Home Remedies for Congestion

Updated on January 14, 2011
K.A. asks from Inglewood, CA
12 answers

Hi Moms,

I have a 1 1/2 yr old and she has really bad chest congestion. I've taken her to the doctor a few times already, she is currently on inhalers and meds but they just don't seem to be helping or at least not fast enough. Does any one out there know of a home remedy I can try just to give my little one some relief. I know about the humidifier and honey which she is too young for. but can someone that has been through this before give me some much needed advise pls!!

Thank you in advance for your help

signed Helpless Mom

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So What Happened?

First I want to thank all of the moms that gave me such GREAT advise. My daughter is doing a lot better now. She still has a slight cough with only a little congestion. She's getting better every day so thank you guys again! :)

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answers from Los Angeles on

we always take Umka ..powdered version not liquid..i like the kind you can put in hot water but i give my son the straight powder one..also google Serrapeptase ..we use Dr's Best


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answers from Las Vegas on

I think everyone pretty much said it, although i didnt see anything about a humidifier...Our doctor always recommends steamy bathroom, i turn the shower on the hotest and we sit in the bathroom, vicks on feet covered with socks, learned that one from my husband, lol. And humidifier vicks also has the vicks liquid vapor for the humidifier. I am an asthmatic as well and i get upper respirtory infections twice a year every year since i was young. It can b treated with antibiotic, as an adult i treat it with over the counter products but if it goes untreated and her coughs are not productive and all that phlem is on her chest it can cause neumonia..keep close eye, the inhaler should at least help with the wheezing. The goal with chest congestion is to break up the phlem so it will come out. This would happen with a productive cough. Good luck and keep close eye, this time of year things can turn bad very easily. Also i believe children are subject to rsv until 2 or 3 yrs.. Goodluck!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Spokane on

You could try sitting with her in the bathroom while a really hot shower is running w/ some eucalyptus oil in it. You can't do it a lot, but it may give her some relief. Sage & thyme oil work well here too. Add some chamomile & lavender for a really soothing & calming time. Make sure you get real essential oils and that they aren't mixed with any additives. They may cost more, but they'll work better and last longer. As a bonus, if she has a temp the eucalyptus oil can help drop, often as much as a whole degree.

You daughter is not too young for honey since she's 1+ years. When my children are congested I give them lemon water mixed with ginger and honey to sweeten it. Honey has amazing properties in it when it's not been over processed (as it will be in most stores.). Get some from your local natural foods store. When it's not been over processed, the enzymes in it create a substance similar to hydrogen peroxide when mixed with human bodily fluids. This drink is quite soothing on it's own. If you're an adult, add as much cayenne as you can stand and it really helps clean out the junk.

As an alternative to that, you can make a simple syrup for her.Squeeze the juice from 2 lemons into a saucepan w/ 1/4 c honey and bring to a boil. Set it aside and let it cool.

There are many herbs & spices that can help as well. Fenugreek is a good one that I often use for my little ones. It has a mild flavor similar to maple syrup. It's an odd little yellow seed, similar to mustard in color. You should be able to find them in bulk at your local natural food store but if not, simply order them offline. To make it, sse about 1 tsp whole fenugreek seed per 1 c of boiling water. Steep whole seeds 5-10 min. Remove from heat and cover for another 10 to 15 minutes. Strain, sweeten to preferance and drink several times a day. Honey for sweetener is your best bet here but you could also use apple juice to make it instead of water and that will sweeten naturally.

Other herbs to help with congestion from the top of my head are licorice, sage, thyme, slippery elm, etc. I use those often and I have found a good link for you since there's really not the space to post all of that info here!


I discovered it recently while looking for something else. I hope it helps! Good luck with your little one. :)

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answers from Minneapolis on

Our coop sells these drops called "Horehound Cherry" for respiratory wellness. I use them on my 1 year old and it works great! Just a few drops a day and it dries up the congestion.

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answers from Lansing on

I rubbed baby vicks all over my daughters neck, back and feet (covered them with socks afterwards), I would also put her in the bathroom with me, with the water really really hot and sat in the steam with her for 15 minutes. I always have a cool mist humidifier going in the bedroom when she sleeps and I also use Simply Saline (for kids) and then the booger sucker.

It took her awhile to get over it, but shes pretty much over it now.

Hopefully your daughter will get better soon!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

We have had luck with Homeopathic medicines. Lithy Tree and European Hornbean. Suggested by our homeopathic MD. Go to her website and check it out. http://www.drfeder.com/index.php?page=articles&action...

She has other recommendations in her cite. We have used Onion's in my son'e room at night to help with congestion in the nose. It really works. She may recommend that for congestion in the chest (not sure) but check that out.

Good luck

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answers from New York on

imo the best and quickest thing is to sit in a steamy bathroom with her for a while, you can put some peppermint oil or baby menthol bath stuff or something in the water too. my kids are in there right now taking a long hot peppermint bath

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answers from Colorado Springs on

I would use eucalyptus essential oil on her chest. Add a few drops to a little bit of Almond Oil (or other light oil). Put some in your hands and rub them together to warm it up. Put your hands right in front of her nose for her to smell it. I usually tell my littles to smell it, but with the olders, I just tell them to breathe in deeply. Then, rub it on her chest and back. My kids love it, and it helps amazingly.

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answers from Honolulu on

.... chest congestion... that always makes me nervous.
I have Asthma. Whenever I get sick... even with a cold, my Asthma rears its ugly head. The degree of severity can vary. As well as any secondary infections that may arise... lung wise.

So, make sure a secondary infection does not arise. If her symptoms gets worse or new symptoms develops, you need to take her back to the Doctor or ER.

If the inhalers or meds... are not working... you NEED NEED to tell the Doctor.....

If she is not getting enough oxygen into her system... due to the congestion and/or labored breathing... this is not good.
Look at her coloring... her skin and nails or lips. If they are oddly colored or turn blue... that means, NOT enough oxygen is in her blood stream and system. You then have to take her to the ER, right away. Or if as she is breathing... her lungs appears to be sunken in... or if her breathing is real shallow... and quick paced. These are all not good indicators...

I would, really, get her seen by a Doctor again or ER... BECAUSE:
(1) the inhaler is not working
(2) her meds are not working
(3) she is not getting better

AND.... the inhaler and Meds... SHOULD have helped. But since they are not... then another evaluation of her, needs to be made. Or see another Doctor.

"Bad" chest congestion..... is really, something to watch carefully.
I am talking as a person who has Asthma... AND who has gotten acute Bronchitis and Pneumonia before... as a result of just catching a cold....

WHAT kind of inhaler does she have???? Albuterol? Something else? You did not mention what kind of Inhaler or meds....

"Congestion" in the lungs, can be due to:
1) mucous
2) constricted or inflamed airways and bronchial tubes.
3) or both

all the best,

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answers from Detroit on

vicks on the feet... covered up with socks!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Can you elevate the top of her mattress or crib a bit...like put phone books under the top legs?

Saline drops if her nose is stuffy.....

Hope she's better soon! :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Joplin on

baby vicks on chest and bottoms of feet with socks on.

1 mom found this helpful