What The Color Of Your Mucus Says About Your Health

For centuries, people have been observing the color of expulsed phlegm to determine the condition of their body’s health. Although medical science has through research studies determined otherwise, as we cover in our article below, the habit continues to modern times. Be it as it is, there are several color ranges of phlegm which we list below, including:

Clear sputum

The most common form of phlegm and generally the most harmless, as when produced by a cold, allergy or some kind of irritant, this is produced 24/7. If left to its own devices, this phlegm many times goes down the back of one’s throat and eventually down to the stomach where it’s dissolved.

White or gray

White or gray phlegm usually means that there is a respiratory infection present, a sinus congestion condition or that it’s simply caused by body tissue that has become inflamed eventually stopping the natural flow of mucus

Green or dark-yellow

While this is many times considered an indication of some viral or bacterial infection, it can also be a positive sign: the immune system may be launching its anti-infection cells in a counter-attack against an invading infection.

In one research study from Düsseldorf, Germany, a total of 42 GP practices were studied. Participants were ages 16 to 82. In various samplings of both green or yellow cultures of sputum, only 12 percent indicated a bacterial infection.

Consequently, there were no conclusive findings that suggested that yellowish or greenish sputum is a strong enough diagnostic sign of a bacterial infection. The findings of this study couldn’t be used to confirm bacterial bronchitis or used as a basis for or against antibiotic therapy.


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