Does removing phlegm from your body help your body get rid of bad bugs (virus) or does it just relieve your congestion symptoms?

Relatedly if clearing your body does help, then do decongestants prolong sickness at the expense of relieving symptoms?

  • We want to focus our attention on doubtful claims that are widely held or are made by notable people. Please provide some references to places where this claim is being made.
    – Oddthinking
    Sep 7 '13 at 11:10
  • oh I thought this was a common things parents told their kids. I guess not your parents :) Sep 7 '13 at 11:14
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    I guess I already found my answer by trying to find sources that show this is a common belief: #5 at new scientist newscientist.com/blog/shortsharpscience/2008/09/… and oddly it turns out that blowing can be harmful nytimes.com/2009/02/10/health/10real.html?_r=0 Sep 7 '13 at 11:18
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    +1 for your comment. Due diligence: w00t! I wish everyone would research for a notable claim before they post their question, however for reasons which escape me popular opinion doesn't seem to agree (ref, ref) with taking such a hard line.
    – ChrisW
    Sep 7 '13 at 13:35

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