Home Remedies for Sinus and Chest Congestion

Hi everyone!  Sorry about the decrease in posts lately – I just got over a pretty bad bug and I’m just now getting back into the swing of things.  I’m not really sure what I had, but it involved a lot of sinus and chest congestion (I think it was on the cusp of bronchitis).  I managed to entirely cure myself naturally, which I’m pretty excited about!  Now I want to share the home remedies for sinus and chest congestion that I used.

Eucalyptus Oil Home Remedies for Sinus and Chest CongestionThere were a few key remedies that I believe really helped me feel better quickly.  A bunch of them involved using Eucalyptus Oil.  I had never used it before, but kept seeing a lot of pins about it being great for congestion and phlegm.  Well, it was all true!

One of my favorite ways of using eucalyptus was when I steamed.  Steaming is already a great way to help relieve sinus congestion and break up phlegm in your chest.  Adding in 3-4 drops of eucalyptus oil helped clear up my congestion even quicker and gave me instant relief!  I simply filled a large pot halfway with water, added in the eucalyptus once the water boiled, and then put a towel over my head to keep the steam in.

I breathed the steam in deeply for about 10 minutes, and I did this three times a day.  I even added 4-5 drops to the bottom of my tub when I took a shower.  If your shower is hot enough, it has the same effect as steaming.  It made a huge difference in my morning, since we all know that when you have congestion and phlegm it builds up, making you feel worse in the morning.

I also relieved my congestion by adding eucalyptus oil into my detox baths.  If you saw my original post, you know I love taking detox baths when I’m fighting a cold or flu.  I used my typical base recipes and then added about 10-12 drops of eucalyptus into the bath.  Oh man!  I felt AMAZING after soaking for about 30 minutes!

Towards the end of this bug, the congestion started going deeper into my chest and I started developing a cough.  This is when I started rubbing eucalyptus into my chest right before bed.  It has the same effect as Vicks, but I read that when you massage the oil in, it actually breaks up the mucus/phlegm.  Straight oil can be irritating to your skin though, so I rubbed coconut oil on my chest first, and then a few drops of eucalyptus on top of that.  I massaged my chest for about 1 minute.

Also on Pinterest, I read that the best way to suppress a cough is to rub a few drops of eucalyptus oil into the soles of your feet.  Because I was also rubbing eucalyptus into my chest, I’m not exactly sure which remedy attributed to preventing my cough, or if it was the combination of both.  Either way, when I started doing these remedies I was able to get a good night’s sleep cough free!

Eucalyptus oil provided the most immediate relief for my symptoms.  From what I’ve read:  it’s antibacterial, anti-flammatory, analgesic and antifungal.  So basically, not only does it relieve symptoms, but it also helps to heal them instead of just masking them.  I picked up a bottle at Whole Foods, but I’m sure you can find it at any health food store.

Pineapple Juice for Sinus and Chest CongestionMy next remedy comes from a time when I was battling chronic bronchitis.  It’s when I first moved to LA, and I think it had something to do with adjusting to a different climate, and a weakened immune system from a case of mono.  It was a miserable time for me, and I was desperate to find a natural solution to cut the phlegm and minimize a whooping cough.  After a few Googling attempts, I found one of my favorite remedies:  Pineapple Juice.

Pineapple juice naturally thins mucus and phlegm, plus it’s packed with vitamin C, which will boost your immune system.  Not to mention it’s delicious!  I had a glass with every meal, and a small glass right before bed to help prevent mucus build-up while I slept.

The third remedy I used during this illness was Apple Cider Vinegar.  I have to admit, I think I drove my boyfriend crazy whenever I was sick.  Any time I started to feel under the weather, he suggested I have a glass of apple cider vinegar, but I always refused.  And I KNOW how many wonderful health benefits it has, but I just couldn’t get pass the taste and smell.  Until this bug, that is.  I felt SO congested that the potent smell could not deter me, but I was determined to make it taste (somewhat) good!

Apple Cider Vinegar, Honey, and Lemon Hot DrinkHere’s what I did:

In a mug of hot water, I stirred in 2 teaspoons of Apple Cider Vinegar, 2 teaspoons of Honey, and 1-2 tablespoons of Lemon Juice.

There are multiple reasons this drink is a great remedy for congestion and mucus/phlegm:  Apple Cider Vinegar, like pineapple juice, thins mucus.  Honey helps fight infections and soothes your throat.  Lemon also thins mucus, gives you extra vitamin c, and helps flush toxins out of your body.  Warm liquids are also soothing to your throat and help break up mucus.

I had this drink three times a day, and like the other home remedies I shared, it gave me instant relief while actually helping me get better (instead of just masking symptoms).

There you have it, these were the main home remedies for sinus and chest congestion that were most beneficial for me.  While I hope none of you catch the flu, if you do, I hope these remedies will help speed up your recovery!

Disclaimer:  I am in no way a doctor, and these home remedies are only suggestions of what worked for me.  They are not intended as a diagnosis or prescription, and should not be in place of medical treatment and/or advice from a professional.  Please always consult your doctor first, before trying any home remedies.

Detox Bath: Home Remedy for Cold & Flu Season

As I sit here writing this post, my boyfriend is sick and I’m starting to feel like I’m catching whatever he has.  Oh no!  Temperatures are dropping outside, it’s wet, and the air is frigid… It’s cold and flu season.  Perhaps even more so for us because we’re transitioning to a new, colder climate!  Well, as I try not to think about that fact, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to share what I have come to find as the miracle home remedy for when I’m feeling ill… The detox bath.

I first stumbled upon the detox bath on Pinterest (surprise surprise), where I found my go to recipe on the blog Beauty Bets.

Ginger Detox BathHere’s what you need:

  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Baking Soda
  • Ground Ginger

Here’s what you do:

  1. Draw a hot bath, as hot as you can possibly stand it.  You want to SWEAT, I mean, seriously sweat.  This will help you release toxins.
  2. The original recipe suggests you add three pints of hydrogen peroxide (3%), but I usually only add about half of a large bottle.  Hydrogen peroxide supposedly helps to oxygenate the body and help expel toxins.  It is also antiviral and antibacterial.
  3. Add about 1 cup of baking soda.  The original recipe does not include baking soda, however, after reading about detox baths on Healthy Living How To I now add it to any bath I take.  Baking soda helps neutralize chemicals (such as chlorine) and increases mineral absorption.
  4. Add 3 tablespoons of ground ginger.  Ginger is anti-inflammatory and helps increase blood circulation.  I’ve taken baths both with and without it, and I found that the ginger definitely helps you sweat more!
  5. Soak in the tub for about 30 minutes, or as long as you can stand it.  PLEASE listen to your own body!  Depending on how I feel, I will soak anywhere from 15 minutes to the full 30 minutes.  Don’t overdo it!
  6. Drink LOTS of water before, during, and after.  You want to replenish your body after sweating out all those toxins.

Tips:  I personally only take detox baths when my boyfriend is home, as you do sweat profusely and can feel a little lightheaded.  Better safe than sorry!  Also, please stand up slowly when getting out of the tub.

When you’re rinsing off, please use only natural soap that is free of harmful chemicals.  You’ve opened your pores from the hot bath and released a bunch of toxins; you don’t want to add them back into your body!

I only take this bath right before bed because it does wear you out, and makes your body will feel a bit like jello.   I usually chug a few glasses of water and go straight to sleep.  And boy, do I sleep!  This bath makes me sleep like a baby, and by the time I wake up I feel SO much better.

I’ve taken this bath during varying degrees of sickness, and I ALWAYS feel some percentage of better the next day.  I’d say somewhere between 75-100% better every single time.  It may just be the placebo effect, or the fact that the bath forces me to drink more water and get a good night’s sleep.  But considering any time I take this bath, a cold that would usually last a few weeks only lasts a couple of days… with those results, I think I’ll continue this home remedy regardless!

Here are a few other variations I often use:

Epsom Salt Detox BathHere’s what you need:

  • Baking soda
  • Epsom salt

Almost all of the directions from above apply to all detox baths.  You want the hottest bath you can stand, you want to drink lots of water, and you want to use chemical free soap when rinsing off.

  1. For this bath, I add about 2 cups of Epsom salt, which helps draw out toxins.  Epsom salt also helps decrease bloating.
  2. I also add about 1 cup of baking soda.  Again, baking soda helps neutralize chemicals.
  3. Soak for about 30 minutes.  I usually take this bath when I’m not feeling well because of my own doing.  Perhaps I’ve been eating too much sugar and junk, or have been drinking a bit too much alcohol.  This bath is great for a general detox to rejuvenate your body.

Lavender Detox BathAnother variation I do is basically the same as the recipe above, but I had 5-10 drops of lavender oil to the bath.  I especially like this bath when I feel bloated or stressed out (or both!).  Lavender has a calming effect and, again, Epsom salt is great for decreasing bloat.

In case you need some extra help, here are a few other things I do when I’m sick:  I up my intake of Vitamin C, and I take Goldenseal Echinacea drops three times a day.  You can find Goldenseal at most health food stores, I bought mine at Whole Foods.

Well, I think I’ll definitely be taking my general detox bath tonight.  Hopefully that will prevent me from fully catching my boyfriend’s illness!  I hope these detox baths help you survive cold and flu season!

Disclaimer:  I am not a doctor, and these recipes are only suggestions of remedies that work for me.  They are not intended as a diagnosis or prescription, and should not be in place of medical treatment and/or advice from a professional.  Please always consult your doctor first before trying any home remedies.