12 Tips For Reducing Mucus Buildup In The Lungs


    Mucus as most people are unaware is actually found everywhere in the human body. It’s a viscid watery substance, slippery to feel and is present because it has an important function to perform.

    It’s produced by the mucous membranes and helps to protect the membranes in the body, and fight infections. As with most things, too much of a good thing can become a bad thing, and it is no different with mucus.

    When the body starts to produce too much mucus, it accumulates in the lungs among other areas, and the problems begin.

    Coughing, breathing trouble, chest pain, discomfort in the chest area, and fatigue are some of the symptoms that characterise the build-up of mucus in the lungs.

    This build-up is often an early warning that something is wrong in the body and it is best that a health care provider is consulted without delay.

    A quick overview of what causes the build-up of mucus in the lungs before proceeding to tips to reduce the build-up:

    Cystic Fibrosis

    A hereditary disease, caused mainly due to a genetic defect that interferes with the natural production of mucus in the body. The mucus becomes abnormally thick and sticky and patients are often prone to various respiratory infections, lung problems and growths in the nasal passage.

    The perspiration of patients with cystic fibrosis is very salty due to an imbalance in salt and water in the body.


    Smoking is most often the primary cause for chronic bronchitis; in fact it is often referred to being a smoker’s disease. Present in the lungs are bronchial tubes which are useful in transporting air into and out of the lungs.

    With bronchitis, the tubes become inflamed and there is a build-up of mucus that needs constant clearing. Other symptoms of bronchitis include wheezing, fatigue, shortness of breath and a cough that simply will not go away. This disease is referred to as COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.


    A cough that produces mucus that is yellow or green in colour and possibly spotted with blood, it is generally the most common symptom of pneumonia. It is a disease of the lungs that becomes inflamed due to a fungal, viral or bacterial infection.

    Other symptoms of the disease include fever, chills, breathing difficulty, headache, fatigue and confusion. Pneumonia can be a fatal disease if not checked in time.


    There are small air sacs called alveoli in the lungs; it is here that the lifesaving exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide occurs. When the sac walls lose their elasticity, they become inflamed and lead to emphysema. Instead of the free flow of oxygen in the lungs, it gets trapped.

    Emphysema is characterised by a build-up of mucus causing a chronic cough, respiratory infection, loss of appetite and fatigue. Emphysema is classified as COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease caused mainly due to smoking.

    12 Tips to Reduce Mucus Build-up in the Lungs:

    What 93% Of Mucus, Snot & Phlegm is Caused By…

    93% of all Chronic Sinusitis and Mucus is due to an immune/allergic reaction to fungi, mold, yeast or Candida. I highly recommend you check out Yeast No More, a great eBook on how to reduce and even cure your Candida/Yeast and get rid of that mucus!

    1. Anti-inflammatory Oils

    Most often inflammation in the lungs leads to excessive mucus production. According to research done by the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC), a regular intake of anti-inflammatory oils can help to reduce the build-up of mucus.

    Omega-3 fatty acids that come from these foods is specifically linked to reducing inflammation, which in turn can reduce the mucus build-up in the lungs. The oil is found in a variety of foods including several cold water fish such as mackerel, tuna, salmon, lake trout and sardines; walnuts, flaxseed, flaxseed oil and walnut oil.

    2. Herbal RemediesMucus Clear

    Herbs are known for their antibiotic and other health benefits. Herbs such as Echinacea and Goldenseal can be used to treat infections causing the production of mucus.

    The most powerful herbal remedy I’ve ever seen or personally used is a natural tincture called Mucus-Clear. After couple of drops I could immediately feel my lungs releasing and mucus clearing out. 

    Mucus-Clear, is an FDA-registered natural remedy containing 100% homeopathic ingredients selected to reduce phlegm and relieve throat clearing from thick mucus.

    Herbal remedies combined with some exercise and fresh air can considerably help in reducing the build-up of mucus by detoxifying your body, bringing a balance to the flora in the intestines. This helps to boost the immune system and promote improvement in health.

    3. Steam Inhalation

    An age old home remedy that grandmas used to recommend; steam inhalation helps to expel mucus and reduce its build-up. Steam inhalation helps to break up the mucus making it easier to bring out.

    Eucalyptus essential oil added to the steaming water is additionally beneficial in cutting the mucus. Cover well to control the steam from escaping, leaving over the inhaling device and take deep breaths. Special steam inhalation devices are available on the market.

    Cover up well after an inhalation session to avoid the mucus from building up again.

    4.Drinking Water

    It is possible to naturally cut the build-up of mucus by drinking lots of water. Water is known to flush the system and clear toxins. At times the build-up of toxins in the body can cause the infection to worsen, producing excess mucus.

    Sometimes, coughing without straining and then drinking water stops the mucus from building up. Staying well hydrated helps to thin out the mucus and expels it as well.

    5. Smoking

    Smokers with mucus problems need to stop smoking, there is simply no other way to clear the mucus and stop the infection. If not a smoker then avoiding smoke laden areas is essential to prevent mucus from building up.

    Smoke inhalation and nicotine are notorious for causing production of mucus; it is also the primary cause of bronchitis and emphysema. A “no smoking” policy combined with exercise will help to reduce the mucus build-up in the lungs considerably.

    I go much more in depth on what “not to do” in the ‘Holy Grail’ of Why Am I Unhealthy…

    6. Elderflower Remedy

    A mixture of dried elder flowers with cool water is said to reduce the production of mucus. It is recommended by alternative medicine practitioners and appears to work well for some people.

    The mixture needs to be left to sit for a period of two hours and then heated to drinkable temperature prior to consumption. This practice should be followed at least thrice daily to reduce mucus.

    Elderflower is safe to consume and has no side effects.

    7. Probiotics

    Helpful bacteria are referred to as probiotics and are found in certain fermented foods and cultured dairy products. The purpose of helpful bacteria is to protect the body from harmful bacteria and to enhance digestion.

    According to an article in the Journal of Dairy Science, probiotics in conjunction with other therapy can help to reduce mucus levels in the intestines. The same principle of healthy bacteria promoting optimum health can be extended to help reduce the mucus build-up in the lungs.

    This can be achieved by consuming various probiotic fortified foods regularly. These foods include fermented milk, fermented soy products, buttermilk, and certain beverages like kombucha.

    8. Vegetables and Fruits

    In order to boost the defence mechanisms of the body, it requires antioxidants such as vitamin C and beta-carotene. Fresh vegetables and fruits are excellent sources of these vital antioxidants.

    The antioxidants work had to promote healing and prevent infection related to mucus production and build-up.

    Some of the best fruits and vegetables to reduce mucus build up include onions, bell peppers, leafy greens, celery, parsley, garlic, horseradish, lemon, watercress, broccoli, tomatoes, berries, kiwi, citrus fruits and cherries.

    It is recommended that people with mucus problems limit their intake or avoid altogether cabbages, bananas and potatoes, which are believed to increase the production of mucus.

    9. Drug Therapies

    I never recommend potentially harmful synthetic substances as a treatment option… especially when HIGHLY effective natural remedies like Mucus-Clear, utilizing Kali bich (6C), Kali mur (6X), Kali sulph (6X) are available without a prescription. 

    Other treatments include: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce declines in lung function that results in mucus build-up; Bronchodilators that help to widen breathing tubes; Decongestants that help in reducing membrane swelling; Mucolytics to thin out the mucus; antibiotics to cure lung infections and stop the production of mucus.

    10. Diet12-tips-to-reducing-mucus-buildup-in-the-lungs

    The diet consumed determines the health condition of the individual. There are foods that cause allergies and increase the production of mucus. A diet low in nutrients, rich in processed foods and unhealthy fats often leads to food allergies. A change in dietary habits will lead to reduced mucus production.

    11. Supplements

    Maintaining a healthy diet supplemented with vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc and cod liver oil helps to prevent the build-up of mucus. These supplements help to breakdown and eliminate mucus effectively.

    12. Soy Alternative

    Soy is naturally rich in protein. It is a legume and belongs to the Asian variety of vegetarian foods. Soy beans, soy milk, soy yoghurt and soy cheese provide calcium and do not cause mucus to build-up. It is considered the ideal alternative to regular dairy products such as milk that tends to thicken the mucus.

    Mucus or phlegm is bothersome and often leads to constant coughing and throat clearing that can actually be quite embarrassing. For some people, fortunately the problem is only temporary, for others it leads to more serious infections and health problems.

    Health by choice, not by chance.

    David Aston

    Hey I'm David, founder of Unhealthy Fix & author of Why You're Unhealthy & What To Do About It. I help people all over the world dramatically improve their health, safely and naturally, without breaking the bank.

    About David Aston

    Hey I’m David, founder of Unhealthy Fix & author of Why You’re Unhealthy & What To Do About It. I help people all over the world dramatically improve their health, safely and naturally, without breaking the bank.

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    35 comments so far… Leave a reply

    1. Charles

      Thanks for your medical advice. Please, explain to me clearly on how i can get rid of this mucus as suspected. I was a smoker and i have consumed a lot of antibiotics but still not comfortable to relax my breath. Please help me. Cheers!

      • Rich

        Maybe. Tonight after two months my "Phlegm" gave up. Too much Antibotics and blood pressure too high (???) But on Monday off Antibotics and a diff blood pressure med. It worked what can I say. It's only been an hours or so but feel so much better. Shortness of breath better = more energy

    2. doll

      i want to know more about this topic plz tell more remedies for bronchisties....thanks

    3. benard

      I live with chronic cough since from my childhood and up to now. The major challenge is i have never spoken nice voice which is so embarasing especially when talking in the public. Have tried almost all type of antibiotic but have failed. Too much mucus in the lung sometimes am not able to talk. Lack of appatite, sweting. No chest paine, not even loosening weight. Some help please

    4. Mohammed Lamine Facih

      I really appreciate these valuable information and would like to thank you for this,but I think I still did not find what I need because I am ill since 2010 and was couphing and sneezing due to cold . Now I do not sneeze a lot but I produce a lot of phlegm.This phlegm is white and sticky that I throw it hardly in addition to a noise when I try to force out the air. Because of this I suffer a very hard breathing ,great tiredness and my head aches. I need your advise to know what I am really suffering and how to get over this problem.

      • Lakshmi

        You will notice a big difference if you stop eating wheat products and dairy products. This website says soy is good instead of dairy but soy also produces mucus. Try nut milks or rice or oat milk. Easy to make nut milks, just a handful of nuts and water then blend and sieve :)

        • David Aston

          Great advice. Thanks for the input Lakshmi.

        • Nalini Persad

          Lakshmi,Your tips are useful. But can you tell which nuts are best for this, seeing that their are many nuts, including Coconut?Many thanks in advance.

        • Trish

          Quick fyi, From what I understand, when digestion is compromised people may also become sensitive or intolerant to nuts and seeds thus causing mucus.Also, be wary that oats may not be gluten free. (They make gluten free oat flour so there must be a reason for this.)

    5. Becky VanderLind

      An article on FB came up on my phone just suggesting that foods might have something to do with mucus production and included a picture chart with foods that increase or reduce mucus. I've had YEARS in increasing misery of blocked, swollen, & infected sinuses being treated with nasal sprays, allergy meds, nasal surgeries, nasal irrigators, creams, anti-depressants, and psychiatric evaluations because I was considered crazy because "there's nothing there." I started researching today and the article called "Empty Nose Syndrome" by Dr.Murray Grossan had Dr. -patient conversations that were verbatim of my office exams (that resulted inmy "crazy" diagnosis and Dr.'s extreme anger at me. I still have constant thick mucus drainage from my sinuses that interferes with my entire life. I have blisters & scars from my nostrils to my upper lips from constant mucus and irritation, have developed nodules on my vocal chords, from continual coughing fits, lose my voice for 3 - 4 months each year from sinus infections that go into colds and chest which put me in the ER (by squad from an urgent care because my oxygen level was in the 70's). I've been a singer all my life and this is horrible for me.I always feel as if I can't breathe and am oxygen starved. I haven't talk to Dr.'s about this for about 3 years because my patient records get forwarded along & the suggestion that I'm a nutcase tends to shorten their patience & I get the same attitude rather quickly. But get this, that last Dr.'s office keeps annually sends me a 12 month prescription for that antidepressant. Has anyone else had such discouraging experiences?? I DON'T want the attention. I'd love not having to ever go to any of these doctors again in my life.

      • Trish

        Try a Nutritionist and/or a Naturopathic practitioner. Or a Functional Medicine M.D. Or speak with an Ayurveda practitioner. Chiropractors often have digestive healing protocols as well.Do searches on the web for mucous reducing diets and healing protocols.Best to you.

    6. David Brennan

      Nate Parnham: Please don't display your ignorance! There are several different ways - all correct - to spell the word yogurt, yoghurt, yaort and so forth. AQs Samuel Johnson said: It is best to sit with your mouth closed and appear a fool than to open it and prove it!

      • David Aston

        Great quote David. ;)

      • David Aston

        Great quote David

    7. Scott Ellis

      They say water is good to drink while sick but right now when I drink water it feels like its going into my lungs rather than my stomach

      • David Aston

        Scott, you need fluids when you're sick, especially water. You should not feel like it's going into your lungs.If I were in your situation, I'd take very small sips of water and consider using thickener until I was swallowing sufficiently.In skilled nursing we would use "thickened" liquids for our patients that had aspiration issues. You may want to look into this when your ill (especially if you feel like it's getting into your respiratory tract) to avoid further complications like pneumonia.

      • David Aston

        Scott, you need fluids when you're sick, especially water. You should not feel like it's going into your lungs.If I were in your situation, I'd take very small sips of water and consider using thickener until I was swallowing sufficiently.In skilled nursing we would use "thickened" liquids for our patients that had aspiration issues.You may want to look into this when your ill (especially if you feel like it's getting into your respiratory tract) to avoid further complications like pneumonia.

        • Suzzanne McGowan

          Nice advice David. As a Speech Pathologist, I can attest to the fact that if you are "aspirating" water, or as you said it is going in your lungs, there are several strategies to avoid this from happening including thickening your liquids as David suggested. You can take small sips and position your chin down toward your chest at the moment you swallow. If these swallowing problems continue you can have your doctor refer you to a Speech Pathologist for treatment and exercises for a "safe swallow". The risks associated with swallowing problems or "Dysphagia" can result in pneumonia, respiratory compromise and even worse. So I would advise you don't ignore it.

          • David Aston

            Thank you so much for your feedback and great advice Suzanne. You're very much appreciated.

    8. Jagannathdas

      Hi , im having a phlegm for past year , after taking medication my phlegm still existing . Im suffering with cough for a past year,plz advice

    9. cwm9


    10. Linda Brown

      Hi have ques about copd. Is there a certain pill to take that will increase energy. There are so many supplements to take. I need to know if there is a certain vitamin or supplement to take every day that will not make her feel tired aside from multivitamin? Will be visiting my mom next week and want to know what to tell her. She also wants to build up her immune system before she moves back home. Please advise since u seem to know a lot about health and wellness thank u pls post ideas here

    11. Official Mucus Clear Review: Does It Really Clear Mucus & Phlegm? | Why Am I Unhealthy?

      […] Also be sure to check out my 12 tips for reducing mucus buildup here. […]

    12. Alex Sharma

      I had got cough and cold before 3 months and now cough is almost gone. but now i am getting allergy in lung[i think] in every 3/4 days. its not making any difficulty for me to breath but i can hear some king of sound from lung while breathing. doctor is saying its syntoms of Asthma and he asked me to take Theophylline tblets.is there any medicine to remove it completely by doctor doesn't asked to take any medicine.I think there is still mucus or somthing on my lung airways. i dont think its Asthma.any advice would much appreciated!!!

    13. Tiya

      Very informative :)

    14. Newton

      Although it may be difficult to identify the prominent symptoms of walking pneumonia, a chest X-ray can be of great help.

    15. ann

      Hi im ann and i am doing a science fair project on cystic fibrosis ... I think that tumeric would help and it is easy to put in into any food.

    16. Dewitt

      This post actually made my day. You can not imagine how much time I had spent for this information! I can't seem to shake the mucus. Thanks!

    17. Alex Frazier

      Thanks for this article. I presently have indigestion problems and mucus in the longs due to a chest cold. I'm going to take action immediately.

    18. Allergies cause mucus in lungs

      […] A quick overview of what causes the build-up of mucus in the lungs before … 93% of all Chronic Sinusitis and Mucus is due to an immune/allergic reaction to … [more] […]

    19. 7 Steps to Relieve A Chronic Cough | Why Am I Unhealthy?

      […] If excessive mucus is an issue for you, here are 12 tips to reduce mucus buildup. […]

    20. prakash

      Hi David, your recommendations ,means a lot ! thanks for the advice. people like you, really change the world, make it a better living place ! cheers ! Prakash V M

    21. karen

      so the mucus-clear seems pretty legit...but expensive.. does anyone know how to get the active ingredients in a cheaper way or dietarily? the kali sulphate, kali bichromium, or kali muriaticum?

    22. Sheila

      You seriously have no idea how important your articles are to me and my well-being. This particular mucus-relieving post helped alleviate just about all respiratory distress I was suffering through - it's only been about 60 days of consistency with the changes. At first i was taking the MucusClear Daily. Now it's only about once a week if that! Something is definitely working as I've been suffering with congestion and breathing problems for the better part of two years now.I am incredibly grateful for you and your efforts! :)Thank you and please keep up the hard work.-Sheila

      • David Aston

        I am beyond elated to hear that you're finding relief with my content. It's people like yourself that make this entire endeavor worth doing.Sifting through the noise of this industry and revealing what's really what takes much time, money and effort - with little reward. Thank you for sharing your positive experiences with not only myself but everybody else in our ever growing community of individuals keenly aware of the importance of each of our own personal temples - our bodies.Appreciate you!-David


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