Nose blockage is a common symptom experienced, especially during the cold and flu season. Several factors, like viral infections, environmental irritants, food sensitivities, or allergens like pollen, dust mites, mold, and pet hair, can cause a runny nose. The condition is often curable, and the right treatments and home remedies can help relieve one from the uncomfortable symptoms within a few days. Here are some tried-and-tested natural remedies that alleviate nose blockage and promote quick recovery.
Try facial steam
Steam inhalation is one of the oldest and most effective home remedies for relieving nose blockage. The warm, moist air helps open nasal passages, reduce congestion, and soothe irritated nasal membranes. Additionally, it does not use any ingredients except water, so it is one of the safest methods for quick relief from nasal congestion. To try this, boil a pot of water, lean over the bowl with a towel draped over one’s head, and inhale the steam for about 10-15 minutes. One should be careful not to get too close to the bowl to prevent burns. Using a steamer is another option.
Add moisture to the air
Nasal congestion causes dryness in the nasal passages, leading to inflammation, discomfort, and difficulty draining the mucus. Utilizing a humidifier or cool-mist vaporizer can be an effective remedy for this. When one breathes in air infused with moisture, it can soothe the irritated membranes, promote easier breathing, and improve respiratory comfort. Warm-mist humidifiers provide heated moisture, while cool-mist vaporizers disperse room-temperature moisture. The latter is often recommended for children due to safety concerns related to hot steam.
Consider saline nasal rinse
Saline nasal rinses are a simple yet highly effective method for clearing mucus and allergens from the nasal passages. One can use a store-bought saline rinse or make one’s own by dissolving half a teaspoon of iodide-free salt in a cup of warm distilled water. Using a neti pot, one can gently irrigate each nostril. The solution can be used by inclining one’s head to the side over a sink, breathing through the mouth, and spouting the neti pot into the upper nostril. This allows the liquid to drain through the lower nostril. A nasal rinse can provide immediate relief from congestion or a runny nose. That being said, it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional before trying this home remedy to gain a better understanding of the process.
Take a hot bath or shower
The warmth and steam from the hot water help to open up the nasal passages, reduce congestion, and ease breathing. The heat promotes blood circulation and encourages the release of trapped mucus, providing immediate relief from the discomfort associated with congestion.
Warm compress for headache or sinus pain
Nasal congestion may also cause headache and sinus pain, which can be reduced significantly with a warm compress. This is a simple process that involves soaking a clean towel or washcloth in warm water and placing it gently over the nose, forehead, and cheeks. The gentle application in the sinus area can help soothe soreness, reduce inflammation, and improve blood flow.
Increasing fluid intake
Staying well-hydrated helps to thin mucus, making it easier to expel, and also aids in maintaining overall health. By drinking water, herbal teas, or clear broths, one can ensure that one’s body remains adequately hydrated, thereby easing congestion and facilitating a quicker recovery. One should, however, avoid caffeinated drinks or sodas since they can dehydrate the body.
Using a pillow while sleeping
Congestion tends to worsen at night due to the pooling of mucus in the nasal passages while lying down. To avoid this, one can use a pillow to elevate the head during sleep. This elevated position prevents the buildup and promotes mucus drainage. One can also use a humidifier to thin the mucus further and encourage its natural drainage upon waking up.
Drink ginger tea
This natural decongestant is well-known for its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties and has been traditionally used in treating nose blockage and runny nose. Ginger tea can help reduce congestion, soothe a sore throat, and boost the immune system. Add grated ginger to boiling water and let it simmer for 10 minutes. One can then strain the tea and add lemon or honey for a taste boost.
Use eucalyptus oil
Eucalyptus oil is well-known for its ability to clear nasal congestion. One can use it in various ways to alleviate nose blockage. A few drops of this oil can be added to hot water during steam inhalation. Additionally, one can also add a few drops to a clean cloth or tissue and inhale its vapor for instant relief. Eucalyptus oil can also be used in diffusers.
Turmeric, with its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, can help reduce symptoms of a runny nose. One can add a teaspoon of turmeric to a glass of warm milk to create a soothing remedy. Individuals who are lactose-intolerant can use the spice in their foods or dairy-free milk alternatives.
Consume certain foods for runny nose
Eating certain foods has also improved this symptom.
- Pumpkin seeds
These seeds are packed with omega-3 fatty acids and magnesium. Omega-3 fatty acids help alleviate inflammation in the nasal passages, while magnesium aids in the relaxation of blood vessels. Together, they work to reduce nasal congestion and promote easier breathing.
Pineapple is a rich source of vitamin C and is renowned for its immune-enhancing properties. Additionally, it contains bromelain, an enzyme that can effectively break down excessive sinus mucus caused by allergies. Having unsweetened pineapple juice or cut slices of the fruit may provide relief from runny nose symptoms.
Grapefruit is a citrus fruit rich in salicylic acid, which can thin mucus, enabling easier expulsion and reducing inflammation in the respiratory tract.
Onions not only add flavor to dishes but also have medicinal properties. They improve respiratory function by reducing inflammation and acting as a natural antihistamine. Onions can help combat allergic responses, effectively reducing nasal congestion and promoting easier breathing.
It is essential to seek the guidance of a healthcare professional for a comprehensive treatment plan. A doctor takes into consideration one’s health history, current condition, food allergies, and other factors to find out the underlying cause of nose blockage. This helps to tailor a personalized and effective treatment strategy that may show faster results and also preserve long-term respiratory health and overall well-being.