Natural Remedies for Nasal Congestion Relief
Winter weather can cause all sorts of illnesses, conditions, and general fatigue. According to WebMD, cold weather and busy schedules often lead to a cold or flu. One of the most common symptoms of flu is a stuffy nose. It is also called a nasal congestion. The symptoms of nasal congestion are:
- Periods of stuffy and runny nose – for example, you may have a clogged nose at night and a runny nose during the day, and vice versa.
- Sinus pressure.
- Sinus pain.
- The development of excess mucus in the nose.
- Swollen nasal tissues.
In the most cases, home remedies can be helpful enough to get rid of stuffy nose. But sometimes the cause of nasal congestion is a severe sinus infection that may need more medical assistance and possibly the use of prescription drugs.
Causes of nasal congestion
If you are wondering what causes a stuffy nose, consider that flu and colds are not the only factors. A clogged nose can be also one of the first symptoms of sinus infection.
According to the Mayo Clinic staff, a sinus infection is characterized by a stuffed and inflamed nose that doesn’t improve within 7 days like during a common cold or flu. Long-term nasal congestion may also happen because of chronic sinusitis.
The other widespread causes of clogged sinuses are:
- Seasonal allergies.
- Hay fever.
- The formation of nasal polyps.
- Benign tumors in the nasal passages.
- Regular inhalation of toxins.
- Environmental irritants.
Also, sinusitis with a severe nasal congestion may be more common in pregnant women, especially during the end of the first trimester. A stuffy nose during pregnancy may be triggered by hormonal changes and increased blood supply.
Medical remedies for stuffy nose
If you are looking for the answer to “how to get rid of a stuffy nose,” you may consider using any of the following over-the-counter or prescription medications:
- Oral antihistamines that are usually prescribed to cure allergies – loratadine (the brand name is Claritin) and cetirizine (Zyrtec)
- Nasal steroids – mometasone (Twisthaler), fluticasone (Flovent Diskus)
- Nasal sprays with antihistamine – azelastine (Astepro)
- Strong decongestants – Sudafed
- Any antibiotic medicine for a stuffy nose
If the reason for a nasal congestion in your case is polyps or tumors, a doctor may recommend draining out the mucus with the help of surgery.
Remedies for natural sinus relief
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
ACV is a natural remedy that can also help relieve a nasal congestion. For a nasal congestion relief, you may drink raw, unfiltered ACV, inhale its steam, gargle, or rinse your nose with it. If you choose to drink ACV for a stuffy nose, you may follow this recipe:
- Take 8 ounces of water;
- Take 2 tablespoons of ACV;
- Take 4 teaspoons of raw organic honey;
- Mix all the ingredients;
- Eat this mixture only when it is warm, every 8 hours.
For ACV inhalation, you can boil some ACV on the stove and then breathe its steam. Alternatively, you may add 2 drops of ACV in a saline nose spray.
Tomatoes can work as an effective sinus infection remedy. It may be not enough to eat tomatoes, so for a home sinus infection treatment, try a tomato tea:
- Take 2 cups of V8 tomato juice;
- Crush 2-3 cloves of garlic;
- Take 2 tablespoons of lemon juice;
- Take as much hot chili sauce as you can handle;
- Mix all the ingredients;
- Heat the mixture in the microwave;
- Slip very slowly and such the fumes through your nose until it goes down into the lungs.
- Drink as much as you need until you feel better.
Steam inhalations with herbs
Many doctors recommend taking a hot shower to relieve a stuffy nose. You can improve this recommendation by making an herbal mixture for steam inhalation. At first, you need a large bowl. Add to this bowl fresh or dried herbs (rosemary, eucalyptus, or peppermint). Add into the bowl some boiling water. Cover your head with a towel and bend over the bowl to inhale as more as you can. Alternatively, you may use a personal steamer.
A small amount of coconut oil mixed with a high-quality eucalyptus, mint or wintergreen essential oil (10 drops will be enough), rubbed on the chest area or under the nose, may ease the nasal congestion. To avoid possible side effects, never apply any essential oil directly on the skin. Use it with a carrier oil.
Keep in mind that this method can’t be used for children under 10 years because of the possible side effects of eucalyptus and rosemary essential oils. Mint essential oil can’t be given to kids under 6 years. Instead of these oils, try to replace with pine, spruce, and fir that can be used as safer nasal congestion remedies for kids.
A warm salt water gargle
To cope with mild nasal congestion, you may try a warm salt water gargle. This remedy can soothe the throat tissues that are commonly irritated by excessive nasal mucus. It can be helpful if you heat the mixture of distilled water and 2 tablespoons of table salt. Gargle the warm mixture at least 2-3 times a day.
Dietary tips for people with nasal congestion
If you are wondering how to relieve congestion, you may consider changing your daily diet by adding these foods:
- Cold water fish, eggs, nuts, fish oil, cod oil and flaxseed that are rich in omega 3 fatty acids;
- Chinese hot mustard;
- Cayenne pepper;
- Hot herbal tea with raw organic honey;
- Vitamin C rich fruits.
Foods that may worsen a stuffy nose:
- Dairy products;
- Potatoes and starchy vegetables.
Daily tips for clearing a stuffy nose
- Gently blow your nose, because forceful blows may only worsen the problem.
- You may use a saline nasal spray, or a nasal rinse like a netty pot, for a quick sinus rinse.
- Try taking a steamy shower or go to a sauna for a DIY nasal irrigation.
- Try to drink lots of liquids throughout the day.
- Place a warm wet washcloth over the nose’s bridge.
Consider visiting a doctor if the above-mentioned home remedies for sinus congestion don’t help you. If the reason for your nasal congestion is sinusitis, this disorder may quickly turn into a chronic form within 2 weeks. In this case it is important to talk to your health care provider.