Autumn is the season of catching colds and flu, which produce mucus. It’s also common to suffer rhinitis, which entails an excessive accumulation of mucus. Today we’d like to help you deal with these problems better and prevent further complications by using these natural remedies and tips to help you get rid of congestion.

At awaken you have access to general practitioners for all types of mild ailments, and if you have a more serious problem you will also find pulmonologists, ear, nose and throat specialists, allergists and physiotherapists there to help.

Congestion in the throat, congestion in the chest. Risks

  • Chesty cough, which is worse at night, when lying down.

  • Congestion and blockages.

  • Sinusitis.

  • Opportunistic bacterial infections (pneumonias, bronchitis …).

  • Shallow breathing.

  • Low blood oxygen saturation.

  • Tiredness and fatigue at the slightest effort.

  • Loss of voice.


How to effectively get rid of congestion

Respiratory physiotherapy can teach you to cough and mobilise mucus secretions to alleviate your discomfort and optimise your body’s oxygenation. Consult your doctor. He can show you what to do. You can also try these tips and natural remedies to get rid of excessive mucus.

Tips to get rid of mucus congestion

  1. Humidify your room. This will make any secretions more runny.

  2. Drink plenty of fluids. This will help you to cough up phlegm.

  3. Use natural nose drops, such as sea water. Cleaning your nasal passages will help you to breathe more easily. Be cautious with inhalers from the chemist that ”help you breathe better”. These usually contain vasoconstrictors, which can lead to addiction and create the ‘rebound affect’. Hence they should only be prescribed by the doctor, who will determine their period of use.

  4. Make a facial steam bath with water and salt. This will open your airways and help you to shift phlegm from the walls.

  5. Air your home or workplace. Dust-laden or hot air is denser and causes coughs. Refresh the air for at least 5mins per day.

  6. Breathe clean air. Yes, we realise it’s cold outside. But where possible, go outside and take a good few deep breaths. Inhale through your nose to heat and filter the air.

  7. Sleep with your head raised. Use either two pillows or put a rolled up towel under the mattress.

  8. Learn how to cough. If you do so too lightly, you’ll only dislodge small bits of phlegm, which will make you cough more.

  9. Avoid tobacco smoke. Please.

  10. Ask your local chemist or doctor before taking any decongestant cough syrups by yourself. They’ll evaluate your symptoms and you’ll avoid potentially serious allergic reactions.


Remedies for mucus.

  1. Drink ginger and cardamom tea. This is anti-inflammatory and decongestant, even for chest secretions.

  2. Do facial steam baths with eucalyptus. Boiling water with salt also opens the airways, but eucalyptus has an extraordinary calming effect.

  3. Garlic and onion. These two are anti-bacterial, and as such, strengthen your defences. However they also help to dilute mucus, thanks to their sulphur compounds, in turn reducing coughing.

  4. Put warm compresses on your face, over your cheekbones and sinuses. The heat acts as a dilator and when the airways open the mucus will be easier to get rid of. This is very useful for pregnant women who can’t take medicine. If you have sinusitis, ask your doctor first. It may not be advisable to follow this treatment.

  5. Make a home made cough syrup. Boil some dried figs, a chopped onion and a lemon. Simmer until the water is reduced by half. Strain the rest of the water, add honey and keep it in the fridge. Take a spoonful three times a day.

  6. Try yogic nasal cleansing. You know how important breathing is for yoga practitioners. When mucus blocks your airways it’s difficult to breathe properly and practising yoga becomes problematic. There are special little jugs available for nasal cleansing, neti jugs—like little teapots. These should be filled with a saline solution.
    Bend over and turn your head to one side. Insert the end of the spout into the upper nostril and pour the water. The liquid will run out the other nostril. Once empty of all liquid, repeat the procedure on the other side. Breathe through your mouth as normal.


Remember to seek medical help if your symptoms last for a long time or are accompanied by chest pain or wheezing. At awaken we have many professionals ready to help you.