People rarely consider mucus to be something positive. More often than not, we associate with feeling bunged up and having a cold.
But mucus is a fluid produced by the body for a number of different functions. In the digestive system, it makes it easier to swallow food, it coats the stomach lining to prevent it from damage by stomach acids and helps ease food through the digestive tract. It’s also a lubricant for the reproductive system. In the respiratory system, mucus prevents particles from cigarette smoke and other pollutants like dust from going into the lungs.
When we’re in good health, our mucus is clear and has the texture of thin jelly. If there’s an infection or other illness, the mucus in our system can become much darker in colour – either yellow or green – and thicker in consistency. The presence of infected mucus can make a cold or cough feel much worse, as the mucus clogs our airways and throat. You can get advice on green mucus at Mucus Management, a website that provides information on the causes of excess mucus production and offers ways to deal with mucus.
If you have a cough it’s usually because there is mucus sitting on your chest. The coughing is your body’s way of trying to expel the mucus, but it can be quite painful to shift congested mucus as it doesn’t clear easily.
There are some home remedies which can ease the symptoms of congested mucus:
- Drinking fluids, hot and cold. Herbal teas with peppermint or menthol are a good choice as the fragrance helps clear nasal passages and the warmth of the tea helps to loosen mucus.
- Inhaling steam from a bowl filled with boiling water, to which you’ve added some drops of essential oil like eucalyptus will help shift congested mucus and make it easier to cough up.
- Applying heat to the chest with a damp, hot cloth or towel can help get the mucus moving.
If these home remedies don’t make enough of a difference, check out the Mucus Management website for more tips and advice on dealing with excessive amounts of mucus.