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Loosen cough mucus - Instructions

Loosen cough mucus - Instructions

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Mucus secretions are necessary for the body: they keep mucous membranes moist and form a protective layer. They also serve to clean the organism. They bind foreign substances, dust and germs, and we carry them out of the body with the slime. We can support this process with so-called expectorants. The most important facts about natural expectorants:

  • Mucus dissolves through moisture, sharpness and acid. This is why liquids such as tea, water or soup are a must-be to combat mucus.
  • Acidic foods such as lemons and vinegar also loosen stuck mucus.
  • Ideal are agents that both combat the causes of mucus, such as infectious diseases, and also liquefy the mucus through their sharpness, acidity or moisture. This includes garlic and onions.


Mucus sinuses or bronchi, then mucus and cilia have problems performing their function. Smoking or infections cause the body to excrete excessive mucus to remove the harmful substances or pathogens. Not only is there a lot of mucus, but it is often particularly tough. Therefore, it hardly flows off by itself and is also difficult to cough up. It is difficult for us to breathe and the number of germs in the mucus increases. As a result, more mucous membranes become infected. Too much secretion also covers the mucous membranes, and their function is now restricted. The consequences: coughing, feeling of pressure and breathing difficulties. The coughing hardly works and the unsuccessful attempts to get rid of the mucus lead to muscle tension and sore muscles.

Causes of heavy mucus formation

Mucus is often a symptom of upper respiratory tract infections, especially viruses, and sometimes bacteria. Other triggers are:

Exhaust gases and air pollution

People from countries in which car and industrial gases are reasonably under control often think that they would catch a cold when they came to Delhi or Mexico City, i.e. in metropolises that suffered from strong smog. The mucus binds the foreign substances here, and the stronger the smog, the more the respiratory tract becomes blocked.


Allergies are a malfunction or overfunction of the body's immune system: the biochemical alarm now recognizes unproblematic substances such as pollen as a danger, and the defense of the organism begins. In order to avoid the "danger", the body produces more mucus secretions.


In the case of asthma, the bronchi can temporarily mucilage.


The body reacts to various infections with mucus formation, as everyone knows who has ever had a flu infection or a real flu. The excess of mucus is most evident in chronic bronchitis, pneumonia and cystic fibrosis. With bronchitis, the bronchial passages become blocked and the cilia can work poorly.


The proverbial smoking cough stems from the fact that the body tries to get rid of the toxins in the cigarettes. These irritate bronchi like mucous membranes and numb the cilia. The mucus builds up in the bronchi because the hairs no longer remove it as usual.


First of all: Excessive mucus is not a disease, on the contrary, it is the body's own defense against diseases and as such successful. If the mucus is tough and cannot be coughed up, expectorants are the order of the day. These ensure that the solid mucus becomes liquid and can be coughed up or sneezed. In general, do not use expectorants immediately before going to bed. Coughing, snorting, and sneezing when you fall asleep doesn't make sense.

Apple Cider Vinegar

An insider tip to loosen mucus is apple cider vinegar. It is also cheap to get anywhere and just as harmless as eating a salad with dressing. The preparation of a medicine for mucus with the vinegar is extremely simple. Simply add one to two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to a glass of warm water two to three times a day, mix in two teaspoons of honey and drink it.
As with any vinegar, do not take too much of it. Two to three glasses with two teaspoons each are enough. With high amounts, vinegar can cause digestive problems because the stomach is overacidified.


You can wrap damp wraps with healing substances on the one hand around the chest and keep the body warm, and on the other hand inhale them into your mouth like your throat. The heat relaxes the tissue, stimulates blood circulation, and the moisture helps the mucus to liquefy. If we hold the wraps in front of our noses, we dip them in a brew of water and expectorant and / or anti-infectious substances such as mustard oil, horseradish, spruce needles, marjoram oil or mountain pine.

Potato and mustard wrap

Potato wraps are an insider tip from grandmother's time. For slime, it is best to mix the potatoes with plants that contain expectorants, such as mustard leaves, or add a few mustard seeds when cooking. They take floury potatoes, cook them softly and then mash them in a damp cloth. They give the mustard. Place the hot towel on your chest and leave it there until it gets cold.


Ginger is the superstar among expectorants. It not only effectively removes mucus in the airways and bronchial tubes, but also helps against digestive pain and contains around 30 antioxidants, which fight the free radicals in the body. Ginger has a strong antibacterial effect. Ginger also supplies the body with minerals, trace elements and vitamins.


Chili peppers are also at the top of the list of expectorants. The hotness comes from capsaicin. This promotes blood circulation and ensures that the mucous membranes form fluid secretions. This thickens the viscous mucus and allows it to drain away or be coughed up better. You can season the food with chilli or put chilli powder in a water glass and drink three of them a day. If it is too spicy for you, refine the taste with honey and lemon juice.


The saponins in ivy act as expectorants. However, since ivy is poisonous in large quantities, it is advisable to use ivy leaf extract from the pharmacy. This expands the bronchi and loosens the mucus. The mucus liquefies and you can cough it up better.

Acid, water and sharpness

Food that contains a lot of water, is hot and acidic, works against the mucus. Milk, yogurt, cheese, sugar and starch, on the other hand, promote it.

Soups are the best way to tackle mucus through food. Season these with spicy expectorants such as chilli, ginger, black pepper, onions, chives, garlic or garlic tendrils, increase the expectorant effect.

An additional splash with citrus juice from sour fruits is ideal, i.e. lime, lime, lemon or grapefruit. In salads you don't use yogurt dressing, but a sauce made of vinegar, chopped onions, fresh garlic, chilli flakes and oil. Juices such as teas with lemon, lime, lime, grapefruit and chilli and especially peppermint tea are suitable as drinks.


You need liquid to dissolve mucus. Even if you have no other resources available, water vapor helps. Inhaling it is one of the best ways to free stuck mucus from the bronchi, nose and sinuses. It moisturizes mucus and mucous membranes and thus ensures that the secretion can drain off. All you need is water, a saucepan and a towel. Heat the water until it boils, then bend over the pot, put the towel over your head, shoulders and neck so that the water vapor cannot escape, and take a deep breath for several minutes.

Since mucus formation is often associated with inflammation, you can let herbs soak in the water, destroy the germs and slow down inflammation. These include peppermint leaves, chamomile, turmeric and sage. You can also add essential oils that are also anti-inflammatory: eucalyptus, peppermint, mustard, spruce needles.

An all-rounder for slime formation is also salt - normal table salt. Dissolve it in hot water, it additionally moisturizes the mucous membranes and kills germs. An old home remedy for nasal congestion is to dissolve salt in water and pull the salt water through one nostril while holding the other one.


Garlic is a powerful natural antibiotic. So he is already tackling the cause of a flu-like infection. Fresh garlic also dissolves the mucus due to its sharpness. It stimulates the blood circulation and causes secretions to form. You can eat the garlic straight, soak it in vinegar (double effect) or use it as a spice in your meal. Garlic can be excellently combined with other expectorants such as mint, turmeric or ginger.


This oriental spice works against slime. You can use it to flavor dishes, put them in water or prepare a paste of turmeric and honey. To prevent mucilage, you should add so much turmeric to foods that they taste hot, warm inside, and you feel the secretions flow. When cooking, pay attention to the following: Indian cuisine often combines turmeric with milk or yoghurt. Since dairy products lead to tough mucus, you should avoid such recipes, because you want to loosen this stuck mucus.

Humidify the air

Respiratory tract loads are often caused by dry interiors. However, the higher the humidity, the better the mucus dissolves. The easiest way is to put damp cloths on a running heater. You can also set up house plants and spray them regularly, moisten your own face with a spray gun, cover your face with damp rags, air them regularly, run a humidifier, or even set up a room fountain. If necessary, simply place bowls filled with water in the apartment.

Drink a lot

If the mucus is stuck, you should always drink a lot, whether water or tea doesn't matter, because it's about moisture. The liquid moisturizes mucus and mucous membranes, and the mucus can drain off. Drinking can also mean "eating". To loosen slime, cook soups with a high water content.


Mustard products, i.e. mustard, mustard oil and mustard powder, are among the best expectorants and are also easy to acquire. The mustard oils drive the blood circulation and ensure a strong secretion formation, the mucus can flow. You can use mustard in a variety of ways: Bratwurst with mustard, eggs with mustard sauce or salads with mustard dressing are equally suitable for treatment. You can also inhale mustard oil in hot water or, even easier, apply a few drops of mustard oil to your nostrils.


The acidity of the lemon causes the body to produce more liquid and thus loosen the mucus. You can drizzle lemon juice in juice, water and tea, sprinkle lemon dishes on fish dishes and salads or bite into the "sour lemon".

Onion juice

Anyone who grew up in the country knows onion juice as a remedy for cough and tough mucus. To do this, cut onions into pieces, add honey or sugar, seal everything airtight and leave it in the fridge overnight. As a side effect, you smell of onions, so think about whether you have appointments where that's offensive.

Do not drill in the nose

When mucus becomes tough in the nose and forms crusts, the first reflex is to drill in the nose to remove it. This easily hurts the mucous membrane, and the irritation dries it out, making the mucus even firmer. So instead of pouting, let's wet the nose.

When do the home remedies no longer help?

If the phlegm is stuck, you should see a doctor if the expectoration lasts for several days despite expectorants, the cough hurts, you cough up blood or the stuck phlegm affects infants, the elderly or the chronically ill. You should always see a doctor if you suffer from asthma, allergies or bronchitis. A warning sign is also when the mucus turns yellowish green or smells like pus. This indicates a serious infection. (Dr. Utz Anhalt)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Dr. phil. Utz Anhalt, Barbara Schindewolf-Lensch


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  • Shive Narain Gupta et al .: Ayurvedic medicine: kaya-cikitsa - therapy concepts for internal diseases, Thieme; Edition: 3rd updated (May 22, 2019)

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