A practical guide for nutritional and traditional health care.
Excessive production of mucus in the nose in the form of a chronic problem is symptomatic of some condition and is not considered a disease in itself. Though the excess production of mucus is usually connected to the nose and the chest-excess mucus production as a chronic condition can arise anywhere in the internal lining of the body covered by mucus. The presence of a persistent runny nose, excessive sneezing, a sensation of stuffiness and a nasal tone to the voice signals the excess production of mucus in the sinuses. A chronic infection which is taking place is often inferred from a persistent postnasal drip. Sputum can also be brought up in large amounts by a chest filled with mucus; this accumulated matter will cause a lot of rattling and coughing over a long period of time. Wheezing may also often accompany an excess of mucus and it also makes breathing normally very difficult and causes a great deal of discomfort.
The natural role of mucus within the body is as a vehicle for ridding the body of accumulated dirt and debris; it also traps and eliminates bacteria and other toxic wastes which have accumulated along the mucous membranes internally. Therefore in itself the production of mucus is essential to the body and it does not have to be eliminated from the body at all cost - it performs an essential role in elimination of dirt. With particular reference to the gastrointestinal tract and the respiratory tract the mucus contained in them is absolutely essential and has many protective properties. The presence of a chronic irritation or inflammation arising as a result of some allergies, related problems like hay fever and asthma is the usual cause of most chronic problems with excess mucus production. Recurring or continuous mucus production in excessive amounts can also be caused by other conditions such as chronic bronchitis or the presence of a sinus infection, in addition some heredity causes can also bring about such a condition, as can excessive smoking, and the presence of some nutrient deficiencies, the accumulation of toxic heavy metals within the body can also bring about this condition.
Supplements and herbs
The following supplements can help break down the excess accumulated mucus in the mucus membranes while also helping the individual by supporting the functioning of the immune system, these supplements taken along with a healthy dietary regimen will prevent all excess mucus production in the body of the affected individual. The accumulation and excessive build up of mucus is also prevented by consuming supplements like the vitamins C and E, along with zinc citrate on a regular basis. The best way to make supplements of the vitamin C effective is to take them along with the plant based natural substances called the bioflavonoids on a regular basis along with the diet. The lozenges made from zinc can be taken as a regular supplement as well. Check out the best lozenge suitable for you by trying out a couple of brands on your own as some brands may taste much better than other brands-find the one that suits you and use it on a regular supplemental basis.
Using the reduced form of the compound L-glutathione is an effective method of removing excess and accumulated phlegm in the respiratory tract. This compound is a very powerful antioxidant and has an effective dissolving power as it can break down mucus into many smaller fragments for easier elimination. This compound is effective in that it absorbs and accumulates toxic heavy metals present in the body-the compound combines with accumulated metals such as lead, any mercury, compounds like copper, aluminum, arsenic and cadmium, the combination is then easily eliminated via the kidneys in the urine.
The prevention of mucus accumulation and the bolstering of the immune system functioning can be achieved through regular supplements of the cod liver oil in the daily diet.
The elimination of all excess mucus from the body is not necessary even during a chronic problem. As already mentioned, mucus in itself has many protective properties and performs an essential function within the body-at the same time and used in conjunction with the supplements mentioned above, the following herbs can help individuals affected with a chronic case of excess mucus production in the mucus membranes.
Chronic mucus production in the body can be helped by taking herbs such as the Echinacea, the goldenseal along with the calendula as they are all helpful as antibiotics and will treat or prevent the infection that causes the production of excess mucus. The action of these herbs will help in the normalization of the bacterial flora population found inside the large bowel, at the same time, they will bolster the functioning of the immune system. Use about 15 drops of some herbal tincture made from each of these herbs in some water thrice every day for five days at a stretch. Make sure you receive adequate rest for at least two weeks at a time. Restart the five day therapy session if the production of excess mucus persists and the condition remains chronic.
Using traditional folk remedies for treating problems related to the respiratory system is an excellent way of clearing mucus. For instance, you may use a traditional folk remedy known as mullein for this purpose. Saponins present in mullein help to slacken the phlegm, while gelatinous mucilage is effective in alleviating raw mucus membranes. Add two teaspoons of dried up mullein leaves to a cup of boiled water to prepare a tea, which may be drunk after the leaves have been infused for about 10 minutes. It is advised that you drink three cups of this herbal tea daily.
People all over Asia use a fragrant spice known as anise (botanical name Pimpinella anisum) in the form of a traditional remedy as well as for culinary purpose. This particular spice contains dianethole, photoanethole and trans-anethole that are loaded with volatile oils, together with coumarins, flavonoids, and sterols. Use of anise seeds promotes the mucus flow. The volatile oil contained by this spice is released after the seeds are pounded to prepare a tincture or infusion. This volatile oil helps to drive out mucus from the throat as well as the lungs as it works in the form of an expectorant.
Fenugreek (botanical name Trigonella foenum-graecum) is indigenous to the Mediterranean region as well as the different regions of Asia and Africa. This particular herb is used to treat a number of conditions such as anorexia, impotence, high cholesterol levels, and sore throats, problems in the upper respiratory tract, diabetes and stomach ulcers. Fenugreek produces light yellow colored rectangular seeds that are also used in the form of a digestive tonic. These seeds possess expectorant as well as demulcent properties and they enclose alkaloids, saponins and mucilage.
People suffering from chronic mucus will benefit if they eat foods prepared with hot spicy salsa, cayenne pepper or chili peppers. Consuming such fiery foods not only provide relief from runny nose and coughs, but they are also effective in loosening the mucus.
Aromatherapy has proved to be an effective remedy for chronic mucus. Add one drop of eucalyptus oil or pine oil to some hot water and inhale the steam to get relief from mucus. This is considered to be an effective natural home remedy for mucus problems. These essential oils possess anti-bacterial attributes and also possess the aptitude to slacken the mucus present in the airways. Mucus in the airways obstructs the flow of air through them. You may also boil eucalyptus leaves in water and inhale the vapour for relief from mucus in the respiratory tract.
It is possible to expel phlegm accumulated in the bronchial tube by using pine oil, which possesses expectorant properties.
It is important to note that our body’s natural defenses provide the most excellent protection from mucus and, hence, one should allow his/ her body to work. Our body is capable of fighting mucus unless it is accompanied by high fever, for instance, the body temperature going above 101°F. In fact, homeopathic remedies present us with a harmonizing approach by means of dealing with the mucus. It is advisable to only use those homeopathic remedies that correspond with the mucus color of an individual. For instance, the homeopathic remedy Belladonna is effectual for treating white colored mucus, while Phosphorus is effective for yellow or brown colored mucus. Similarly, the homeopathic remedy called Oscillococcinum 200C is prescribed for treating mucus which is accompanied with symptoms akin to those of flu.
Always bear in mind that when you are using homeopathic remedies, your symptoms will aggravate initially and then gradually improve when they activate the natural defenses of the body. And as time passes, the symptoms will disappear completely.
Additional things you may do
The importance of taking regular exercises and indulging in outdoor activities exposed to the fresh air cannot be overemphasized and these activities will help in the detoxification of the body, they will also result in an increase in the rate of all metabolic processes and also help increase the elimination rate of toxins from the body.
Turn on a humidifier in your room prior to sleeping as this will help to moisten the air and alleviate some problems caused by chronic mucus and enable you to have a sound sleep. However, you should clean the humidifier regularly to ensure that there is no accumulation of bacteria or mold inside it.
You may also inhale steam from a hot shower or by bending on top of a bowl containing sweltering hot water. While taking the vapour from the bowl, ensure that you cover your head with a towel. Doing this will help to slacken the mucus accumulated in the respiratory tract.
At the same time, you should wash the nasal passage clean. You may do this with saline canister, neti pot or any squeeze bottle specifically designed for this purpose. You can also clear the sinuses using a home remedy named nasal lavage. Ensure that you always use pure water to prepare the irrigation solution which is used to rinse the nasal passage. It is best to use boiled, filtered, distilled or sterile water for this purpose.
People with chronic mucus problems should keep away from milk products, as cow’s milk contains lactalbumin, which actually helps to promote mucus production inside the upper as well as the lower respiratory tract and the intestines.
Vitamins are effective in combating viruses that invade the respiratory system. Vitamins work excellently when they are taken in combination with bioflavonoids and/ or flavonoids in the form of supplements. People with chronic mucus should ideally take vitamin C in dosage of about 2,000 mg every day in divided doses along with flavonoids to protect themselves from viral assaults.
In addition, you may also apply a little camphor combined with mustard oil to the area around the nose for relief from the symptoms of this condition. You can also keep your nasal passage clean by applying a blob of ghee (a milk product) on a fresh ear bud.
Other beneficial herbs