Throat Congestion Remedies

by Sharon Hopkins

Throat congestion can be due to a viral or bacterial infection, a common cold or a sinus infection; it is also accompanied sometimes by more serious conditions like asthma or pneumonia. Throat congestion normally occurs when the lining of the throat becomes inflamed and swollen, which makes breathing, eating and drinking challenging. An allergy or a respiratory infection leads to the increase of mucus in the chest, which comes up to the throat causing it to be become sore. For a speedy recovery, it is important to understand the cause of the sore throat and chest congestion. A sore throat alone can usually be resolved with homecare however when it comes with a bacterial infection and chest congestion, it would need a doctor’s intervention to be cured.

Some of the symptoms that can be seen with a sore throat and chest congestion are:

  • Throat pain
  • Increase in mucus production
  • Inflammation, swelling, itchy or scratchy feeling in the throat
  • Dry cough, runny nose and/or ear pain
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Wheezing and dry cough (if asthma is the cause)
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Burning sensation in the windpipe
  • Coughing up mucus which can be clear, green or yellow in color (signs of acute bronchitis)

A throat congestion or sore throat is usually caused by viruses that cause the common cold and influenza, but sometimes it can also be due to bacterial infections. Viral infections that cause throat congestion are common cold, influenza, measles, chickenpox, mononucleosis and croup. Some bacterial infections that have sore throat as a symptom are whooping cough, strep throat and diphtheria. Other causes include allergies to dust, mold, per dander, dust and pollen, dryness in the air, irritants like smoke pollution, throat muscle strain, gastroesophageal reflux disease, HIV infection and tumors.

It is always best to consult your doctor if the symptoms are persistent and don’t go away with self care. Some home remedies for congestion and sore throat are:

  • Salt Water Gargl: To soothe a sore throat; gargle with one teaspoon of table salt mixed in glass of warm water. To do this, take a comfortable gulp of the mixture, tilt your head back, gargle and spit out the liquid. Continue this till the water is over.
  • Lemon and Honey: A glass of hot water, juice of half a lemon and a teaspoon of honey can help reduce sore throat pain while the hot water loosens the mucus that is stuck at the back of the throat.
  • Steam Treatment: Steam helps loosen up the congestion both in the throat and the chest. For this, boil a pot of water, and place it on a table. Wrap a towel over your head as well as over the pot. Inhale the steam through your nose for around 30 to 40 seconds, stop and then repeat the procedure again. You can also add eucalyptus oil to the water.
  • Comfort Food: Warm soups and caffeine free teas can help soothe the throat. Eat soft food that can easily be swallowed with out causing pain or irritating the throat.
  • Lozenges: Lozenges can soothe a sore throat but don’t give them to children below 4 years of age as it might cause choking if the child swallows.
  • Hot Water Bath: Showering with hot water can help loosen the mucus the chest and provide respite.
  • Ginger Tea: Medicinal properties in ginger can help relieve a sore throat as well as help in chest congestion. To make ginger tea, add two small pieces of ginger in boiling water, strain it, add honey and have it sip by sip.

Consult a doctor if the symptoms persists for more than a week or two.



Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautionary measures while following instructions on the home remedies from this article. Avoid using any of these products if you are allergic to it. The responsibility lies with the reader and not with the site or the writer.
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