How Do I Get Rid of Phlegm?

Oh my, what was that thing you just coughed up? That can't be good for you. Technically, it's mucous, but when mucous becomes congealed and visible it is considered phlegm, the product of your mucous membranes attempting to fight an infection of sorts--and it is good for you.

Phlegm is differentiated from other mucous in that it comes from the lungs rather than from the nasal passages; though, post nasal drip, a common symptom of colds, flus, sinusitis, allergy infections and inhaling other irritants is often the cause of a phlegm like build up.

Important -Be Careful with Foods that produce more Phlegm
Unfortunately, some foods can add to the creation of mucus & phlegm and slow down your recovery time. Milk and milk products like yogurt, cottage cheese and butter, cause excess mucus in your throat. These items carry protein molecules called casein which increases secretions of mucus and is difficult to digest. Along with milk products, caffeine, sugar, salt, non- herbal teas, (especially black tea), all create excess mucus. Soy is one of the most mucus making plant foods there is. Those who give up meats and dairy and switch to soy products, have a greater risk of creating an unhealthy mucus build up in the body.

Treatment for Phlegm
Are you a smoker? If so, it's obvious that to get rid of phlegm you'll need to quit smoking. Lung and bronchial infections are common enough, but they are even more common in people who smoke regularly.
Mucus problems can certainly be a nuisance, but there are some simple ways to remedy it. Make sure that you drink plenty of liquids such as water, juice or tea with honey, and gargle daily with warm salt water to thin out mucus. Another easy fix to get rid of excess mucus, is to add eucalyptus oil to a tub of boiling water and inhale the vapors which will help to drain the mucus from the throat and chest.

Is your mucus coming from the lungs due to a Bronchial infection?
Be careful with Bronchial infections or even worse, pneumonia. The build up of phlegm at this point is great, to such an extent that it prevents an individual from breathing properly. Don't allow yourself to struggle breathing during the day or at night. Seek immediately help from a doctor. At this point you need to build up your immune system (eat more healthy foods, take vitamins) and start drinking your doctor's prescription - strong antibiotics to fight off an infection. Prednisone is an effective steroid that will fight off an infection, will clear your lungs and help you get rid of your phlegm. Live and eat healthy, ensure your infection does not come back. Ensure you do not use prednisone for an extended time. It is a sterioid therefore has numerous side effects (an individual becomes quite nervous, has difficulty falling asleep, eats more than normal etc)

Please make sure you don't take a cough suppressant or use throat lozenges. Cough medicines that are not explicitly labeled as expectorants will only serve to exacerbate your phlegm troubles. Anything that helps to numb the pain of a cough or suppress a cough will allow more mucous and phlegm to build up because you've essentially shut off the mechanisms in your body that are meant to produce, well, productive coughs.

Do not swallow that phlegm if you want to get rid of it. Phlegm functions as a sticky film, filled with infection fighting substances like glycoproteins and immunoglobulins, which attaches itself to the lining of your bronchial tubes and lungs. Generally speaking, when phlegm starts to get coughed up, it means that the substance has served its purpose and needs to be expelled. Spit that phlegm into a tissue rather than trying to swallow it, because swallowing often times reintroduces the phlegm back into your pulmonary (lung) system.

Commercial Phlegm Cures
As noted above, products like Robitussin and Mucinex are called expectorants, and there are plenty of them. These are just a few of the most common expectorants available over the counter:
* GuaiLife
* Ethex 208
* Humibid
* Congestac
* Vicks 44E