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Home Remedies for Nasal Congestion

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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 problem is often associated with colds, flu and allergic reactions.

When nasal congestion lasts longer than one week, it may be due to acute sinusitis, dry air, hormonal changes in the body, hay fever, occupational asthma, pregnancy, stress, thyroid disorders and excessive tobacco smoke, to name a few.

Nasal Congestion illustration

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Although less common, nasal congestion can also be caused by polyps or a tumor.

Common symptoms of nasal congestion are sinus pain, mucus buildup, swollen nasal tissues, watery eyes, a hoarse voice and a minor headache. Congestion may or may not be accompanied by a nasal discharge or “runny nose.”

A blocked nose can be more than merely annoying. It is a matter of concern for children whose sleep is disturbed.

It is important to treat it immediately or it can cause other problems, such as ear infections, restless sleep and so on.

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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.

nasal congestion home remedies

Here are the top 10 home remedies for nasal congestion.


(Out of the 10, we have covered 3 highly effective home remedies in this video as well.)

1. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is one of the best remedies to clear a stuffy nose quickly.

It works as a natural decongestant that helps break up congested mucous and provide excellent relief from a blocked, stuffy nose. Also, the potassium in it helps dry up a runny nose.

use apple cider vinegar to treat nasal congestion
Treat Nasal Congestion with Apple Cider Vinegar

Plus, being rich in several nutrients, it is good for your overall health and immunity.

  • Mix 2 tablespoons of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar and 1 tablespoon of raw honey in a cup of warm water. Drink this 2 or 3 times a day for a few days.
  • Also, pour equal amounts of water and raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar in a pan. Bring this mixture to a boil, then inhale the steam. Make sure to close your eyes or it will sting the eyes. Do this 2 or 3 times a day or as needed.

2. Steam Inhalation

Steam inhalation 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.

try steam inhalation for nasal congestion

You can use any of these remedies 2 to 4 times a day. Keep your head about an arm’s length away from the water and a towel over your head to trap the steam.

  • Add a few drops of peppermint or eucalyptus essential oil to boiling water and inhale the steam for about 10 minutes.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of crushed carom seeds to boiling water. Inhale the steam for about 10 minutes.
  • Inhaling steam from a humidifier or hot bath can also help decrease congestion.

Note: Steam inhalation is generally not recommended for younger children (below 12 years of age) 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.

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3. Nasal Irrigation

Nasal irrigation with a saline solution can also be used to treat nasal congestion. It helps wash away the mucus and irritants from the nasal passages and give you excellent relief.

try nasal irrigation to treat nasal congestion

To prepare the saline solution, mix 1 teaspoon of non iodized salt (iodized salt can cause irritation in the nasal passages) in 2 cups of warm distilled water. Here are two popular methods of nasal irrigation.

  • A Neti pot, a container designed to flush mucus and fluids out of your nasal passages, is a popular device for doing nasal irrigation. To rinse the sinuses using a Neti pot, tilt your head back and gently pour the mixture directly into one of your nostrils. Allow it to drain out through the opposite nostril. Repeat this process with the other nostril.
  • Another option is to pour the salt solution into the palm of your thoroughly washed hands and inhale it through one nostril at a time.

Use either of these methods 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.

4. Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper is highly effective at relieving nasal congestion and blocked sinuses. The capsaicin in it works as a natural decongestant to provide relieve from inflammation in the nasal passages.

cayenne pepper for nasal congestion

Plus, the fiery effect of cayenne induces  a runny nose to get rid of the mucus and allergens in your sinuses. This in turn relieves a blocked nose.

  • Add ½ teaspoon of cayenne powder to 1 tablespoon of raw honey and eat it a few times daily.
  • Another option is to dip the tip of a cotton swab into cayenne pepper. Carefully insert the cotton swab into the nose to induce sneezing and clear the sinuses. There will be a burning sensation initially, but it passes quickly and eventually help relieve sinus pressure and pain. Do it 2 or 3 times a day.

5. Vapor Rub

Vicks VapoRub, a popular over-the-counter decongestant, can provide quick relief from a blocked nose.

rub vicks on chest to get rid of nasal congestion

The active ingredients, such as camphor, eucalyptus oil and menthol, help clear the congestion and make breathing easy and comfortable.

  • Rub this mentholated topical cream gently on the chest, back and throat before going to bed to make breathing easy and help you sleep properly.
  • Also, boil some water in a pot. Turn off the heat and put a small amount of Vicks VapoRub in it. Stand over the pot with a towel over your head, keep your eyes closed and inhale the steam for just a couple of minutes. Repeat as needed.

Note: Do not use Vick VapoRub on children below 2 years of age. Also, avoid steam inhalation for children below 12 years of age.

6. Garlic

Garlic is one of the best home remedies for reducing nasal congestion. Its antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties help fight the respiratory infection causing congestion.

nasal congestion home remedy

It also helps control overproduction of mucus and prevents infection. It even promotes quick recovery, as garlic is a natural immune booster.

  • Boil 2 to 3 garlic cloves in 1 cup of water. You may also mix in ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder. Drink it twice daily until the congestion clears.
  • Eating fresh garlic cloves can also help relieve stuffiness and discomfort.
  • Garlic supplements can also be taken on a regular basis to prevent or reduce the frequency of nasal congestion. Always consult your doctor before taking any kind of supplement.

Home Remedies for Nasal Congestion was last modified: August 2nd, 2017 by Top10HomeRemedies
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47 thoughts on “Home Remedies for Nasal Congestion”

  1. I been dealingwith sinusitis for about 3 months, i been to the doctor several times and nothing seems to work. any suggestions???

    1. Use a Neti Pot. Its a simple pot with a spout like a tea pot.
      I couldn’t find it in India tough it is a Yoga concept. It is freely available in USA at any pharmacy or it can be purchased online.
      It is filled with luke warm water and a half teaspoon of table salt and quarter tea spoon of cooking soda.
      It is poured through one nostril and the water exits the other nostril Reverse the procedure till both nostrils are cleared.
      It irrigates the nasal cavities and desentisizes the nasal passage hence reducing allergic symptons. It also helps in clearing dry mucus and snot.
      Use it daily and you will notice remarkable improvement.

        1. It’s only dangerous if you’re using tap water. Distilled water or boiled non-iodized salt water is perfectly safe for internal use. They’re highly effective and safe if appropriate maintenance is performed to upkeep the neti pot.

          Kolonji oil, tea tree oil, and basil are all good to use in a neti pot (with distilled or boiled water and non-iodized salt).

          Incorporating turmeric, basil, ginger, and lemon into your diet will do wonders for your congestion and sinus infections.

          If none of these are working, you may want to seek out your family doctor or go to the free clinic.

        2. I have being using it successfully for 3yrs with amazing results, the secrets of using Neti pot is while using you must breath through your mouth while pouring into your nose & the best result is obtained by using slightly warm saline solution,I am so comfortable using Neti pot that I carry on conversation.

    2. When my sinus attack I use to do the old practices of my lola..I used to boil paombong vinegar or apple cider & inhale the vapor until I begin to sneeze..dry mucus will soften because of the warm vapor & then flow out..it also lessen the headache..I will continue doing this until my sinus or nasal congestion gone..try it..its effective

    3. sounds like possible polyps. These are a growth in the nose., Imagine a small bunch of grapes in the nasal passage which gets larger every week. Get your doctor to consider drops., i.e. Flixonase (fluticasone propionate). usually one drop applied to the nose once a day. Good luck

  2. The best thing I have found for sinus congestion is to use a netti pot at least 2 to 3 times a day; can be found in almost any drugstore…follow directions.
    Definately helps!

      1. neither a tablet nor a spray
        it is a pot in which u put water in to inhale the water from one nostril and it comes out from the other
        when the water comes out, the mucus gets cleared out

        1. You do not inhale the water. You breathe through your mouth as you squeeze the solution through your nasal cavity until it come out the other side. No inhaling!

  3. The best and quickest remedy is salt and water.;). Take some and drop some in the nose like nasal drops. And it clears in less than a minute…

    1. Leba, what a big relief,!. I was disturbed with nasal congestion .l tried the salt solution (boiled water and salt).lt works like fire .Thanks a billion

  4. I used Alerid-Cold and applied Vicks vaporub at night. It help me every time. But now Alerid-Cold is banned. Any alternative to Alerid-Cold

  5. I just tried 2 tbs of honey, lemon juice and a tsp of ground cinnamon, added a little water to it and drank it. My nose has cleared up

    1. How much lemon juice did you try? Can I add few drops of lemon or a full spoon of lemon.
      Also can we use the bottle lemon juice or shall I get lemon juice from real lemon. Please help as this is making me go nuts!

  6. I always grab for the distill water and salt if i even think my sinus is about flare up..it works everytime for me and i back it up with lemon/honey cough drop

  7. I can recommend Nasal Spray with Turmeric (curcuma longa). I’ve bought a bottle (20ml) during my vocation in Vietnam. This product is manufactured by Thai Duong and also available in a couple of online stores.

  8. Iam suffering from sinus for the last 3 years. Can you please give me a quick relief.
    Thanks for all the comments you all have posted I will try some. Thank you.

  9. Add 4 drops cinnamon oil
    4 drops clove oil
    4 drops thyme oil in a pan of boiled water now inhale through nose, one nostril at a time. Take steam for abt 2 minutes because it is very strong. Do this for a few days until nasal passages are clear. Not suitable for heart patients or high blood pressure.

  10. I am using nasal drops since last many years. If I don’t use nasal drops I can’t sleep. I want to leave this habit. What can be done.

  11. For sinus one of the best solution for immediate relief & good night sleep is using Neti pot at night before bed.for long term investigate what is causing allergy in you

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