Coughing is our body's way of keeping its airways and throat clear. Excessive cough however, may be a symptom of a disorder or disease. Some types of cough are dry while other kinds may be productive. A productive cough is characterised by the presence of mucus. Mucus is also referred to as sputum or phlegm. If you have chest phlegm, you need to encourage your body to cough actively to break up and remove that chest phlegm.
What is Chest Phlegm
Phlegm actually represents something good. Phlegm is a congealed, mucus-like substance that has become visible. The presence of chest phlegm is a good sign that the body's immune system is doing its job in fighting off infection that has plagued the respiratory system. Phlegm consists of mucus, virus, dead bacteria and white blood cells, tissues and other cells. Phlegm does not come from the nasal passages, but from the lungs.
Take a medicine that aids the body in removing the phlegm. Expectorants are medicines that may be taken to thin, loosen up and clear the mucus from the respiratory tract, making it easier to dislodge and cough out the phlegm. This makes coughing more bearable since it clears the phlegm from the airways. Over-the-counter expectorants come in the form of bromhexine and guaifenesin. Popular guaifenesin brands include Robitussin and Mucinex.
Eucalyptus oil can be an effective method of breaking up phlegm. Eucalyptus oil helps loosen the phlegm while also treating an accompanying cough or flu, if present. Mix a few drops of the oil in boiling water and breathe in the steam while holding a towel over your head.
Menthol is another home remedy that Chinese Herbs.com suggests is a powerful decongestant. It is a natural expectorant which helps loosen the phlegm. It also soothes and calms the throat. Consume menthol by drinking it in peppermint tea or by breathing in its steam.
Garlic is also suggested by Chinese Herbs.com as possessing expectorant-like properties, and is also a good natural remedy to encourage the body to cough up chest phlegm. Incorporate it in your diet or take garlic pill supplements.
Drink plenty of fluids. Fluids will help loosen up any stubborn and sticky phlegm that is congesting the respiratory tract. Never swallow phlegm. When you have the chance, spit it out. If phlegm starts showing a variety of colours, consult a doctor. Normal phlegm should be white and clear. If it is yellow or green, it may indicate an underlying infection or disease.