A stuffy nose can make you feel very uncomfortable. Your nose drips, your sound changes, and you just cannot resist the feeling of blowing your nose repeatedly to improve your breathing. Interestingly, a clogged nose is not always the result of too much mucus in your nasal passages; in fact, it is usually the result of inflamed blood vessels in the sinuses. Triggered by the flu, a cold, a sinus infection, or allergies, these irritated blood vessels can make breathing very difficult. Thankfully, you can try home remedies for nasal congestion to improve breathing. Let's find out what you can do.
Effective Home Remedies to Relieve Nasal Congestion
Install a Humidifier
A quick way to improve your breathing and relieve congestion is to use a humidifier. It works by converting water to moisture, which increase the humidity in your room. You will be breathing in moist air, which is less likely to irritate blood vessels in the sinuses. That moist air can also help thin the mucus in your nasal passages and further improve your breathing.
Enjoy Some Hot Liquids
Drinking hot liquids can help soothe the inflamed lining of your throat and nose. You can try a hot toddy before going to bed to relieve congestion. Simply prepare a cup of herbal tea and then add a teaspoon of honey to it with an ounce of whiskey. This will help reduce nasal congestion. You can also try other hot liquids for some relief.
Blow Your Nose
Yes, it is a good idea to blow your nose instead of sniffling mucus back into your head when looking for home remedies for nasal congestion. However, you need to blow your nose correctly. Do not try to blow too hard or else you will end up sending phlegm back into your ear passages, which can cause an earache. Simply blow one nostril at a time and use your finger to close one nostril while clearing the other.
Apply Hot Packs on Your Sinuses
It is easy to find reusable hot packs at drugstores, but you can always make your own. All you have to do is to soak a washcloth in water and then put it in your microwave for 30 seconds. Ensure that it is not too hot and then put it on your sinuses for relief.
Try a Hot Ginger Compress
Another great idea is to try a hot ginger compress that is effective and easy to make. Ginger works better because it has anti-inflammatory properties. Take a 3-inch piece of ginger root. Take two cups of boiling water in a saucepan. Now, add the ginger to it and let it simmer over low heat. Turn off the heat after 20 minutes and soak a washcloth in it. Ensure that it is not too hot. Then, put it over your face for 15 minutes. You should be doing it while lying on your couch – just keep your head elevated.
Make Use of Acupressure
There is a point on the both sides of your nose and right next to the inner eyes. Stimulate it using your index finger and left thumb. Now, use your other hand – the heel of your hand and fingers – to grab the muscles behind your neck. Apply pressure to all four points for 60 seconds.
Inhale Steam with Eucalyptus
Eucalyptus oil can help eliminate bacterial infections affecting your respiratory system. Take 1 quart of boiling water and add 5 drops of eucalyptus oil to it. Cover your head with a towel, leave over the bowl, and inhale steam for 15 minutes. Do it 3-4 times a day for relief.
Try a Saline Spray
One of many effective home remedies for nasal congestion is to use a nasal saline spray. It helps keep your nasal passages moist and reduce inflammation. It is a good idea to use a saline spray that also contains decongestant medication, but be sure to talk to your doctor because you should not use these sprays for more than three days.
Use Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar helps because it contains potassium and acetic acid. Potassium helps thin mucus, whereas the acetic acid eliminates bacterial infection. Simply take a glass of water and add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to it. Drink it to help relieve nasal congestion.
Drink Peppermint Tea
Peppermint helps with nasal congestion mainly because it contains menthol, which not only thins mucus but also opens up nasal passages. Take small sips and this would allow heat from the tea to enter your nasal passages and relieve congestion.
Eat Cayenne Pepper
This is one of the most effective home remedies for nasal congestion because cayenne pepper contains capsaicin that helps dry up mucus and improve breathing. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and works great to decrease congestion in the nose. Simply add it to your favorite meals or make a spicy tea by adding ¼ tsp. of it to a cup of boiling water.
Make Use of Antihistamine
You can take an allergy medicine or antihistamine to help treat your stuffy nose. These medications work when your nasal congestion is the result of an allergic reaction. You can also find combination medicines that contain a decongestant and an antihistamine to help relieve the sinus pressure. Be sure to check the instructions and follow them carefully. Keep in mind that antihistamines might cause drowsiness, so take it when you do not have to be very productive or active.