Some of the most common natural expectorants are water and other fluids, as well as the use of steam. Eucalyptus oil is another natural expectorant, when inhaled. Honey is an all-natural expectorant. Gargling with a mixture of cayenne pepper and water is a natural expectorant that can clear chest congestion.
Expectorants are any substances, either chemical or natural, that help to loosen phlegm or mucus from the chest and lungs. Natural expectorants can help to rid the lungs of congestion by thinning out secretions. One of the most effective all natural expectorants is steam. Inhaling steam can help thin and loosen mucus.
The best way to inhale steam is either with a personal steam inhaler or a vaporizer. Alternately, the patient may lean over a bowl of steaming water, with a towel draped over the head. Inhaling the steam vapors will act as a natural expectorant without any of the side effects medications and drugs may cause.
Ginger and chamomile tea both act as natural expectorants. For stubborn nasal and chest congestion along with a nagging cough, mixing a tablespoon of honey into a cup of warm tea can loosen chest congestion. Another liquid with natural expectorant abilities is chicken broth. Vinegar or apple cider vinegar can help top loosen phlegm and thin bronchial secretions.
Natural expectorants do not have to be in liquid form. Onions, for example, have natural expectorant attributes. Eating them raw, such as in salads, may provide relief from congestion. Powdered licorice root may be a natural remedy as well. Peppermint candies or drops can also provide relief from congestion and help to thin secretions.
Garlic also can be used as a natural expectorant, either by inhaling or eating it cooked or raw. Any type of spicy food, such as hot peppers or salsa, tend to act as natural expectorants. Some of the best choices are spicy Mexican food or Indian curry.
While not considered to be all-natural, guaifenesin is a most common way to relieve coughs. Guaifenesin is a drug used either in cough syrups or in tablet form. This type of drug is commonly used as an expectorant to bring up congestion from the lungs due to upper respiratory infections. Guaifenesin is used to make dry coughs more productive, thus helping to rid the airways of mucus.
Water is one of the most beneficial and natural expectorants available. When one consumes plenty of water, the lungs are able to flush out pathogens while thinning phlegm from the airways. Staying hydrated will allow mucus membranes to remain moist and keep mucus from collecting in the respiratory tract.