15 Ways to Relieve Nasal Congestion Naturally
When people have a stuffy nose, they are dealing with the problem of nasal congestion, and this is one of the first symptoms that colds produce. Seasonal allergies and environmental irritants can also cause nasal congestion. Although the symptoms usually subside within a few days, the blockage and inflammation in the nose can potentially diminish one’s quality of life.1
The mucus buildup often leads to debilitating sinus infections because germs and bacteria infest the nasal cavities. Each year, 30 million people in the United States fall victim to chronic rhinosinusitis and sinusitis, according to U.S. News & World Report.2 Since there are more than 200 viruses that can cause adults and children to succumb to the problem of nasal congestion, any person can easily become a sufferer. Thankfully, the following natural methods are able to deliver fast and long-term relief.
1. Humidifier and Air Treatment
As the weather changes, dry air will become more problematic for the people who live in an inland area. Therefore, it’s best to maintain a moist indoor environment, especially during the cold months of winter.3
Once sufferers install a humidifier, they will have less difficulty with their sinuses since this useful device will improve the quality of the air. Central and portable humidifiers work by filtering out airborne debris and allergens and by generating a cool or warm mist. The alleviating powers of the mist are proven to help with chapped lips, nosebleeds, asthma, allergies, and rhinitis.
The main types are evaporators, impellers, steam, and ultrasonic. Thanks to the cutting-edge technology in each type, any humidifier can effectively treat the air. If the device is routinely cleaned and kept in an excellent condition, it will go a long way toward counteracting and preventing nasal congestion.4
2. Herbal Tea
Tea imparts a boatload of salutary benefits when it contains certain herbs, so sufferers commonly drink hot herbal tea or inhale its steam. According to countless experts and users of home remedies, it doesn’t take long for the body to react.5
The herbs are going to stimulate and moisturize the mucous membranes. As the steam builds up in the nose, the mucus will thin out and drain more easily. That’s why the following herbal teas are recommended: peppermint, blackberry, chamomile, sage, eucalyptus, ginger, wild thyme, and echinacea.6
Drink up as often as possible because staying hydrated is important. Water and tea are the two fluids that keep the nose clean and healthy.
3. Vicks VapoRub
Getting the nose to open up isn’t a difficult task. One of the many secrets is to apply Vicks VapoRub to the chest, and keep in mind that a little bit will suffice. This mentholated ointment emits a strong scent that’s powerful enough to loosen up not only phlegm but also compacted mucus.7 Thus, it has the ability to relieve sinus pressure and improve breathing, so it’s worth having if the goal is to get through allergy season with fewer problems.
4. Neti Pot
For centuries, neti pots have helped millions of people overcome all sorts of sinus-related symptoms, especially congestion.8 This is the case because irrigation becomes necessary once debris gets deep inside the nose, and this method works best when sterile water is combined with non-iodized salt.
Neti pots simplify the dirty job of keeping mucus thin.
5. Saline Sprays
Sometimes, the nose turns into a reservoir of germs and bacteria, which are the very factors that lead to illnesses. Fortunately, saline sprays exist alongside decongestants, and the market teems with a wide variety of options. While most of the sprays have a unique function, they all provide similar benefits, such as better relief from congestion and infections. To sufferers’ delight, it’s a fact that saline sprays are equally effective when it comes to cleansing. They are also safe for children and easy to use.9
Inhaling steam is among the top methods that sufferers often use. The big idea behind this practice is to open the nasal passages that are being obstructed by a mucus buildup. If steam is inhaled when the flu strikes, symptoms are less likely to linger and compound.10
7. Ice and Heat Packs
While some experts have dissenting views, empirical evidence supports the use of ice and heat packs.11 When applied to the head, the packs alleviate the inflammation and the congestion in the nose.
To be more specific, the warmness opens up the nasal passages. The coolness helps to reduce the swelling within the mucous membranes.
The body responds well to massages. This is especially true when the sinuses are affected.12
Certain massages are more effective than others because they don’t just ease the tension in the face. They also deliver pressure directly to the areas where mucus has backed up.
Spices are great for affected sinuses. The heat that they produce within the body forces the nasal passages to open. They can even cause a reaction that will eliminate a large portion of the compacted mucus.13
10. Essential Oils
Many sufferers recommend the use of essential oils. Eucalyptus oil, peppermint oil, rosemary oil, and tea tree oil have a positive impact on the sinuses.14 Bathing with any one of them will help loosen the mucus.
11. Wash Bedding and Pillows
Sleeping in a bed with contaminated sheets and pillows is a surefire way to increase sinus problems.15 Wash the bedding with natural detergents to get rid of dust mites, bacteria, and allergens.
12. Blow Nose Regularly
When the nose is stuffy, try to blow out the mucus inside some tissue. Even if the stuffy feeling doesn’t go away completely, continue to blow so the nasal cavities will no longer be blocked.16
13. Taking a Hot Shower or Bath
Another great way to relieve nasal congestion is relaxing in a hot shower or bath. Even sitting in the bathroom with a hot shower running is enough to offer some relief. The steam will help open one’s sinuses and will help to drain the mucus from their nose. Try doing this before bed, it will make one’s sleep better.
Proper exercises help the body to heal itself, so do some push-ups. Try to only breathe through the nose to give the mucous membranes a good workout.17 The various movements and positions are going to help clear the congestion that has developed.
15. Avoid Alcohol
While dealing with nasal congestion, don’t drink alcohol because it will only exacerbate the sinus problems. From beer to red wine, alcohol is found to cause congestion.18