Mucus: Causes of White, Yellow, Brown, Grey, Black Phlegm

Colors of Mucus  (Phlegm, Sputum)

Phlegm may be clear (white), yellow/green, brown, grey, black, pink, orange, containing red streaks, or frothy.

Phlegm is mucus (sputum) coughed up from the chest. It reveals inflammation in the respiratory organs below the vocal cords (voice box, windpipe, bronchi and lungs). From the color and density of phlegm, and accompanying symptoms, its cause may be suspected.

Clear or Thin White Mucus

Clear or cloudy (white), thin and translucent mucus means there is no (or not much) pus or blood in it. Causes of clear white phlegm include:

  • Acute viral bronchitis (chest cold) is inflammation of bronchi (airways between windpipe and lungs), sometimes affecting persons with common cold, influenza or other viral respiratory infection. Low-grade fever, runny nose, itchy throat, hoarseness, wheezing and initially dry and then productive cough with clear mucus may last from several days to several weeks. Mucus can, in some days, turn to yellow or green (1).
  • Acute bronchitis caused by irritant gases (environmental or occupational) resembles viral bronchitis but usually there is no fever.
  • Former smokers with chronic bronchitis may cough up white phlegm. White mucus in chronic bronchitis does not require antibiotic treatment (1).
  • Asthma

Thick White Mucus

Main causes of thick, non-translucent, white mucus:

  • Drinking milk or other thick drinks can make originally clear mucus thick. Milk may cover the back of the throat, but milk itself does not cause mucus.
  • In gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), gastric acid may back up from esophagus into the windpipe and throat. Burning stomach, chest (behind the breastbone), and throat, and coughing up white, thick, often frothy mucus are main symptoms. Often, white mucus is the only symptom in GERD.

Yellow and Green Mucus

Mucus is yellow, when it contains inflammatory cells, mainly leukocytes. Thin yellow mucus can result from any cause of inflammation of respiratory tract: infection, allergy, asthma, irritation.

Thick yellow mucus speaks for infection – viral or bacterial. It is a regular symptom in acute or chronic bronchitis or bacterial pneumonia.

Green mucus contains pus (white blood cells mixed with bacteria) and suggests serious bacterial infection. It may be produced in chronic bronchitis, acute bacterial bronchitis, bacterial pneumonia, atelectasis, cystic fibrosis.

Brown or Rusty Mucus

Brown mucus can be due to:

  • Chocolate, cocoa or other foods that stain mucus brown
  • Smoking – from resins and tars in smoke
  • Inhaling dust or smog
  • Infection, especially in chronic bronchitis
  • Blood, arising from the lungs, bronchi, windpipe or voice box

Grey Mucus

Grey mucus can be caused by air pollution , cigarette or marijuana smoking.

Black Mucus

Black mucus can be due to:

  • Smoking marijuana, cigarettes, cocaine or other substances. It is not possible to reliably say, if someone is smoking marijuana or cigarettes on the basis of the smoker mucus color. A smoker who has quit smoking may cough up mucus (black or other colors) for several days or weeks after quitting (4).
  • Air pollution
  • Coal workers pneumoconiosis or anthrosilicosis (black lung disease)
  • Fungal (mold) lung infection, like allergic broncopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA), causing bronciectasis (3)
  • Old blood (5) from COPD (bronchitis or emphysema), tuberculosis, cancer or other bronchial or pulmonary disorder

NOTE 1: vomiting black liquid is a symptom of bleeding from the stomach and has to be checked by a doctor as soon as possible.

Blood in Mucus

Blood in mucus appears as red strikes, brown mesh or obviously red blood.

Pink Mucus

Pink mucus in asthma contains eosinophils (a type of white blood cells appearing in bronchial wall in certain allergies).

Frothy Mucus

Frothy mucus originates from lungs. In pneumonia or lung edema, fluid washes some surfactant (a substance that keeps lung vesicles dilated) from vesicular walls into inflammatory fluid and makes it frothy. Frothy mucus may be also caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Related Articles:


  1. Acute bronchitis (
  2. White mucus in chronic bronchitis does not require antibiotic treatment (
  3. Allergy to molds (Aspergilus) and black mucus (
  4. Mucus after quitting smoking (
  5. Black mucus can be from old blood in the bronchi or lungs (
About Jan Modric (249 Articles)
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Please note that any information or feedback on this website is not intended to replace a consultation with a health care professional and will not constitute a medical diagnosis. By using this website and the comment service you agree to abide by the comment terms and conditions as outlined on this page

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  • stoney

    This site is wrong about the black mucus. It says that marijuana users have black mucus. I have been a marijuana user for nearly 20 years before I quit and not once did I ever cough up black mucus. Neither have my friends who smoke.

  • Jan Modric


    did you ever cough up any kind of mucus?

    You can search online for marijuana black mucus or black phlegm and you’ll find several reports from other users.

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  • Marsbergen

    I’m a regular marijuana smoker and I only started coughing up black phlegm after I got a cold.

  • anbu

    Hi All,

    I am not a smoker. But i feel this black sputum for one week. i was suffered by fever, cold before one week. what does it mean??

  • Jan Modric

    To anbu.

    Would you say that you inhale dust or some other particles at work or from your environment?

    If your fever was from respiratory infection, like flu or common cold, it’s posible you’ve developed acute bronchitis (chest cold) – inflammation of windpipes (bronchi). Mucus in bronchitis in non-smokers is usually white or yellow, but if you inhale some dust, it can be spotted with black particles.

    Or sputum is completely black?



    • Jan Modric


      what kind of surgery your husband has had? What was his exact diagnosis?

  • Kyle

    Hi, for the past few days I have been coughing up frothy mucus and anywhere from deep green (almost brown) to light (nearly fluorescent) green. The doctor listened to my lungs and said that I was fine and just had a wheeze going on but my father who is a paramedic listen to my lungs and heard rales and seems to believe that it’s a lead on to pneumonia. I would just like to get some feedback on what you think it would be because I’m not so sure the doctor was right since I’m having a lot of trouble breathing.

    • Jan Modric


      pneumonia is possible, since frothy mucus is uasually caused by surfactant – the substance that helps to keep lung alveoli open. I suggest you to go back to the doctor (you might want to chose another one) and ask for a test – a “sputum culture” by which exact microbes in your sputum can be determined and, if necessary, appropriate antibiotics prescribed.

  • iwinc

    Excellent website.One of the best.Thankyou very much Jan Modric:)

  • wendy

    I’m not a smoker and don’t have a cold However, i sometime cough up or blow my noise and have black streek in my mucus. Saw a ENT and said nothing is wrong? Please help! thanks

    • Jan Modric


      how old are you? Is there a lot of dust in the air where you live and work?

  • Al

    Marijuana smoker for six years, never had black mucus. This is a horrible inaccuracy, the same tar thats in marijuana is in cigarettes, in almost equal amounts. The whole story of marijuana having more tar is a myth, and general marijuana smokers wont go through over 16 joints a day, where as a cigarette smoker can go through multiple packs in a day, especially when stressed. Grey or black mucus can occur from both marijuana and cigarettes, I know this for a fact from cigarette smokers who get black chunks, and marijuana smokers who get grey chunks. Please fix your inaccurate article.

    • Jan Modric


      if you search for “marijuana black mucus” online, you’ll see how many marijuana smokers claim they have black mucus. Most of them call it black, so I’m not sure if it worths to debate is it grey or black. It also differs from person to person. Cigarette smokers may have grey, brown or black mucus, or, in chronic bronchitis, green, yellow mucus.

  • Al

    This is because most people tend to go through cycles of smoking and not(marijuana), where as tobacco is more physically addictive, and rarely do cigarette smokers ever quit(its a very low % compared to marijuana smokers).

    Black tar and grey tar, can both be characteristic of cigarettes or marijuana. As stated, I know many people of both sexes, who ONLY smoke cigarettes and ONLY expel solid black tar(ive seen it myself). I also know many people of varying ages and sex who smoke weed, and have never expelled a BLACK chunk in their life, only grey chunks, myself being one of them. This is part in due to marijuana being a vasodialator as opposed to a vaso-constrictor, and how you would see any chunks at all. But to limit black chunks to only marijuana smokers, is misleading in your article. Just because you get more sputum search results for marijuana, is because there are more sputum chunk results for marijuana PERIOD, regardless of color, because few cigarettes smokers quit, and few cig smokers experience cilia-recovery and even begin to expel whats built up in their lungs. But both colors of sputum can be experience, by a smoker of ANYTHING(salvia, tobacco, marijuana, CRACK-COCAINE even). it would be better to provide all possibilities in your article rather than denouncing or limiting the medical possibilities.

    “Black sputum is a sign of inhalation of particles, usually from cigarettes, but classically from coal dust in miners. ”

    Moreover, dried blood can also be a blackish color, as opposed to dark brown or dark red. which could be an indicator of a serious lung infection or hemorrhage.

    • Jan Modric


      I have updated the part about black mucus.

  • sinless

    hey, im a smoker i have been trying to quit, mostly cutting down but now im concerned about my health and the last few days ive been coughing up frothy green mucus, sticky clumpy yellow, and chunky brown. i looked at my throat the other day and saw green mucus which seemed to be driping down from my nose im guessing i have a nasal infection because my nose is stuffy at night and i cant sleep very good even with nasal spray. but i also cleaned my very dusty pool table the otherday and im guessing that didnt help. also thing i just got a cold from my friend because today my throats a tad sore around my toncil area and my uvula, can kinda feel it in my ears. im thinking of taking Nyquil and Dayquil. im sick of coughing up all this crap which at some times seems like forever. when i take a shower it seems like my nose clears up a bit better. any thoughts?

    • Jan Modric


      sore tonsils and uvula can be a symptom of viral or bacterial (this would go with fever) throat infection. If you decided to cut down cigarettes, now is a great opportunity to quit it completely. Mucus of various colors can actually appear in great amounts after quitting smoking – this is a sign that lungs (bronchi) clear up. This may last for several days or even weeks. Mucus coming down the throat could be from sinusitis (facial pains, triggered by tapping the cheeck bones or front)or a simple cold.

      Try to stop smoking completelly. Mucus may even increase. If you get fever, or nose doesn’t clear in some days, visit a doctor to get diagnosis and antibiotics, if necessary.

  • Ralph

    I have colds a few weeks now and my green very viscous mucous turned to a less viscous yellow mucous. I’m 14. Is it dangerous? shud i see a doctor? anything I need to avoid? I’ll really appreciate your answers.

    • Jan Modric


      colds and mucus can be symptoms of gastrointestinal infection. I recommend you to visit your doctor, who can perform appropriate tests.

  • lois


    For the past few weeks i have been suffering on and off from cold symptoms which never amount to a full blown cold. I suffered from terrible back pain under my shoulder blades and pains in my solar plexus for the first half of this week which caused breathlessness and general discomfort. I am constantly tired, have headaches (which is very unusal for me) and am coughing up green/brown phlegm.

    I am a social smoker but have recently been on holiday where i smoked more than usual.

    Any ideas what this may be?

    • janmodric


      I strongly recommend you to visit an infectologist. A lung infection is possible.

  • Smoker of 3 years

    To everyone saying that the black phlem from smoking marijuana is innacurate your wrong, tobacco is a broncial constricter, as marijuana is a broncial dilater, this means smokin tobbaco will tighten and close the airways, where marijuana will open them. Nicotine constricts terminal broncials in lungs, which keeps tar trapped in the tissue, THC and other cannabinoids dilates these pathways allowing the matter (Black Mucus) to be expelled. Dont smoke cigarettes people, andd for the people saying they smoked for years n years, i guess you didnt smoke enough, I mean i smoke everyday, going on 3 years now, and i have been coughing it up for 3-4 months, very small ammounts and it goes away after a day of black mucus, im pretty sure its just building up , then getting rid of it. Which to me sounds great. When i first started i thought my lungs would be black. But when the matter is expelled it thereby elimates their effects “on contact” with lung tissue. Learned this from doctor at recent check up.

  • james

    hey, im an 18 year old ex smoker, ive been suffering from almost unbarebal chest pain, brown, yellow- green mucus and thick white gray mucus at times, ive went to the doctors on numerous occasions and they say everythings all right all tho i have to force myself to breathe, and can only sleep for 20- an hour a night. i dont know what to do the pain is peristint and only gets worse day by day, is there actually anything wrong??

    • janmodric


      When did you quit smoking? I recommend you to find a doctor who will listen you. A lung doctor.

      You can check this personal medical history questionnaire and write down all your symptoms, when you started and stopped to smoke, have you taken any drugs, is there any asthma in your family and so on. This info can help the doctor a lot.

      With all that mucus and inability to sleep, there’s obviously something wrong. If you quit smoking only recently (weeks), the mucus may be from lungs clearing up. But there can be bronchitis, bronchiectasis, tuberculosis… Microbiological test of the mucus (sputum) and blood test can show, if there is any infection, and you can get antibiotics if necessary. At least, the doctor can give you something to clear the airways. Do not try antibiotics without prescription, since this may prevent your doctor to give you correct diagnosis.

  • tfwhite89

    I often cough up yellowish mucus. I am a smoker! But I am not sure what I should do about it or whether I could take anything for it???

    • janmodric


      sounds as a good opportunity to stop smoking. You could experience even more mucus for some days or weeks after that, though, since lungs usually clear up the mucus after stopping smoking.

  • jassandra

    I have never tried smoking but am around a lot of second hand smoke from others. I have been very sick coughing up yellow-green-brown and black mucas. I am getting smart and am wearing a mask when I am around those who smoke.So it isn’t just those who smoke but they hurt other around them. So take it for what it is worth.

  • balling

    Hi janmodric,

    i need some advice. i’ve terrible flu since yesterday, and with ‘post nasal drip’, the mucus drips down to the throat, which accumulates phlegm in my throat. I’m 23 and have history of asthma at very young age, but have been no more attacks for the past 15years.
    Been consuming Vasican/Bromhexine, just wondering if u have any idea if this medication helps to eliminate phlegm or it helps to make it easier for me to spit them out?
    And just another thing, will eating dairy products, such as Butter and Cheese, causes more phlegm?

    Many thanks.

    • Jan Modric


      Bromhexine increases production of mucus, but makes it thinner. Not sure if this will work for you. Milk/cheese do not increase mucus production, but make it thicker, so harder to expell.

  • brinny

    My boyfriend coughs up a ridiculous amount of clear phlegm all day, every day. He has had his adnoids taken out because of mucus problems before, but the amount he coughs up a day could fill a whole water bottle! I am worried because it’s making it even more difficult for him to breathe because he has asthma..what’s going on is there anything that can reduce this problem?

    • Jan Modric


      his doctor can say if there is any inflammation or infection in his respiratory tract.

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  • atmocaco

    for the past few days i’ve been having just a sore throat and at night i get chest pain. i don’t have to cough or anything. but until today i’ve cough a few times and my mucus is a little red with orange. but when i wake up in the morning my chest hurts and my throat feels dry and sore..? what could it be?

    • Jan Modric


      red/orange color may be from blood and this can be from infection (bronchitis, pneumonia, tuberculosis, throat infection) or cancer, for example (mostly occuring in smokers). Blood in the sputum is considered as urgency – a doctor can make sputum and other tests to give a diagnosis.

  • reckoner321

    marijuana users will only cough up black/grey phlegm if they dont smoke the high grade stuff..yeaaaahhhh

  • jonnyboy

    I smoke nearly a half ounce of weed everyday seince I was 15 and everyone saying you don’t get black phlem isn’t smokeing as much as you think,i have a jet black phlem everytime I cough and iv never smoked a ciggaret in my life

  • samudio210

    Hey guys I have a few concerns of my own. Maybe you guys can help. My fiance quit smoking about 6 months ago. Im not sure if that has anything to do with the way hes been feeling but lately he says hes been getting a cold chest and coughs up alot of mucus once in awhile spits out black. At night we have to sleep with the cieling fan off because he says its too cold for his chest. I dont like seeing him like this any advice?

    • Jan Modric


      coughing up mucus after quitting smoking is a natural reaction of the body that wants to get rid of tar from the lungs. If he has even slightly raised body temperature, I recommend him to visit a doctor, who can confirm/exclude an infection.

  • sennarasool

    iam a 29 yr old housewife…i ve been having cold for the past 2 weeks…evrytime i get a cold, d running nose lasts for 2-3 weeks…the mucous is usually thick yellowish..attimes with black streeks…sometimes its clear…nd since last 2 days its yellowish orangish in clour..with streeks of blood.
    is it normal???i dont smoke.

    • Jan Modric


      nose can bleed quite easilly, but the whole appearance of this bloody, orangish mucus sounds a bit unusual and could be from a bacterial infection, rather than usual viral infection in cold. You may visit an ENT, who can examine your nose – a deviated septum or nasal polyps…may be a cause of prolonged infection with unusual mucus.

  • sennarasool

    thank u so much for d reply..will visit an ENT soon!

  • bridget

    i smoked 5 years and just quit cigarettes, weed and the occasional other because lately there’s been a pain in my right lung sometimes i feel it just normally and when i breathe in deep at the bottom and when i press under my breast it hurts? so maybe bruising i don’t know. anyway i’m still coughing up green, brown and black coloured stuff. will the pain go once i’ve expelled everything??..i’m only 18 i’m not living the rest of my life with a pain in my chest. i came to china to quit smoking and my insurance specifically doesn’t cover unstated lung problems despite having an x-ray saying nothing was wrong..

    • Jan Modric


      in general, lung or lung membrane diseases do not cause pain caused by pressure upon the chest wall. One possible cause of such pain is persistent coughing. You might spit out the mucus for some weeks, and after stopping coughing you will see if pain will go away. If you notice any blood in the mucus or slightly elevated temperature (night sweating…), visit a doctor.

  • ferretbam

    The black marijuana phlegm is from the resins (the stuff left in a glass pipe) that are in it. FYI

  • jodie097

    i have had a cold for the past two or three weeks and i keep coughing up phlegm and blowing loads and loads or orange/green/pink jelly-like stuff out of my nose. i am really worried..any ideas on what it could be?

    • Jan Modric


      one possible cause is sinusitis. I recommend you to visit an ENT.

  • Mcob

    Ive been smoking mary for 20 years myself . And i spit blak tar out like im possessed. Its kinda like my lungs go into clean out mode . Not for the squeemish
    Btw i do not and have not smoked cigs. N besides the rez my lungs are in great shape i still play music and sports . Cheers all

  • Darcy910

    I’ve been a marijuana user for only 3 years, and I cough up black phlegm. I’m wondering if it could be another contributing factor that causes my phlegm to be black.

    • Jan Modric


      smoking, second hand smoke, a fungal infection of the airways, and dried blood particles could possibly cause black phlegm.

  • rosie88

    I was exposed to mold at work over 4 years ago. I have been ill since. I take cycles that are worse than others where I expell large quanties of mucous. It can take hours (up to ten) at a time expelling this mucous. It varies in colour from brown to green to white. Some is gelatin like and some is encapsulated. I have had cultures done and one time they found a rare infection which no doctor had heard of. Prior to expelling mucous I lose my abiltity to walk properly and take spells where my arms freeze. It is called seizure like activity but I am full aware of what is happening. I have been to many specialists and no one can determine the problem. Any suggestions of tests I need done?

    • Jan Modric


      it is a pulmologist who can order tests. Possible fungal infections of the respiratory tract are described here.

  • keke25

    Hello, I’m a non-smoker I have been sick for almost a week now. (I have been to the DR. in the past and I alway walk away with a sinus nasal drip.) Now with that in mind, I always get the cough and it’s a greenish yellow. what shouls I be taking? Should I see a Doctor?

    • Jan Modric


      what are your exact symptoms? Sinusitis may be bacterial or viral – bacterial one can be treated with prescribed antibiotics.

  • keke25

    I had the drip thing, and then it turns into a cough. It’s a dry cough and I can’t breath though my nose. I have been taking Nyquil and dayquil, Now my cough is wet and the mucus is a Yellow with a greenish hint to it.

    • Jan Modric


      if blocked nose is more than just from a common cold, an ENT can examine you and give you a diagnosis. He can also take a sample of your spit and send it to the laboratory, where they can find out is it due to an inflammation or infection.

  • jodie097

    thanks so much, i was really worried. I will ask my parents to take me to one x

  • jodie097

    Jan Modric,

    At the top it says that green mucus might be dues to cystic fybrosis, for example. I very very often have thick green mucus stuck to the back of my throat, near the tonsils, that area (not on the tonsils) I dont really know the exact symptoms of cystic fybrosis, but i often get really bad tummy aches and thick or frothy mucus and at night my nose is often swollen and i cant breathe through it. i am only twelve but i dont really know if i am overreacting? i would love to hear what you have to say, and this is a brilliant website! it helps so much! to thank you and i look forward to hearing from you

    • Jan Modric


      cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease, in which mucus glands in the nose, breathing airways and digestive tract produce abnormally thick mucus. Symptoms usually appear shortly after birth, continue through the life and include: blocked nose with thick mucous discharge, frequent respiratory infections, diarrhea with mucus in the stool. These symptoms would be likely present all the time from the moment when they appear. If you have periods during which you have no symptoms you’ve mentioned, I doubt you have cystic fibrosis. I don’t know, if some so mild variants of this disease that would cause only temporary symptoms exist. Diagnosis is very easy: a doctor (I think a doctor for ears, nose and throat (ENT), pulmologist – a doctor for lungs, or a gastroenterologist) can perform a special “sweat test” in which concentration of chloride in the sweat is determined – it is increased in cystic fibrosis.

      An ENT can examine your nose and throat and may give you a diagnosis, like sinusitis or nasal polyps or whatever he/she will find. If the ENT cannot find a diagnosis you can mention cystic fibrosis, and the doctor will consider if this is likely or not.

      Here is a personal medical history questionnaire with several detailed questions. It may be a bit overwhelming, but if you read it through and recall any other symptoms you have now or you had in the past, write them down on the paper and have it handy when speaking with the doctor.

  • jodie097

    okay, thanks so much. none of my family have it, so maybe I am just overreacting. my parents or doctors or anyone have never mentioned any concernes about it, and they would probably of noticed something, plus i worry about a lot of things. cancer is one thing – i dont have a family history of cancer so i know i am probably overreacting but i constantly have little twitches or pains in random parts of me (which is probably just growing). i might discuss it with my parents, and i will take a look at the link that you put up. thanks again so much, Jodie x

    • Jan Modric


      describe the twitches (where, when, triggers…) along with other symptoms. Maybe a doctor will decide to make a blood test for common minerals and vitamins, which deficiencies can cause twitching. Cystic fibrosis often affects only one member of the family, since two impaired genes (one from mother and one from father) have to join together to cause a disease.

  • jodie097

    well, they usually happen when i am sat down or not doing much, and they happen in my legs, my eyes, inside me somewhere sometimes (near the gut i think) . and i pretty much always have pains around the groin area (in or near the ovaries) which i always get, which hurts. i take a vitamin tablet everyday, its nothing big its just a kiddies vitamin d, c, and i think a chewable tablet ( called haliborange) also i dont have thick mucus every single second of very singe day, but i do get loads of colds and i do very often have thick mucus

    • Jan Modric


      you can now tell all these details to the doctor. The doctor will examine you and maybe take a sample of mucus from your nose or throat and tell what can be done.

  • sriffle2010

    I realized when I spit out mucus but it come with strange something look like rock it is white and it smell like rotten what really is it come from? I still had it for 2 years. Is it cause by smokeless tobacco or natural cause?

    • Jan Modric


      I don’t know, but I strongly recommend you to visit a doctor. It could be some sort of inflammation in the airways in your chest.

  • M. Espitia

    I’m not a smoker of either and I have been told by the dr. that the black particales are not dried blood.

    I did work in a office for 11 yrs that had partical bds ceilings that were infested with “RAT” poop – could breathing in that stuff be harmful to your health.

    • Jan Modric

      M. Espita,

      there are bacterial, viral, fungal and viral infections, parasites, allergies (including allergies to molds) and pollutants that can affect the breathing pathways. Infections from rat poop would be possible by a stool-to-mouth route, but allergies could develop by inhaling allergy-triggering particles. All of these, except pollution and smoking, would likely cause more symptoms than just black particles in the sputum. Blood can appear as black particles. If any doubt, insist in having the sputum tested.

  • UpAllNight

    The smelly white rocks expelled with your cough are from your tonsils. they’re called “tonsilliths.” they form in the crypts of your tonsils and can come out on their own, such as in the case you described, or they can be dislodged and removed with a water-pik. hope that helps!

  • PF

    I never usually get sick easily. I get one flu every year and everything else I can fight off. If I ever coughed anything up occasionally the phlegm would be between a light yellow to fluro green but usually cleared up in a few days. Until this year… 3-4 months ago I started feeling breathless etc. And my theory was it was a bronchial problem. It cleared up after 2 weeks without needing to visit a doctor. At least I thought it did. A week later I started feeling the same again and it kept getting worse. I saw a doctor who told me I had a bronchial infection. That got better and now a few months on I’m sick again, started as just my throat/nose and is now in my chest as well. I was coughing up yellow phlegm this morning but it looks like its starting to turn green now. I haven’t been so sick so often in my whole life and it only started after I got my Swine/ Seasonal Flu shots and apparently these flu shots contain dangerous chemicals that can have an impact on a persons immune system. 1. I advise people to think carefully about getting flu shots and get all the facts. 2. I honestly feel like crap right now (headache, nasal congestion, cough, Fever, sore throat (in like 3 different places), neck pain, I couldn’t sleep last night and have just woken up from half passing out on the couch(Struggling to breath), and pain whenever I touch (what I figure is) my lymph nodes. Refers to just about everything. But if anyone has any suggestions as to what I have please say so.

    • Jan Modric


      You might have some sort of infection, so I suggest you to go to the doctor, who can order appropriate tests to find out if you have flu, swine flu, viral pneumonia or something other. They are atypical or viral pneumonias, for example, that often have such a vague come-and-go course.

  • Hailey

    Hi, I’ve started a cold 3 days ago, and today i feel it just got worse. Before I had clear mucus and now it’s different shades of yellow, usually thick. I cough alot and usually end up coughing mucus out. My whole body is sore, my throat isn’t that sore anymore,it’s just filled with mucus. I sneeze alot and sometimes I loose my voice. I haven’t had a fever. I just feel really tired all the time, and can’t get any sleep because my nose gets so stuffy I have to blow alot. (I’ve blown so much that my nose is really dry and red and it hurts to touch it) my throat looks really red in the back. What could I have? I have missed one day of school due to this. And I thought I would be getting better but I guess not. I don’t think I can go tomorrow either 🙁

    • Jan Modric


      this appears to be more than just a common cold. Despite the absence of fever, it could be the flu (including swine flu), because sore throat, tiredness and body aches are typical symptoms. Stuffed nose could be just a part of the flu, or it could be from a viral or bacterial sinusitis. It could be better not to to the school until you feel tired, but I recommend you to visit your doctor.

  • JohnnyD

    I am coughing up black phlegm but I am not a smoker, don’t receive second hand smoke, and I am 19 with no smoking related illnesses, I don’t have tuberculosis, and I only drink water (no cocoa). So what do I have then?

    • Jan Modric


      for how long do you coughing up black phlegm? Do you think it could be from the air pollution? Is it completely black or in the form of black specks? Is it mixed with a clear or yellow/green mucus? Any pain, fever or other symptoms? A fungal infection would be possible…or dried blood. In any case, i recommend you to visit a pulmologist.

  • Pma

    Obviously EVERY pot head is not going to be coughing up black mucus, just like every cig smoker won’t. Just because it didn’t happen to you doesn’t mean its not accurate.

  • hooftly

    Ive read a lot of comments and there are a lot of mis conceptions. I have been having dark grey mucus for about a month now and had no idea what it was from. After visiting this website ive come to realize that yes it is from my marijuana use. Al on feb 5 satated that marijuana and cigarettes have the almost the same tar content. The actual fact of the matter is if your comparing a cig to a joint of the same measurment the joint will actually have a tar content almost 7 times higher. So if your a relaltivley healthy person and are a marijuana user, the dark grey phlegm is just a by product of your happy plant use!

    • Jan Modric


      dark grey phlegm after smoking marijuana does not appear to be normal to me, the same as it is not after cigarette smoking. It may be common, but I wouldn’t associate that with being “happy”.

  • Nickitt

    Hi, I am 20 and have clear slimy mucous I cough up usually throughout the day for a couple months now. I’m a tobacco smoker and Nug (weed) the sticky stuff smoker. Maybe a viral infection? I’m getting a humidifier soon which I think may help. It’s 72 in the house and my fingers and tip of my nose are cold. I have a weird chest pain? In (my lower) right area, comes and goes and there is no pain if I press on my stomach. My shits got some mucous too, which I’m not sure if their tied together but one would assume. I’d sure appreciate the information.. I’m not scared to go to the doctor but I don’t have time to, literally.

    • Jan Modric


      stop smoking cigarettes and marijuana. I can’t say if you got an infection, but it obviously is an inflammation of your airways. Common causes of mucus in the stool are irritable bowel syndrome, food intolerances, intestinal parasites, hemorrhoids – to narrow down the possibilities, I would need to know eventual other symptoms you have – bloating, loose stools, constipation, fever….

      • MV

        Um you realize cannabis is a bronchial-dilator ? Telling him to stop smoking at this point is the same as telling someone with asthma to stop taking their puffer (cannabis works better than corticosteriods for the purposes of treating athsma by the way !).

        • MV, you have made several claims here about marijuana use. When referring to studies, please state the exact paper you are referring to or a link to it. While some of the claims you make do have some basis, as in the link to COPD, you need to be aware that the bronchodilator effects are not as notable as you state.

          Firstly, it is a short-term effect with cannabis use as opposed to the longer effect of pharmaceutical bronchodilators. The bronchodilator effect of cannabis is also of a slower onset. Secondly, the modest benefit only applies to acute bronchospasm. Long term cannabis use has been associated with bronchitis and an exacerbation of asthma. So please do not compare cannabis use to a bronchodilator or infer that we have advised readers not to use their bronchodilators.

  • Nickitt

    Hey again, no fever that I know of. I do have sort of a boating issue, it comes and goes like the above mentioned chest pain. My stool has lately been pretty loose and breaks up as soon as it hits the water, but if I work all day and come home its fine and looks like a normal stool. I usually find myself pushing when there is nothing there but yet it feels like there is. I went to the doctor couple months ago to have my testicles checked out because I thought that had something to do with it, I even had him check out my butt because if I pushed real hard a hemmoroid? Would pop out then go back in, he said everything was okay but I knew there was something more. I just don’t understand how to exactly point my doctor in the correct way. I’m getting really tired of having the mucous everywhere. I just bought a pack of smokes and I think it will be my last pack bought. I have a gram or so and which will be my last sack bought. I’m going to have major withdrawals so ill probably use my fake cigarette provided by njoy, e cigarettes and slowly decrease the milligrams of nicotine intake to my system. I appreciate it Mr.

    • Jan Modric


      abdominal bloating and mucus in the stool lasting for months are symptoms of a gastrointestinal disorder. It could be a food intolerance (celiac disease, fructose malabsorption, lactose intolerance or IBS), intestinal parasites, Crohn’s list few of them. I recommend you to arrange the appointment with a gastroenterologist and stop smoking.

  • Nickitt

    Oh and another thing I forgot to mention is, I will have cloudy stuff floating on top either via poop or via urine…. hope that also helps.. thanks Jan Modric

  • Brit

    Hello, i just suddenly out of nowhere two days ago began to start coughing very badly and sometimes would cough up phlegm but would be hard to cough out. Also as another symptom, going up the stairs has become very difficult to do. When my heart starts to race it actually hurts to breath by how tight or pressured my chest is. Also i can’t take long breaths, it hurts in the back of my throat to do so. I have never had asthma or any other breathing problems and im pretty worried by this, I’m only 15 and this has never happened to me before. I don’t smoke and always been pretty healthy. Please help if you have any information,
    Thank you.

    • Jan Modric


      please speak with your parents and visit a doctor as soon as possible. The phlegm may be caused by bronchitis or pneumonia, for example, and this may affect your breathing. The doctor can judge if you got some infection and perform appropriate tests.

  • Sarah

    I have had strep throat for over two weeks now and I’ve been coughing up some really thick dark green/brown mucus. The mucus is also really sticky and when I do cough it up it is usually in large amounts. What does this mean? Also another anomaly is that normally a fever accompanies a strep infection yet I don’t have one. Why?

    • Jan Modric


      “strep throat” specifically means a throat infection by streptococci (bacteria). High fever, sore and inflamed throat and enlarged lymph nodes in the neck or behind the ears are usual. Diagnosis of a strep throat can be only confirmed by a test of the throat secretions. Infection or inflammation (without infection and hence without fever) of the trachea or bronchi could be the cause of large amount of mucus. I recommend you to visit a doctor who can tell if you need some investigation and medications.

  • Sarah

    Thank you for the help. I appreciate it.

  • Heather

    I have been blowing my nose very frequently in the cold of december and sometimes there is black mucus or phlegm in the tissue. I feel fine, not sick. Just having a runny nose due to cold weather. Also I am 7 months pregnant and nervous if it could effect my unborn child. Is this something to worry about?

    • Jan Modric


      if you think black mucus is not caused by environmental pollution or smoking, I recommend you to visit an ENT doctor. One unusual cause is an allergy to molds.

  • Fabu

    i smoked natural weed from the tropics for many years and although i am neither a doctor nor a specialist, I want to assure all of you that a joint of the same size as a cigarette has way more tar. Far more than a cigarette of the same size. maybe it explains why smoking a lot of weed causes black phlegm, even though i never experienced this personally, it sounds reasonable to me.

    • MV

      The 20 year study on over 5000 cannabis smokers lungs shows they are at the same risk for COPD as non-smokers. Stop painting Cannabis in a bad light based on your IGNORANCE.

      • Werigo

        You are either a troll or a horribly misinformed and very stupid hippy. Anything you burn and breath in is carcinogenic due to the breakdown of carbons. To say that resin in your lungs is beneficial is completely retarded. Also you paralyze the cilia so any other harmful substances you expose yourself to such as mold, dust, fumes etc etc. end up sitting in that tar in your lungs. Stop spreading ignorance you turd.

        • Michelle McNees

          Actually you didn’t do your homework… watch drug wars 2…

      • Leon Penn

        That study was severely flawed. The 5000 candidates that you speak of were not heavy smokers.

    • MV

      Did I forget to mention the “tar” you speak of has medical healing properties ? Yeah bet you didn’t know that, isolating chemicals for examination is MUCH DIFFERENT than having those chemicals work in action. Just because there are carcinogens in cannabis smoke, doesn’t mean the active ingredients in Cannabis do not neutralize them (before you ask, yes studies show the THC molecule can neutralize carcinogens in smoke).

      • Rene Starr Shepard

        Tar is deadly who told you it has healthy benefits.that’s a lie to keep you smoking..

        • Leon Penn

          Tar causes COPD, an undeniable fact.

  • Fabu

    btw, i got to know this by looking at stubs of joints: they have a sticky residue of such a huge amount you would be shocked you smoked that shit at all!

  • guest

    I’ve been a marijuana user for 10 years and i just now am seeing the black phlegm come up. just cause some people have the symptoms and others don’t, dosen’t make the information wrong. why can’t people put two and two together

  • Amber

    Hi, I am 16 years old, I smoked for about 4 months straight 2 years ago, I have been really tired, and I am athletic. I am coughing up black mucus and the black stuff is more like hard tape …. what could that be caused by?

    • Dr. Chris

      Hi Amber

      It is unlikely that this is a consequence of smoking such a long time ago but of course various possibilities do exist which could be related to smoking. You have to see a doctor who can examine you further and make a diagnosis. Black mucus is usually a result of “old”blood, carbon dust particles like in coal worker’s pneumonconiosis or something you ate or drank that has a black colorant to it. If it is “old blood”, then his could be due to infections in the lungs, airways or even nasal cavity. There are also other possibilities here but as you can see, we cannot give you a definitive answer with such limited information. Either way, you need professional medical assistance. Speak to your parents about your symptoms so that they can take you in to see a doctor. This may be related to uncommon but very serious underlying chronic conditions.

  • Misti

    I think all the denial from the drug users is funny, I have been smoking marijuana for 20 yrs. Since I was 13, I am now 33, and when ever I have briefly quit, the black shit in my phlegm disappears, and as soon as I start up again, bingo! There it is again, I have just recently quit again (forever this time) and what do you know, the black shit has disappeared again, it’s a no brainer if you ask me, did you know one joint is equivalent in tar to 118 cigarettes? well there you go, just look at the black shit inside your bong or what comes out from the end of your joint, imagine what our poor lungs must look like

    • ike

      since ”a joint” has no specified mass, weight or volume, statements like ”one joint is equivalent in tar to 118 cigarettes” are meaningless propaganda.

    • MV

      LOL You are so mistaken, if you smoke at all you likely won’t cough up anything considering the fact the cilia in your lungs would be paralyzed, also the university of California did a 20 year study on Cannabis smokers pulmonary function, they found Cannabis users to be at the same risk for COPD as non-smokers, in addition to that, cannabis resin isn’t, chemically speaking, an actual resign or tar… And what you are coughing up isn’t from smoking a single joint, moron, it’s loosening the tar already accumulated in your lungs, it’s helping you cough it up…From reading your post you clearly have some sort of pulmonary degeneration/decline in lung function. Also get your facts straight.

    • Leon Penn

      I’m having the opposite effect. I’ve smoked weed for about 18 years and just quit about 40 days ago. I caught a cold, am on antibiotics, and have had this runny nose/cough for 9 days now. I’ve coughed up small amounts of black pieces mixed with clear phlem in the past, but nothing like this. I even blew some black pieces out my nose today and am really confused. Since I quit, I’ve coughed up more black pieces than ever. I’m going to go to the doc on Monday and see what they say. I feel fine overall, just annoyed by a really runny nose that is draining and making me cough from time to time. Also, I dont smoke cigarettes.

    • Never Panic its Organic

      “did you know one joint is equivalent in tar to 118 cigarettes?”

      Come on misti, never go full retard!

      that is 100% false

  • Spring Mc Baker Erasmus

    I have been smoking marijuana quite heavily on a daily basis for a abit more than a year now, I quit smoking ciggies then. As soon as i started smoking ciggies in conjunction with the marijuana, i noticed i started coughing up brown speckled clear ball like phleghm, If i wake in the morning i will cough up really cloudy white, sometimes with a slight yellow tinge. I sometimes have clear gel like ball phleghm, so strange. Now i know this is from smoking weed and ciggaretts, and probably because i smoke bong mostly… but i just wanted to know from anyone els. And should i be worried? I have been coughing like this for over 5 months…

    • Tony VanDine

      So you smoke the two combined out of the bong? Here we call them molers, or moles. I’ve been smoking like that for years, and I notice the same things after smoking really heavily the night before, and also if I don’t cough and spit after every single rip. Also they are super sticky, right? Like some crazy cartoon booger that you can’t flick away? I’ve also wondered what makes these phlegm chunks different from normal ones, but there’s no real answer that I have come across.

      • Hi Tony and Spring. We cannot say for sure. Hopefully other marijuana smokers could share their experiences. Mucus production to this extent is obviously not a good sign and it may be worth having it checked up by a doctor. Only some of the phlegm may be expelled and whatever remains in the respiratory tract or lungs can increase the risk of infections.

  • musa

    i was very shocked when i coughed out mucus like beef, green black strong one, it happens mostly in da morning. been suffering from a chest pain, chest congestion related to sinus, since im seasonal sinusitis, thank you for your answers.

    • Hi Musa. Green mucus is not uncommon when there is an infection or extensive inflammation even without an infection. The black particles may be due to blood. However, the concern here is that if it is ongoing then this may be the sign of various respiratory diseases that need to be assessed by a doctor. It is also worrying if you work in a mine or factory dealing with certain chemicals. See your doctor as soon as possible. Many people think that if there is no fresh blood then it is not serious. But this is untrue. Your doctor will advise you further.

    • John

      Pneumonia. that would be my guess.

  • Kayla

    For the first time, I slightly threw up rusty/brown phlegm and have been feeling fatigued and do get shortness of breath just walking short distances and have been having slight chest pains almost on a daily basis. I looked this up and got “Acute Bronchitis” as a result but I want more opinions/answers before I decide to go to the hospital.

    • Hi Kayla. You should not delay seeking medical treatment in order to search for more “opinions/answers” online. Acute bronchitis can progress rapidly and the longer you wait to start treatment, the long it takes to recover and sometimes the more difficult to condition is to treat. Antibiotics are necessary for treating acute bronchitis (most are due to bacterial infections) and every day counts. Please see a doctor ASAP.

  • Ebony

    So the past few days I’ve been coughing up a lot of phlegm; yellowish, white, dark grey or I guess it’s defined as the black phlegm. But I never encountered this since about 6 years of smoking weed and rarely blacks. My sister had a cold, then I started to get one. I took Alka seltzer plus and felt better. However now I just keep coughing up the different color phlegm… feedbacks and comments?

    • Hi Ebony. It is worth getting this checked up by a doctor. It may be acute bronchitis since you seem to have developed it after a cold. However, there may be other causes as well. You mention long term smoking of marijuana and these symptoms could be related to chronic bronchitis. Other lung diseases like TB may also cause a productive cough even if there is no overt sign of blood. Rather seek medical attention. The earlier treatment commences the better the outcome.

  • Veesmom

    Hi! I went to my doctor last week with a very deep sounding voice, like a bass in a chorus, I am a 53 year old female, and I told her that I have been sneezing, coughing for a few days. I am also on amlodipine for HBP. She checked my lungs, breathing with her stethoscope and said that my lungs sound clear. I also told her that when I blow my nose, the mucus is usually thin slightly light yellow, and when I try to cough and feel that the phlegm is trying to come up and out of my throat/mouth, it’s usually kind of thick, yellow and gel-like. Sometimes it was hard to get it out from the back of the throat. She told me to try the OTC medication Coricidin HBP Chest Congestion and Cough. I took 1 gel-tablet about 2 hours ago and the first time I coughed up some phlegm it was the same as I mentioned above but a little of a pale yellow. But it was easier to spit out of my mouth. And when I blow my nose, it’s sometimes clear or slightly yellowish. Is that some sign that there might be an underlying infection?

    • Hi Veesmom. Yes, it’s most likely an infection and should resolve in a few days, if it has not done so already. Some of the symptoms may still take some time to ease, like a running nose can persist for up to a week or so after the infection resolves. Similarly your deep voice will also take some time. However, it is important to keep an eye on any symptoms that are worsening. If your body was not able to overcome the infection or the medication was not sufficient then the infection can recur. You should then immediately see your doctor. The decongestant that you used is specifically for hypertensive patients as many other OTC brands has ingredients that can elevate your blood pressure and heart rate. So always be careful with OTC cold and flu medication.

      • Veesmom

        Hello again and thank you for responding. Since my posting my coughing and coughing up phlegm has ceased and I am no longer taking the cough/congestion medicine. I only took a total of about 4 gel tablets. I took one at a time. Every once in a long while, I get a little cough. But while I was on that specific cough /congestion medication, the stuff that I coughed up was thinning and clear. When I blow my nose now, however, the mucus is a little reddish. I think that I may have overblown, no pun intended, something in my nose. But that is only in my right nostril. No blood drips from my nose as if I was having a bloody nose. And when I pat the inside of my right nostril, there’s a little blood. Could I have popped some blood vessels in my nostrils? Is there a reason for concern about this? I just don’t want to go to my gp and have her shrug it off as something from the cold that she said I had. BTW, all of this cold stuff happened after my ex-husband, who my daughter and I have to live with, had his upper respiratory infection and then my daughter got her sinus infection. Both were given Azithromycin (5 day z-pack) and have since recovered from their ailments. Could my immune system been compromised also and is just clearing itself up now? I am sorry for the length of this post and am waiting for your response. Thank you again.

        • Hi Veesmom. Yes, it could very well be due to the strain of blowing your nose forcefully. The nasal tissue is probably still inflamed and the blood vessels does easily break in this area. But it is nothing to worry about. However, if your symptoms persist or worsen then it could be a secondary infection that does sometimes arise after the cold or flu. Seeing that you are very concerned about your symptoms which are actually quite minor, it is advisable that you consult with your doctor in person and put your mind at ease. We are an online service to guide readers and cannot diagnose your condition or provide definitive answers for your case.

          • Veesmom

            HI again! Well, I have good news, I am not experiencing any of the mucus issues that I mentioned above. I understand that if I need to put my mind at ease with anything, that I should contact my own doctor. I truly appreciate your help with my issues.

          • Hi Veesmom. Glad to hear that there has been significant improvement in your condition. It was a pleasure being of assistance.

  • vaishali

    i have stop smoking…it’s been 14 days …but i am having white and black /gray phlegm and pain in chest since 2 days…is it side effect of quitting smoking…or i should go to doctor ….

    • Hi Vaishali. It is very difficult to say for sure. This could very well an infection that you picked up if it started so suddenly. Some smokers do report a cough and phlegm which is thought to occur as the lung tissue returns to normal and is able to expel excess mucus. So you could in a way say that this is a ‘side effect’ of quitting but it is a positive sign. However, there is no way of knowing for sure. Rather speak to your doctor.

      • vaishali

        What sign …?? I have shown to doctor he said not to the side effect or infection ..!! And i taking the medicine’s also..

        • Hi Vaishali. If your doctor says that it’s fine then there probably is nothing to be concerned about. We were simply stating possible causes but as you said your doctor has ruled these conditions out. So just continue with the medication your doctor has prescribed and follow up with him/her as advised.

      • vaishali

        What sign p.lz tell that..? I have shown to the Doctor..!! He told not to worry,it’s not TB or Lung cancer
        I am taking the medicine…

  • Kim

    I have been sick for a month now. Started with coughing up yellow mucus that has now turned to a greenish color. About a week ago the mucus started containing blood in it. Lots of blood when I cough at night. It is foul smelling and tastes horrible. When I started going into the coughing spasms my whole upper body will hurt like needles are being shot into my lungs and face area. I’ve been to the Dr. once and was given cough medicine with hydrocodone to quiet the cough and antibiotics. No relief except when I was able to take the cough medicine twice a day (as per directions). After two weeks even sicker. Went to the ER and described the mucus and blood, cough, exhaustion, feeling of elephant sitting on chest. Did chest xray and ruled out pneumonia (I tend to get this rather easily) and diagnosed with acute bronchitis. RXs of 3 days of prednisone, cough medicine with codeine and inhaler. Today is the 5th day since ER and I am getting worse. Don’t know what to do as the Dr. at the ER was curt and really didn’t seem to give a darn. My general Dr. has always been useless. Suggestions?

    • Hi Kim. It may be time to see a pulmonologist. Whenever you start antibiotics, it is always advisable to follow up with the doctor who prescribed it at the end of the course. Most courses of antibiotics are 5 days and in most instances there should be significant improvement in the infectious symptoms by day 3. Nevertheless the entire course of antibiotics must be finished to prevent the development of drug resistant strains.In this case you should have followed up with your doctor after day 5.

      It is possible that the infection recurred but it is also possible that you second bout is not an infection, especially if you have underlying respiratory problems like COPD which you never knew. If you are an asthmatic or a smoker then your risk of complications from respiratory infections increases significantly as well. Standard treatment which your doctor may have undertaken may not have yielded the desired results.

      So it’s possibly not so much that the doctor was at fault but rather your body did not respond as was thought it would and further compounded if you did not have a follow up consultation with your doctor. It really is difficult to say with any certainty through an online platform. Remember the ER is there for emergency conditions. At the end of the day the management of your condition lies with your family doctor. Speak to your doctor about a referral to a pulmonologist or consult with one on your own if you are able to do so.

      • Kim

        thank you.
        I went back to the Dr. and was put on prednisone, zpack (5day), albuterol inhaler, cough med (tussinex), tessalon pearls. After 6 days I am starting to feel better.
        Now my grandson is sick again…….trying to stay away from him but that is hard to do when he is home sick and I am the one watching him. UGH!!!!
        Thank you again 🙂

        • Hi KIm. You are welcome. Glad to hear that you followed up with your doctor and that you are feeling better. You may not necessarily be at risk with your being exposed to your grandson since you are already on antibiotics and if he has the same viral infection as you did then you would already have developed immunity to it. Nevertheless it is always advisable to be cautious.

      • pat

        A PPD skin test would be a consideration.

    • Michelle McNees

      Kim, is the foul smell and taste, like, rust ?

  • Sebastian Pedro Guerrero Alvar

    Hello all the time in morning I have lots of phlegm green or clear why is that

  • Juan

    anything other than fresh clean air is the only thing known not to cause your lungs harm, don’t listen to these pot heads that ell you weed has healing properties for your lungs the studies they talk about are bias at best from the university of potheadville. Do not take their advice go see a doctor who has a degree and a specialty in the respiratory system and is well known and respected.

    • Hi Juan. Thank you for your input. Yes, you’re correct. Any smoke inhalation can damage your lungs be it through tobacco, marijuana or environmental smoke.

  • Dawn Evins

    About 2 days ago I started with the runny nose then yesterday the cough the phlegm is so thick and light yellow almost Like puss and has the worst taste what possibly is it

    • Hi Dawn. This could be indicative of a bacterial infection of the nose or sinuses, or even lower down the respiratory passages. It is a common occurrence after a cold or the flu. It’s worth having it checked up as you may need antibiotics if it has not resolved as yet.

  • kylea

    I have been smoking weed for 16 years and i have never coughed up anything black. It isnweird because every other smoker i know has .

    • Hi Kylea. That’s a difficult question to answer. Some people do and some don’t. A similar situation applies to tobacco smoking. Some people will develop lung disease and even cancer sooner than others and there is no specific reason why this happens. There are many factors at play such as how often you smoke, the quantity and the quality of the plant. Nevertheless it is not advisable to continue with this habit.

  • mrs. anitha

    Hi for last six year I have runny nose and continuous sneeze at morning time,when cleaning the dust, especially the cold breeze suffers me.. it continuous for 24 to 48 hrs then it reduce by taking citrizen 2 times per day …I take homeopathy treatment for 2 years and ayurvedic treat for 1year and still allopathy treatment like nasal spray montex tab but no any use… All give temporary solution.. Sometimes citizen also not working please give me a permanent solution…

  • Annette Morgan

    my daughter had a cold with a temperature of 101% maybe more, and has been coughing for weeks. Last night she coughed up a gray colored plug. she is finally able to blow her nose with results, but I’m worried. Help!

  • Annette Morgan

    I should say she has never smoked anything all her life, she is 45

  • Ryma Sen

    my phlegm was rusty color i don’t smoke i don’t know what the reason behind it someone help me how to cure this ill?

  • Crystal

    I’ve been coughing up thick thick yellow cold and this has been going on for about two months now it happens mainly in the mornings it then is really thick and a lot and there’s no other symptoms just this do I need to see a doctor or is there something I can do at home?

  • Sue Dobell

    My husband has severe emphysema and has started to cough up white mucus… is this part of the emphysema getting worse…

  • Nusrath Rohaiyah


    the mucus (mouth) from my chest sometime are in brown or rusty color even if i dont have cough. i do have sinus problem and i dont smoke. It happens rarely. there is also sometime little black particles in the phlegm. what does this means?

    • Hi Nusrath. You would probably need to undergo further diagnostic investigations, like a sputum test, to identify the cause. As you can see from the article above, there are many possible causes of the phlegm. It could be from the nose or from the lower airways and even the lungs. There is no way to say for sure. You should consult with a doctor who can assess you. Once the diagnosis is reached, the appropriate treatment will be then prescribed.