Over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants are two ways to remove phlegm from the throat and sinuses without coughing, reports WebMD. Natural, home remedies include steam, hot water and foods proven to benefit the immune system.
While decongestants help to reduce congestion to create less mucus, the drying effect thickens mucus, making it more difficult to clear, according to WebMD. Decongestants also come with side effects, such as dizziness, high blood pressure and nervousness. Antihistamines reduce allergic reactions that create the release of mucus and cause runny nose. Side effects of antihistamines include drowsiness, headache and nausea.
Another effective remedy for clearing mucus is nasal irrigation, states WebMD. Squeezing saline solution into the nasal passage cause the mucus to loosen up and drain through the other nostril. While nasal irrigation is a good way to wash away infectious bacteria, it may also clear out some protective substances that prevent illness.
Natural remedies can also be effective, without negative side effects, according to Top 10 Home Remedies. Steam inhalation can be accomplished with a steam shower or by holding the head over steaming water for at least 10 minutes -while inhaling. Gargling with salt water or drinking hot water with a dash of lemon, ginger, honey or turmeric is also believed to be beneficial. Chicken soup and carrot juice are both excellent immune boosters and help to reduce coughing and phlegm build-up.