Are you frustrated with nasal pressure that just seems to keep building up?
I’m going to show you 10 specific ways you can start taking back control of your nasal passages.
Most people think of nasal congestions as a standalone problem, but in reality, they are nothing but a symptom concerning another condition.
Some of the most common ones include allergies, hay fever, viral infections, a common cold, rhinitis, sinusitis, among others.
Although not particularly dangerous, nasal congestions could interfere with your daily routine and life quality in general, causing hearing and speech impairment, lack of appetite, fever, and headaches.
Additionally, they’re associated with trouble resting, snoring, sleep apnea (mild), and in some cases, even sleep dyspnea (severe coughing and lack of breath, which frequently wakes you up).
To get rid of congestions, we need to take care of two things: excessive mucus buildup and nasal cavity inflammation.
We can usually solve these issues by taking antipyretic (for fever), anti-inflammatory, anti-histaminic (for allergies), and ephedrine (for congestions).
Here is a super list of 10 natural decongestant remedies that could make a huge difference for you today!
1. Steam Inhalations with Sodium Bicarbonate and Eucalyptus
Take a saucepan, pour about one liter of water in it, and bring it to boil. After, wait for some minutes and add a spoonful of sodium bicarbonate and mix the solution.
Breathe deeply in the steam with your head covered with a slightly warm towel for about five minutes, rinse your nose with a clean handkerchief, and repeat the process if needed.
As a substitute for sodium bicarbonate (or even a plus addition), you can also use essential eucalyptus oil. Four or five drops into the heated water will help with decongestion, according to a scientific study.
2. Saline Inhalation or Saline Nasal Irrigation
In case you don’t have either sodium bicarbonate or essential eucalyptus oil, you can use common salt to do the trick. Several cultures have used it as a natural decongestant for centuries since it’s composed of sodium chloride.
Just as other inhalations, bring one liter of water to boil, add one spoonful of salt, and mix it until it forms a solution. Breathe in for five minutes, rinse, and repeat.
For even better results, you could try a saline nasal irrigation using a nasal cup, a.k.a. Neti pot. You’ll need to mix three teaspoons of salt with one teaspoon of baking soda and add only one teaspoon of this mix into a cup of distilled boiled water. Pour it into the Neti pot and irrigate your nose, one nostril at a time, by breathing through your mouth and letting the solution enter.
3. Chicken Soup
Ah, we could not forget about chicken soup, right?
This ancient food for the soul is also great for your sinuses because it contains an amino acid called cysteine. According to Vanderbilt University, this allows your body to break down the accumulated mucus – going from a stuffy nose to a runny nose, and ultimately, to cleared sinuses.
A hot bowl of chicken noodle soup will also moisten your mucus membranes, promoting mucus flow along the sinuses. For optimal results, try to go organic, or at least feast on a chicken broth made from a whole chicken, rather than only chicken breasts.
4. Warm Beverages
A cup of tea, along with other warm beverages, will help to moisten your mucous membranes, promoting the mucus flow along the sinuses.
Although all kinds of tea will get similar results, we separated some made from particular herbs and roots because of their decongestant nature.
Green tea, ginger tea, and Chinese herbal tea will all help fight those annoying nasal congestions while also boosting your immune system.
You can also blend lemon juice, honey, a small head of red onion, and some garlic cloves and combine the mixture with your cup of tea. It might not be delicious, but this killer combo has all the elements you need to clear those sinuses in no time.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar
One of the most versatile remedies available, make sure to include apple cider vinegar on your next trip to the market.
As a drink, you can mix a spoonful of vinegar with honey and lemon to your hot tea before sleep. As an inhale, put some drops of it into boiling water and breathe in.
Additionally, you can add some to a saline gargle. Combine it with warm water, salt, and minced onions with garlic. Last, but not least, you can put some to that Neti pot solution. Remember to use caution, and always keep everything clean and sterilized.
6. Medicinal Roots
Some cultures, like the Chinese, have dedicated their entire lives to gathering knowledge from nature, which is why today we enjoy the benefits of botany.
Roots are a natural relief for all kinds of conditions, and some of them could help to fend off those bothersome nasal congestions.
Horseradish, ginger, and North American ginseng are all known for their decongestant features – although we do not recommend the latter for small children. Also, don’t confuse it with Chinese ginseng, which has a different set of properties.
7. Specific Spices
Following our train of thought, spices are not only delicious add-ons to our dishes, but also most of them have nutritional and medicinal values. For example, you can add peppermint to a steam inhalation to clear up the sinuses, or gently rub a bit of sesame oil inside your nostrils to stimulate mucus elimination.
Mustard can help next time you suffer from nasal congestion – but not by ingesting it. Did you know that a tablespoon of this ground spice, mixed with about one-quart of hot water makes an excellent decongestant foot bath?
Yes, you read that correctly.
Mustard calls up your blood to the feet and lightens nasal congestion. Who would have known?
8. Spicy Peppers
Latin or Thai food anyone? If you think about it, whenever you eat spicy food, your eyes water a bit and your nose might start running – this is because of an active component present in all spicy peppers, called capsaicin.
Peppers are considered as mucokinetic foods because they help to thin down the mucus.
What this means is that the higher the capsaicin level, the better the results – in descending order, we can include in this list the following peppers:
Just make sure you don’t overdo it on any of these. Small amounts go a long way!
9. Lemon and Other Citrus Fruits
There is a reason why we mentioned lemon several times throughout this guide. By being rich in citric acid and antioxidants, lemon juice is a natural and inexpensive anti-inflammatory remedy. Just as with peppers, the higher the citric acid content, the better.
Among the top tier, we can name lemons, limes, and bitter oranges, with up to an eight-percent of citric acid content. Other fruits include strawberries, raspberries, and cranberries. On a lesser scale, we can also mention cherries, tomatoes, and artichokes.
Also, don’t forget Mangoes. Rich in vitamin A, this fruit helps fight sinus infection and inflammation.
We saved the best for last. With a high citric acid level, pineapples are also rich in bromelain – a powerful enzyme used in medicine for its anti-inflammatory properties.
We can mostly find bromelain at the pineapple’s stem, but it’s also present in fresh juice.
Some researchers also suggest that this enzyme could help mitigate muscular pain, as well as slow blood clotting and even prevent tumor cells growth.
Also, did you know that bromelain is an excellent meat tenderizer because it breaks down meat at a molecular level? In other words, as you’re eating a pineapple, the pineapple is eating you back. Awesome, right?
Here are some final things to keep in mind that are important.
- This condition might be worse if you spend most of your time in a dry environment, so try using an air humidifier. Also, you can put some water to boil while in the kitchen, and add some peels of citric fruits, vinegar, or even cinnamon.
- Don’t forget to hydrate! Dehydration is a subtle yet common side effect of congestions since we lose a lot of water while blowing our noses and breathing heavily.
- Before going to bed, put an extra pillow under your head. This angle will help you breathe better and alleviate the mucus flow through your sinuses.
- Talking about sleep, avoid sleeping in a prone position (with your belly down), because it will make it harder to keep an open breathing channel and it also increases chances of snoring.
- Pay a visit to the doctor. If the symptoms persist after all you have done, don’t hesitate to go to the doctor for a checkup.
We put together a cool image of the top ten items above. Feel free to share it!