Natural Remedies for Congestion That Works
The nose is one of the main gateways for both beneficial substances like oxygen and harmful bacteria that cause diseases. Thus, when it suffers from nasal congestion, many side effects also occur including ear infections, hearing difficulties, snoring problems and even respiratory distress especially in newborn infants.
Nasal congestion is most often caused by allergens irritating the mucosal membranes lining the inside parts of the two nostrils. When these membranes expand, you will experience the characteristic symptoms of a stuffed nose coupled with, ironically, runny secretions. Fortunately, many natural remedies for congestion are available to ease the symptoms of a congested nose without resorting to over-the-counter medications.
If you can identify the allergen that led to your nasal congestion in the first place, it will be easy to avoid future occurrences simply by avoiding its source. In the absence of any other underlying medical condition, the most common culprits of nasal congestion are pasteurized dairy, pet hair, dust and pollen.
For example, if you are allergic to pasteurized dairy, your best bet against worsening and preventing nasal congestion is to avoid related products. Avoid significant amounts of pasteurized milk, ice cream, cheese and cream cheese, among other sources of pasteurized dairy. Or if you are allergic to cat hair or dog fur, don't have these pets in your home.
It must be noted that people who are susceptible to nasal congestion must also avoid chlorinated pools. The concentrated amounts of chlorine being inhaled while soaking in the pool actually irritate the mucous membranes that, in turn, leads to nasal congestion.
Watch Your Diet
Pasteurized dairy products are not the only sources of food allergens that cause nasal congestion. You should also look into food items rich in carbohydrates and sugar as leading causes for the medical condition. Plus, a diet high in refined carbohydrates and sugar can also cause asthma in susceptible persons.
So, lessen your refined sugar and carbohydrate intake. We suggest healthier alternatives like whole grains and fruits instead of your usual white bread, cakes and cookies.
Keep Your Nasal Passages Moist
It may seem counter-intuitive to keep your nasal passages moist considering the presence of runny secretions. However, science supports nasal irrigation in the case of a clogged nose for two reasons.
First, dry mucous membranes make them more susceptible to irritations that consequently make for worse nasal congestion. Second, the liquid used in nasal irrigation washes out the unwanted mucus, debris and allergens from the nose.
There are many ways to perform a nasal irrigation although we only recommend sticking to just one or two methods so as to avoid overdoing the process. You should choose which one best suits your comfort level, available equipment and even lifestyle. These ways include:
• Mix ¼ teaspoon salt with ¼ teaspoon baking soda in 8 ounces of warm water. Using a nasal dropper, squirt the mixture into the nose. Be sure to hold one nostril closed while squirting the other nostril with the mixture. Let it drain before applying 2 more squirts. Repeat the same process on the untreated nostril.
• Boil water and salt before pouring into a sterilized container. Wait until it is warm before suctioning it into an eyedropper. Look up to the ceiling so that your nostrils are facing it, squirt a few drops into each nostril and wait for the salt water to reach your throat. When it does, gently blow your nose.
• In a medium-sized saucepan, heat at least 2 inches of apple cider vinegar until it begins to steam. Inhale the vapor for a few minutes to experience significant relief.
• Inhale red and black pepper. The mixture will dilate the blood vessels in the nose, thus, stimulating secretions and draining the sinuses. Your nasal congestion should then ease up.
• Place two drops of either peppermint or eucalyptus essential oil on a handkerchief or a cotton ball. Hold near your nose and inhale for a few minutes. A mentholated salve will also do the trick.
• Place a few drops of grapefruit seed extract into a half-cup of warm water. Inhale the vapors before going to bed and after waking up in the morning for greater efficacy.
Cardamom Seed Smoke
Cardamom seeds are one of the most popular spices used to flavor a wide variety of dishes. You can also heat a few seeds on hot coals and then inhale the smoke.
Carom Seeds Bouquet
If you don't like smoke literally getting in your eyes, try the carom seeds bouquet. Simply crush a handful of carom seeds, place inside a handkerchief and tie. Tuck this bouquet, in a manner of speaking, near your pillow so that you can inhale its vapors while you sleep.
Take a Warm Bath
The steam coming from a warm tub of water will also help. Soak in a hot bath for as long as possible. This has the added benefit of making you more relaxed at night in preparation for a good night's sleep.
Drink Hot Liquids
It is not just the direct application of vapors to the nose that relieves nasal congestion. Drinking hot liquids also relieves a stuffed, runny and congested nose because the beverages soothe the inflamed mucous membranes. Plus, these liquids prevent dehydration from the inside.
Even just drinking more water, fruit juice and teas will help. We also suggest adding 1 cup of tomato juice, ½ teaspoon of hot sauce, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, 1 teaspoon chopped fresh garlic and two pinches of celery salt for flavor. Heat this mixture and then drink while hot.
Sleep with an Elevated Head
You may also want to sleep with an additional pillow underneath your head. This way, your nasal passages are also elevated, which means that you can breathe easier.
Apply Warm facial Compresses
A warm facial compress can relieve your discomfort while also soothing your clogged nostrils. Plus, this is a great way to open up your skin pores in preparation for a deep cleansing ritual in your beauty regimen.
Indeed, suffering from nasal congestion should be less of a problem now that you know how to relieve your symptoms using these natural remedies for congestion that works.