Nasal congestion occurs due to excess mucus in the nasal passages. It can cause the blood vessels and tissues in these passages to get inflamed, blocking airflow and leading to pain and discomfort. Mucus buildup can result from several factors like colds, allergies, sinusitis, and changes in the weather, but it is usually temporary. Here are a few simple tips to relieve nasal congestion or stuffy nose naturally at home.
Try steam inhalation
Inhaling steam is a classic remedy for nasal congestion. Individuals should fill a bowl with hot water and place their face over it, covering the head with a towel to trap the steam. One should then breathe deeply for a few minutes. The steam helps loosen and clear the mucus, making breathing easier.
Humidify the air
Since dry indoor air can worsen nasal congestion, experts recommend using a humidifier. The machine adds moisture to the air, which in turn moistens the mucus, making it drain easily. Humidifiers can also soothe inflamed nasal tissues, ease irritation, and help one sleep better. However, individuals should clean the humidifier regularly to prevent mold growth.
Drinking sufficient fluids is one of the simplest yet helpful ways to relieve nasal congestion. Hydration helps thin the mucus, making it easier to expel from the nasal passages. Besides water, one can drink herbal teas with honey and lemon for quick relief. However, individuals should not reach for caffeinated beverages since they may dehydrate the body.
Consider nasal sprays
Nasal sprays, readily available in the market, are saltwater solutions that can help moisten and clear one’s nasal passages, providing instant relief from congestion.
Apply a warm compress
Applying a warm compress over the nose and forehead can help relieve swelling and loosen congestion. The process may be repeated as many times as needed. One can prepare a compress by soaking a washcloth in warm water.
Elevate the head
Sleeping with the head elevated can prevent the mucus from pooling in one’s nasal passages, reducing congestion. It can also facilitate easy breathing throughout the night. One can raise their head by using extra pillows or getting an adjustable bed.
Prepare hot broths
Steaming hot chicken soup or vegan hot broths can help loosen the mucus. Adding spices like chili or pepper to the recipe can make it easier to clear a stuffy nose while enhancing the taste.
Drink peppermint tea
Peppermint contains menthol, which is known to clear mucus. One can add dried peppermint leaves to boiling water and drink the tea a few times daily. One can find this ingredient easily in the market.
Try nasal irrigation
Nasal irrigation involves using a water solution and a neti pot or nasal irrigator to clear mucus and irritants from one’s nasal passages. This method may take a little practice but can provide substantial relief.
If nasal congestion persists for over two weeks or worsens despite trying different home remedies, one should consult a healthcare professional. A doctor is better equipped to determine the underlying cause of the condition, such as sinusitis or allergies, and recommend appropriate and holistic treatments for long-term results.