Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS), MD - Alternate Medicine
24 years experience
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Turmeric can help treat chest congestion
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Turmeric is very effective when it comes to treating respiratory conditions such as congestion. This is because it has anti-inflammatory properties and is rich in curcumin that helps break down mucus and remove it from the respiratory tract. To benefit from it, you can add ground turmeric to ginger or lemon teas or use it to flavour your food. Excessive intake of turmeric can cause nausea and diarrhoea so consume this herb in small amounts only.
Inhalations help clear chest congestion by
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Inhaling steam by using a kettle, nebulizer or humidifier can help reduce chest congestion. Steam is helpful as it loosens the mucus in the airways and aids in its removal from the body. If you do not have access to any of the above products, you can inhale steam simply by boiling water on the stove top. You can also add a few drops of peppermint oil or eucalyptus oil to the water. If you add oil to the water, keep your eyes closed while inhaling steam as this may irritate the eyes. Bathing with hot water can also help relieve congestion.
Honey can help treat respiratory infections
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Honey is packed with anti-bacterial properties that aid in relieving chest congestion. It also helps fight against any infection that may be present in the respiratory tract. A spoonful of honey every morning can reduce chest congestion significantly. Alternatively, you can add honey to a cup of lemon tea so as to benefit from the vitamin C in lemon juice. A spoonful of honey can also be mixed with a few drops of freshly squeezed ginger juice to treat chest congestion.
Food that can aggravate chest congestion include
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Some foods can aggravate chest congestion by irritating the mucus lining of the chest. Dairy products are one such type of food and hence should be avoided until your congestion clears up. Very salty and sweet foods should also be avoided as both increase mucus production in the chest. For similar reasons, fried foods should also be avoided. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables instead of processed foods.
Hydrating the body can help relieve congestion
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Drinking water not only hydrates the body but also helps get rid of mucus from the chest and airways. Ideally, water should be warm when drunk and under no condition should you drink cold water when suffering from chest congestion. Water can also help moisten the throat and reduce irritation and the urge to cough. Avoid drinking caffeinated or aerated drinks and processed juices. Instead, you could infuse fruits into your water or drink freshly squeezed citrus juices. You should ideally drink a minimum of 8 glasses of water a day.