Is this winter plaguing you with a stuffy nose and clogged sinuses? Nasal congestion is uncomfortable and can leave you feeling run-down and dreary. Store-bought nasal decongestion products may act as a quick fix, but often congestion returns after a few days. Instead, try try these Natural Remedies for Nasal Congestion:
Drink Plenty of Fluids
Drinking water or juice prevents dehydration, breaks up congestion, and keeps your throat moist. Avoid colas, coffee, and other caffeinated drinks and instead reach for water, herbal teas, fruit drinks, or ginger ale.
Neti pots have been used for centuries and is considered one of the best natural remedies for nasal congestion. It’s a particularly efficient way to clear the nasal passages of mucus and allergens. Neti pots can be found in many drug stores for around 10 to 20 dollars and are increasing in popularity. They are small spouted pots that literally rinse out your nasal cavities. According to Erica Patino’s article, 7 Natural Remedies for Congestion Relief from everydayhealth.com, to use a neti pot, fill it with a solution made of warm water and salt, then insert its spout into one nostril while you tilt your head to the other side, letting the solution flow into your nasal cavity and out the other nostril. It is recommended that pharmaceutical grade salt is used in the solution. If you have any nasal problems or deformities, consult your doctor before using the neti pot.
Homemade Saline Spray
Similar to neti pots, use a salt and water solution to create your own saline spray as a natural remedy for nasal congestion. Saline sprays thin mucus, soothe nasal inflammation and keep your nasal cavities moist, which is particularly helpful in the winter when the cold air dries out the inside of your nose. To make a solution, mix two to three teaspoons of non-iodized salt into a pint of distilled or sterilized water. Use a bulb syringe to gently squirt the mixture into your nose while holding one nostril closed. Let it drain and repeat two to three times. Then do the other nostril. When you are finished, gently blow your nose. Again, if you have any nasal deformities or problems, consult your doctor before using this natural congestion remedy.
Inhaling steam is one of the oldest natural emedies for nasal congestion. You can inhale steam from a hot shower, soup, tea, or a pot of hot water. Also, humidifiers work well and are perfect if you are having trouble breathing at night. Susan Melgren from motherearthliving.com suggests in the article, Natural Remedies for Nasal Congestion, Sore Throat and Aching Muscles, to use a “steam tent”. To do this, boil a pot of water on the stove. When the stream rises, drape a towel over your head, lean over the pot and inhale. Be sure to keep your face a safe distance from the steam.
If you are looking for quick and short-term congestion relief, apply a hot pack across the bridge of your nose, which will help loosen up congested nasal passages.
Vitamins and Herbs
While vitamin C does not directly affect congestion problems, it has been proven to shorten the duration of colds and decrease the harshness of symptoms.
In addition, various herbs help sooth nasal congestion. For example, menthol and eucalyptus oil ease a stuffy nose. Menthol comes from peppermint and can be found in inhaled balms and rubs for congestion. However, menthol doesn’t actually relieve congestion; it just stimulates the nasal receptors and makes it feel like there is air moving through the nose. But if you are looking for fast and temporary respite, try menthol products.
Eucalyptus oil is also found in many decongestion rubs and ointments. Everydayhealth.com suggests trying a eucalyptus oil steam to help reduce congestion and phlegm. For this natural remedy for congestion, take a steaming bowl of water and add a few drops of eucalyptus oil into it. Drape a towel over your head (like the steam tent) and keep your face a safe distance away from the steam. Breathe in the steam for about 10 minutes.
Congestion could lead to an ear infection! Prevent ear infections and heal earaches with these natural remedies for earaches.
Are allergies leading to your nasal congestion? Learn about natural remedies for allergies here.
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Want to learn more natural remedies to treat common ailments and illnesses? Try the Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine by Andrew Chevallier. This guidebook explains over 550 herbs and all their uses as remedies.
Photo courtesy of zirconicusso, freedigitalphotos.net
Photo courtesy of David Castillo Dominici, freedigitalphotos.net
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