Phlegm is a thick mucus or gel that blocks your throat and nasal passages, usually when there is a viral or bacterial infection in the respiratory system. Your body produces phlegm when there are excessive toxins in your body. The natural reaction is to try to cough it out. However excessive coughing can damage the lining of your throat. Some people prescribe honey & lemon drinks, some take bitter herbs or gargle with salt water when they have a sore throat. What about nuts; some people say they are too dry, but they have many beneficial oils. Which remedy is the best to get rid of phlegm and soothe your throat?
First, honey & lemon both have strong anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. (Only buy organic honey as most non-organic honeys are processed at high temperatures that kill most of the enzymes in it.) Honey & lemon juice added to boiling water initially soothes the throat then it continues the healing process by killing the virus or bacteria that's causing the mucus.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) says that excessive phlegm is a condition of the lungs, kidneys and spleen. When your immune system is weak and cold air enters your lungs or your kidneys the cold moisture in your body condenses and thickens to form phlegm. Bitter herbs and food strengthens your lungs, kidneys and spleen so that they can work together to get rid of phlegm. Alfalfa, bitter melon, romaine lettuce, citrus rind, asparagus, fennel and celery are some common vegetables that help loosen phlegm, push it down your throat and through your digestive system to the bowels. Other more potent bitter herbs are chamomile, dandelion (leaf and root), fennel (vegetable and seeds), horseradish, chaparral, burdock, echinacea, and yarrow. Fresh leaves, grated roots or small seeds can be added to salads. Dried leaves, roots and larger seeds can be added to cooking or brewed as a tea. Dandelion root ground up makes a great coffee substitute.
Many nuts are also useful for getting rid of phlegm. Almonds and walnuts are bitter foods that loosen phlegm. They warm the lungs and relieve asthmatic symptoms. Hazelnuts fortify the spleen and gives your body more energy to fight disease. Nuts are best roasted on low heat in the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes to bring out their oils and flavor. Once you smell the flavor coming from the oven turn it off. (Any longer you will burn them and dry them out.)
Gargling with salt water or eating sea vegetables loosens phlegm that is sticking to the sides of the throat. The salty flavour partially dissolves the phlegm so that it can be eliminated. Sea vegetables are rich in essential minerals like iodine, calcium, magnesium and potassium. The mineral salts in sea vegetables work together to mop up toxins in the body (including phlegm) and take them to the bowels.
Other cleansing foods like onions, garlic, kale, cabbage, apples, avocados, grapefruit and various berries are also great for restoring the nutrient balance of your body then your immune system can function efficiently to get rid of unwanted bacteria. The worst thing you can consume is milk or natural yogurt as these tend to cause more phlegm.
"If we eat wrongly, No doctor can cure us: if we eat rightly, No doctor is needed."
– Victor G. Rocine, Circa 1930