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Mucus & Phlegm 101

Mucus & Phlegm 101

A cold is often accompanied by a seemingly endless supply of mucus and phlegm that can leave you feeling worn out and off your A-game. But fear not. We’ve got the lowdown on both mucus and phlegm and the best way to get rid of both with BENYLIN®.

What is mucus?

Mucus is naturally produced by the body, even when we are not sick. In fact, the nose and sinuses make a litre of more each day1.

Mucus helps the body do many important things, including1:

  • Moisturizing the body: It is found in many tissues, including the lining of the nose, sinus and mouths. These lining tissues can be dry and mucus helps keep these tissues moisturized and healthy.
  • Creating a barrier: Mucus traps dust, bacteria, and other environmental trespassers and can prevent them from entering the body.
  • Immune Health: Mucus has immune health elements like white blood cells and antibodies that help kill any trespassers it captures

Unfortunately, though, there are times where mucus can harm. Mucus that becomes too thick and sticky can cause issues in your airways. Thick and sticky mucus can be irritating and difficult to your body2.


What mucus is made of varies slight depending on what part of the body produces it, but it is typically made of 98 percent water, 1 percent salt and 1 percent biopolymers – the biopolymers give mucus its gel-like quality3. The biopolymers in mucus furthermore, stick out like bristles from mucus, which trap potentially harmful things we breathe in3.


When you have a cold, your immune system sends white blood cells rushing to the area. These cells contain a coloured enzyme, and in large numbers they can turn the mucus the same color4. See our mucus colour guide for more information regarding common colours of mucus and what it might mean for your health. Consult a doctor if it has been longer than a week or your phlegm is thick and/or yellow/green or you have excessive secretions or high fever (>38°C).


A cold or flu can cause your body to produce an increased amount of phlegm.5 This mucus-like substance is most often produced in your upper respiratory tract.

How to get rid of mucus and phlegm.

There are a few things you can do to help alleviate your mucus and phlegm:

  • Hydrate1: Drink more water and consider removing dehydrating drinks such as coffee, alcohol and some teas.
  • Use a Humidifier1: This can help moisturize your throat and nasal passages while helping reduce your mucus and phlegm creation.
  • Decongestants: Decongestants can help relieve your stuffy nose and nasal congestion
  • Expectorants6: Expectorants may make it easier to cough up mucus. Consider medicines containing guaifenesin6.
  • Over the Counter Products: When you’re hit with a cold that is accompanied by mucus and phlegm consider BENYLIN® Extra Strength Mucus & Phlegm Plus Cough Control to help ease your symptoms

Each 30 ml or 2 tablespoons (Tbsp.) contains:


DECONGESTANT: To relieve your stuffy nose and nasal congestion.

Pseudoephedrine Hydrochloride

60 mg
E Expectorant Icon

EXPECTORANT: To relieve your chest congestion.

Helps thin and loosen musus and phlegm.

Guaifenesin (Extra Strength)

200 mg


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