Chest congestion can spell more than a spot of bother for most people but the condition can be easily treated with both over-the-counter medicines and home remedies. Chest congestion is one of the symptoms of respiratory tract infections. It is caused by an accumulation of mucus or fluids in the lungs. In the condition most people experience discomfort coupled with cough due to the obstruction of the air passages. Some also report difficulty in breathing and pain.
The following home remedies including OTC drug Ascoril have been found to provide fast and effective relief to most people suffering from chest congestion.
Ascoril, an OTC drug syrup contains Levosalbutamol, Ambroxol and Guaifenesin as its active ingredients. The strength of the ingredients is varied to give different variants of the syrup. Ascoril works by thinning the mucus present in the airways of the lungs to provide relief from dry cough. It thins the mucus or phlegm to clear the excess mucus through a cough.
Levosalbutamol acts to relax the muscles of the airways, while Guaifenesin also helps in mucus clearance.
These three ingredients work together as they diffuse the thick mucus.
The medicine must be consumed as per prescribed directions on the label. It is important to take the medicine in the prescribed dosage. Increase or decrease the dosage only on the advice of a doctor. Ascoril Cough Syrup may be taken with or without food, but it is advisable to take the medicine at fixed intervals for best results.
Like most medicines Ascoril too, comes with side effects. The side effects of Ascoril include restlessness, tiredness and vomiting. Increased heart rate and diarrhea have also been reported.
The medicine usually takes from one to three days to provide relief to most patients.
However, patients taking Ascoril should not drive a vehicle or operate heavy machinery. The medicine is known to cause drowsiness and patients are advised against driving a vehicle or operating heavy machinery during treatment with the medicine.
2. Salt Water
Gargling with warm salt water has been known to effectively clear chest congestion since ages. The age-old remedy works to thin the mucus that accumulates in the throat. It also has a soothing effect which gives instant relief from the discomfort caused by persistent coughing.
To prepare the remedy, add a half-teaspoon of salt to a glass of warm water. Then stir the water to dissolve the salt. For quick relief, gargle a few times a day. Allow the water to sit at the back of your throat for some time to feel the warmth.
3. Inhale Steam
Water in the air you breathe in loosens the mucus and helps clear congestion. A few minutes of exposure to steam in a steam room would be ideal, but you can experience a similar effect and benefit by inhaling the steam from a bowl filled with hot water. Be careful to hold your face above the water, several inches, to avoid burns. Stretch a towel over your head to confine the steam.
A humidifier installed in your room to moisten the air 24/7 is even better, as it fights congestion even as you sleep.
4. Soup up on soup
Soup is super effective against stubborn congestion and a steamy bowl of soup helps zap the mucous out of the airways in the most delectable way. It therefore, beats the other remedies hands down on ease and convenience. Also, with each sip you breathe in more humid air, which further helps with congestion. Some medical professionals also maintain that certain herbs, like thyme may also help relieve cough. So a soup garnished with such herbs might offer extra benefits.
5. Onion Extract and onion poultice
One of the best remedies to treat congestion is also perhaps the most unpopular thanks to the taste it leaves in the mouth. Onion contains quercetin, which works to clear mucous and also blocks its build-up. Furthermore, thanks to its antimicrobial action, onion also averts infections. Take onion juice and add it to a mix of honey, lemon juice, and water. Heat the mixture. Drink a glass of the concoction warm 3-4 times a day.
Onion poultice- Chop two medium sized onions into small pieces a quarter inch thick. Heat some water in a saucepan. Add only enough water to cover the bottom of the saucepan and boil. Reduce the heat once it starts boiling.
Use a sieve and add the finely chopped onion pieces. Steam and stir the onion pieces over the saucepan for a few minutes till they become soft.
Cool and drain the onions and spread them in the middle of a clean cotton towel. Fold the four corners of the towel and tie off the corners with a string.
Let the poultice cool enough and place it directly on the patient’s chest. The poultice often makes patient cough which allows the congestion to ease. The patient should be encouraged to cough up as much phlegm as possible. The poultice is best applied for twenty to thirty minutes.
Make a fresh poultice each day as fresh onions give the best results.
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