To treat chest congestion from a cold my mother — as well as my grandmother used to use the following home remedy:
Cut a six-inch or larger square from a brown paper bag. Slather one side of the paper with butter or shortening and sprinkle with nutmeg (the butter holds the nutmeg on and the nutmeg helps to loosen up the chest). Place nutmeg side down on the chest while lying down and cover with a towel, piece of flannel or pajamas. Crawl in bed and stay warm! This can be kept on the chest for as long as you like.