Nasal congestion is a common symptom of allergies and colds, and while it is not serious, it is extremely annoying. Here are 6 home remedies to say goodbye to congestion that will allow you to breathe freely again and are much milder than the nasal spray.
The allergy symptoms rule our daily lives. One of the most common (and annoying) is nasal congestion, which prevents us from breathing normally and is especially annoying at night. Congestion is also a common symptom of other conditions such as colds and flu.
We normally resort to nasal sprays to combat this symptom, but there are other remedies to end the discomfort of a stuffy nose that are more natural and milder. We will tell you which ones are the most effective.
What are the causes of nasal congestion?
Besides colds, other causes can underlie nasal congestion. These include allergies to dust, animal hair, or seasonal pollen, in which case the symptoms are caused by allergic rhinitis. Other reasons for increased mucus formation in the airways include smoke, dust, dry air, and other irritants.
In addition, regular overuse of nasal sprays can also lead to permanent nasal congestion. Therefore, these products should not be abused and used for a maximum of 7 to 10 days.
6 home remedies for natural nasal congestion
To replace nasal sprays, other home remedies can effectively fight nasal congestion. These are the 6 most effective ones.
1. Water vapor to clear the airways
Inhaling steam is one of the most well-known and traditional home remedies for nasal congestion. The steam helps break the muscosity and moisten the nasal muscles for more comfort. Mixed with salt or essential oils such as thyme, anise, or peppermint, inhalation has a greater effect against the discomfort caused by congestion.
To inhale steam, fill a pot or bowl with hot water, lean over the steaming liquid with a towel over your head and inhale. Be careful because you may get burned. This method can also make your eyes watery because of the heat.
Using an inhaler attachment is a safer option than inhaling steam with a pot. This way, you only cover your nose and mouth, so the steam only reaches your airways without affecting your eyes. In addition, there is no risk of burns with this method.
As in the classic version with pot and towel, the device is filled with hot water, the desired additive, for example, salt or essential oils, is added, the reservoir is closed, and the water vapor is inhaled through the mask.
Saline solution for a stuffy nose: for a saline solution for inhalation, dissolve 1 gram of table salt in 100 ml of warm water. Inhalation with salt water is gentler than with essential oils.
Important: asthmatics and children should never inhale water containing essential oils, as they can aggravate breathing problems.
2. Nasal rinse against a stuffy nose
Nasal rinsing with salt water can also help clear the nose. That flushes out pathogens and even pollen, which significantly improves breathing.
It is very simple: use a seawater spray, tilt your head to the side and squeeze the liquid into your nostrils, flushing away excess mucus and allowing you to breathe again.
3. Hydrate well when you are congested
In addition to these home remedies, drinking more water than usual is very important for nasal congestion. When the body has enough water, it can liquefy the mucous membranes better. Herbal teas can enhance this effect; peppermint tea has an expectorant effect due to its menthol content. Other herbal teas are also home remedies that moisturize and relieve nasal congestion.
4. Vitamin C for colds
Taking enough vitamin C can prevent colds because this vitamin can strengthen our immune system. Although it is scientifically unclear whether foods or supplements containing vitamin C shorten or prevent the duration of the illness, foods such as lemon juice can improve some symptoms.
5. Onion and garlic against nasal congestion
These common ingredients in our diet are an exceptional remedy for relieving nasal congestion. Cutting an onion in half and leaving it on the nightstand can turn a sleepless night into a deep sleep, as the vapors emitted by this vegetable can open our airways and dilute our mucus. Fresh garlic can also help improve breathing. If you can’t stand the smell of garlic and onions, you can put some pieces of cotton wool soaked in peppermint oil on your nightstand.
6. Keep the nasal mucosa moist
Nasal congestion can also be caused by breathing in a hot, dry, or smoky environment. Moisturizing the nasal mucosa can counteract this symptom. Like nasal rinses with saline water, saline nasal sprays have an expectorant and moisturizing effect. Dry air in a bedroom can be made more pleasant by regularly airing the room or hanging wet towels.
A humidifier can also soothe a stuffy nose and moisten mucous membranes. Adding a few drops of essential oil such as peppermint or thyme can enhance the effect of a humidifier and noticeably improve your breathing, especially with catarrhal or flu-like conditions.