When dealing with a cold or upper respiratory infection, mucus can build up in the head and lungs. Mucus is no fun, but thankfully there are effective methods for removing this green slush from your head. If you have a severe upper-respiratory infection or bronchitis, you may also need antibiotics to clear up the infection. Some people naturally produce more mucus than others because each person deals with viruses and bacteria differently. Your diet can also influence the amount of mucus you produce. If you are allergic to certain foods like milk or other dairy products, you may notice that you have more mucus even when you are not dealing with a cold.
Take an over-the-counter expectorant medication. Effective active ingredients to look for are medications containing a combination of guaifenesin and dextromethorphan. These medications are found at your local pharmacy—ask your pharmacist for help. Before taking this medication, talk to your doctor if you are taking any other prescription drugs or if you are breastfeeding or pregnant.
Drink 8 to 10 glasses of pure water each day. Water will help clean your body on the inside and hydration is always vital when dealing with a cold. This can help clear mucus from your head, but more steps are needed to get the job done. Avoid drinking chlorinated tap water as this is not good for your urinary tract.
Buy some ultra soft facial tissues at the grocery store. Blow your nose several times per day to draw out the mucus through your nose.
Take a hot shower twice per day. Be sure the water is very hot so that steam can accumulate in the room. Shut the door and breathe in as much steam as possible. If your municipal water system is heavily chlorinated, attach a chlorine filter to your shower before doing this because inhaling chlorine is not good for your lungs.
Drink raw vegetable juices daily. Fluids are vital when you are trying to clear mucus from your head. You can also drink additional healthy beverages besides water. Raw vegetable juices like beet, carrot and cucumber supply your body with vitamins, enzymes and minerals needed to fight infections. If you like fruit juices you can also drink raw pineapple juice because this fruit contains high levels of enzymes to boost immunity.
Avoid mixing vegetables and fruit when juicing. The only fruit that you can mix in with vegetables are apples. Too many fruit and vegetable combinations can cause stomach upset. Try to always drink them separately.
Sleep as often as possible when you are dealing with a cold. Sleep helps to strengthen your body so that you can get over the illness much faster.
Saline nasal sprays are also helpful tools to get rid of mucus.
Avoid swallowing mucus as this can cause stomach upset and build up in the body. Always spit out or blow mucus out on a tissue.
Any over-the-counter expectorant medication should only be taken for a short period of time while you are trying to recover from an illness. Do not take it for more than two weeks, and follow the directions on the label.