When mucus and phlegm build up in your nasal passages or throat, you feel just plain awful. You might experience a persistent cough, have trouble breathing, or feel tightness in your chest. When you come down with a cold, your first thought might be the find the cold medicine in the back of your medicine cabinet, but there are several natural remedies that can help.

Here are five natural remedies that remove phlegm and mucus fast:

1. Ginger

As a natural remedy, ginger’s hard to beat. Ginger works as a natural decongestant as well as an antihistamine. It has powerful antiviral and antibacterial properties that work to strengthen the immune system and get rid of any illness. Ginger also has the power to soothe congestion by drying out excessive mucus. Chew 3-4 raw ginger slices a day or drink ginger tea several times daily. Also consider trying ginger essential oil in your water, soup, or smoothie. (1)

Ginger Tea for Congestion


  • 6-7 pieces of ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of honey for antiseptic properties
  • 1 teaspoon of black peppercorn to help fight infection
  • 2 cups of water


  1. Heat the water in a pan, then add the ginger and peppercorns when it starts to simmer.
  2. Cover the pan and let it to boil for 1 minute, then lower the hear.
  3. Simmer for 5-7 minutes until the mixture turns a pale yellow color.
  4. Strain and add 1 tablespoon of honey.
  5. Drink 2-3 times a day to soothe congestion.

2. Honey And Lemon

Honey is a powerful antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal that works to soothe an irritated respiratory tract. The high Vitamin C content in lemon gives the immune system a boost to help clear your airway. And these natural remedies go hand-in-hand. Put them together and you have a natural cold and cough treatment! (2, 3)

Honey-Lemon Syrup


  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon of honey


  1. In a bowl, mix the honey and lemon juice and stir well.
  2. Drink 3 times a day to relieve congestion.

3. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar helps the body maintain a healthy pH balance, which prevents excess mucus production. Like lemons, vinegar is acidic, but it’s alkalizing to the body during digestion. Simply add 1 tablespoon of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar to a glass of water and mix. Drink 2-3 times a day to help eliminate phlegm. You can also gargle with this mixture to help soothe a sore throat. (4)

4. Turmeric

Turmeric, and its active compound curcumin, in particular, has powerful medicinal properties. A spice used in Indian cuisine, turmeric boasts antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fungal elements. In fact, it’s able to destroy bacteria in the body that makes you sick! For example, add turmeric and salt to water, then gargle the mix to help fight infections and soothe a sore throat. (5)


  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt for antibacterial properties
  • 1 glass of warm water to calm an irritated throat


  1. Add 1 tablespoon of turmeric to a glass of warm water.
  2. Add the salt the stir and gargle with the solution.
  3. Repeat 3-4 times a day to loosen mucus and reduce phlegm buildup in the throat.
Also try this warm, delicious Golden Turmeric Milk

5. Nasal Irrigation

So we all know where we feel the most congestion, right? In the nose! While steaming hasn’t been found to be consistently effective, nasal irrigation has. The Neti pot is a tool you can use to clear out mucus buildup. Clearing the nasal passages will help also with post-nasal drip, an irritating condition that leads to sore throat pain. (6)

Watch this video on how to use a Neti pot.


Additional Sources:
Healthy Food House
Dr. Axe