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Jude's avatar

When you have a chest cold and you're coughing up thick, yellow phlegm, is it best to spit it out or swallow?

Asked by Jude (32134points) December 21st, 2011

Is it beneficial to spit it out into a napkin (getting it out of your body) or swallowing?

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33 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Jude Thanks for sharing. Are you short on food this week?

Aethelflaed's avatar

Spit it out, if you can. Swallowing makes it more likely that you’ll be coughing that same piece of phlegm up again in 10 minutes. Also, feel better :)

Jude's avatar

@Aethelflaed That’s what I thought. Thanks. :)

@Adirondackwannabe It’s my figgy pudding. ;)

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Jude Oh gross. But I’m sitting at my desk LMAO. I think it’s best to get it out of your body.

CWOTUS's avatar

It won’t hurt a bit to swallow it (and it may not upset people as much as seeing it, but if they know you’re swallowing it, then all bets are off). If you actually do swallow it, you won’t be coughing it up again which should be obvious.

filmfann's avatar

In this case (and not in all cases), it is better to spit than swallow.

KateTheGreat's avatar

Ah, a spitting or swallowing question of an alternate nature. Oh Fluther, you surprise me sometimes.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Spit. Get that icky mucus out of there!! =0)

marinelife's avatar

Spit it out.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Good question. Let’s look at it scientifically:

A good sized loogie weighs 10 gm. (Don’t ask how I know).
Assuming it has the same density and caloric content as heavy cream or cottage cheese, that means it is worth 40 calories.
So I leave it up to you and your calorie intake budget. Are you desperate for calories? Or would you rather eat a small Christmas cookie instead?
I know what I’d do.

Coloma's avatar

OMG! This is a horrible Q , yet it’s right up my snot alley this morning. Always spit it out if you can, you are swallowing puss and bacteria…Gag!

Leaving for the doc in an hour to get drugs for my evil sinus infection that has kept me up coughing all night and ears are on the verge of exploding., Oh God…the poor bastards of bygone eras that had to suffer with stuff like this and no miracle drugs.
I wonder how many people died of sinus infections and chest infections, gazillions I am sure. :-(

john65pennington's avatar

Get you some Mucinex and cough it up and out.

You also have an infection. I just finished this myself.

Doctor called in antibiotics and it took two weeks to leave my body.

Not a fun time.

Ayesha's avatar

Spit it out, if you take it in it comes up again after a while. It’ll keep bothering you.

AmWiser's avatar

Oh please, please spit it out;
What healthy benefit can it possibly bring about.
Unfortunately it’s not like swollowing Pinot;
For it’s plainly swollowing snot…...

Sunny2's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe Thanks for my first laugh of the day! I’m still grinning.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Sunny2 I’m still laughing at figgy pudding.:)

Sunny2's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe That was funny too, but you hit first. Someone should mention banana slugs.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

And there goes lunch for all time zones from Central to Pacific..

CWOTUS's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe – nah; I had sardines for lunch. I can read about anything and still eat sardines.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@CWOTUS Even the ones in mustard sauce that resemble banana slugs?

CWOTUS's avatar

Okay, no. Not those. Trying those once as a teenager put me off sardines for several years. (They were also packed about 6 to the can instead of the Norwegian ‘dines at 16 – 20 per tin that I like.)

Brian1946's avatar

I tried swallowing a few times, and that apparently gave me some rather uncomfortable abdominal cramps.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I think I’m gonna throw up…or should I swallow it??!! :)

CWOTUS's avatar

Now, that you should expel, @Dutchess_III. I can tell you (from bitter experience) that swallowing stomach acid is going to burn, baby, burn.

saint's avatar

If it’s church on Christmas Eve, I would swallow it. If you are taking out the trash, I would spit it.

Bellatrix's avatar

Okay…postponing breakfast.

Spit @Jude. Get it out.

wilma's avatar

Spit it out and if it’s thick and yellow you have an infection see a Dr. please.

@LuckyGuy I never would have thought about it that way, ick.

Jude's avatar

@wilma Yes, I do have an infection and it tastes horrible. Who’s hungry?

Off to the Doc’s, I go.

Coloma's avatar

@Jude
Hope you feel better soon!

I’m a happy cowgirl, just got in with a Z-Pak for my evil sinus infection…woo hoo, lasso those bacterial banditos and run ‘em out into the badlands of death! I can’t wait for it to kick in , ugh!

talljasperman's avatar

Bring a empty pop bottle and spit into it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Ew gross no! ^^^

talljasperman's avatar

@Dutchess_III That way you don’t have to leave the bed to go to the bathroom every time. My friend used pop bottles for spiting chewing tobacco.

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