Catarrh is a build-up of mucus in an airway or cavity of the body. It usually affects the back of the nose, the throat or the sinuses (air-filled cavities in the bones of the face). It's often temporary, but some people experience it for months or years. This is known as chronic catarrh. The mucus, together with the swelling of the mucous membranes can result in blocked or runny noses, coughs and earache.
- constant need to clear your throat
- feeling that your throat is blocked
- blocked or stuffy nose that you can't clear
- runny nose
- feeling of mucus running down the back of your throat
- persistent cough
- headache or facial pain
- reduced sense of smell and taste
- crackling sensation in your ear and some temporary hearing loss
Spicy foods can help clear breathing passages.
Fruit, vegetables and omega-3 fatty acids from oily fish boost the immune system and assists to fighting the catarrh causing inflammation.
Garlic and onions are recommended as natural decongestants. Remember to clean the mouth after consuming these bulbs before entering a gathering, especially the Masjid. If Miswaak is not available, chewing fresh parsley helps alleviate the resultant breathe odour.
Commercial decongestant nasal sprays can help to relieve stuffiness, but should not be used for more than a week.
Use two drops each of the following essential oils as decongestants – basil, thyme and lemon. Mix in a bowl of hot water, cover your head and basin with a big towel and inhale the steam for 10 minutes.
Eucalyptus oil can either be inhaled from a bowl of hot water or added to water in a vaporiser.
What to Avoid
Dairy products tend to thicken mucus. Consume other sources of calcium instead. Refrigerated and sweetened foods might also thicken mucus.