If your nose is feeling stuffed up, turn to natural remedies for congestion before you head to the drugstore. We'll show you how to get relief at home.
Congestion occurs when the lining of the nasal cavity becomes inflamed. The medical term for this is rhinitis, which comes from the Greek words “rhino,” meaning nose, and “itis” which often refers to inflammation. When your nose feels stuffed up, you may find it difficult to breathe since inflammation blocks your airways, and swelling makes it harder to get mucus out of your nose.
Two things can cause congestion:
- A virus, like the common cold or flu, enters the body through the nose. The body’s reaction to this infection causes inflammation and nasal congestion.
- Allergies can also cause congestion. Certain triggers create an allergic response that leads your nasal tissues to swell.
To get rid of congestion, you need to focus on keeping your nasal passages and sinuses moist. We’ll take a look at some home remedies for congestion below.
1. Drink Plenty of Liquids
Hydration is always important, but it’s even more crucial when you’re sick. Liquids support the immune system and flush out toxins. By drinking plenty of fluids, you can thin out mucus, which may help prevent blocked sinuses. Water and herbal teas, like sage tea, cinnamon tea, garlic and ginger tea, and stinging nettle tea are among the best options for hydration and medicinal benefits. Avoid alcohol, coffee and other beverages high in sugar or caffeine.
2. Homemade Vapor Rub
Homemade vapor rub is a combination of natural ingredients (like peppermint oil) that help open up blocked airways. Simply rub the mixture on your chest or below your nose before bed for best results.
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 tbsp organic beeswax pastilles
- 15 drops eucalyptus oil
- 15 drops peppermint oil
- 10 drops rosemary oil
- Melt oil and beeswax together in a double boiler on the stove.
- Add in the essential oils, and stir until combined.
- Pour into a small tin or little jar and allow to cool and set.
- Use for congestion as needed.
3. Use a Humidifier
Adding moisture to the air can prevent your nose from drying out. If you don’t have a humidifier at home, you can try staying in the shower for a few extra minutes to loosen the extra mucus in your nose. Another method is holding your face over a large bowl of hot water, covering your head with a towel, and breathing deeply.
4. Nasal Irrigation
The most common form of nasal irrigation to aid congestion and sinus pain is the Neti pot. This container is an easy-to-use form of irrigation; simply follow the instructions. It works by using a saline solution, which can pass through delicate nasal membranes without the burning or irritation of plain water. Ensure that you use distilled water to create your saline solution.
5. Keep Your Head Up
Congestion gets worse when you lie down, so propping your head up with extra pillows at night might relieve some of the pressure in your head. Another option is to place a warm, damp towel over your face to help alleviate some of the discomfort and open up your nasal passages.
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