Common cold is an ailment suffered by many. You can’t breathe, you can’t sleep and everything you say sounds so nasal, that you have to say it twice. One often experiences nasal congestion during a cold. Let’s look at the effective stuffy nose remedies.
Stuffy nose is a state of nasal congestion. It can be caused by many factors. Allergies are one of the reasons for it. Allergies can be caused by pollens, animals, dust, etc. When a person contracts an allergy, chemicals like histamine are released by the body, which results in nasal congestion.
If a person suffers from rhinitis, he/she experiences inflammation of nose and nasal membranes. This might also be accompanied by nasal polyps. A person can suffer from nasal congestion due to deformities formed in the nose and nasal cartilage.
But, a stuffy nose is mostly caused due to infection by common cold.
List of Remedies for Stuffy Nose
Blocked nose, nasal congestion or stuffy nose, whichever name you call it by, the condition is exasperating, to say the least. It drains your energy and leaves you helpless, with tissues as constant companions. Here are various remedies to get rid of stuffy nose, that will provide you with relief, when you need it the most.
Blow Your Nose Properly
Before you start using any remedies, here is a simple technique that will help you clear your stuffy nose. Blowing your nose properly can help you get rid of mucus, which is creating the block.
To blow the nose properly, with one hand, hold the tissue very close to one nostril and close the other nostril with the other hand. Then open your mouth and blow loudly. It is important to keep your mouth slightly open, so that the pressure on the ears is reduced. Now, repeat with the other nostril.
Steam Therapy with Decongestant Ointment
This one is my favorite; instant nasal congestion remedy. This stuffy nose remedy works well at night, when breathing becomes very difficult due to cold.
Boil water in a pot and place the pot on a table. Add 2 – 3 tablespoons of decongestant ointment in water and stir it a bit. Place your head above the pot. Cover your head and the pot with a towel and inhale the medicated vapors. Keep a box of tissues near you and repeat, if necessary.
Steam Therapy with Chamomile
This is a variation of the above remedy. Instead of using a decongestant ointment, chamomile is used for this herbal remedy for stuffy nose.
Boil some water in a pot. Use chamomile in any form like tea bags, powder, or dried herbs. Add chamomile to the pot and cover with a lid for 10 minutes. Place the pot on a table, remove the lid and inhale the vapors, with a towel covering your head.
If you are at your workplace or going out and have a stuffy nose, then sprinkle few drops of eucalyptus oil on a tissue and carry it with you. Whenever you feel the nose is blocked, keep sniffing the tissue for instant relief from the congestion.
You can add few drops of eucalyptus oil on your pillow cover. The smell will provide relief from stuffy nose while you sleep. This remedy works well with tea tree oil and lavender oil too, but eucalyptus is the best.
This is a good remedy which you can use before going to bed. Take a decongestant ointment like Tiger Balm or Vicks and apply it a bit on your nose, forehead, and throat. If you have a bad cold then apply it on your chest and back, and go to sleep.
This remedy too will provide instant relief and aid in sleeping. You can also prop yourself on some pillows and then sleep to keep your head elevated. This will prevent further blocking of the nose.
Apart from cooking, onions are useful in stuffy nose situations too. They perform the same action that decongestants do. Sniffing an onion will secrete a liquid that cleans the nose.
Cut an onion and sniff it as deeply as possible. This natural remedy will unblock your nose and allow you to breathe freely.
Chicken soup for the cold! Yes, chicken soup has medicinal properties. Prepare chicken soup with garlic and sprinkle some pepper on it. You can also add a bit of lemon juice to the soup.
Pepper and garlic have been used traditionally, to cure many respiratory problems. Chicken combined with pepper and garlic is one tasty and best remedy for stuffy nose.
This is one instant remedy. Take a hot shower and keep inhaling the warm steam till you feel better. This will not only unblock your nose, but also soothe your nerves and make you more relaxed.
This remedy is especially beneficial, if you try it before going to bed. A bit of caution; if you have fever, it is not a good idea to opt for this remedy.
This remedy is for the brave, and for long-time sufferers of stuffy nose in search of an instant remedy. Eating spicy food is an instant natural remedy. Eat few hot chilly peppers and your nose will start running immediately.
You can also opt for some Tabasco sauce. However, don’t go overboard with the hot sauce or the chilly peppers, as they can cause stomach upset.
Nasal sprays are also very effective. There are many good ones available over-the-counter. To prepare a nasal spray for stuffy nose, use salt and water. Take a cup of water and ¼ teaspoon of salt, in a pot and boil. Let this mixture cool. Fill a nasal spray bottle with this liquid and put 7 drops in each of the nostrils.
This will help you get rid of the stuffy nose. But it’s advisable to be careful while using over-the-counter nasal sprays, as they can be habit-forming.
Ginger is used to flavor many recipes. But, it is also an excellent herb which can cure many ailments. It has antibiotic properties which help to get rid of infections. For a herbal stuffy nose remedy, sip ginger tea and inhale the steam from the same.
This will clear your nose and throat, allowing easy breathing. In case you have a sore throat as well, crush a piece of ginger , add a spoon of honey to it, and chew this mix slowly. It will soothe the throat.
Homeopathy considers all the symptoms of the disease, before the prescription of a medicine. Homeopathic remedy for stuffy nose is quite beneficial. If you have a yellow-thick discharge of mucus, and the condition gets better when outside your house, take Pulsatilla. To take Pulsatilla, warm the lotion, fill a syringe and pour the lotion into the nose. This intake of Pulsatilla can be repeated 4 – 5 times in a day. Take Kali bichromicum, if you have a sticky, whitish mucus in your nose and throat, and you are at a later stage of the cold. The dosage for Kali bichromicum is 4 drops, 3 times a day, and in the form of pills, 2 pills, 3 times a day. If you have allergies, and catch a cold after you get wet or with change in the weather, take Dulcamara. The dosage for Dulcamara is 10 drops orally, 3 times a day. Whenever you buy a homeopathy medicine, always read the instructions on the label, as the dosage differs according to acute and chronic conditions.
Using a neti pot helps unblock a stuffy nose. Neti pots are available with most chemists and used for nasal irrigation. This technique started in ancient India and is a great technique to promote nasal health.
It is a pot with a handle on one side and a spout on the other side. It uses saline water for nasal irrigation to clear mucus. Read the label on the box to follow the instructions.
Using breathing strips, helps unblock a stuffy nose, and it is very easy to use them. Stick one strip across the bridge of the nose and you will be relieved from congestion within minutes. These nasal strips also help prevent snoring, so are good to be used at night.
Make sure you position the strip properly before going to bed. Also, avoid putting moisturizer on the nose if you want to use these strips. Moisturizing the skin will make it slippery and the strip might not stick properly.
OTC Anti-Allergic Pills
You might be suffering from stuffy nose also due to some allergy. Some nasal allergy medications are also available over-the-counter, like antihistamines and decongestants. Taking these pills can help you avoid allergic reactions like blocking of nose.
Follow the recommended dosage and don’t take too many pills. Also, figuring out the allergen and staying away from it will help.
Dry air can irritate your sinuses, and installing a room humidifier can help greatly. However, make sure you buy a quality humidifier and keep it free of fungus and dust, otherwise this will only aggravate your nasal passages.
Always use distilled water in the humidifier to keep your room free of any dust or fungus.
Working out for a short time can actually help to unblock the nose. Here is how it works – it releases adrenaline. This narrows the swollen blood vessels in your nose.
However, if you are too tired to work out, then try other simpler remedies like steam, saline spray, ointment, etc.
Note: If you have tried some of these remedies and are still suffering from a stuffy nose, consult a doctor. Also, if you experience a greenish mucus discharge, fever, facial pain and have trouble sleeping, it is advisable to consult a doctor.
Common cold is so common, that it does not fall in the category of serious diseases. But this nasty disease, is worse than serious diseases, as it renders you unable to sleep, eat or concentrate. Some of the common cold symptoms experienced are headache, sneezing and stuffy nose. A simple home remedy for the common cold, can provide you relief. Though, it just takes its course of seven days to abate from your system.
You can always prevent common cold by increasing the immunity of the body, by the intake of Vitamin C. I have been a long sufferer of cold. Eating vitamin C rich, Indian gooseberries (Amla), on a regular basis, with moderate exercise has helped me, and I hardly catch a cold. For a stuffy nose, use the above remedies and increase your resistance power against common cold and other allergies that cause congestion.
Disclaimer: This HolisticZine article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.