Congestion / Phlegm / Runny Nose
Mucus is a reaction of the body to toxins or bacteria either entering or exiting the body. It is designed to trap the toxins in the membranes close to body openings and prevent them from getting farther into the body. In the digestive system, mucus lubricates food passing down the esophagus. In the respiratory system, it prevents foreign matter from entering the body. In the cervix, it prevents infection and moves the spermatozoa. Unfortunately, too much mucus can mean that the body’s cleaning mechanisms are not functioning properly or that you are exposed to allergens or bacteria at elevated levels. If mucus continues or is chronic, then treatment is necessary to reduce the slimy secretion and remove the toxins from the mucus membranes.
What Causes Excessive Mucus?
Excessive mucus is generally caused by allergic reactions to food or environmental toxins. If you can identify your environmental allergens (substance to which you have an allergic reaction), get rid of them. Milk is a mucusforming food even if you don’t have an allergy to it, as are bananas, apple juice, and chocolate, so allergies to these substances will easily produce excessive mucus.
- Environmental toxins such as pesticides and hormones may also cause problems for asthmatics and other people who are especially prone to excess mucus formation. To avoid these hidden allergens, use organically grown grains, vegetables, and fruit and organically raised, hormonefree beef and other meats.
- Don’t forget about infectious agents such as bacteria, yeast, and parasites. Bacterial infections, in particular, cause the lungs and digestive tract to create excess mucus. Keep yourself healthy and free of germs by washing your hands regularly and avoiding undercooked meat.
Treatments for Mucus
To find the substance causing the excess mucus, try rotating the foods in your diet. Consider everything that goes into your body and on your body as something to which you may be allergic. When you find a substance that appears to be increasing mucus, stop using it. Avoid mold and mildew and fermented foods and beverages, including beer, wine, vinegar, soy sauce, cheese, and pickled foods.
- Taking enzymes on an empty stomach helps digest the mucus.
- Gargle with one teaspoon red sage extract in I cup of water a couple times a day. You can also try hot salt water.
- Chickweed helps remove mucus.
- Many people have had success curing chronic mucus by using colonic cleanse treatments.
- Take Chinese or Ayurvedic herbal combinations. These cultures have looked deeply into the causes and prevention of mucus in the body.
- For mucus caused by viruses or bacteria, use the antibacterials John’s wort, olive leaf extract, and liquid Echinacea. Apply these in liquid form to the back of your throat.
In Indian Ayurvedic medicine, people identified as having Kapha constitutions are more susceptible to mucus conditions when they get chilled, such as during seasonal changes. These people should take herbs that warm the body, such as cayenne, cinnamon, and turmeric.