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How to Clear the Throat of Mucus

Four Methods:Getting Basic CareAdministering Herbal and Natural RemediesAvoiding Mucus-Producing Foods and IrritantsDiagnosing the Problem

Mucus is unpleasant, nasty, and sometimes stays with you for longer than expected. You'd rather get rid of it than let it run its course, but you don't know how. Read on for more information on how to clear your throat of phlegm and mucus.

Method 1
Getting Basic Care

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    Clear phlegm or mucus from your throat by coughing. If an excess of mucus has made its home in your throat, it's okay to evict it by coughing it up. Find a remote place, such as a bathroom, and try to loosen the mucus from your throat by coughing or hacking. Make sure not to cough too hard or too much, as it can do some damage.
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    Gargle with warm water and salt. Dissolve a teaspoon of salt into 8 ounces of lukewarm or warm water. Take the water into your mouth, tilt your head back, and without swallowing, gargle the salt water in the back of your throat.
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    Drink plenty of liquids during the day. The right liquids can help loosen the mucus from the lining of the throat as the liquids pass down the esophagus. Try the following for time-tested mucus relief:
    • Warm tea with lemon and honey. This should be one of your mainstays. The acidity of the lemon is good at breaking up the mucus while the honey coats the throat with a pleasant protective layer afterward.
    • Warm soup. Chicken soup is a favorite because the broth is light and cuts the mucus. Stick with lighter broths instead of thicker, creamier soups.
    • Cool water. Listen to your thirst and drink as much water as you need to stay satiated.
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    Try steam treatment. Give yourself a steam treatment and let warm steam travel down your sinus and throat, loosening up some of the mucus that's lodged there. Try the following for relief:
    • Wrap a towel around your head and breathe in the steam issuing from warm water. Even better, steep some tea (chamomile works great) in a large pot, carefully lower your head over being and breathe in the steam.
    • Take warm showers. If you take a long shower, be sure to moisturize afterward as warm water robs your skin of essential oils and moisture.
    • Use a humidifier/vaporizer. Allow your humidifier to pump moist air into your room. Take care not to pump too much moisture into the air; a little bit goes a long way.
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    Use medicine that curbs mucus. Generic medicine, like Mucinex, is available to thin out and loosen mucus. Look for medicines that are labeled "expectorants," which means to clear out phlegm or mucus.

Method 2
Administering Herbal and Natural Remedies

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    Use eucalyptus oil. Eucalyptus oil has long been used as an herbal mucus relief product. The most effective way to use eucalyptus oil is to line the upper chest area with a carrier oil such as coconut oil and then rub in a few drops of the eucalyptus oil. This might make you cough a little more than expected, at first, but after a while it should help loosen mucus from your throat.
    • Add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to your vaporizer for another effective treatment option. Do not take eucalyptus oil orally.
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    Add turmeric powder to liquids to keep the digestive tract working. Turmeric also works as an antiseptic. Add a one tablespoon of turmeric and one tablespoon honey to 8 ounces of hot water, dissolving. Drink the liquid, and repeat for best results.
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    Eat spicy foods to get the mucus loose and runny. The list of spicy foods that can aid in mucus relief is long. A few foods you might eat include:
    • Wasabi or horseradish
    • Peppers, such as jalapeno or Anaheim
    • Ginger and even garlic

Method 3
Avoiding Mucus-Producing Foods and Irritants

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    Stay away from milk and dairy. Although many dispute[1] the evidence that dairy makes mucus worse, it's best to avoid it if you think that mucus may get worse after you reach for the milk. That's because the fat content in milk may be high, making mucus thicker and more irritating.
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    Stay away from soy products. Soy products, such as soymilk, tofu, and tempeh, although rich in protein and otherwise healthy for you, may increase the viscosity of mucus and cause buildups of mucus in the chest. If you have a choice, it may be better to stay on the safe side and avoid soy.
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    Stop smoking. Just another reason — one of many — to quit smoking if you haven't already. Smoking irritates the throat, worsens respiratory function, and causes congestion.
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    Avoid other irritants such as strong chemicals or paints. Paints and household cleaners such as ammonia may be irritating to the nose and throat, causing further mucus production.

Method 4
Diagnosing the Problem

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    Know if you have a cold. You probably know whether or not you have a cold. But do you know why colds are accompanied by persistent mucus? Mucus performs two functions[2]:
    • It coats organs, keeping them moisturized and preventing them from drying out.
    • It acts as a kind of first defense against pollutants and bacteria, which often get caught in the mucus before infiltrating the rest of the body.
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    Know if you may have post-nasal drip. Post-nasal drip is when your body produces excess mucus, and the mucus runs down your throat instead of out your nose.[3] Post-nasal drip can be caused by colds and allergies, certain medications (including medicines for hypertension), deviated septa, and fumes from irritants. Call your doctor if your drainage is foul-smelling or lasts for longer than 10 days.
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    Know if the mucus is being caused by seasonal allergies or an allergic reaction. Allergies can stimulate the production of mucus. Mucus caused by allergies is usually clear, whereas mucus caused by a cold or flu is usually greenish yellow.[4] If you're susceptible to allergies, avoid going outside on days when the pollen count is high, and stay away from:
    • Mold
    • Animal dander
    • Dust mites
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    Know that being pregnant can exacerbate mucus production. If you recently found out you are pregnant, that could explain your problem with mucus. While there's not anything you can take, aside from decongestants like Claritin, it should be comforting to know that your ramped-up mucus production won't last forever.


  • Drink mostly water.
  • Stay away from paint and fumes as these will clog the throat further.
  • Try eating spicy food.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Start your day with a glass of warm water with a spoon full of honey.
  • Have a nice rest and a warm cup of herbal tea.
  • Drink tea or other warm beverages.
  • Hot water, lemon juice, honey, and a little bit of cinnamon is a good beverage to drink.
  • Gargle with warm salt water every hour or half hour if needed.
  • Take a long, hot shower every morning and night.
  • Take warm showers every day. The steam will make it better to breathe.
  • Don't have any dairy at all such as milk and chocolate milk.
  • Try singing or humming to yourself to clear the mucus.
  • If you start coughing up blood or yellow-ish green mucus, seek medical attention.
  • Lay and relax with extra pillows to ease the mucus production and ease the coughing.
  • Make your tea with honey, lemon, and add a cough drop.
  • Avoid cold drinks. Instead drink more herbal teas or water with honey.

Article Info

Categories: Sore Throat Care