in your chest will thicken. If you drink lots of water it will be thin and easy to cough up.
Nutrition can aid in both prevention and cure of chest congestion:
-Eat bright fruit and vegetables- these products are high in antioxidants which assist lung function. Good sources include berries, capsicum and spinach.
-Eat spicy foods- hot foods can kill bacteria. Good sources are Chilies, peppers and jalapeos.
-Increase your intake of foods that break down mucous- foods that break down mucous are enzyme rich. Good sources are fruits including; Kiwi fruit, paw paw and pineapple.
-Decrease your intake of foods which promote the formation of mucous. These include; milk, wheat and sugar rich products.
-Eat garlic-garlic has infection fighting capabilities.
-Don't drink alcohol or soft drinks- these can dehydration.
-Eat foods rich in vitamin C- vitamin C is not only linked to healing it can also play a part as a mild natural antihistamine. Antihistamine's decrease irritation in the airways and reduce the production of mucous. Good sources include; oranges, lemons, melon and berries.
Essential oils have properties which can fight infection, clear the sinuses and aid relaxation. There are several ways you can use essential oils to help chest congestion:
-Make a healing steam-place a few drops of essential oil in a large bowl of boiling water. Sit over this bowl with a towel over your head inhaling the steam.
-Make a chest rub-combine approximately 10 drops of essential oil with 50ml of base oil. Good choices in base oils are olive oil or jojoba. Apply to the chest area several times a day.
-Inhale essential oils such as eucalyptus and tea tree directly.
-Make your own nasal inhaler-combine 5 drops of essential oil with a coarse salt and inhale from a tightly sealed container.
Essential oils which can help with chest congestion include; lemon, eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint and tea tree. Choose one or a combination of these oils for the above applications.
There is a positive correlation between steam and heat helping to open up the sinuses and heal chest congestion. You can do the following to help:
-Have the hottest showers you can stand
-Use a humidifier to increase the humidity in a room
-Sleep under numerous blankets
-Apply moist heat directly to the area
The following herbs can aid chest congestion:
Horsehound- contains flavonoids which thin mucous.
Thyme- also has flavonoids which thin mucous.
Echinacea-stimulates the body's production of white cells which fight infection. This can be taken daily as a preventative.
Valerian Root- taken in a capsule form can relax muscles. This will be beneficial in reducing pain if you are suffering from coughing fits.
If you have a sore throat and can't stop coughing a gargle may help. Try water infused with herbs like Liquorice, Chamomile or Calendula.