3 natural remedies for catarrh

steam inhalation - a natural remedy for catarrhWhen the membranes of the throat and nose and irritated, such as after a cold, excess mucus can form; called catarrh. Catarrh is irritating and can lead to pains in the sinuses or head. In addition, it can prevent you breathing through your nose which can lead to sore throat. Sometimes catarrh can interfere with sleep as it can drip down the back of your throat and make you cough yourself awake.

Here are three natural remedies you can try to help you break down and expel catarrh.


Avoidance of mucus forming foods such as dairy and refined starches can help. This might mean replacing your cereal and milk for breakfast with fresh fruit and wholegrains. Garlic can help too – either take a supplement or use the fresh ingredient in your meals.

Essential oils

A steam inhalation with peppermint, eucalyptus or tea tree essential oils can help loosen mucus and fight infection. If the catarrh is chronic, try pine and lavender. Just put one drop of each in a bowl of hot water, cover your head with a towel and inhale the vapours for ten minutes. Alternatively, place one drop of each essential oil in a warm bath and enjoy a relaxing soak.

Herbal tea

Infusions of peppermint, elderflower or chamomile can help ease nasal congestion. Steep the herb for ten minutes, strain and drink, inhaling the rich vapours as you drink.

what about you – what natural remedies do you use to treat catarrh?


  1. Andrew on July 19, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    In Chinese Medicine we believe there are loads of reasons why this can be and is very often associated with the stomach. The first thing to look at is ones diet. I agree with you about excluding dairy, such as milk, yogurt and cheese, as dairy can produce xs phlegm in the body.

    Secondly, other things that effect the stomach are emotions. In Acupuncture we believe that the stomach is associated with over worry, over thinking and obsessions. So combined with diet, it may help to take more time out to relax.

    I do find that acupuncture is very effective in reducing catarrh, and is great for sinusitis. I see a lot of patients with this at my clinic (http://leedsacupunctureclinic.co.uk/default.aspx)and combined with diet changes i would recommend trying it.

    One thing i would like to mention is that Acupuncture is not regulated yet, so if you do decide to try it please ensure your practitioner is registered with the British Acupuncture Council http://www.acupuncture.org.uk/

  2. Mrs Green on July 26, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    Hi Andrew; good to see you – thank you for taking time to comment and share your information.
    I find Chinese medicine and the whole aspect of associating organs and emotions fascinating.
    Great tip about finding a registered practitioner!