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How To Get Rid of Phlegm and Mucus

Medically reviewed by Michael Henry Wanat · Respiratory Therapy

Written by Jen Mallari · Updated Apr 20, 2022

    How To Get Rid of Phlegm and Mucus

    Though more commonly associated with illness, phlegm and mucus can help keep bacteria and other external substances out of our system. 

    However, too much phlegm and mucus can become quite bothersome and cause problems. How can we determine if these natural substances are excessive? What are the possible remedies that could alleviate excess phlegm and mucus? 

    Phlegm and mucus

    Managing Phlegm and Mucus: How To Treat Wet Cough

    Wet cough, or also known as productive cough, can be treated using home remedies and OTC medications. Though effective, certain OTC medications can cause possible side effects.

    OTC Medications for Wet Cough


    This type of medication has multiple uses since it can treat nasal problems such as having a stuffy nose and decongesting mucus. Also, this medication can treat swelling caused by hemorrhoids (swollen veins in the lower rectum). 

    Phenylephrine can either be taken as an oral medication or it can also be mixed with other medications that treat flu symptoms. 

    It is important for an individual to know if this type of medication for phlegm and mucus is safe for them to take by asking a doctor. This is because phenylephrine cannot be used under certain circumstances, for instance, if a person is taking anti-depressant drugs, or if they have heart problems. Phenylephrine is also highly addictive.


    This medication is used to soothe chest congestion and chest congestion is a type of condition wherein phlegm and mucus build-up occurs. 

    This medication does not actually get rid of what caused the chest congestion. However, this helps lessen the amount of phlegm and mucus by making a person cough it up.

    Over time, this would clear the airway and make breathing much easier. 

    Again, before using this medication, consult a doctor in order to know if this medicine can be safely taken. 

    Robitussin Mucus & Phlegm 

    This medication aids in loosening mucus that has become too thick and this also loosens the bronchial secretions in order to make coughing much easier. The easier it is for a person to cough the better, since coughing up mucus is the best way to get rid of it. 

    Hypertonic Saline

    This medication is a type of solution that increases the level of salt in the airways. The abundance of salt in the airways would attract water, and water thins out mucus over time. This is also why doctors often recommend that a person hydrate whenever they have a wet cough. 

    Dornase Alfa

    This medication is used to loosen and thin out mucus. It cuts off the DNA, which is responsible for making the consistency of mucus thick and sticky. Thick mucus may lead to the blockage of airways, thus making it hard for a person to breathe. 

    This medication not only helps in thinning out mucus but also prevents the likelihood of respiratory tract infections. It is typically given through direct physician care.

    Natural Wet Cough Remedies for Phlegm and Mucus 

    Phlegm and mucus

    Lemon and Honey 

    This reduces the likelihood of coughing too much and at the same time, it loosens thick mucus as well. Lemon has Vitamin C in them and that is a great combatant against mucus bacteria. 

    Saltwater Gargle 

    This remedy helps with removing mucus from a person’s respiratory tract. 

    Inhaling Steam 

    The fumes or vapor that comes from eucalyptus oil does well in loosening phlegm in the throat. This makes it easier for a person to breathe and feel relieved of coughing as well. 

    Increase Fluid Intake 

    Proper hydration helps a lot when it comes to thinning out mucus. Aside from this, ample water intake can improve our overall health.

    Drink Black Coffee

    Black coffee helps with shortness of breath. Caffeine helps loosen the tightness in a person’s airway, making it easier to breathe.

    Consume Spicy Food

    Spicy foods can, to some extent, help in clearing out clogged nasal passages and blocked sinuses. 

    Have Some Ginger Tea

    Ginger provides relief when it comes to phlegm and mucus build-up. 

    When To Seek Help From a Doctor

    It is important to seek medical help once phlegm and mucus do not go away, even after taking medications and home remedies. Also, when a person starts to spot something unusual, like blood in the mucus, then they must visit a hospital immediately. This is to avoid any severe conditions from happening. 

    Learn more about managing cough and other respiratory issues here.


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Michael Henry Wanat

    Respiratory Therapy

    Written by Jen Mallari · Updated Apr 20, 2022

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