Nasal congestion in simple terms is known as a ‘blocked nose’ or ‘stuffy nose’. This happens when there is swelling in the nasal cavity, leading to a buildup of mucus. As a result, it becomes difficult to breathe normally. This is a symptom often associated with colds, flus and allergic reactions.
Nasal congestion can be more than merely annoying. It is important to treat it immediately or it can cause other problems, such as ear infections, restless sleep and so on.
There are many ways to clear congestion. This very common problem can be easily treated by using ingredients already in your kitchen. Use any of these remedies as needed to relieve discomfort until you are well again.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for nasal congestion.
Garlic is one of the best home remedies for reducing nasal congestion. Its antiviral and antifungal properties help fight the respiratory infection causing congestion.
- Boil two to three garlic cloves in one cup of water. You may also mix in one-half teaspoon of turmeric powder. Drink it daily until the congestion clears.
- Eating fresh garlic cloves can also help relieve stuffiness and discomfort.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar can quickly clear a stuffy nose as it helps thin the mucus. Plus, being rich in several nutrients, it is also good for your overall health and immunity.
- Mix two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and one tablespoon of honey in a cup of warm water.
- Drink this two or three times a day at least for a few days.
3. Steam Inhalation
Inhalation therapy is another popular home remedy for instant relief from nasal congestion. It works as a natural expectorant to clear the congestion and also lubricates the irritated respiratory tract. You can do this two to four times a day.
- Add one tablespoon of crushed carom seeds (ajwain) to boiling water and inhale the steam (keep your head about an arm’s length away from the bowl from which you are inhaling the steam).
- You can also add a few drops of peppermint essential oil to boiling water and inhale the steam.
Note: Steam inhalation is generally not recommended for young children because of the risk of scalding. Also, it may not be suitable for pregnant women, and those suffering from high blood pressure, heart condition or central nervous system disorders.
4. Nasal Irrigation
Nasal irrigation with saline solution can also be used to treat nasal congestion. It helps wash away the mucus and irritants from the nasal passages.
- Mix one teaspoon of salt in two cups of distilled warm water.
- Use this solution for nasal irrigation using a neti pot or some other irrigation device.
- Repeat once or twice daily for a few days.
Note: Make sure to use distilled or previously boiled water for nasal irrigation and wash the irrigation device after each use.
5. Eucalyptus Oil
Eucalyptus oil is highly beneficial for those suffering from nasal congestion, thanks to its decongestant and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Simply put one or two drops of eucalyptus essential oil in a fresh handkerchief and inhale the aroma. Do this a few times a day.
- You can also use eucalyptus essential oil on your pillow so you can get the benefits of this oil even when you are in deep sleep.
6. Warm Water
When suffering from nasal congestion, it is important to aid a steady flow of mucus through your nasal passages. Warm water can be of great help in this regard. It will also keep the nasal passages moist and prevent them from drying out.
- Using a humidifier can help open up clogged nasal passages.
- You can also run a hot shower for several minutes so that steam builds up in the bathroom. Breathe in the soothing vapors. Repeat twice daily until you recover completely.
- Another option is to wet a washcloth in warm water and place it over your face. Leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes. Repeat several times a day.