4 ways to clear a congested nose and throat

Gargling with a solution of warm salt water is effective in giving some relief to a congested throat.

When you fall sick, you will notice a thick, viscid substance at the back of your throat. It is called phlegm.

Not many people know that the sticky mucus membranes that line your mouth, nose, throat, sinuses and lungs have an important role to play – they are in charge of yielding phlegm. Your respiratory system is shielded and supported by phlegm, which trap viruses, dust and allergens.

However, should the phlegm in your system start to bother you, there are remedies you can try for some relief.

1. Gargle with warm salt water

Gargle with warm salt water to remove phlegm at the back of your throat. This solution is effective in removing bacteria thereby alleviating the symptoms of a sore throat.

Here’s how to do it right – sip a bit of the warm mixture and tilt your head back slightly. Then, allow the mixture to flow into the throat but do not swallow it.

Gently blow air up from your lungs to gargle. After half-minute to one minute, spit out the water. Repeat the process if needed.

2. Drink hot liquids

Make sure you consume sufficient quantities of liquids, particularly warm drinks like juice, lemon water, decaffeinated tea.

3. Consume health-promoting foods

It is traditionally believed that lemon, ginger, and garlic are effective at treating colds and coughs.

Moreover, spicy foods that contain capsaicin also help in clearing the sinuses and removing mucus momentarily. Examples of these foods are cayenne and chilli peppers.

It is scientifically believed that you can either avert or cure viral respiratory diseases by consuming the following foods and supplements:

  • Oral zinc
  • Berries
  • Guava tea
  • Ginseng
  • Echinacea

4. Consider over-the-counter (OTC) remedies

Decongestants help reduce nasal mucus and can be purchased without a prescription from a doctor. Remember that this mucus should not be confused with phlegm.

Excessive nasal mucus can cause chest congestion. Decongestants however can stop swelling and clear airways.

This article first appeared on Hello Doktor. The Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.