The glands within the throat and nose continually produce mucus, up to two quarts per day. Mucus, or phlegm, is used to moisturise the cell membranes within the nose, as well as fight off infections from viruses that have entered the body. Excessive mucus can be produced during colds as the body is protecting itself from the virus; however, throat mucus can cause irritating coughing and a general uncomfortable feeling.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Eucalyptus oil
- Eucalyptus leaves
- Cooking pot
- Sweetener (honey, sugar or agave nectar)
Bring 2 cups of water to a rolling boil before removing and placing the steaming water into a heat-safe container. Add five to 10 drops of eucalyptus oil directly to the boiling water. Eucalyptus oil contains cineole, which is a powerful antiseptic, as well as volatile oils, which provide the oil with its powerful scent, according to the University of Maryland.
Place your head 5 to 8 inches above the steaming water, and drape a towel over your head. Breathe normally for 10 minutes to help loosen and expectorate throat mucus. Have tissues nearby in case you need to blow your nose or cough up loosened mucus. Repeat this process no more than two times per day until the mucus is gone.
Place 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of dried eucalyptus leaves into 236ml of boiling water. Cover the water, and allow the leaves to steep for 10 to 15 minutes.
Strain the leaves out of the water using a strainer. Pour the tea into a teacup and sweeten with honey, sugar or agave nectar. Drink up to 3 cups per day until the mucus is dislodged from your throat.
Tips and warnings
- For the eucalyptus steam vapour remedy, sit in a chair, and listen to your favourite music to help the time go by faster. If you feel lightheaded at all, remove the towel and breathe normally until the dizziness subsides.
- If you're watching calories or if you're diabetic, agave nectar sweetens the eucalyptus tea without adding excessive calories or spiking your blood sugar levels.
- Inhaling an excessive amount of eucalyptus oil may cause you to become nauseous, thus, add only the recommended drops outlined in Step 1, which is the recommended dosage provided by the University of Maryland Alternative Medicine Center.
- If you're on any medications, speak with your doctor prior to taking eucalyptus or any other herb, as the compounds within the herbs may interact with the effectiveness of your medications.
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