Home Remedies for a Runny Nose

A runny nose is a very common and annoying problem. It occurs when there is increased mucus in the sinus and nasal passages. The increased mucus production is the body’s way of flushing cold or flu viruses, irritants and allergens out of the body.

Some of the most common causes of a runny nose are the common cold, an allergic reaction, a sinus infection and a sudden change in weather. If not treated timely, it can lead to coughing, earaches, headaches and other problems.

There are many over-the-counter medicines for a runny nose, but they often have unpleasant side effects like drowsiness. Many simple home remedies can give you instant relief and decrease the intensity of your symptoms, without any side effects.

home remedies for runny nose

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Here are the top 10 home remedies for a runny nose.

1. Salt Water

Salt water is the best home remedy for alleviating the irritation that accompanies a runny nose. Salt water will help thin the mucus, making it easier and more comfortable to expel. It will also help clear the nasal passages of irritants.

  1. Mix one-half teaspoon of table salt in two cups of distilled warm water.
  2. Using a dropper, put a few drops of the solution into each nostril with your head tilted back.
  3. Inhale very gently to draw the solution further into your nasal passages. Then blow your nose to remove excess mucus and solution.
  4. Do this a few times at a sitting until you feel relief.
  5. Repeat a couple of times each day until your condition improves.

2. Steam

Steam is also an effective home remedy for a runny nose. It helps clear out excess mucus that causes a runny nose and sneezing.

  • Hold your face over a bowl of hot water, with a towel over your head to trap the steam. Breathe in the steam for about 10 minutes, and then blow your nose. Do this three or four times a day.
  • You can also add a few drops of eucalyptus oil or menthol to the hot water before breathing in the steam.
  • Alternatively, you can take a hot shower or bath.

3. Mustard Oil

Mustard oil has antibiotic, antiviral and antihistamine properties that can provide instant relief from various symptoms of a runny nose.

  • Heat a small amount of mustard oil until it is slightly warm. Using a dropper, put one or two drops of the oil in each nostril. This will help clear up the nasal passages. Do this two or three times a day.
  • Add two to three tablespoons of mustard oil and one tablespoon of caraway seeds to a pot of boiling water. Inhale the steam. The strong aroma of mustard oil will warm up the respiratory system, thus providing instant relief from a runny nose. Do this twice daily.

Note: Mustard oil is edible, so you can use the oil for cooking too.

4. Turmeric

Turmeric works as an antidote for many health conditions, including a runny nose. The herb has strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral properties that make it very effective for treating a runny nose as well as a cold.

  • Soak one-half teaspoon of dry, ground turmeric in a cup of linseed oil. Hold the mixture over heat until it starts smoking. Slowly inhale the smoke through one nostril and then the other. Do this twice daily.
  • One-half teaspoon of turmeric powder can also be taken two times a day. You can take it with some water. This will help loosen the mucus in the body.
  • Mix one teaspoon of turmeric powder in a glass of warm milk and drink it before going to bed. This will offer quick relief from a runny nose, cough, cold, sore throat and also asthma. You can add a pinch of black pepper as well.

5. Ginger

Ginger has a wide range of antioxidants as well as antiviral, antitoxic, and antifungal properties that help provide quick relief from various symptoms of a runny nose.

  • Chewing small prices of raw ginger sprinkled with salt several times a day alleviates a runny nose quickly.
  • Cut ginger root into thin slices, put them in a cup of water and boil it for some time to make a tea. Add a little honey for taste and drink the tea three or four times a day.
  • Boil one teaspoon of ginger powder in two cups of water and inhale the steam.
  • Ginger can also be taken in the form of lozenges, which are available in the market, to prevent a runny nose.

6. Garlic

Garlic has strong antibacterial and antiseptic properties that make it a wonderful treatment for a runny nose.

  • Prepare garlic soup by boiling three or four cloves of chopped garlic in a cup of water for several minutes. Strain the solution, add some sugar and drink the soup twice a day.
  • Chew a small piece of garlic three or four times a day to warm up your body and get relief from a runny nose.
  • Garlic supplements can also be taken on a regular basis to prevent or reduce the frequency of a runny nose.




  1. swarnakanthi kumarasamy January 21, 2014, 7:33 am

    very useful tips thank you

  2. I like this the different home remedies about health .

  3. chew a breath mint and immediately drink a glass of cold water works too

  4. Ginger is the most effective natural remedies to get rid of runny nose. I’ve tried and it worked well for me. I cut 3 to 5 thin slices of ginger, put them into the flask and add boiling water. Close the cover and drink it after 2 to 3 hours. continue for about a week. Now my runny nose has stopped. Thanks

    • Well, if you don’t do anything, it should stop in a week anyway :)

      • thank a lot wise gal! if you have a runny, “! …you have a runny nose”. it may go on for weeks–for months. Just running an ongoing leaky water dripping–sniffling and dripping–we try everything to stop it. I will try ginger drops first. thanks

  5. remedies that suggest to cook garlic or put in boiling water will destroy the properties of garlic so make sure the garlic is raw. Also do NOT add sugar, this is the worst thing for colds as well as your health generally!!! Also do not heat up honey, again it will lose it’s benefits and cooking honey will actually make it harmful!!

  6. hi, remedies that suggest to cook garlic or put in boiling water will destroy the properties of garlic so make sure the garlic is raw. Also do NOT add sugar, this is the worst thing for colds as well as your health generally!!! Also do not heat up honey, again it will lose it’s benefits and cooking honey will actually make it harmful!!

  7. If u r suffering from constant watering of Nose , specifically in October, or due to allergy then here is a Home remedy.
    INGREDIENTS:- ½ Litre fresh Colostrum (of Cow or buffalo), sugar or Gur, crushed powder Cardamon, ½ tsb Turmeric, ½ coconut juice or 1 cup milk .
    PROCEDURE:- In a Utensil add coconut juice or milk, Turmeric, to Colostrum then add sugar or Gur (jaggery) as per sweetness required according to ur choice. Mix it , keep the utensil with lid on it in cooker with cooker whistle removed for ½ hr with full gas on. When the cooker is cooled, open it & remove the utensil . Serve by cutting it into pieces (size of cheese cube). Take 6-8 pieces in the morning & evening. Remaining keep in Refrigerator for consuming afterwards.

  8. Spit out everything you cough up in an old cup. Blow out everything that runs in an old t-shirt instead of tissues. Remember to drink,eat, and sleep. Catch a buzz from alcohol. Rest propped-up. Call-in to work, and relax. Watch some tv.

    • I honestly feel like snorting some cinnamon! I’m so sick and the runny rose won’t stop I filled up a trash bin overflows to the freaking floor. I ended up mixing some organic cinnamon with water n drank it was delicious and it tasted delicious and did the trick so far so good thanks cinnamon commenter.

  9. I am suffering from running nose. as mentioned by u I will try ginger and garlic with turmeric also to make tea and take steam bath too

  10. I will try one of these remedies!

  11. if you are suffering from chronic running nose..half teaspoon of cinnamon powder add two teaspoon of pure honey mix with the cinnamon powder.take it twice a day it is very effective in chronic runny nose and allergic and non allergic rhinits

  12. Does anyone know if Vaseline works?

  13. Thank you so much for the useful information.

  14. oliver mehta waller February 7, 2015, 3:00 pm

    for the first time i am experiencing a running nose at age 23 due to relocating to work in a harsh weather condition full of dust its just taking my joy away every time i have run to a washroom to blow up my nose i just hate the feeling.this has forced me to sought for medications all over because its just taking away everything i had.hope ginger and garlic will aide

  15. tightly roll tissue, stick in nostrals, no more runny nose

  16. Ginger tea with lemon and eating small diced chips of raw garlic worked like a charm. Do this several times a day…follow with a breath mint. LOL. Luv it, luve’it. Mucho thanks

  17. Just take the ginger and chew it raw. In less than four hours time you will the difference for yourself.

  18. Tried various cures. Most dramatic was diy netipot but using much stronger saline solution than suggested here. Flat teaspoon cooking salt, pinch of baking soda in cup of boiled water/ Allow to cool to warm on skin and pour half into each nostril via water bottle. This worked for my terrible head cold when I was getting desperate. I couldn’t see TV, laptop, read or even go into a lit room for 2 days. Using the lower salt levels felt nice but only lasted 5 minutes.
    Water alone can be painful as your nasal passages require saline solution. Has to be very fine salt. Table salt not recommended.

  19. Eat garlic in olive oil-(to take away the taste) it works. Salt water solution also helps a bit. If your runny nose has an infection you are going to need to use garlic and the other anti bacterial cures. Salt alone wont do the trick.

  20. Just mix salt and sugar and let it dissolve.
    Put it in a pot and boil it. Breathe in the steam.

  21. Take alcohol and put some on a cotton ball and smell it over and over again and soon you’ll feel relief TRUST ME!

  22. these home remedies r very effective. Actually iam suffering from running nose. I wana try all these remedies. I’ll post another comment after few days when i get cured. Thankyou.

  23. Chew cloves if you have some. All the plumming in your head is connected, so what you chew or drinks affects your ears and nose and eyes. I would also recomend cooling down your nose with something from the freezer or splash your face with cold water. Dont put water inside your nose since this will irritate it further. It simply is the wrong ph. Boiled saline water is fine. Dont snort things or blow too hard. If you dont have a cold but just a runny nose it means it is irritated for some reason and want to flush away what irritated it, so it is unwise to irritate it further by exsperimenting.

  24. Take some Lemon Ginger tea with some honey. You will immediately feel the relief of your running nose.

  25. Useful tips. Thanks for the informations.

    • I have been practiced to take steam bath for which I use electric kettle to boil the watet and keep the lid opened. We will get continuous flow steam. Add tulsi leaves in the boiling water will give better results for cold and caugh.

  26. Arachamy prender rotich August 22, 2015, 6:13 am

    buy yourself a bottle of johnny walker black label , and drink it all strait from the bottle you will be off your face in no time at all ,,trust me!!!…

  27. try some tampons mixed with garlic smell that always works wonders for me then your wife can reuse it afterwards..save on use

  28. Thanks for your useful comments

  29. Putting three drops of salty water actually did the trick in less than an hour!!!! Thanks a lot.

  30. going through some season change and cold and flu is rampant.

    Thanks everyone..



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