Apple Cider Vinegar and Other Easy Ways to Reduce Chest Congestion
Five Home Remedies to Reduce Chest Congestion
If you want to avoid taking medicine when you experience chest congestion, here are five easy ways to reduce chest congestion at home:
Apple Cider Vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is one of the best remedies for chest congestion because it loosens and thins the mucus in your body. This then helps clear your airways and reduces coughing. You could drink it raw, but I recommend pouring two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar into a glass of water. Drink this mixture twice a day, and you will see results within the first day. It may not completely get rid of the chest congestion, but it helps a lot!
- Try to use organic apple cider vinegar with the "mother" in it. This specific vinegar still has the culture of good bacteria that turns apple cider into apple cider vinegar. You can find this in most grocery stores' organic sections.
- Drain. Raise the head of the bed a few inches by putting a phone book under the legs. This helps promote drainage in your lungs.
- Humidify. Use a humidifier to help loosen your chest. The water vapors will help decongest your airways.
- Water. Drink plenty of water to loosen any mucus in your body.
- Honey. Add honey to water to coat your throat and control your coughs. It doesn't clear the lungs, but it can help you get through coughing fits with less discomfort.
Other Methods for Chest Congestion Relief
If you want take more active steps to reduce your coughing fits, try the three methods below:
- Yoga: There are a number of great yoga poses and stretches that can help release congestion from your chest. Any stretch that stretches out the chest area also helps to expand the lungs, which helps release congestion from your chest/lung area.
- Deep Breathing: Take slow, deep breaths and completely fill your lungs with air. Hold them in for a few seconds and then release the air from your lungs to reduce some of the congestion. Repeat this breathing pattern for a few minutes at a time, a few times a day.
- Light Activity: I find that when I have chest congestion and I perform light cardio, the breathing required helps me clear out my lungs. Try going for a brisk walk or using cardio equipment at the gym on a low setting so you don't strain yourself too much, but still relieve some of the congestion in your chest.
Traditional Medicine for Chest Congestion
If you've tried the natural methods above and still want to try the traditional method, use cough drops to stop the tickle in the back of your throat. This should decrease the number of times you need to cough.
If you've had a cough for more than two weeks and it's not getting better, you should see a doctor. This may be a symptom of an infection or illness you can't fix at home , and you may need antibiotics prescribed by a doctor. If you do develop an infection, it's best to go to the doctor as quickly as possible because letting it sit for too long can result in something more serious (like pneumonia).
Symptoms of Chest Congestion
Here are a few common chest congestion symptoms:
- You're affected by coughing fits during the day and night.
- You wake up more frequently during the night because you need to cough.
- Your coughs are either dry or productive (bringing up phlegm).
- You make a wheezing sound when you cough. Mucus-congested lungs cause this because it partially blocks the airway.
- You feel a tightness around your chest when your lungs are congested.
- You have trouble getting air through your lungs, forcing them to work extra hard.
Herbal Home Remedies You Can Try
What Causes Chest Congestion?
Chest congestion can be caused by any number of things. You can find a few potential culprits below:
- Chest Cold. A cold can move from your nasal passage into your chest and cause chest congestion.
- Asthma. An asthma flare-up occurs when too much mucus is produced in the lungs, blocking the bronchi in the lungs.
- Bronchitis. Bronchitis happens when a chest cold turns into a bacterial infection. It is more severe than a chest cold. Bronchitis means an inflammation of the bronchial tubes.
- Allergies. Allergies can cause a nagging cough and chest congestion. Your lungs naturally secrete mucus to carry away debris, but an allergen in the lungs causes excess mucus production and congestion. Prolonged, it could turn into bronchitis, pneumonia or asthma.
- Pneumonia. Pneumonia may cause you to feel severe lethargy, chest congestion, coughing, aches, and pains. This can be life-threatening, so you may need to stay in the hospital for antibiotic treatments.
If you have chest congestion for more than two weeks, make sure to see a doctor for further medical treatment.