Phlegm is nothing but the gelatinous substance secreted by the mucus membranes in mammals. Its definition is limited to the mucus produced by the respiratory system, excluding that from the nasal passages, and particularly that which is expelled by coughing (sputum).
The body itself is a mucus making machine. It produces around 1 to 1.5 litres of phlegm everyday when the body is in optimum health. If the amount of phlegm increases beyond this amount then that means that the body is suffering from an infection.
While coughing up only a little clear phlegm is considered normal, larger amounts of phlegm may indicate a developing infection. This occurs as a result of the respiratory tract becoming inflamed, which also leads to coughing. In turn, this coughing speeds up the rate for which the infection affects a person.
Despite their similar appearances, there is a considerable amount of differences between “mucus” and “phlegm”. They are enumerated below.
The main point of difference between the two is the area from which they originate. Mucus comes from the mucus membranes whereas phlegm comes from the back of the lungs and throat. People who have colds normally blow mucus out of their noses and might cough up phlegm from their throat or lungs. Another difference between mucus and phlegm is that phlegm often contains dead bacteria, virus, and white blood cells. It might also appear more congealed than mucus does. Even though it may be tempting to swallow it, many healthcare professionals advise people to cough up phlegm when it rises in their throats because doing this may help to rid their bodies of whatever infection they might have. Expelling either may be particularly problematic at night when a person is trying to sleep, and both of these substances can interfere with normal sleeping patterns. Medical professionals often recommend or prescribe cough suppressants to help people who are producing lots of mucus and phlegm to sleep better.
Now since the distinction between phlegm and mucus has been made, a discussion about the color of the phlegm has to be made. They are defined as follows:
If the coughed up phlegm is white in color, it indicates an infection in the upper respiratory tract or a sinus congestion. This type of phlegm drains from the sinuses.
You might have heard consuming dairy products can cause white mucus to develop. This isn’t true. However, dairy can make it thicker, and therefore more troublesome for the body to drain. This causes the mucus to stagnate and dry out, leading to a white discharge. Meanwhile, coughing up gray phlegm may be a sign that the body is trying to get rid of resins or tars that accumulated from excessive smoking or inhalation of large amounts of air pollutants like smog or dust.
2) Green or Dark Yellow Phlegm
This type of phlegm is generally an indicator of viral or bacterial infection or lower respiratory tract infection. This occurs when the immune system sends the white blood cells known as neutrophils to the area of infection. These cells contain a protein which is responsible for making the phlegm appear green.
Although in a 2011 study it was found that having a green phlegm doesn’t always mean there is an infection. In case of green phlegm, only 59% of cases showed an infection and in the case of yellow phlegm it was 46%.
3) Brown Phlegm
This is generally seen in people who smoke a lot or are chain smokers. This type of phlegm often comes out combined with saliva and has a grainy texture. This is because there is tar, resin and other particulate matters in cigarettes which gives it brown coloration.
In other less common cases, those who don’t smoke, they can have brown phlegm due to certain foods like chocolates, coffee and red wine.
4) Pink Phlegm
When the phlegm is colored in pink, then it can mean the person is suffering pulmonary edema, which is also known as fluids in lungs. This type of phlegm can also frothy texture which can indicate potential heart problems.
5) Bloody Phlegm
During coughing, if blood is found in the phlegm, then its termed as haemoptysis. This indicates a problem in lungs which can be anything from lung cancer, bronchitis, tuberculosis or pneumonia. When there is more than 300 mL of blood loss in 24 hours then its considered as severe case of haemoptysis.
Home Remedies For Phlegm
There are a few simple and effective home remedies for phlegm which will help you deal with your phlegm problem naturally and easily. We have shortlisted some of the best home remedies for phlegm for you right here.
Honey And Pepper
Pepper can work wonders against throat infections whereas honey can soothe the lining of the throat from constant coughing. Add a pinch of pepper in a teaspoon of honey and then take this twice daily for a week to see noticeable changes. It is one of the easiest home remedies for phlegm.
Garlic consists of sulfur which has immense anti-bacterial properties which can destroy the presence of bacteria in the throat which in turn can reduce the phlegm in the throat.
Garlic can either be eaten raw or taken in the form of garlic tea. Both work well though some people would prefer the first method since garlic tea is a delicacy. It is a great home remedy for phlegm.
Milk And Turmeric
Turmeric has very good antiseptic properties along with its myriad health benefits. Consuming turmeric with milk is generally advised since the taste can raw turmeric is not very good. Take a glass of milk and add a spoon of turmeric to it. Drink it everyday before going to bed. A simple yet extremely effective home remedy for phlegm.
Honey Lemon Tea
Honey improves the immune power of the body and has antiseptic properties. Lemon has anti bacterial property and the vitamin C present in them improves the resistance power of the body against infections. Drink hot tea to which honey and lime is added at least three times a day to soothe the throat and reduce phlegm production. It is a rejuvenating home remedy for phlegm.
Pumpkin is a wonderful food which has ample amounts of beneficial vital minerals and components like vitamin A, C, E, calcium, copper, potassium and potassium. Apart from that its has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which works wonder to fight phlegm formation. Pumpkin can be cooked into wonderful and tasty dishes and their recipes are easily available online. A very unique natural home remedy for phlegm.
Here we have all the best home remedies for phlegm for you. Use these simple home remedies for phlegm to cure and treat your phlegm naturally and easily. These methods are simple, effective, instantaneous and extremely budget friendly. Use them regularly to cure yourself and stay happy and healthy for ever.