Having a stuffed up nasal passage can be a very annoying and painful symptom of a cold, flu sinus infection, upper respiratory infection or allergies. Luckily, there are many home remedies that you can try that can greatly help with nasal congestion, without having to take medication or prescription drugs.
The first thing to do is to attempt not to sniffle. Sniffling sucks the mucus back into the lungs, which then allows the irritant that is the root of the problem to reach the lungs. Congestion in the nasal cavity is the body’s way of stopping irritants and infections from getting down into the body, which causes more severe problems.
Changing the way you eat and drink can help naturally keep congestion at bay before it even starts- remember, prevention is the key to good health. Vitamins C and Zinc should be consumed every day to begin with, but raising your intake is a good natural way to dealing with nasal congestion. Speak to your doctor about the proper daily dosage for your needs. Staying hydrated is also a pro-active way to stay ahead of nasal issues.
If nasal congestion is currently a problem, a natural home remedy is the drinking of hot liquids. Brew a cup of hot tea or apple cider, and sip regularly. Hot liquids will help the nose to run, flushing out excessive liquids and mucus. Hot soups and broths can also help, as well. Many natural remedies say that spicy liquids can also be effective in clearing out the mucus membranes of the nasal passage, as well as adding needed moisture.
When sleeping, try keeping your head elevated by propping yourself up slightly with pillows. This will help to keep the mucus from building up and backing up into the nose and throat. Most people know that laying on your back will almost instantly make your nose even more stuffed up, so elevation is essential. For severe congestion, sleep in an upright position, such as in an armchair.
Another good and easy natural remedy is applying a warm compress to the face a few times a day, for at least 5 minutes. Soaking a towel in warm to hot water and then squeezing the excess water out is one way to make a compress, or you can heat a small, semi-wet towel in the microwave for 10-20 seconds, as well. Placing this between the eyes and onto your nose will help the circulation increase in your sinuses, which will thereby increase the flow of mucus.
Steam is one of the best home, natural remedies for nasal and sinus congestion, and can be simply accomplished. If you can, a steam or sauna room is perfect for the nasal passages, but if you don’t have access to one, you can use a few tricks at home. Fill a large bowl with steaming hot water and carefully cover your head with a medium-sized towel so that the steam hits your face. Be careful not to burn yourself. This helps to clear the nasal passage. You can also stand in a hot shower or take a hot bath, and breathe in the steam. If you want, you can add essential oils into the water, such as mint oils or orange oils, which are said to help strengthen this treatment. Eucalyptus oils are also said to help.
You can also mix your own saline product to flush out your nostrils by combining a teaspoon of salt with 2 cupfuls of warm water, and add just a pinch of baking soda. Stir gently, and pour as best as you can into each nostril, sniffing the solution gently up into the nostril cavity. Blow your nose carefully afterward, and then repeat on the other side. This helps to flush out the stale nasal secretions that build up in the passageways.