Home Remedies for Mucus in the Throat
Mucus in the throat can cause a host of annoying issues, such as constant throat clearing, changes in voice tone and pitch, and coughing that may even keep you awake at night. Mucus, in general, is a very important substance that is intentionally produced in the body—and not only when you’re sick! On average the healthy adult body will produce about a liter of mucus every day. This sounds like a lot, right? Well it needs to be because it is responsible for several important tasks, such as keeping the nasal passages nice and moisturized as well as offering a protective barrier against dangerous or irritating substances like bacteria and dust. It even works as a built-in air moisturizing agent so that the sensitive tissues in the nose, mouth, and chest don’t dry out and become irritated.
What Causes Excess Mucus in the Throat?
Sometimes the environment that we’re in and the things that we put into our bodies can cause our excess mucus production, especially in the throat. Being in an environment where you are forced to inhale things that the body would deem to be irritants or toxins, such as dust, chemicals, smoke, gas, bacteria, and even pollen, can cause your body to trigger excess mucus to help protect the delicate tissues of the nasal passages. This can happen to everyone at some time, but is especially recurrent in people who are hypersensitive to inhaled irritants.
Dry air is another reason why you might produce extra mucus in the throat. This is kind of a reflex action that the body makes against excessive dryness that can result when we breathe in air that doesn’t contain enough moisture or humidity. This is a common problem in the winter when the air is not only naturally drier but when we tend to crank up the heating devices in our homes that also suck the moisture out of the air.
Sinusitis, the common cold, and allergies may cause the feeling of mucus in the throat due to post-nasal drip. This is a condition characterized by drainage the runs from the nose down the throat. Certain types of food as well as sensitivity to some food products can also cause excessive mucus production.
Avoid Foods that Encourage Mucus Production
There are some types of food that are well known for triggering mucus production. Milk and other dairy products are notorious for leaving a thickened feeling in the throat that is followed by large amounts of phlegm. Salt encourages water retention which can also aid in mucus buildup. If you have a lot of fried foods or fatty meat like pork and duck, then this could also be another reason why you are fighting off large amounts of mucus. If you suspect that you have a food allergy to items such as dairy, eggs, wheat, or gluten, then you might want to do a trial period in which you abstain from eating that food for a few weeks to see if it helps to clear up the excess phlegm in your nasal passages and throat.
Sometimes a good old fashioned throat gargle can work wonders for cutting through thick or sticky mucus. It is an especially helpful tactic if you are recently getting over a cold because many throat gargles and mouth rinses have antibacterial properties that can help to wipe out any lingering bacteria that can contribute to your mucus problem. Any over the counter throat gargle will do to cut through and break up the mucus in your throat, but you can also make your own throat gargle using ingredients that you probably already have around the house. One such gargle can be made by combining one part apple cider vinegar to two parts water. Gargle this liquid for two to three minutes, three times a day until your symptoms improve. Another gargle that you can use is six ounces of warm water mixed with one tablespoon of salt. Gargle the mixture for a few minute but be sure not to swallow it!
Drink Plenty of Fluids
One mistake that many of us make when we have too much mucus in the throat is that we avoid liquids. Maybe it’s the fear of choking or the dislike of feeling the liquid trudge through the thick mucus, but in reality it can be just the thing you need to help break up the mucus so that your body can dispose of it properly. Warm drinks, like hot tea and cocoa, are great for loosening up the phlegm and water should be drank regularly to help push it down your throat to your stomach. Although it might be a bit of an inconvenience, try to keep a drink on you at all times until you see an improvement in you symptoms.
There’s nothing like a strong cup of ginger tea to clear up your throat. Ginger contains oleoresins which are actually one of the main ingredients in modern day cough medicines. Oleoresins increase the circulation of blood in the body which warms the tissues in the throat. As a result the mucus is able to detach from the throat and thin out. From there, your body can naturally pass and dissolve the mucus on its own. Ginger tea can be found in most grocery stores but you can also brew it yourself by boiling a bit of peeled ginger root for about ten minutes. Pour the liquid through a fine sieve and sweeten it with honey to taste.