How to Thin Mucus Naturally

Written by andrew smith
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Mucus and phlegm are an unavoidable result of the cold winter months. A mucus build-up, if left untreated, leads to a cough, a sore throat and possibly an infection. Over-the-counter antihistamines break-up mucus and eliminate coughs and sore throats. Such products are also known to cause drowsiness or a loopy feeling. Loosening mucus without prescriptions or other medicines, allows you to eliminate phlegm and sinus drainage, without experiencing an unwanted sleepy or hazy feeling.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Humidifier
  • Saline nasal spray
  • Table salt
  • Spicy foods
  • Peppermint leaves

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  1. 1

    Cough, or otherwise clear your throat. This action breaks apart clumps of mucus, helping it to pass either through, or out of your body.

  2. 2

    Drink plenty of fluids. Drinking the proverbial eight glasses of water per day loosens and thins mucus, preventing it from building up in your throat and chest.

  3. 3

    Add moisture to the air by using a humidifier or boiling water on your stove. The excess humidity moistens mucus and moisturises your airways, making it easy for the mucus to pass through your body.

  4. 4

    Use a saline nasal spray and/or gargle with salt water. The salt, combined with the liquid, moisturises dry nasal passages and also prevents mucus from clumping up inside your nose and throat.

  5. 5

    Eat spicy foods. Foods such as chilli peppers and Wasabi Peas, thin mucus and expel it from your body via the mouth or nose.

  6. 6

    Brew homemade peppermint tea. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, a tea made up of 1 cup boiling water and 1 tsp dried peppermint leaves, loosens mucus and eliminates a sore throat. Let the mixture cool before drinking, and drink the tea three to five times per day. The University of Maryland website doesn't recommend giving such a tea to infants or small children.

Tips and warnings

  • Avoid foods such as dairy products, caffeine, overly salty foods and soy products.
  • The MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia website recommends contacting a doctor if the mucus build-up lasts for longer than three weeks, or longer than 10 days -- if dealing with a child under the age of three.

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