Congestion, or stuffy nose, is a symptom of common cold, flu, bronchitis, allergies, or several other respiratory disorders. Congestion in the nose or the ears can cause real discomfort as it makes a person restless and gives him sleepless nights. Therefore, a person tries different methods and medications in order to clear congestion as soon as possible. These medications are known as decongestants.
There are several brands of decongestants available in the market. However, there may be several side effects associated with them. Dependency is the biggest side effect or negative effect related to these drugs. In some people, other side effects like headache, drowsiness, and dry mouth are also observed. It is not recommended to use decongestant drugs for a long period. However, you can always go for the natural methods for treating nasal and ear congestion.
Steam, or hydrotherapy, is one of the most commonly used home remedies for congestion. Steam helps in thinning the mucus and clearing the nasal congestion. You can either buy a steam vaporizer or use any utensil to boil water and produce steam at home. You can even add a few drops of eucalyptus oil in the water for nasal congestion relief. Similarly, one can create a pseudo steam sauna in the bathroom by switching on the hot water shower and inhaling the steam by standing aside.
Although in ordinary conditions, the odor of an onion may seem horrible, it is one of the best natural decongestants. The fumes from an onion help in clearing nasal congestion. Cut an onion into half and smell it deeply, it will act as a decongestant. On the other hand, it is also believed that eating raw onion also helps in clearing congestion. Hence, you can add it in some dishes or eat it raw. You can even soak onion slices in honey for a few hours and eat it later.
If you are looking for decongestant for ears, then peppermint oil is the best. Peppermint and menthol helps in thinning the mucus. It also has a soothing effect and helps in relieving the symptoms at a faster rate. Peppermint oil should not be directly poured into the ear.
Hot peppers like cayenne, chili or even jalapeños act as nasal decongestants. They clear nasal passages from mucus and phlegm. Peppers in chicken soups are considered as the best natural nasal decongestants. Eating hot food like Mexican cuisine can be effective in clearing congestion.
Garlic is also recommended as one of the best home remedies for common cold and flu. Eating one or two cloves of raw garlic is effective in giving relief from nasal congestion. Similar to onion, even cloves of garlic can be soaked in honey for some time before eating.
These decongestants help in gaining temporary relief from nasal congestion. However, it should be noted that these remedies do not cure the underlying cause of congestion. If congestion persists for more than a couple of days, you need to go to the doctor and undertake treatment.
Disclaimer: This information is meant only for educational purposes; it is recommended to consult the doctor for proper treatment and cure.