Coughing Up Green Mucus or Thick Dark Green Phlegm (Sputum)

What does coughing up green sputum mean? A bacterial infection can make you cough hard chunks of dark green phlegm. A sore throat, stuffy and runny nose may accompany as symptoms.

When you start suffering from a bacterial or viral infection e.g. a cold, you may notice that you have all of a sudden started coughing up green mucus.

Normally, many people will become alarmed when this happens, as they are used to phlegm that is clear in color.

What does green sputum color from chest mean? Below, we have explained what it means to cough up greenish looking mucus, concerns associated with it, as well as the various home remedies that you can use in order to relieve this particular condition.

Coughing up green mucus chunks

If you have a respiratory illness or even a cold, there is a very big probability that you will notice varying snot or mucus colors each time you blow the nose.

Coughing up green mucus or phlegm
Coughing up green mucus or phlegm from chest could mean a bacterial or viral infection.

In many cases, patients are told—even by medical professionals—that yellow or green secretions are an indication that a person is infectious. However, this is not entirely true.

Though it is not clear how this myth came about, but it could be a misunderstanding of the color and appearance of pus. In many cases, pus signals arrival of harmful bacteria to a particular site e.g. golden staph, which normally results in the emergence of a boil.

However, when it comes to respiratory conditions, you will find that the yellow or green color is brought about by the white blood cells.

When a person has a viral infection, you will find that the respiratory cells lining often becomes damaged. As such, it provokes excess mucus production. It is then followed by white blood cells arrival whose main function is to clean any cellular debris that could be present.

Possible meaning

Once the mucus present in your respiratory system becomes blocked, it leads to the accumulation of bacteria, and this in return causes the emergence of an infection.

If you have a bacterial infection in your body, you will find that white blood cells will start to accumulate immediately.

As a result, your phlegm will begin turning green, especially if MPOs (myeloperoxidases) happen to be present in the white blood cells.

Immediately this green phlegm gets released, it may mean that a person is suffering from sinusitis or a sinus infection. Additional underlying conditions will include:

  1. Dryness in the air
  2. Nasal polyps
  3. Allergies
  4. Flu
  5. Candida albicans


Rhinitis, sinusitis, or any other infection occurring in your nasal membranes as well as an infection occurring that has been caused in your trachea lining could cause the emergence of green mucus. This kind of infection can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or numerous other types of microorganisms.

SEE ALSO: Coughing up brown mucus and phlegm

What many people do not know is that the secretion of green mucus actually assists the body in moistening the air passageways as well as the nose, and in the process prevents the tissues and inner linings from drying out.

Additionally, it also aids in trapping foreign particles such as viruses and bacteria that are inside your body. All these factors considered, it means that green mucus literally plays an active role in protecting your respiratory organs and lungs from the invasion of viruses and bacteria.

When it appears, the green mucus could be an indication of:

  1. An allergic reaction
  2. Flu or cold
  3. Bronchitis
  4. Sinusitis
  5. Nasal polyps
  6. Candida Albicans
  7. Air dryness

It may mean that your body is being attacked by a virus or a bacterial infection. There are authorities who believe that green mucus often appears when an infection is coming to an end, and will in most cases come after you have noticed the yellowish mucus. If you notice that the green sputum does not go away on its own after a few days, you may need to deal with it.

Coughing up green mucus with no fever

You will notice that there exist a wide series of conditions, which can lead to coughing up greenish mucus, without the presence of fever e.g. infection of the bronchial lining, sinusitis, and rhinitis. In some cases, you will find that production of green mucus is often accompanied by various symptoms, which include:

  1. Blood excretion in nasal discharge
  2. Sinus pain
  3. A high fever, which lasts for more than three days
  4. Nasal congestion

Additional reasons for coughing up mucus of this color will include: asthma, pneumonia, tuberculosis, hazard working environments e.g. marble polishing experts, concrete workers, and marble polishing experts. All these are working conditions, which increases the risks of producing this type of mucus.

Thick hard dark green mucus

In the polite circles that exist among health care professionals, there are those that call it phlegm, others call it mucus, while there are those that simply refer to it as snot.

Regardless of the name that you attach to it, if you have a flu or cold, you will normally have an increased chance of increasing your mucus supply. When you are very sick, you will find that the sinuses will increase production.

Still, you will find that doctors believe that all this gunk accumulating in the nose does have an important role to play in your body, and it happens to have a useful purpose when you are suffering from a cold.

According to Dr. Thomas Pasic, a nose, throat, and ear specialist at the University of Wisconsin, mucus found in your sinuses, as well as in your nose forms a coating or blanket over your mucous membranes, thereby lining your upper air passageways.

Give that the mucus is sticky, it is always trapping miniscule particles present in the air that you are breathing in e.g. pollen, dust and allergens.

These are filtered out before the air can reach your lungs. According to Dr. Pasic, mucus is constantly being formed in your body, and an allergy or a cold, has the potential to increase the production of mucus in the body by large amounts.

There are patients who wonder whether color really matters, when there is an increased production of mucus in their bodies. The answer to this query is always a resounding yes.

In many cases, when you have large amounts of green or yellow mucus being produced, it points to you having a bacterial infection.

From time to time, the mucus may take a brown hue, especially when it has become tinged with small amounts of blood. The hue is also common among smokers, as well as people who are routinely exposed to many pollutants.

Green phlegm with sore throat

The throat runs all the way from the back of the mouth to the top part of the digestive and respiratory tract systems. It is made up of the larynx, pharynx, as well as the tonsils. The throat plays an important role as it assists in filtering out all the potentially harmful bacteria that may lead to the occurrence of an infection.

A sore throat is associated with symptoms such as inflammation of the tissues that are found in your tonsils, larynx, and pharynx. Sore throats that are not complicated will normally last for about three days, and will in many cases be linked to serious conditions that include laryngitis and tonsillitis. Additionally, sore throats have also been known to accompany viral infections, which include:

  1. Mumps
  2. Measles
  3. Glandular fever
  4. Chicken pox
  5. Whooping cough

Runny nose

Coughing up green mucus accompanied by a runny nose is a major indication that a person could be suffering from bronchitis. It occurs when the inner lining of your bronchial tubes become inflamed. On occurrence, the condition can be chronic or acute, and in some cases, it is caused by an allergic reaction.

In the case of acute bronchitis, it is mainly known to follow a flu or cold, and it can linger in your body for many weeks, but it will eventually go away on its own.

Chronic bronchitis on the other hand is a kind of COPD (chronic obstructive respiratory disorder) and is very common among smokers, or people who have been exposed for long durations to ammonia fumes, dust, sulfur dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, bromine, or chlorine.

Some of its symptoms include:

  1. Having a deep, raspy, and highly painful cough
  2. Feeling a tightness in your chest
  3. General shortness of breath

Chest congestion

Appearance of green phlegm in your body could mean that you either have internal bleeding, or are suffering from pneumonia.

The phlegm appears greenish in color because of the presence of MPOs, which as explained earlier are enzymes that are present in your white blood cells.

When bacteria are present at the site of infection, it could result in accumulation of white blood cells in that particular area, and this will in the end result in production of green phlegm.

You will find that green mucus or phlegm accompanied by chest congestion is viewed to be as a result of a bacterial infection taking place in your body. The infection is normally treated using antibiotics.

If this greenish mucus is still present after a few days have passed by, it will be important to make sure that you consult with a physician.

Additionally, it is important to keep in mind that taking too many antibiotics could make the germs to become resistant to this drug.

Stuffy nose with bright yellow green mucus

Obstruction to nasal breathing, stuffiness, and nasal congestion are some of the most common and oldest complaints made by human beings with regards to their bodies.

For some people, nasal congestion could be a slight nuisance, while for others, it can cause a considerable amount of discomfort. Over the years, medical writers have been able to identify various causes of nasal obstruction. The causes include:


On average, an adult is likely to suffer from a common cold between two and three times a year. Most of these viral infections take place during the early childhood years, as the immunity system is known to strengthen as one starts to age.

Colds can be caused by different kinds of viruses. Some of the viruses are airborne while others are transmitted through by coming into contact with the nose.

When this virus is transmitted from your hand to your nose, it will cause your body to start releasing histamines, which increases the flow of blood to your nose, causing the nasal tissues to start swelling.

As a result, the nasal membranes will become inflamed. They will then become congested with blood, and will end up producing large amounts of mucus, which will then stuff up your nasal passageway. Decongestants and antihistamines can assist in relieving the symptoms that are associated with colds.

Structural abnormalities

Structural abnormalities often include deformities that are associated with the nasal and nose septum. The deformities will usually come about because of an injury, which in many cases may have occurred when one was still young.

According to medical experts, seven percent of all newborn babies tend to suffer significant nasal injury when they are being born. The nasal injuries have been seen to be common in both adults and children.

Common causes of structural abnormalities include:

  1. Enlargement of your adenoids
  2. Foreign bodies
  3. Nasal tumors

Home remedies for coughing up green mucus

Phlegm has in many cases been known to accompany upper respiratory infections and colds. Even though it is not a serious condition, there is a need to make sure that it is treated in a timely manner, or else, it could end up irritating and clogging your bronchial tubes, which would then result in a secondary infection of your upper respiratory system.

Phlegm presence is normally indicated through the presence of symptoms such as:

  1. The constant need to clear your throat
  2. Runny nose
  3. Constant cough
  4. A general feeling of weakness
  5. Breathing difficulties

You will find that phlegm often contains inflammatory, viral or bacterial cells, which are produced as a response to an infection that has taken pace. Apart from infections such as bronchitis, flu, and the common cold, it is possible for phlegm to be caused by allergic reaction to irritants e.g. excessive smoking, damaged vocal cords, asthma, and hay fever.

You will find that it can be incredibly frustrating having to deal with phlegm. However, there are a few home remedies, which you can rely on to treat coughing up green mucus, without having to worry about side effects. They include:


Inhalation of steam is deemed as one the simplest and most effective ways for a person to eliminate phlegm from their bodies. Steam inhalation into your nasal passage will assist you in keeping the phlegm in its liquid form, making it easier for you to eliminate it from your system.

What to do at home

  1. Take a steam shower at least two times each day. For this, you have to turn the shower to full heat, and ensure that you remain inside the closed bathroom for about ten minutes to assist in breaking up this mucus. After this, you will need to ensure that you moisturize your body, mainly because warm water is known to rob the skin off moisture and essential oils.
  2. Alternatively, you can pour hot boiling water into a basin or bowl. Place a towel over your head and hold it into position as you inhale the steam for the next five minutes. Doing this assists in loosening the secretions that are present inside the lungs. This simple remedy can be followed a few times each day until you notice an improvement in your condition.

Salt water

Another way to treat phlegm will be to gargle using warm water. Warm water is vital as it assists in soothing irritated throats. On the other hand, the salt will aid in destroying any bacteria that is present, and which could be the primary cause of this infection, thereby reducing the production of mucus in the body.

What to do at home

  1. Take a single teaspoon of salt and combine it with one cup of warm water
  2. Take this solution and use it to gargle
  3. Make sure you repeat this remedy at least three times a day

Lemon juice

It is a great home remedy for loosening phlegm and mucus. Additionally, it comes with antibacterial properties, in addition to having a very high vitamin C content, which is vital in improving your body’s resistance to bacterial and viral infections.

What to do at home

  1. Measure two tablespoons of lemon juice and a single teaspoon of honey and put them into a glass filled with hot water. You will be required to take this solution at least three times each day to assist in soothing the irritated throat, as well as reduce the production of phlegm.
  2. Alternatively, you could cut thin slices of lemons, and then proceed to sprinkle small bits of pepper and salt on the lemon slices. Once this is done, take the lemon slice and suck on it. Sucking on the slice will assist in forcing the phlegm that is stuck in your throat lining. Make sure you repeat this remedy between two and three times each day.


It is a naturally occurring natural decongestant, which can be used in fighting off respiratory tract and throat infections. It has been in use for very many years. Additionally, the expectorant, antibacterial, and antiviral properties that are present in ginger have been known to assist in easing throat congestion, as well as clearing your chest to make it easier for you to breathe.

What to do at home

  1. Measure a single teaspoon of freshly ground ginger and add it to a single cup of boiling water. You need to allow it a few minutes to steep before you can add in two tablespoons of honey. Make sure to take this soothing ginger solution a few times each day.
  2. Alternatively, you can consider chewing a few raw ginger slices or add some ginger to your food.

The remedies discussed above will come in handy in getting rid of the green mucus. You can try combining one or two remedies to get maximum results. If you find that no single remedy is working for you, ensure you visit your physician for a proper diagnosis.



Check Also

Coughing up brown mucus or phlegm

Coughing Up Brown Mucus or Thick Dark Brown Phlegm in The Morning

Coughing up brown mucus or brown phlegm from chest or throat can mean an infection …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *