Ginger has been used to loosen and break up congestion for hundreds of years. A natural decongestant and antihistamine, it is often included in herbal remedies and teas that are designed for people recovering from colds, bronchitis, and sinusitis. Ginger dries out excessive mucus secretions and stimulates their removal. It may increase coughing initially, but the coughing should be more productive than it was before, and it should gradually taper off. Ginger is so concentrated that it is not necessary to take much of it in order to benefit.
Ginger for phlegm relief
Chew a ¼ to ½ slice of ginger root.
Drink ginger tea.
- Pour a cup of boiling water over ½ tsp. of ginger root.
- Add lemon juice and honey to your tea.
Take a ginger bath.
- Pour several cups of ginger tea into your bathwater, or add ¼ cup of powdered ginger to the bath.
Make a ginger poultice.
- Steep fresh grated or powdered ginger in hot water
- Pound to make a paste.
- Add two drops of thyme or eucalyptus essential oil
- Apply liberally to chest and leave on for as long as desired or until it becomes uncomfortably hot.
Eat ginger candy. Ginger candy is especially useful if you are traveling, as it is small and portable.
Why It Works
Ginger is warming, and improves the circulation, helping the body to excrete toxins more efficiently. Ginger also contains a substance called shagaol, which is thought to kill cold viruses.
If taken in excess ginger may cause heartburn, diarrhea or oral discomfort. Consult a doctor before taking ginger if you have gallstones. If you are about to undergo surgery or be placed under anesthesia and you are taking ginger, tell your doctor. If you are taking blood-thinning medication or have a bleeding disorder, do not take ginger.