Mucus is a normal part of the upper respiratory system in the sinuses, nasal passages and throat, and usually runs down the throat without you even realizing it. When a microorganism irritates the respiratory passages, the result can be an increase in mucus production. When you have an infection or allergies, the mucus can be thicker, greater in quantity and cause post-nasal drip, making mucus drainage down the throat noticeable. Clearing the mucus from the nose and throat can improve discomfort, but it may have minimal impact on the underlying cause.
Purchase a nasal saline solution or mix 1/4 tsp. of salt into 1 cup of lukewarm water.
Use the nasal spray as directed, which means inserting the tip of the bottle into one nostril, blocking the opposite nostril and squeezing quickly to place the solution into the nose. When using a homemade saline solution, pour the salt water into a nasal spray bottle. Repeat on the other side.
Pour the homemade solution into a nasal irrigation pot. Put the tip of the pot into one side of the nose. Lean forward over the sink with the head facing down into the sink. Allow the solution to run into the nasal passage while blocking the opposite nostril. Repeat on the other side.
Allow the saline solution to drain out on its own for several seconds before blowing gently on a tissue. The saline solution can thin the mucus and encourage it to exit the sinuses and nasal passages. This method is also helpful in treating post-nasal drip.
Boil water in a tea kettle or microwave a mug of water.
Place a tea bag into a cup and pour hot water over it or put the tea bag into the heated mug of water. Any tea can be used, but the University of Maryland Medical Center suggests teas like eucalyptus, peppermint or other menthol-type teas.
Sweeten the tea to taste with honey, a natural cough suppressant and throat-soothing substance.
Squeeze one or two fresh lemon slices into the tea. Lemon can help thin mucus because of the acidity of the fruit.
Drink the tea as often as desired. Warm liquids may cause mucus to be loosened, allowing it to be coughed up from the throat or blown out through the nose.
Things You'll Need
Saline solution, or salt and warm water
Nasal irrigation pot or nasal spray bottle
Tea kettle or mug of water
Use a humidifier at night or whenever possible to add moisture to the air. Dry, warm air is more bothersome than moist air when certain illnesses are responsible for the increased mucus production.