Mucus (noun) is a thick fluid that lubricates and protects the surfaces of the mucous (adjective) membranes by which it is secreted. Most people are familiar with the presence of mucus in the passages of the upper respiratory tract, nose and throat, but it is also present throughout the gastrointestinal and urogenital tracts.

Phlegm is the term for mucus in the throat, chest and lungs. A certain amount of mucus is vital to the function of body systems, but excessive secretion clogs the system, leads to degenerative disease and provides a potential haven for germs (see Infection).

Recommended Action

A few days of juice fasting will help to clean out the excess mucus. Then adopt a diet low in mucus by cutting down on dairy products, refined carbohydrates and meats. Eat fresh fruits, vegetables and potassium (vegetable) broth to obtain that element. Expectorant herbs are also beneficial in expelling mucus from the respiratory tract.

Single Herbs: Goldenseal root (controls quality and quantity of mucus), Elderberry Extract (potassium); Comfrey, Fenugreek, Licorice, Marshmallow, Mullein, Thyme (expectorants); Lobelia Extract (emetic expectorant: phlegm is expelled in vomiting).

Nutritional Supplements: Beta-carotene (20,000 IU, twice daily), Vitamin C (500 mg, six times daily), Multitissue salts.