A number of things can cause congestion, including a cold, allergy and sinus problems. Loosening mucus can help ease congestion and the symptoms it causes. One choice is to turn to over-the-counter medications to loosen congestion. However, in some cases you can naturally loosen mucus without taking medication. Before proceeding with any self-treatment, consult with your physician regarding your symptoms because in some cases congestion may be a sign of a serious ailment.
Drink plenty of fluids. Staying well-hydrated will help thin mucus and keep your mucus membranes moist, thus less irritated. Health911.com recommends drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily.
Breathe in steam. The steam from a shower can help loosen congestion. A humidifier can also help keep nasal passages moist, particularly if your live in a dry home. Adding a few drops of eucalyptus or pine oil to your humidifier also may help soften the mucus. Use one pint of hydrogen peroxide and one quart of water in a cool-mist humidifier to loosen mucus naturally.
Irrigate nasal passages with saline spray or a sinus cleanser. This will loosen the congestion blocking your nasal passages and irrigate your mucus membranes.
Eat spicy foods. Hot peppers, horseradish and other spicy food help thin mucus and cause your nose to run.
Avoid things that may produce mucus, like milk and milk products. Avoid smoking, caffeinated drinks and alcohol because they may dehydrate you, which is counterproductive.