Mucus is an important part of the human body. Its role is to maintain humidity, eliminate bacteria and dirt, and to protect the sinuses, nose, mouth, throat, lungs, and the entire gastrointestinal system. But, do you know what is the normal amount? What color should it be? How thick? And how to get rid of it when it’s too thick?
When in good health, the human body produces close to 1.5l of this slimy substance daily. Climate, genetics, and the state of your immune system influence the mucus composition. Thus, its color and thickness may change. Also, when sick or in contact with something that irritates you, the mucus production increases considerably.
Types Of Mucus
Here we show you several types of mucus:
White, transparent slimy substance indicates a common cold or upper respiratory infection. Sometimes, it’s a sign of allergies.
Light yellow color indicates that your immune system is under attack of a mild infection. However, if the color changes to dark yellow, then it’s a symptom of a bacterial infection in the lower respiratory tract.
This type of mucus indicates an infection of the respiratory tract. It owes its color to an enzyme called myeloperoxidase (MPO), which is present in the white blood cells. If it’s accompanied by an intense cough, it’s probably bronchitis. Also, it’s related to dust mites and allergies.
It’s very common among smokers. This mucus has a particular grainy texture. It’s a clear indication of the damage in the respiratory tract caused by the tobacco and other pollutants. Usually, it’s common among patients with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), and it’s a sign of chronic bronchitis.
This means blood. Usually, it’s a symptom of bronchitis, but when the red color is intense, it can indicate tuberculosis. You should immediately consult your doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment.
How To Clear Mucus Naturally
Add 1 tsp. sea salt in a cup of warm water, and mix to dissolve. Take a sip of the saline and gargle it in the back of your throat. Be careful not to swallow it.
You should increase your intake of fluids during the day. Anything, from warm soap and tea, to water will do the job.
The warm steam will help loosen up the mucus stuck in your nose, sinuses, and throat. Make a chamomile tea, lower your head over the pot with steaming liquid, and cover it with a towel. Breathe in the warm chamomile tea.
Add a few drops of eucalyptus oil in a pot of warm water, and breathe in the steam. Don’t take it orally, as it’s poisonous! Also, you can rub your chest area with this oil, to help relieve the mucus.
To loosen up the thick slimy substance, it’s recommendable to eat hot and spicy food. Anything, from garlic and ginger, to hot chili peppers, will do the job.
One of the recipes for hot toddy is to mix warm water, freshly squeezed lemon juice, a teaspoon of honey, and a shot of whiskey. Drinking this will help you relieve sinus pressure, and treat mucus buildup, nasal congestion, and sore throat. But, be careful not to exaggerate with the alcohol, and too much of it can cause your nasal passages to swell more, worsening the situation.
Elderberry syrup can help you treat the symptoms of sinusitis and excessive mucus buildup. Take it orally, and combine it with vitamin C for maximum effects.
Things To Avoid
Also, what health experts recommend is to avoid the consumption of milk and dairy products, and soy products; to quit smoking, and to stay away from chemicals and other irritants.