have a cold and coughing up brown phlegm

Mucus is a normal phenomenon of having a chest or cold infection. Although it can be gross, mucus is important as it protects the surface of the mucus making tissues, such as those located in the mouth, sinuses, nose, lungs, GI tract, as well as the throat, to ensure that they will not become dry.

Your mucus becomes greenish brown when it contains inflammatory cells especially those from leukocytes. Thin greenish coughing up brown mucus may be a result of inflammation of the respiratory tract, allergies, asthma, irritation, or an infection.

SEE ALSO: Coughing up thick dark green mucus and phlegm

Thick greenish yellow mucus is synonymous with an infection—bacterial or viral. It is one of the symptoms associated with bacterial pneumonia, chronic or acute bronchitis.

Green mucus often contains pus (this are white blood cells that have been mixed with numerous bacteria) and is often an indication of serious bacterial infection.
Greenish coughing up brown mucus can be produced when one is suffering from acute bronchitis, cystic fibrosis, chronic bronchitis, as well as atelectasis


Smoking is one of the known causes of coughing brown phlegm, which is as a result of combining nicotine, resins, and tar. All these accumulate into your lung and bronchial passages.
If you smoke, soot in your lungs can also be present in your cough
If you smoke, soot in your lungs can also be present in your cough.

If you are a heavy smoker, you will often exhibit symptoms such as brown nails as well as extreme coughing, and an offensive nicotine odor will accompany this.

If you are a chain smoker, you may end up with chronic bronchitis, and this may lead to emphysema.
It is a condition that is a result of the damage that is brought about by sustained nicotine use, and the smoke that gets into the air sacs present in your lungs.
It is a condition, which will make it difficult for a person to receive enough oxygen through their lungs.

When you have this condition, you will need to use inhalers, lung reduction, medications, surgery as well as oxygen therapy and in some cases, you may need to have a lung transplant. It is consequently recommended that you make the decision to quit smoking today to ensure that you will avoid dealing with the complications that come with it, such as having coughing up brown mucus.

Acid Reflux

It is possible that you are coughing up brown phlegm because you have acid reflux. It is something that happens when you regurgitate food, which will, in turn, appear as brown phlegm.

Acid reflux is a true condition especially when you are consuming coffee, chocolate, or red wine. It is vital to mention that if you have acid indigestion, you will not only notice coughing up brown mucus, but you may also notice brown bowl mucus. In such a case, it will mean that you have irritable bowel syndrome, hence the need to see your GP.