Chest congestion is one of the medical conditions involving inflammation of the lower respiratory tract which causes difficulty in breathing and is mostly accompanied by chest pain and some other discomforting states. Inflammation is one of the body’s immune responses to an infection, a foreign body or even an allergy, virus or bacteria. Due to inflammation, mucus accumulates in the chest region which causes chest congestion. Let’s know about the various chest congestion symptoms, remedies along with its causes.
Causes of Chest Congestion
- Common cold
- Airborne allergies
- Gastroesophageal reflux
- Pulmonary edema
- Heart failure
- Lung cancer, and
- Cystic fibrosis
Symptoms of Chest Congestion
- Shortness of breath
- Labored breathing
- Chest pain
- Runny nose
- Blood in cough
- Loud noises while breathing
Chest Congestion Remedies
Steam Inhaling is the Best Chest Congestion Remedy
Steam treatment is one of the best chest congestion remedies. Take some really hot water in a bowl and mix some drops of any essential oil from among eucalyptus, clary sage, pine and rosemary. Eucalyptus oil is particularly effective as chest congestion remedy. You can find it in any medical store. Eucalyptus leaves, instead of oil, can also be used. Now incline your face over the bowl in such a way that steam can easily enter your nostrils and cover the head with a towel big enough to cover the bowl too in a way that doesn’t lets the steam out. Inhale the aromatic steam for a few seconds or minutes that is tolerable. Inhaling steam loosens up the hardened phlegm to be easily coughed up giving immediate relief from chest congestion. You may also use steam Vaporizer instead of bowl for convenience.
Hot and Spicy Foods help Relieve Chest Congestion Symptoms
Spicy foods that contain chili, garlic and ginger paste act as decongestants. Hot foods even kill bacteria. Eating spicy foods like peppers and chilies can help in getting rid of the unwanted bacteria. The heat also helps the congested mucus to become thin. This is why one experiences runny nose whenever spicy food is eaten as it loosens the phlegm that runs through nose.
Herbal Tea- One of the soothing Chest Congestion Remedies
Tea prepared with herbs, especially ginger, is very beneficial in getting relief from chest congestion. Ginger, in fact, is an excellent anti-inflammatory agent that can even be chewed raw with some salt for getting fast relief from chest congestion. Tea brewed with a few drops of chamomile can also help relieve congestion in the chest.
Hot Water Remedy for Chest Congestion
Anything hot is beneficial in chest congestion. Drink hot water every time you feel thirsty, more importantly in the morning just after waking up when the mucous is most thick and hardened in the chest. It will help in dissolving the phlegm and will make it easier to cough up. Gargle with tolerable hot salty water three to four times a day in order to loosen up the phlegm.
Preventive Remedies for Chest Congestion
Yoga and Pranayama for Chest Congestion Prevention
Yoga is one of the best exercises for body and mind. There are many yoga asanas that improve body immunity. However, learn these yoga postures from some learned yoga practitioner to get the maximum benefits. Pranayam- one of the breathing exercises within Yoga- can help expand lung capacity and improve the breathing mechanism. The following video shows the yoga for chest congestion. It uses a blanket to achieve the pose required to open up the chest because the exact yoga pose for chest congestion is quite difficult to do for beginners without the help of experts.
Balanced Diet to Get Rid of Chest Congestion
A balanced diet is important not only for avoiding chest congestion but for overall health and wellness. A diet rich in vitamin C and E can help boost immune system that ultimately takes care of chest congestion. Foods rich in anti-oxidants and beta carotene aid in the correct functioning of lungs. Spinach, papaya, berries are good sources of beta carotene and anti oxidants and should be included in diet on a regular basis. Enzyme rich foods like kiwi and pineapple too can break down phlegm. Garlic is yet another very good immune booster. It helps ward off infections. It can be taken daily- raw or mixed with food preparations and even as an ingredient in food recipes.
Apart from taking the above measures for strengthening immunity, one must also get adequate sleep and should stay away from polluted environments. Polluted environment triggers respiratory infection and causes a relapse of chest congestion.
So, the mantra to avoid chest mucus leading to chest congestion is to keep your immunity at optimum level.