Many people face the challenge of nasal congestion, commonly called as a stuffy nose or blocked nose. It is annoying to have a stuffy nose just after waking up in the morning and having to live through it all day. It interferes with your everyday life and becomes worse when it inhibits normal breathing.
Stuffy nose is a common problem, which happens when there is an excess build up of mucus in the nasal passage leading to inflammation of sinuses. The cause for this could be flu, cold, allergies or infection.
Today nasal sprays, oral medication, and topical ointments are available on the counter. These claim to offer quick relief from stuffy nose and are of course effective in doing that but are expensive, and might have hidden side effects over long-term use. For instance, it is now proven that prolonged use of nasal sprays causes numbness, runny nose, rash and damage to internal tissue. So how to treat stuffy nose without these artificial drugs? The answer is home remedies. Yes, although many of us overlook the power of natural home remedies simply because we assume they are time-consuming and tedious to adopt, in actuality, there are a fair number of easy home remedies for curing stuffy nose. And the most important thing is, unlike conventional medicines they come with no side effects.
Here are different easy to follow home remedies to get rid of stuffy nose
1. Thyme and Peppermint Steam for Stuffy Nose
Thyme and Peppermint make a good pair to fight the bacteria breeding on cold mucous in the nose. Thyme is a medicinal herb with a diuretic and antibacterial properties. It is conventionally used to treat diarrhea, arthritis, cough, bedwetting, and flatulence. Peppermint, on the other hand, soothes the nasal muscles and opens nasal tract. Like the Thyme, it also has antiviral and antibacterial properties.
- Take 2 teaspoons of peppermint in a heatproof bowl
- Add 2 teaspoons of dried thyme
- Add boiling water
- Lean over to the bowl and inhale the vapors from the bowl. Repeat this for a few times to unblock the stuffy nose.
Many people are unaware of the power of acupressure. It is effective in giving relief from a lot of health problems. There are multiple pressure points in our hands, which connect to various organs of our body. Pressing each of these points activate and energize different organs in the body. For relieving stuffy nose, with your left thumb gently press on the area underneath the eyebrows on the ethmoidal cells. Also, pressing on the ear tragus the or the floppy part of the ears dilutes the mucus in the nasal tract. Below are the various acupressure points on the face having a correlation to sinuses.
As we all know that Ginger is popularly used in traditional medicine to treat common ailments such as stomachache, indigestion, and acidity. Ginger is highly effective in relieving a stuffy nose. It has antiviral property, which prevents the cold-causing rhinovirus.
- Slice 3 pieces of ginger
- Add two cups of water to a saucepan
- Boil the water at low heat for 15 minutes
This forms a ginger brew. When it has cooled enough to be appropriate on the skin, apply it on the face. This helps to drain the sinuses and relieve congestion in the nasal tract. Drinking this mixture also helps to ease a stuffy nose.
Horseradish is a root vegetable, which belongs to the same family as that of wasabi and mustard. It is used from the ancient times to free mucus in the nasal tract. In addition, it clears sinuses to relieve headaches. It has antibacterial property, which gets rid of bacteria and infection in the throat and nose.
- Take a tablespoon of horseradish in a blender
- Add 1 ½ teaspoon of olive oil
- Add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
- Blend these ingredients for a few seconds to create a paste.
You can add this mixture in a sandwich or nibble on it until the stuffy nose is freed.
5. Eucalyptus Steam
Eucalyptus is a flowering tree known for its medicinal properties. It is effective in killing strains of bacteria that cause congestion in the respiratory system like bronchitis, asthma, and sinus infections. Eucalyptus oil is used to boost the immune system, boost respiratory health, improve skin health, lower blood sugar, ease anxiety and stress, and remove bacterial infections.
- Take 2 cups of water
- Boil the water for 15 minutes
- Turn off the stove and add 5 drops of eucalyptus oil
- Lean over the bowl and inhale the vapors for 10 minutes.
This will free the stuffy nose within few seconds but repeat this 2 to 3 times at different times during the day to fight the infection.
6. Facial Massage
Giving a finger massage on the sinuses helps with blood circulation and eases the pain of stuffy nose. On the outer edge and base of the nostrils press hard and hold it for 30 seconds and release. Repeat this for 4 to 5 times to free the nasal tract.
7. Sip apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is rich in potassium, which breaks down the mucus and prevents bacterial growth.
In a glass full of water, add apple cider vinegar. Drink this mixture to kill viruses and bacteria causing a stuffy nose. Apple cider vinegar inherently has acetic acid, which thins mucus and cleanses the throat. Drink this mixture a few times a day to subside the cold and for clear breathing.
8. Drink plenty of fluids
Drink a lot of water and juices to stay well hydrated. This reduces clogging as it keeps the mucus thin in the nasal tract. If you feel your nose is stuffy, drink warm water to open up the sinuses. You can also drink teas preferably having the ingredients mint and ginger.
When a person breathes dry air for a long time, it causes inflammation in the sinuses, which creates a blocking effect in the nose. Humidifier adds moisture to the room and relieves inflammation in the sinus. This loosens the congestion.
10. Cayenne pepper
Cayenne pepper or capsicum annuum is a medium hot chili that is used in many Mediterranean dishes. Its medicinal uses are less known. Studies show that consumption of cayenne pepper dilates blood vessels, boosts metabolism, and supports the oxidation of adipose tissue. Moreover, its anti-inflammatory property and specific compounds in it help thin and dry the mucus in the nasal passage. This gets rid of stuffy feeling in the nose.
- Take 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper and put it in a pan
- Pour water and boil it for 20 minutes
- Using a spoon stir the water as it is boiling
- Add a few drops of lemon
- Let the tea cool off for 2 minutes
Peppermint frees the nasal congestion. Menthol present in the peppermint thins the mucus and frees breathing. Applying a peppermint balm before going to bed, gives relief from congestion. It restores your breathing within a few minutes.
- Take 5 to 6 peppermint leaves, crush them using your hands
- Pour water into the teapot and keep it to boil
- Put the leaves and keep them to steep for 15 minutes
- Using a wooden spoon stir the water to release menthol and oils from the leaves into water
- Add honey if required
The pungent aroma and flavor of garlic are effective in treating congestion and inflammation in the nasal passages. It helps to relieve pressure associated with infection of sinus and stuffy nose. There are different home remedies using garlic to alleviate congestion in the nasal tract. The easiest way to gain benefits of garlic is to add it to your everyday meals.
- Take a cup of water and pour it into a saucepan
- Add 2 garlic cloves
- Add a bit of turmeric powder
- Drink this mixture twice daily until congestion subsides.
If you are comfortable with eating garlic, it is a great way to relieve congestion.
13. Warm Compress
Warm compress is helpful in unclogging the stuffy nose and opening the nasal tract from outside. The warmth of the compress helps to relieve inflammation and pain in the nostrils.
- In warm water, soak the towel
- Squeeze the towel to remove the excess water
- Fold it and place it on your forehead
- Thoroughly dry your hair after having bath
- Always wear fully dried clothes
- Vaccum clean your house to keep the dust away
- Drink hot liquids in the morning, preferably hot water or herbal tea
- Avoid drinking chilled water and carbonated drinks
- Taking sauna baths helps to free nasal passage
- Avoid smoking to keep the nasal passage free of sooth and smoke
- Wear a mask during transit or while working in dusty surroundings.
- Use a slightly elevated pillow while sleeping
- Aromatherapy- inhalation of aroma from the stems, flowers, bark, and roots helps with relieving congestion.
- Use saline sprays to help increase moisture in the nostrils and decrease the inflammation of blood vessels in the nose
- Perform deep diaphragmatic breathing exercises to stimulate the nasal tract to be open all times
- Tape your mouth before going to bed to force breathing through the nose while sleeping.