As a medical herbalist, I never want to dry up my patients’ mucus. Too often, we take medications to suppress the mucus. I guess many of us here in Singapore will experience runny nose etc because of the terrible haze.
I ever experienced a terrible runny nose with yellow mucus on one of my stays in Nepal. This was due to the pollution and dusts we encountered on our way to Pokhara (by car with open windows). Did I take medication to stop the mucus? No, I just let it run and take the relevant herbs to boost my immune and prevents a bacteria infection. What the herb did was to thin the mucus so that the body can excrete out easily. In addition, herbs boost cell resistance.
Mucus, made by our cells is composed of water and glycoproteins called mucins. Other compounds are salts, lysozymes and immunoglobulins. Yes, immunoglobulins is found in saliva, tears and human milk. A deficiency in these immune cells will predispose a person to chronic infection. Therefore, there is truth in my mum’s instruction to apply saliva on insect bites.
Mucus is a natural protecting agent to facilitate excretion of bacteria and to inhibit inflammation. They function to trap dust, allergens and pollutants and pathogens. Treat it as a friend and help it to do its job with herbs, fasting (read my book From Leaf to Life, pages 236 & elimination diet in 328) and moderation.
Special note for the elderly and those with a weak heart – Air pollution is linked to chronic heart disease and increased in risk of heart attacks by 40% and also increased risk of lung cancer (which may explains why non smokers suffer lung cancer?).