Chest congestion is among the most common conditions the world over, with colds, flu's and respiratory ailments like bronchitis being responsible. When not enough of this mucus and phlegm is flushed out it builds up and can cause a heavy or watery and tight feeling in the chest. Chest congestion may be a common problem, but if it is neglected it can turn a lot more serious with complications such as pneumonia. Treating it in a timely manner is therefore of the utmost importance.
Chest congestion is often treated with conventional pharmaceutical medications but this is not the best way to go about it despite the effectiveness of some medications. This is because frequent usage of pharmaceutical products is not advisable and natural treatments always pose less risk of reactions or long term damage. Although natural remedies are not always very effective they are invaluable when dealing with chest congestion and many other common respiratory disorders.
As part of the problem in chest congestion owes to the thickening of accumulated phlegm and mucus in the respiratory tracts it becomes necessary to loosen them up. Increasing your fluid intake and moisture levels, both bodily and in the environment becomes vital. This can help significantly. Drinking hot teas and consuming chicken soup have been found to loosen phlegm and mucus allowing for easier removal and also relieving the throat pain and irritation. Humidifiers are also very useful and can reduce coughing particularly at night.
One of the reasons for the increased mucus production and the consequent build up is an inflammation of the airways caused by an infection. Treating that very same inflammation will naturally help prevent the congestion from worsening. Herbal remedies like licorice and palmetto possess anti-inflammatory properties and can help significantly, reducing the pain and discomfort.
Aromatherapy treatments are the most effective and valuable treatment for almost all respiratory conditions, chest congestion included. Steam inhalation in itself is effective and with some aromatherapy essential oils added in can make a world of difference. Essential oils like eucalyptus and peppermint are the best options. The steam opens up the bronchial passages, allowing the aromatherapy oils to exercise their healing powers. This method of treatment also provides quick relief from the symptoms. Apart from therapeutic steam inhalation you can even prepare a chest rub with a mixture of aromatherapy oils or even using vapor balms and rubs. A soak in a hot tub with aromatherapy oils will also offer some much needed relief.
answered by a on Jul 15, 2009, 12:00:16