Chest congestion (‘chhati me balgam’ in Hindi) is a condition in which inflammation is occurred in the lower respiratory tract. It is characterized by a buildup of mucus (balgam) in the trachea. The mucus blocks up the air passageway to lungs and affects oxygen supply. Consequently, you feel very uncomfortable and tired. If this chest congestion is not cleared up or treated timely, probably it may cause hazardous health issues like bronchitis or pneumonia. Therefore, it is relevant to clear up the congestion before it worsens.
Before treating any health problem, it is important to know about the symptoms and causes of the illness. Most noteworthy symptoms of this chest congestion are heaviness in chest and mild chest pain. Other common symptoms are – irritation in the throat, cough, shortness of breath, dizziness and difficulty in breathing.
Main cause of this chest congestion is generally pneumonia; other causes may be flu or viral infection, allergens, bacterial infection, tuberculosis, cold, bronchitis and asthma.
To cure this chest congestion, normally we run to doctor and doctor gives antibiotics. While to treat chest congestion, it is necessary to clear out the extra mucus. There are some natural remedies which are not only effective but also easy to apply and safe.
Natural Remedies for Chest Congestion:
1. Carom Seeds & Turmeric:
Carom seeds (ajwain) and turmeric (haldi) are popular aromatic and culinary herbs which have many medicinal properties. Decoction (kadha) prepared from carom seeds and turmeric powder helps to clear out the chest congestion.
First of all, boil 500 ml of water with 1 tbsp of carom seeds powder and 1 tbsp of turmeric powder until it becomes half. Let it to be cool and then divide this decoction in equal three dosage. Now, consume these three doses with one tablespoon of honey three times in a day.
2. Flax Seeds for Chest Congestion:
Flax seeds (Alsi in Hindi) are most noteworthy ingredient that can cure even lungs congestion by way of loosening the thicken mucus. Chest congestion is very common among children and to treat this congestion doctor generally prescribe medication (like- use of nebulizer). Medication badly affects the immune system of the child. While the decoction of flax seeds clears this chest congestion completely; its use is safe for kids too. Today, flax seeds are easily available in market.
Flaxseed (alsi) 1 tbsp
Lemon juice (Nimbu) few drops
Honey (Shahad) 1 tsp
Firstly, take one cup water in a pan and 1 tbsp flax seeds. Now boil this water with flax seed on heat until it is thickened (little bit) and then sieve it to remove the seeds. Add few drops of lemon juice and honey and then consume. If the congestion is more, you can use it twice in a day.
But if you are applying it on kids, ingest 2 tbsp of the decoction with a gap of every two hours. Flax seed decoction helps to loosen the mucus more effectively rather than medicine.
3. Dry Ginger, Black Pepper & Cloves:
Ginger (or dry ginger) has anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties; it is also effective to fight with the root cause of chest congestion. It has polyphenols that help to inhibit the secretion of mucus. Similarly, black pepper and cloves are also good for releasing mucus.
Dry ginger (Sonth) 10 gm
Black pepper (Kali mirch) 10 gm
Cloves (Laung) 10 gm
Grind all the three ingredients separately to make fine powder and then mix them well. Keep the powder into an airtight jar and take 1 tsp of powder with honey or milk thrice in a day. Repeat it 3- 5 days or till your chest congestion is cured completely. This remedy is quite safe and you can apply it even on children above 4-5 years. But give only half teaspoon of powder with 2 tbsp of honey.
4. Onion with Lemon and Honey:
Onion has antioxidants; quercetin and sulfur present in onion helps to dissolve the extra mucus. Taste of onion juice is bitter and small children cannot drink it.
Onion (Pyaj) 1 piece
Lemon juice (Nimbu ras) 2 pieces
Honey (Shahad) 2 tbsp
After collecting all the ingredients, grate the onion with the help of grater; or you can grind it. Furthermore, sieve it with the help of a strainer or a thin cloth. Similarly, extract the juice of lemons too.
Finally, add 4 tbsp of lemon juice, 2 tbsp honey and 2 tbsp of water in onion juice and mix it well. Heat the mixture till it turns lukewarm and consumes it. Repeat the dosage three times in a day until the congestion is cured completely.
5. Milk with Turmeric Powder:
Milk with turmeric powder (or ‘Haldi wala Doodh’) helps to loosen the mucus. Turmeric has strong antiseptic properties that helps to eliminate any type of infection. You can also give it to children above three years of age.
Milk (Doodh) 1 glass
Turmeric powder (Haldi) ½ tsp
Black pepper (Kali mirch) a pinch
Honey (Shahad) 2 tsp
Mix turmeric powder, honey and black pepper powder in hot milk and drink it hot at night before going to bed. In beginning, take it twice a day- morning and night. Turmeric and black pepper help to loosen the mucus naturally. In case of children, use the turmeric only ¼ tsp and likewise reduce the other ingredients also.
6. Garlic and Ginger for Chest Congestion:
Garlic is a rich source of sulphur compound called ‘Allicin’. Because of this compound, it plays an important role to keep us healthy. Similarly, ginger is also used as natural medicine to loosen the mucus and clear the chest congestion.
Ginger (Adrak) small piece
Garlic cloves (Lahsun) 1-2
Honey (Shahad) 1 tbsp
Lemon juice (Nimbu Ras) 1 tsp
Basil leaves (Tulsi) 8-10
Take 200 ml of water in a pan and boil it with crushed ginger, basil leaves and crushed garlic cloves on low heat for 15-20 minutes. Then, add lemon juice in boiling water. Sieve the decoction (kadha) into a cup and let it to be cool. Add some honey and drink it lukewarm preferably in the morning.
7. Piper Longum Root for Chest Congestion:
Piper longum root (pipramul or ganthoda) is an herb that is used as a traditional natural medicine to cure some diseases. In Ayurveda, it is used in various medicines. Piper longum root powder is also good to cure cough related problems. (1) It helps to loosen and to release the mucus. It is typically used in powder form and used normally with honey.
Make powder of piper longum roots with the help of mixer and store into an airtight jar. Ingest one tsp of piper longum powder mixing with a glass of hot milk at night.
8. Black Seeds for Chest Congestion:
Black seed (kalonji) is a kind of spice which has many has many culinary as well as medicinal uses. It has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Black seeds are also good to clear out chest congestion.
Grind some black seeds and keep its powder in a jar. Take one teaspoon of this powder mixing with 1 tsp honey two times in a day. Repeat it for 3-5 days or till required.
9. Inhaling Steam to cure Chest Congestion:
Inhaling steam is most effective to get relief from chest congestion because heat and moisture of steam helps to loosen the mucus and finally removing out from the body.
For taking steam, you can use vaporizer which is available at medicine shops (chemist). This vaporizer is handy and easy to use. You can take steam simply by filling some water in it or by adding a pinch of salt in the water. But if you have not vaporizer, other options are also there; some of them are-
a. Steam with Tea Leafs (Chai patti):
Boil 1 – 1.5 litre water in a pot with some tea leafs (half tea spoon) on heat for inhaling steam. Now put it off from the heat; lean your face on the hot water pot and cover your head with a towel so that the vapor (bhap) will not spread out. Take deep breath with open mouth and inhale the steam for as long as you can. Repeat it for 2-3 times daily till the congestion goes away. It is a good and simple natural remedy to clear chest congestion.
b. Steam with Peppermint or Eucalyptus oil:
c. Steam with Carom Seeds:
d. Steam with clove oil:
For detailed procedure of steam with peppermint, carom seeds and clove oil (b, c, & d), read – “Steam Inhalation for Swollen throat“.
During the process of steam inhalation, everyone should take extra care because of the use of very hot water (risk of burn). Therefore, it is not recommended for very young children also.
All the required ingredients used in above remedies like- carom seeds (ajwain), flax seeds (alsi), dry ginger, cloves, black pepper, black seeds (kalonji), piper longum (pipramul) – remain available for sale on grocery shop or spices section of super market like big bazar, D-mart etc.
All the above remedies are good to treat chest congestion. But if the congestion is not clear out even after taking the remedies for 2-3 days, it is better to consult doctor.
The remedies given above is for information purpose only; it is neither to be construed as a diagnosis, treatment, or cure for any disease nor to be considered as a substitute for medical care from a doctor. It is better to consult your doctor before trying these natural remedies; results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person.