With cold and flu season upon us, you might notice excessive mucus in your nose and sinus cavities. No one likes to have a stuffy nose and sore throat, typical side effects of having mucus and phlegm.
However, when you come down with a cold, your body produces mucus to help clear viruses and bacteria from the body. When you blow your nose or cough, it eliminates many foreign invaders that can cause illnesses.
Most people rely on over-the-counter cold and flu medications when they feel sick. However, these don’t always work or may take a while to have an effect. When you can’t breathe and feel miserable, you want something that can provide immediate relief. That doesn’t mean you should give up medications entirely, but take them alongside other natural remedies that alleviate cold symptoms.
7 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Mucus
Below, we’ll give a few ideas for home remedies that can eliminate the excessive build-up of mucus.
1. Eat soups and spicy foods to eliminate mucus.
People have eaten chicken soup and other broths for centuries to ease cold or flu symptoms. What makes hot, comforting soup so appealing for someone trying to restore their health? Chicken soup, in particular, contains many vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can help fight infections. It’s also rich in electrolytes and fluids that can protect you from dehydration if you have stomach flu or a fever.
Finally, studies show that warm or spicy foods can act as a decongestant, helping to unclog your sinuses and flush mucus out of the body. So, whether you have covid-19, a cold or flu, or a sinus infection, try making a warm, comforting chicken soup or spicy meal. You’ll start feeling better once you clear trapped mucus and phlegm from your sinus cavities. However, spicy foods may exacerbate nausea and bloating if you have an upset stomach.
2. Drink hot tea.
Like chicken soup and other hot foods, a warm beverage can help flush excessive mucus from your nose. Tea contains many natural herbs and polyphenols to boost your immune system and reduce inflammation. Virtually any tea can ease cold or flu symptoms, even those containing caffeine, since studies show they don’t cause dehydration.
Look for teas that contain peppermint, lemon, echinacea, elderberry, turmeric, and ginger, as these have potent antioxidants that improve health. Peppermint can help loosen stubborn mucus because of a compound called menthol, a common ingredient in cough drops. Menthol can help you breathe more easily and open up your sinuses.
3. Relax in a hot bath or shower.
Nothing feels better than standing in a hot shower with a cold or flu. The steam opens up your airways and helps clear excess mucus from your nose and throat. The warm water can relieve pain if you have sinus pressure or sore, achy muscles.
Finally, a soothing bath or shower promotes relaxation and temporarily removes your mind from being sick. Shower at night when cortisol levels naturally increase for the most pronounced effect. Since cortisol suppresses the immune system, you might notice more severe symptoms at nighttime.
4. Don’t take too many decongestants.
When you struggle to breathe and blow your nose endlessly to no avail, you naturally want instant relief. It’s tempting to reach for the decongestants every time mucus accumulates, but this can worsen the problem. While decongestants dry out the sinuses and alleviate a runny nose, they can also make it more challenging to eliminate mucus. You might grow weary of blowing your nose, but it’s your body trying to flush out a virus or bacteria.
5. Stay hydrated.
It’s hard to remember to drink enough water, especially when you have a cold or flu. However, keeping hydrated will help thin mucus and make it easier to eliminate from your body. But blowing your nose frequently can cause fluid loss, making it even more important to increase your water intake. Especially if you have a fever, it’s essential to remain hydrated and take electrolytes to help your body retain fluids better.
6. Try eucalyptus oil or vapor rubs.
Many people use chest or vapor rubs when coughing and excessive mucus. These creams and lotions help break up mucus and make breathing easier. Some contain eucalyptus, which studies have shown can fight bacteria, reduce inflammation, and ease cold and flu symptoms. You can either rub eucalyptus oil on your chest or place drops in your diffuser to flush mucus and improve your breathing.
7. Go for a short walk.
We don’t blame you if you’re scratching your head in confusion at this one. For most people, exercising is the last thing they feel like doing when they’re under the weather. However, sitting in bed all day only prolongs sickness by blocking the natural energy flow in your body. Going on short walks around your neighborhood is essential to keep that energy moving. Just 10-15 minutes of fresh air and sunlight can improve your mood and help break up trapped mucus.
Vitamin D from the sun can help protect against respiratory infections and strengthen your immune system, according to studies. Also, other research found that exposure to sunlight can reduce the risk of severe coronavirus infections. People living in areas with ample sunshine, high humidity, and high temperatures, mainly, had fewer virus infections
Final Thoughts on Natural Remedies to Eliminate Mucus
Perhaps the most annoying, dreadful symptom of the common cold, having excessive mucus, can make you desperate for relief. You might rely on decongestants when your nose feels clogged and you can only breathe through your mouth. While OTC medicines can provide relief, they often have unwanted side effects like insomnia, anxiety, and high blood pressure.
If you want natural remedies for cold or flu symptoms, try drinking warm tea, eating chicken broth or spicy foods, and taking a hot shower. Other ways to reduce mucus include going for a walk, drinking plenty of water, and using eucalyptus products. Hopefully, these home remedies will help you kick your cold to the curb and feel better in no time.