Stuffy Nose
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Stuffy NoseWhen your nose is congested, breathing normally becomes a challenging task. Many people assume that stuffy nose is caused by too much mucus in the nose. However, stuffy nose is caused by inflamed blood vessels in the sinuses. Usually, the inflammation is triggered by flu, cold, sinus infections and allergies. Watery eyes, hoarse voice, minor headache and sinus pain are few symptoms of a clogged nose.

If a stuffy nose is not treated on time, then it can lead to ear infection and restless sleep. There are many commercial nasal sprays available in the market, but do you know that they can be addicting? Don’t worry, we have many simple natural solutions like garlic, apple cider vinegar, ginger and many other kitchen ingredients to get rid of cold and stuffy nose.

Home Remedies to Treat Stuffy Nose:

Here are the best 19 natural solutions for a stuffy nose which can be tried at the comfort of your home. You can pick any one of them and try it regularly as mentioned to get relief.

1. Steam

Steam is one of the best remedies for any respiratory problems. The warm vapors help to thin the mucus and reduce the inflammation.

  • Take enough amounts of water in a bowl appropriate for taking a steam.
  • Bring the water to boil and remove from the heat.
  • Lean forward towards the bowl. Make sure you are at least 30cms away from the bowl.
  • Cover your head in such a way that the steam vapors do not escape.
  • Slowly inhale and exhale the steam for few minutes.
  • Repeat the process twice a day, once in the morning and once at night.

For added Benefits: You can add few drops of any essential oil like tea tree oil, peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil, etc. or a teaspoon of crushed carom seeds in your steam water.

2. Garlic

Garlic helps to drain the mucus by reducing inflammation of nasal passages and makes you breathe comfortably. Apart from that, it contains antimicrobial properties and boosts your immune system if taken regularly. Chew few garlic cloves to get relief from the congestion or try the process below.

  • Into a cup of water, add 3 – 4 freshly peeled garlic cloves.
  • Bring the mixture to boil and remove from the flame.
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder into it and stir well.
  • Let the mixture cool down until lukewarm and drink it.
  • Repeat the process regularly for best results.

3. Apple Cider vinegar

The potassium present in apple cider vinegar thins the mucus. Its anti-inflammatory properties reduce the swelling. The acetic acid present in ACV prevents the bacterial growth.

  • Add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and 1 tablespoon of honey to a cup of warm water
  • Stir well and drink it.
  • Repeat the process 2 to 3 times in a day for quick relief.

Note: If you are trying ACV for the first time, then start the dosage from 1 teaspoon and increase it to 2 tablespoons gradually.

4. Tomato Juice

Tomatoes reduce the inflammation and thin down the mucus which makes it easy to drain. Due to the presence of vitamin C, consumption of tomatoes boost the immune system.

  • Combine 1 cup of tomato juice, 1 tablespoon of chopped garlic, 1/2 tablespoon of hot sauce, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and a pinch of celery salt.
  • Bring the mixture to boil and remove from the flame.
  • Drink this hot tomato juice while it is still lukewarm.
  • Repeat the process at least 2 times in a day for quick relief.

5. Neti Pot

Neti pot is used to clear your nasal passages by removing the congestion. It is specially designed to flush out the impurities and mucus in your nasal passage. Do not try this process if you suffer from flu.

  • Dissolve a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm distilled or sterile water.
  • Pour the solution into a neti pot.
  • Tilt your head over a sink and place the spout of the pot in your nostril.
  • Tilt the pot until the water enters into your nasal passages. The water should come out the other nostril. Repeat the same on the other side.
  • Repeat this process regularly.

Note: Make sure the water comes out completely every time.

6. Fenugreek

Fenugreek is a natural anti-inflammatory which helps to open up the sinus cavities and reduce the swelling of blood vessels. It also thins down the mucus and clears your nasal passage.

  • Add a tablespoon of fenugreek seeds into a cup of drinking water.
  • Boil the mixture for a few minutes and turn off the heat.
  • Strain the solution and drink it warm.
  • Repeat the process several times in a day.

7. Saline Solution and Bulb Syringe (For Infants)

Stuffy nose is a life threatening problem for infants because they can’t breathe with their mouths. This process helps to reduce the congestion and drain the mucus.

  • Dissolve 1/4 teaspoon of salt in 1/2 cup of lukewarm water.
  • Place your infant on a flat surface with towel rolled from beneath the shoulders to tip of head.
  • Place few drops of saline solution in a nostril and allow it to loosen the mucus for 30 – 60 seconds.
  • Now turn your baby on their stomach allowing the mucus drain out completely.
  • Take a bulb syringe or nasal aspirator and push out the air inside.
  • Insert into your babies nostril and gently release the bulb so the mucus will be sucked in, clean with a tissue.
  • Repeat the same process to the other nostril.
  • Alternatively, you can simply take a tissue, roll it into a small cone and swab around their nostrils.

8. Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper is one of the best remedies to treat the nasal congestion and blocked sinuses. The capsacin present in it acts as a natural decongestant and reduces the swelling. The heat in cayenne pepper encourages runny nose and draw out the mucus and allergens in the sinuses.

  • Dip a cotton swab into cayenne pepper powder.
  • Bring it near the nostril and gently take a breath in.
  • This induces the sneezing and clears the congestion.
  • Note: Initially, you may experience a burning sensation, but it will pass away quickly.
  • Repeat the process 2 times in a day.

Alternatively: Add 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper powder and 1 tablespoon of honey. Consume the mixture to get relief.

9. Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus oil is very effective in treating nasal congestion as it contain decongestant and anti-inflammatory properties. It also clears the thick mucus and acts as natural cough suppressant.

  • Take enough amounts of hot water for taking a steam.
  • Add 3 – 5 drops of eucalyptus oil into the water and stir well.
  • Cover your head with a towel and inhale the steam vapors slowly for 2 minutes.
  • Note: Make sure to keep your eyes closed.
  • Repeat the process 2 times in a day.

Alternatively: Add 1 – 2 drops of eucalyptus oil on a handkerchief and pillow covers before going to sleep. Add few drops of eucalyptus oil into your bath water daily until you get relief from the stuffy nose.

10. Ginger

Ginger contains antioxidant properties which inhibits the secretion of mucus. It also encourages normal nasal ciliary activity to keep the sinus healthy. Chew a ginger piece or ginger lozenges to get relief from the stuffy nose. Apart from that you can try the below process

  • Add 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger slices into a cup of water.
  • Bring the mixture to boil over low heat and let it simmer for 5 – 10 minutes.
  • Remove from the flame and strain it.
  • Add fresh lemon juice and raw honey into it.
  • Stir well and drink it.
  • Repeat the process 2 – 3 times in a day.

11. Turmeric

Turmeric contains anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antioxidant properties which make it an effective remedy for nasal congestion.

  • Add 1 teaspoon of turmeric into a glass of milk.
  • Stir well and let it boil for 5 minutes.
  • Pour the solution into a cup and add some honey for taste.
  • Drink while it is still lukewarm.
  • Repeat the process 2 times in a day.

Alternatively: Combine 2 tablespoons of turmeric juice, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, honey and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Consume this mixture 1 – 2 times in a day.

12. Basil

The antioxidant properties of basil leaves helps to get rid of congestion and swelling of blood vessels in the nasal passages. Chew few basil leaves once in the night and again before going to bed. Or else you can follow the below process.

  • Into a cup of hot water, add few basil leaves.
  • Cover and let it steep for 15 minutes.
  • Strain and add a teaspoon of honey into it.
  • Stir well and consume it.
  • Repeat the process 2 times in a day to get complete relief from the stuffy nose.

13. Lemon

Lemon is rich in antioxidants which helps to provide relief from the inflammation, congestion and mucus. Drink a glass of lemonade (without adding sugar) or follow this process

  • Combine 2 teaspoons of lemon juice, a pinch of each salt and black pepper.
  • Mix properly and apply the mixture around the nasal areas.
  • Leave it on for as long as possible and rinse off with water.
  • Follow the process regularly to achieve the results.

Note: Make sure the mixture is not enter into the eyes.

14. Acupressure

Acupressure will also work well to reduce the pressure in the sinuses. Acupuncture means applying pressure on the particular points to get relief from the problem. Here is how you have to do…

  • Place both index fingers on either side of the eye cavity i.e. above the nose and just below the eye brow.
  • Start massaging the sinuses in outward circles around your nose with your fingers.
  • Repeat this for 20 – 30 seconds.
  • Then place your index fingers on the outside and below your eyes.
  • Start massaging inwards circles with fingers.
  • Then finally, place your thumbs on either of your cheek bones and massage in outward circles.
  • Repeat the massage for 20 – 35 seconds.
  • Repeat the acupressure method 4 – 5 times until you get relief from the sinuses pressure.

15. Mustard Oil

The pungent odor of mustard oil acts as natural decongestant and provides relief from the discomfort caused by stuffy nose. It also contains antimicrobial components which help to destroy the pathogens. Put 2 – 3 drops of mustard oil into your nostrils or else follow the below process

  • Combine 1/4 cup of mustard oil and a teaspoon of black cumin seeds.
  • Simmer the mixture for 2 – 3 minutes.
  • Strain the oil and gently massage it on the forehead, chest and side of the nostrils.
  • Leave it on to dry completely.
  • Repeat the process once in a day.
  • Alternatively, you can pour 1 drop of the mixture in each nostril.

16. Pepper

Pepper contains anti-inflammatory properties which helps to provide relief from swollen blood tissues and congestion.

  • Into a cup of hot water, add 1 teaspoon of black pepper and 1 tablespoon of honey.
  • Cover and let it steep for 15 minutes.
  • Stir well and drink it while it is still lukewarm
  • Repeat the process 2 times in a day.

17. Onion

Onion is a natural decongestant which contains anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiseptic properties.

  • Peel and cut an onion into half.
  • Smell it for 4 – 5 minutes.
  • Repeat the process few times in a day.

18. Honey

Honey contains anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties which provide relief from the stuffy nose.

  • Add 2 – 3 tablespoons of honey into a glass of warm water.
  • Stir well and drink it.
  • Repeat the process regularly.

19. Herbal Solutions for Stuffy Nose

Golden seal root, rosehips and sage are few herbal remedies to treat stuffy nose. All the three of them contains anti-inflammatory properties which help to reduce the swelling of the mucus membrane.

  • Add any one of the three herbs into a cup of hot water.
  • Cover and let it steep for 15 minutes.
  • Strain and drink it.
  • Repeat the process regularly to get some relief.

Dietary Changes to Relief from Stuffy Nose:

Your diet greatly impacts your health, therefore you have to plan it carefully.

  • Eat more spicy food to give relief from the congested sinuses. The spicy flavor trigger a runny nose.
  • Stay away from whole grains, milk and other dairy products as they will increase the problem.
  • Chicken soup is a well-known diet for the people who are suffering from stuffy nose. Add some pepper powder into it for extra effectiveness.
  • Include food which contains vitamin C, zinc, etc. in your diet to strengthen your immune system.
  • Include food items like ginger, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, garlic, onions, pepper, and other spices in your diet.
  • Avoid refined sugar and sugary products, like candies, chocolates, donuts, cakes and cookies.
  • Avoid carbonated beverages as they will increase the problem.
  • Drink herbal teas to reduce the inflammation, thin the mucus and decrease the congestion.
  • Staying hydrated will also prevent the stuffy nose as the moisture will help to soothe your irritated or inflamed nasal passages and reduces the sinus blockages.

Tips and Precautions:

  • Taking shower with warm water helps to thin the mucus and relieve the inflammation.
  • Use a warm compress to open up your nasal passage from outside.
  • Boil some white vinegar and inhale the steam to get relief from the stuffy nose.
  • Vapor Rub: A vapor rub contains menthol, eucalyptus and camphor that are helpful in treat blocked nose. Apply some vapor rub on throat or chest. These two areas are close enough to breathe the aroma of the vapor rub and long enough to avoid irritation in the eyes. Alternatively, you can apply some vapor rub on a handkerchief and breathe the aroma several times.
  • Humidifier: Increasing humidity in your rooms also helps to treat a stuffy nose. Breathing moist air helps to soothe the irritation, reduce the swelling and thins the mucus. Place a humidifier or vaporizer in your room. You can also make your own humidifier by placing a bowl of hot water at any corner of your room.
  • As per Chinese medicines, lotus root is also helpful in treating stuffy nose. Mash a lotus root and dip a cotton swab in it. Apply the juice of lotus root inside the nostrils.
  • Blowing your nose repeatedly when you are suffering from stuffy nose will make the situation worse. So, avoid doing it.
  • Chew mint leaves or real mint chewing gum to prevent the congestion. Having peppermint tea also helps to thin the mucus and open up the nasal passages.
  • While sleeping, place an additional pillow which is soft / firm to elevate your head for a comfortable sleeping position.
  • Some homeopathic remedies for stuffy nose are – Allium cepa 30, belladonna 30, Gelsemium – 30, Nux vomica 30, Aresni 30 and Pulsatilla 30.
  • Inhale the aroma of peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil or crushed carom seeds powder to help you breathe better.
  • Avoid swimming in chlorinated pools as it will irritate the mucous membranes in your nasal passages.
  • Maintain proper hygiene in your home. Mop the floors and wash the bed linens regularly.

Was the information provided in this article helpful for you? Have you tried any one of the above-mentioned remedies then share it with us in the comment section below.

  1. How effective is your lotus root remedy? Would its effects last for an overnight period of at least 6 hours?
    Special note: There is a Chinese nasal spray my acupuncturist sold to me that really works wonders! But the label is all in Chinese, which I cannot read. Too bad the same fellow told me he could no longer trust its safety, because he could not obtain certification of it being free of contaminants. Are you aware of this product or what it might be containing? I think it probably contains a complex mixture of plant extracts;; or maybe it is only a mixture of lotus root extract with added preservatives..

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