What is chest congestion?
Thin the mucus
Loosen the mucus
    Deep breathing
    Physical patting
    Applied heat
    Stretching, body flexing
    Direct loosening
Getting rid of the mucus
    Nasal rinse
    Avoid mucus inducing foods
    Handle the allergy inducers
Decrease inflammation
My routine
Checklist of strategies


Chest congestion is the accumulation of excess fluid and mucus in the lungs. Inflammation is designed to treat infections and foreign invaders, but if it continues it is a good idea to relieve it.

Bronchitis has green sputum and needs to be treated with antibiotics.  Yellow is generally a sign of infection.

Asthma is a special condition, requiring medical help.  My doctor says "there is no cure, only management."



Stay very, very hydrated.   Err on the side of excess water.  Add lemon to help cut mucus better.   Drink a whole glass at a time. Hot water with lemon is good.

Hot teas

Cough drops, lozenges keep moisturizing whatever goes down the back of the throat.

Drink hot chicken broth.


Mucinex (Guaifenesen)
An Albuterol inhaler dilates the bronchial tubes.  Must be doctor prescribed.


Antihistamines thicken the mucus.

Hot showers and baths can help to.

Deep breathing

Deep breathing and coughing exercises can clear the airway.
Practice deep breathing exercises daily, which will get you on the way to keeping your lungs from "drying out" like that kitchen sponge
Deep breaths, hold, and then cough

Physical patting

Have another person pat your back with good firm openhanded slaps, while you’re sitting in a chair leaning forward arms in lap, making sure your lungs are expanded (not contract chest!).   Move all over the back.  Do several times during the day.   
In a hot shower, breathe deeply and tap on the sternum.


Steam will help you loosen the mucus throughout your breathing passages and lungs. steam therapy; put 2-3 drops of tea tree oil or eucalyptus oil in a bowl of hot water and inhale the steam.  Or a few drops of vinegar.  Use a steam inhaler preferably. eucalyptus, peppermint, and bergamot. Per one expert: Steam inhalation is possibly the most effective of all chest cough remedies. At least 10 minutes, preferably 20 (watch tv at the same time).  Menthol.

Use a saline nose spray at least 4x/day.

Keep moisture in room above 50% by using room humidifier.

Rub some vapor rub on your chest and sit in a very steamy shower.  Do this three times a day.  As an alternative, let hot water run against your chest.

Applied heat

Hot water bottle or moist-heating pad.

Stretching exercises

The downward dog is a good one for lung and sinus congestion particularly if you remember when in downward dog to gently bring the chin close to the chest - then you will feel the increased circulation in the front of the face.  Downward dog is making a triangle, with butt high in the air and feet and hands on the ground; you can stretch your neck if you wish.

Also for lung congestion forward and backward bends help.  Back bending postures open the chest improving both lung and heart functioning. Practice upper back bends and chest opening postures if it is harder to exhale during asthma attacks. Practice forward bends and lower back bending poses if it is more difficult to inhale. Inverted postures drain excess mucus from the lungs and balance the immune system

Don’t forget too that postures for the digestive system like twists and any that gently move the belly helps as often poor digestion leads to toxic increase and then increased mucus that can move to other parts of the body like the chest.

Stretch and move your chest around at least every hour, coughing up as much as you can.  Expanding your chest.  Roll your shoulders up and back and expand your chest, 10x/hour.

Pranayama helps you improve breathing and expand your lung capacity.  Always do a complete breath.  Fast breathing is just speeding up your breathing but only to the maximum where you can completely exhale.  It clears the nasal passages and exercises the parts of the breathing system.  2-3 minutes minimum.

Put a bolster or long pillow lengthwise, along your spine, but supporting your head.  Bend knees and let them fall to the side.  Rest your arms at your sides, palms facing up.  Opens up the chest.  10-15 minutes.

Moves lymph: Legs-Up-the-Wall (back on floor, legs straight up against the wall).  Shoulder stand (neck and head and shoulders flat on the floor, supporting back with arms but almost all weight on the shoulders.  5-10 minutes for any of these.


Move body for at least 10 minutes at least 2x/day; 4 is better.

Get out of breath, “feel the burn” in the chest by doing such things as lying on the floor and bringing opposite bent elbow to meet opposite knee and back and forth 100 times.


You could also try fighting the congestion with garlic
Ginger – tea or candy or directly eat it.

Effervescent NAC (N-acetyl cysteine)  - Dissolves mucus and increases glutathione (an antioxidant).

Teaspoon of turmeric.

Magnesium is helpful.

Possible:  lobelia and fenugreek

Help reduce excessive chest mucous. Kali mur is one such ingredient and it is well known for its beneficial affects of the respiratory system and its ability to ease wet coughs.  Similarly, Kali sulph is excellent at naturally treating phlegm coughs and sinus congestions, as well as reducing inflammation of the mucous membranes. Kali bich also works on soothing irritated mucous membranes, especially in the lungs, and helps loosen thick chest mucus.


Fruits, at least 3-4/day, especially citrus.

Direct loosening

Another technique is to get into a warm/hot shower and begin to do the Ujjaye breath, nice and gently.
The ujjaye breath is throat breathing, where you take the length of your natural relaxed breath and then progressively lengthen the exhalation breathe ntil it is twice the length of your normal inhalation.  You can do this for around 10 full, deep-as-you-can breaths and then begin, with your left hand, use the tips of your fingers and begin to tap on the face of your sternum. Be mindful to stay on the bony face of the sternum and do not tap on the xiphoid process. You don't need to tap too hard, but you can tap quite firmly and still be comfortable. The breathing in of the warm, moist air and the tapping serve to loosen the mucous the lay in the lower quadrants of the lungs and then you can then cough and spit it out. This is often very helpful and works quite quickly. As a precaution, because some people may feel slightly light headed, you can leave a door or window open to the room as you shower and you can also sit in the shower to be safe.


Cough.  Spit out the phlegm every time. (Why spit it out, since the stomach will digest it and neutralize all or most of the germs?  I would suggest that it is low quality in food value, despite its protein content - and it is not a great thing to waste our energy on or to battle even in the stomach.  It might also partially stick in the throat and keep on causing congestion.  Note that the stomach "votes" sometimes by feeling nauseous or even throwing up - d'ya think that could be an indication of what not to do with phlegm?!?)

Blow your nose, gently, to clear all potential mucus out.


While the above will do that also, sleep with your back propped up.  It helps you take in oxygen easier.  Lying on your back will cause the mucus to settle at the back of your lungs where you have less muscle control.


Nasal rinse

Neti-pot or NeilMed Rinse
Facial sinus bath

Avoid mucus inducing foods

Eliminate dairy products

Handle the allergy inducers

Air cleaner turned up.
Stay away from smoke.


Antihistamines – Here we have opposing functions.  We want less mucus, but the antihistamine thickens the mucus so it is harder to get rid of it.


Prednizone if doctor approves.  Ibuprofen can have an effect also, helping the flow.


MY ROUTINE (Print by highlighting and either copying to a word document or pressing file, then print, then “selection”, then print.)

This is temporary until solved.  Nasal rinses may remove some benefits of our protection system.
Ongoingly deep breathing, moving shoulder s up and back to expand chest.  Do something every hour so I keep things moving.  Don’t stop with a little improvement or it’ll return.  Keep it up.


Heating pad on chest
Guaifenesen in proper dose, set alarm til next one
Nasal rinse, steam
Stretching exercises, downward dog , elbow to knee, fast breathing
2 glasses of water right away, with lemon
Stretching and feeling the burn in the chest, fast breathing
Exercise 10 minutes
Prolonged hot shower, water on chest, fingers tapping sternum

Mid day

Exercise 10 minutes
Nasal rinse, steam
Stretching exercises
Water, guaifenesin


Exercise 10 minutes
Nasal rinse, steam
Stretching exercises
Water, guaifenesin
Hot shower, water on chest


    Head elevated
    Use heating pad on chest before sleep


BUY    Add to this list.  Related purchases on these lists:  Colds, Sinuses    Sinuses  

Vick’s Vapor Rub
Chicken broth
Lemons or lemon concentrate of some sort.
Saline nasal spray
See supplements

   Steam inhaler
   Good air cleaner    


CHECKLIST OF STRATEGIES (Print by highlighting and either copying to a word document or pressing file, then print, then “selection”, then print.)  Circle, or mark in some way, the ones you will use.  Post on mirror to remind you, checking twice a day, probably in early morning and late evening.

Checklist Of Strategies

Liquids, with lemon
Hot liquids
Hot chicken broth
Hot shower: tapping chest, water on chest
Deep breathing, fast breathing
Physical patting, back, chest
Steam inhaler
Saline nasal spray
Room humidifier
Air cleaner
Applied heat: heating pad
Stretching: downward dog, backward bends,
  chest opening, bolster down spine, shoulder stand
Exercise several times/day, feel the burn in knees to elbows
Supplements:  C, E, garlic, N-acetyl cysteine, turmeric,
Fruits, no dairy
Head elevated when sleep


Colds, Sinuses