There are two alternatives for relieving phlegm: Get rid of the cause(s) and it will probably soon disappear including, of course, the discomforts or symptoms now being experienced. Or just deal with the latter (symptoms) and continue medicating them as they comeback. If you would rather get rid of the "pain" once and for all, please, then go the cause. This is what the publication we offer, bellow, is all about. We have a special offer going on now:
Phlegm, believe it or not, is your friend. Let's find out why:
What is phlegm?
It is a frontline defense mechanism of the respiratory system. It uses a specialized type of mucus produced only in the breathing organs, but not in the nasal cavity. Besides having the usual chemical contents of mucus--mucins, salts, electrolytes, etc--it also packs a very powerful array of virus and bacteria fighting substances. It is very sticky so it can hang on securely where it's needed and trap and destroy those unwanted invaders. When its job is done it begins to detach itself and move, with the help of the cilia, toward the throat area, laden with dead bacteria, viruses, germs. This is why phlegm should not be swallowed. Keeping the sinus cavity healthy helps prevent diseases of the sinus cavity, sinus infections, sinus drainage, sinus pressure, drainage, etc. Food choice, especially with respect to dairy products, is important in avoiding sinus and allergy issues with their excessive mucus telltale.
How is mucus produced? Human mucus found in the breathing organs is also called phlegm, and it is produced by and covers the mucous membranes lining those organs--except the nasal cavity. The mucous fluid is produced by specialized airway--trachea, bronchus, bronchioles--epithelial cells called goblet cells and by the submucosal glands. The secretion they produced is rich in glycoproteins, water and it is very sticky. Having a very important function to fulfill, mucus protects the epithelial cells which are part of the membranes which line those respiratory organs.. An important function of mucus is to protect against infection--bacteria, viruses, germs, foreign particles. It also provides moisture to the air when it is very low. Unknown to many he average person produces up to a quart of a watery, clear mucus every day, this is deemed to be normal. Nasal mucus, on the other hand, is produced by the nasal mucosa and lack the stickiness of phlegm, previously described.
Why does production of mucus increase dramatically in the upper respiratory tract? It is often a symptom of some common ailment, such as: colds, a virus infection, or bacterial infection. The excessive mucus can cause, in turn, such other disorders as: sinus pressure,congestion--the quick relief of these ailments using such procedures as acupressure (sinus pressure points) is recommended. It becomes obvious then that a normal person, or animal, need to produce mucus to keep healthy. However when mucus becomes thick and changes color then we need to ascertain the cause and do something about it, before a more serious health condition develops.
other parts of the respiratory systems except the nasal cavity
Nasal Cavity and Upper Respiratory Tract a - vertebrae, b - esophagus, c - trachea
d - cricoid cartilage, e - laryngopharynx, f -
pharynx, g - nasopharynx, k - tongue,
l - hard palate,
o - superior turbinate,
p - middle turbinate, q - inferior turbinate
The purpose of phlegm
Phlegm is sometimes preceded by post-nasal drip and is a water based gel consisting of strong germ fighting substances produced by the body. Its primary purpose is to:
aid the regular immune system when it gets overloaded
trap microbes, viruses, e.g., from colds, bacteria, unwanted particles
protect the lungs from infections and damage from any of the above organisms, etc.
protect all other parts of the respiratory system likewise
Once it has done its job and it's loaded with those trapped elements it detaches itself. Then moves toward the throat where it can be coughed out. This explains why phlegm should never be swallowed.
Phlegm can be a symptom of:
Various health conditions depending on the presence of other symptoms and the phlegm color. Generally phlegm can be associated with the ailments that follow:
acute upper respiratory tract infection caused by a "cold" or "flu"
tuberculosis--especially when accompanied by blood in the sputum
coughing up yellow, green, brown phlegm for more than 2-3 days
any combination of the above symptoms
The best cure is prevention. A well balanced diet containing high antioxidants foods: fresh fruits-especially pomegranates and blueberries--fresh vegetables, etc. can do much to avoid sickness and a next bout with phlegm
Yellow Phlegm What to Do I would:
Light yellowor clear - breathing dry air can cause it. It can indicate also that I have a cold probably caused by a virus in your URT (upper respiratory tract). Antibiotics won't touch it. It will have to run its course--usually just a few days. But I would relieve it this way I would::
If I were a smoker I would quit. Until I do so I would probably have a recurring phlegm problem
Some people take immune system boosting antioxidant botanicals right away. For example: herbs EB, PGL, G
Drink lots of plain, room temperature water to help loosen the phlegm and aid the immune system
Keep your sinuses clear thus avoiding congestion and possible sinus pressure and infection.
Rest as much as I can so it won't develop into a full blown sinus infection
Cough the stuff out, I would not swallow phlegm
Dry air is often the cause of light yellow phlegm. A cool steam humidifier can keep the respiratory passages clear and could help my phlegm issue.
Continue to drink lots of water indefinitely to avoid a recurrence of yellow mucus and sinus congestion
Avoid mucus producing foods.
Dark yellow - a probable sign of sinus infection or an infection in the LRT (lower respiratory tract) like bronchitis or bacterial pneumonia, especially if the phlegm is accompanied by coughing, chest pain and short breath; in which case I would see a doctor. If the illness does not go away in a few days--a week or less--it is probably a bacterial infection. I would:
Follow the same protocol for Light yellow, above
Some people use some OTC remedies to loosen and expectorate the phlegm. For example: plain gaieties or Muncinex. I would do so
Consider a chest percussion procedure if the phlegm is not addressed by the OTC remedies
Consider using a steam humidifier to help keep the respiratory tissues from drying out, especially at night in the winter
See a physician if there is a strong sinus headache accompanying the phlegm discharge
Watch the color of the sputum. If it has blood in it I would see my physician right away
See my physician if no improvement is seen within a few days, otherwise it could linger on for weeks
The meaning of green phlegm
Phlegm often appears toward the end of a respiratory tract infection. What makes phlegm green? Technically, it is done by an enzyme commonly named MPO--which has a green pigment common to many white cells. Bacteria draw more white cells containing MPO than viruses, hence the characteristic green color associated with bacterial infections. In other words, green phlegm can indicate that a bacterial infection in present. Unlike a viral infection which is not touched by antibiotics, for a bacterial sinus infection the standard medication is an antibiotic. Otherwise the infection will linger on probably for a long time. Of course, you need a prescription to get the antibiotic, thus the sensible thing to do when green phlegm is present, in connection with a sinus infection, is to go see a physician, if it does not go away in a few days..
How to get rid of green phlegm
Green phlegm can be a sign of a virus or common cold or of a sinus infection. These are the steps I take. I would:
Not swallow phlegm
Take plain guaifenesin, which is perhaps the best OTC available to loosen and expectorate phlegm
if sprays or other OTC remedies are used they should not damage in any way the respiratory system cilia
always read labels and take special notice of side effects
all medicinal drugs have side effects
Remember that pollens, especially during the growing or harvesting season, can cause serious allergy problems, sinus infection and green phleg
Drink lots of water and natural juices. Keep the urine clear
Rest all I can
If a heater is in use or otherwise the air is dry, I would use a humidifier
cool steam ultrasonic humidifiers are inexpensive, easy to operate; can benefit greatly sinus and nasal membranes
these membranes should be kept moist with clear mucus especially at night
use a hygrometer to monitor room humidity level
Take botanicals: EB - 3 times a day for 4 -5 days; G and GN the same way
to be effective they use it at the outset of the sinus infection
these are natural products without known adverse side effects
remember that botanicals usually take longer to produce visible results
Take antioxidant P on a regular basis, if it were a recurring problem, to boost my immune system. It is also a good anti-inflammatory
Consider a chest percussion procedure it is the fastest, natural way to eliminate phlegm according to some professionals
If I don't feel better in a few days I would probably go see my doctor
Watch for any of the following symptoms:
coughing up blood with or without phlegm
shortness of breath
coughing up green or yellow sputum for longer than 3 days
If any of the above symptoms occur, I would contact my physician
Remember that sinus pressure as an allergic reaction can start the seqgreen phlegmnts leading to an infection and green phlegm; nip, therefore, sinus pressure in the bud
Check for allergies and hay fever since they can lead to sinus infection and green phlegm. House dust is a common cause of allergic reaction
Some use acupressure regularly since they believe it can help keep the sinuses clear and avert sinus infection and green mucus and phlegm
Use natural supplements, like antioxidants, are used by many on a regular basis to boost the immune system and help avoid recurring bouts with green phlegm
Consider fasting as a way to detoxify my body, boost your immune system and help fight infection and phlegm, if I had a chronic phlegm problem
Additional Things to Know About Green Phlegm:
Early morning green nasal mucus - having been there most of the night--can be normally green in the morning
If this condition worsens or persists you may need see an allergy specialist
House dust unknown to many, can be a powerful source of allergens
Dust mite droppings are a main allergenic element in house dust which can cause irritation, infection and phlegm
Loose body skin and warmth draws dust mites to mattresses which become a perfect breeding place
Mattresses should be sealed with an impermeable cover to avoid mites' migrations
Environment - molds, household chemicals around the house can also cause irritation of the nasal or sinus membranes
If I were a smoker I would quit today and seek some help. The green phlegm problems probably won't be resolved until I would do so
Swallowing phlegm - recycles viruses and bacteria back to the body. Always spit it out
Many of the above items are covered in:Three Steps to Sinus Relief, offered at the end of the page.
White, clear, brown, bloody phlegm
Determining the meaning of the color of phlegm is not an exact science. Other symptoms accompanying it are also important. Please, bear this in mind as you read this section.
What to Do I would:
White phlegm - essentially do the same as for light yellow - see section, above
Clear, or pale phlegm - a possible indication of a viral infection in its initial stage
drink lots of water
botanical EB,and G can be very helpful, if taken at the outset of the problem
Brown, gray phlegm - the body is trying to expel tars or resins. Or I have inhaled a lot of dust or smog
if I smoked, the initial step, obviously is to quit. I would get some help, if necessary
try to isolate the cause and then decide your next step
Bloody phlegm - this is a serious sign that there is something definitely wrong, like TB, etc. Please, go see your doctor
Alcohol and phlegm Because of its dehydrating effect in the body, alcohol dries out the membranes in the sinus cavities and other areas of the respiratory system. These membranes must be kept moist at all times if disease is to be avoided. Phlegm comes in to carry out this protective function negated by alcohol damage to those membranes. This explains why heavy alcohol users and smokers have chronic phlegm problems. It should be recognized that alcohol has a deleterious effect on all aspects of health, especially the brain and the liver. Alcohol is addressed by the body as a toxic substance making the liver work much harder than for regular food. People wrestling phlegm issues should stay away from alcohol. Although alcohol requires no digestion it injures the stomach and the small intestines as it passes through, in fact it injures the whole GI--gastrointestinal track begriming at the mouth. As alcohol comes in direct contact with the mucus membrane that lines the upper GI tract it can compromise the metabolism and it related functions. Metabolism has to do with the biochemical processes that take place in living organisms and it affects growth, elimination of wastes, body energy--in connection with the assimilation of nutrients present in the blood after digestion.
Smoking, caffeine and phlegm
Phlegm is part of the mechanism the body has to expel things like tar, resins, infections, germs, etc. Smoking affects the cleaning action of the tiny hairlike cilia lining the lungs, nasal cavity and other respiratory organs--it paralyzes them--thus preventing germs, etc., from being swept out. Again, if I smoked I would quit. Caffeine--coffee, tea, cola soft drinks--have the same drying effect. What we eat and drink does matter.
Candida albicans and phlegm This is a common yeast found in the throat and digestive system. The body's good bacteria keeps it in check. But when we use medications which decimates good bacteria, or weakens the immune system, for instance:
birth control pills
Or large amounts of sugar are eaten, candida will overgrow--this is called candidiasis--and will cause toxins to flow into the blood stream. Among the symptoms of candidiasis, for some people, is the production of phlegm. Thus, if your phlegm problem does not react positively to the remedies suggested here you should check for candidiasis.
Antibiotics for phlegm
When a bacterial sinus infection has set in and phlegm and other symptoms are present antibiotics are often used to get rid of it. The medical profession is, on the other hand, showing concern about the over use of antibiotics. The reasons: their effect on the stomach and intestinal flora and the loss of their efficacy. The answer to this may be: the use of natural remedies and prevention. Nevertheless, sometimes antibiotics are needed to prevent an infection from lingering on,for example:
They require a medical prescription and can be very effective in eradicating phlegm produced by a bacterial sinus infection
OTC remedies for phlegm
When buying OTC remedies for phlegm I would keep this in mind :
when the chest is full of phlegm it should go up not down and should never be swallowed
the remedy should be labeled: "Expectorant"
it should contain mainly guayfenesin--to loosen the phlegm
it should not contain DM (Dextromethorphan)--a cough suppressant--since what you need is to cough hard, unless my physician advices otherwise
Four expectorants that meet the two previous criteria are:
plain guayfenesin--talk to your pharmacist about it
Natural remedies for phlegm There are several remedies many people use which they claim can be very effective to eliminate phlegm:
steam inhalation followed by a chest percussion procedure
a cool steam humidifier to help loosen the phlegm
eucalyptus oil used in inhalations linden, eucalyptus, lemon balm compounded in capsule form
according to some fasting, done properly, can give the body a break and boost its defense mechanism
the immune system can also be regularly boosted through acupressure (sinus pressure points)
if I had rhinitis--also called "runny nose"--I would get this condition under control; since rhinitis can be a contributory element in respiratory infections and phlegm
if I had used antibiotics, birth control. hormone replacement, etc., medications for some time and/or like to eat large amounts of sweets, I would check for candida albicans
The publication being offered, below, gives suggestions on how to apply many of the procedures outlined here and why.
What to do for clear mucus Clear mucus can precede yellow mucus and green mucus. This may be caused by irritation of the nasal membranes, rhinitis or by a virus or allergens, but in most instances it can be managed very susccessfully. This is what I do to when the mucus becomes too abundant:
Find out what may be causing it
If it is caused by a "cold" or virus
drink 5-6 glasses of water while tis condition lasts
A combination of healing systems working synergistically (cooperatively) for your sinuses is the key to sinus healing
Combining empirical research and reading many sources of information is how I found this new approach
The right sinus relief is more than just taking medications. It involves: Right eating, botanicals, some regular medications & pressure points for the sinuses
Foods can significantly affect your sinuses. Learn which foods can cause problems and which ones promote healing
Disclaimer: I am not a physician nor a licensed health care practitioner. The statements made in this web site or in the publication: Three Steps to Quick Sinus and Mucus Relief, have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. They are intended to describe what I did or would personally do only, and not intended to diagnose, treat or cure or prevent any disease or condition for others. The reader should continue to regularly consult a physician with regard to his or her health. Especially with respect to any matters or symptoms that may require diagnosis or medical care.