You know those horrid mornings when we wake up feeling meh and we can’t breathe through our nose? When all night we’ve been doing mouth breathing and our throat is sore. But once the heat from the shower hits our body, a relief and sigh is heard. “Aghhhh this feels so good” and then next minute we’re convulsing from our neck trying to hack up something that is totally grose.
And that’s the topic for today’s article. I wondered, once researching and working out what phlegm is and why it’s created, I’d be able to know how to stop the rancid morning routine and prevent it from happening again. With the transition of summer to winter, it’s best we remind ourselves of what occurs. The next season becomes colder, the air drier and can dry out the phlegm membranes and allow viruses into our body quicker. And I for one, do not want a viral invasion. What about you?
Oh, that dreaded feeling when you know your body needs to rest but you’ve got so much on your plate and if you stop, you ask yourself “who else is gonna to do it?” And even if you rest, which you have to because your muscles are aching and your head is throbbing. Sleep is the easiest thing to do. But upon waking, that overwhelm feeling creeps up and anxiety starts to burn a hole in your stomach. “Am I ever gonna win this battle?”
Great question! This now brings me to the topic of phlegm, which can also be known as mucous, however they are different. First, let’s talk about mucous. From my research through medical books and online journals, our bodies naturally make mucous everyday and isn’t necessarily a sign of being unhealthy. It is thin and clear. Mucous helps protect our body from infection. It’s produced by the respiratory system and lines the tissues such as our nose, mouth, throat and lungs.
While we sleep, mucous and other irritants can pool in our lungs, throat and nose overnight and then becomes phlegm. When we become active in the morning, the phlegm starts to break up and may trigger coughing or sneezing. This is our body’s way of clearing irritants from our respiratory system.
Our immune system sends white blood cells to the areas where there has been an invasion to fight! Charge!! Just imagine these courageous cells working their magic to sweep away microorganisms to be expelled out of the body.
When white blood cells meet their enemy, like soldiers, they attack invaders unfamiliar to the body by producing antibody proteins attaching to the organism and destroying it.
Going back to the battle question, wondering if we are ever going to gain victory, well, there’s a battle going on within our nose when we are stuffy. Or when we feel that thick, stickiness hanging around in the back of our throat. When we cough and hear rattling of wetness in our lungs wanting to come up.
And all we need to do is sit back and rest. But we are humans and won’t! So, whilst the inner is doing it’s thing, what can the outer parts of ourselves do to support our immune system?
Remember what was said earlier about the weather drying us out, the biggest key to support our immune system is to stay hydrated. So, lot’s of fluids like filtered water, herbal teas, soups, stews, curries, juicy fruits and vegetables.
Mucous membranes need to be moist to stay healthy. Think of the mucous membrane as the armour that keeps our respiratory system healthy. Staying hydrated helps to make our mucus thin and watery. And in the evening, a humidifier is a great way to moisten up the dry air when sleeping.
Nasal saline irrigation could be another natural way to help flush out mucus and environmental allergens in the nose. It is also thought to help improve the health and function of cilia, the tiny hairs inside your nose that work to help clear the nasal passage of mucus and irritants.
Skin is a natural barrier and keeping it bare wont help the immune system whilst we are going through a seasonal transition. Cover all energy points with a beanie, scarf, gloves and it’s also time to focus on keeping your feet warm. Leave the thongs for public showers and pull out the ugg boots for a snuggly comfort.
Other natural ways through vitamins and minerals are Zinc, which increases the production of white blood cells and Vitamin C which helps regulate the levels of white blood cells in our body.
When it comes to viral invasions, jump over to my podcast episode with Jost Sauer, The Lifestyle Medicine Man, as we delve further into prevention.
Lisa Jane Hussey
Holistic Lifestyle Mentor
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Just remember peeps, this information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as such. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition.