PHLEGM & MUCUS (EXCESSIVE)
Written by Slawomir (“Swavak”) Gromadzki, MPH
WHAT IS PHLEGM
Phlegm is a thick, sticky stuff that accumulates in the back of the throat. Mucus membranes produce phlegm to protect and support our respiratory tract and system. These mucus membranes line our mouth, nose, sinuses, throat and lungs. Its key role is to trap dust, allergens, bacteria, and viruses. We normally produce this mucus all the time, the problems starts when there is too much of it due to certain problems that cause inflammation and overproduction of mucus.
CAUSES OF PHLEGM OVERPRODUCTION
– High levels of toxins body tries to remove with phlegm.
– Inflammation, oversensitivity of the immune system, asthma, hay fever, allergies. Dust mites, animal fur, pollen, tobacco smoke irritates lungs causing inflammation in the airways. It is not known why the inflammation occurs. The inflammation irritates the airways, and causes them to squeeze (constrict). This causes narrowing of the airways. It is then more difficult for air to get in and out of the lungs. This leads to wheezing and breathlessness. The inflammation also causes the lining of the airways to make extra mucus (phlegm) which causes cough and further obstruction to airflow.
– Cough is a reaction of the respiratory system trying to expel harmful microbes, irritants or dust. As mucus, phlegm, sputum or other substances accumulate in the airways, this reflexive action tries to get rid of them. Cough can be a symptom of an underlying illness such as cold, flu, pneumonia, bronchitis, candida overgrowth, tuberculosis, heartburn, asthma or lung cancer. An irritating cough following a cold or flu is triggered by inflammation and mucus draining down the back of the throat.
– There are several other health conditions that may cause a build-up of phlegm, including acid reflux, cystic fibrosis, and chronic bronchitis.
– Treat possible underlying causes such as cough >, inflammation (caused by cold, flu, sinusitis, bronchitis, etc.) > that causes overproduction of phlegm.
– Reduce levels of toxins with the help of chlorella, activated charcoal, plant-based unrefined diet with vegetable juices.
– N-acetylcysteine (NAC) (300-500 mg 2 x daily) is good for chronic cough to help reduce the viscosity of phlegm. L-cysteine is synthesized in our body to NAC which has been commonly used in the treatment of various respiratory conditions including bronchitis, tuberculosis, pneumonia, emphysema, cystic fibrosis as well as other conditions that result in the production of thick mucus. L-cysteine has the ability to break up mucus, thus making it easier to cough up phlegm that accumulates as a result of respiratory conditions. In addition, L-cysteine is recommended in respiratory diseases because it is also involved in strengthening the immune system.
– Herbs: Hyssop, Liquorice, Coltsfoot are very beneficial to loosen phlegm and fight symptoms of inflammation.
– Karela helps boost the immune system by stimulating the activity of natural killer cells. It also helps to cope with cough and breathing problems by helping remove the phlegm that accumulates in the respiratory tract.
– Magnesium (citrate or chloride) helps reduce phlegm production.
– Moisturizing the air around you can help keep mucus thin.
– Drinking enough filtered or even better distilled warm water can loosen congestion by helping mucus move.
– There is evidence that the following may prevent or treat viral respiratory conditions and reduce phlegm production: Zinc, Vitamin D3, Licorice root, Cayenne pepper, Lemon juice, Garlic, Onion, Golden seal, Pau d’Arco, Probiotics, raw home-made Sauerkraut, Ginseng.
– Gargle warm water with Celtic, sea or pink salt.
– Vaporized Eucalyptus, Lemon grass, Thyme and Peppermint essential oils are natural decongestants and may also help to loosen the mucus.
– A 2007 study found that Buckwheat Honey may be more effective than traditional medication at relieving cough and congestion.