Got a cold? Get rid of your runny nose without the use of medicine.
Dealing with a runny nose can be annoying. The constant need to clear your sinuses and that irritating, clogged feeling that lingers all day can be a real pain. A runny nose can arise from many reasons – a common cold, an allergic reaction or just having generally sensitive airways – but the good thing is that you don’t have to resort to pill-popping to find some relief. Here are seven easy, natural remedies that you can try at home to stop your runny nose.
1. Stay hydrated
The first rule of thumb when you’re suffering from a runny nose is to stay hydrated by drinking lots of fluids. Mucus production is revved up when irritants trigger your nasal tissues, and drinking extra water can help to loosen and thin it out. This makes the mucus easier to expel from your body. That said, be gentle when blowing out your snot so that you don’t further aggravate your already-inflamed nasal passages.
2. Brew yourself a hot drink
Treat yourself to a hot cup of herbal tea or honey-lemon water. A small-scale study published in the journal Rhinology found that participants who drank a hot fruit drink when they had a cold or flu experienced “immediate and sustained relief from symptoms of runny nose, cough, sneezing, sore throat, chilliness and tiredness.” This is because the heat and steam help to decongest your airways. As a bonus, you can also pick herbal teas that have anti-inflammatory properties like peppermint, chamomile or ginger tea.
3. Take a hot shower
If your nose is feeling super congested, a quick way to instantly feel better is to hop into the shower. The heat and steam from a hot shower help to loosen thick mucus to alleviate a stuffy nose. Let the hot water run over your face for a couple of minutes for best results.
4. Inhale hot steam
Steam inhalation is an inexpensive and easy way to relieve a blocked and stuffy nose too. To prepare your steam bath, fill a wide bowl or dish with hot water and add in some herbs or a few drops of essential oils, then deeply breathe in the steam. An Indian study published in 2015 found that subjects who had a cold and used steam inhalation got better faster than those who didn’t. The most effective essential oils to use are the ones that have decongesting properties like eucalyptus, tea tree and peppermint.
5. Use a neti pot
Nasal irrigation – where you use a neti pot to flush out mucus from your sinuses – may sound odd but it’s actually a very effective way to treat a runny or blocked nose. To do so, pour a saline solution into one nostril and let it run through your nasal cavity to wash out mucus and allergens from the other nostril. This physically pushes out any congestion in your nose to thoroughly clear your sinuses.
6. Eat spicy food
Notice how your nose starts to water when you eat something spicy? The heat and spiciness from foods like chilli or wasabi can initially make your runny nose worse, but it effectively thins out mucus afterwards to quickly clear your nasal passages.
7. Stuff your nose
When suffering from a runny nose, your first instinct might be to keep blowing it in a bid to expel all the mucus. But doing so can further aggravate the condition as the force can cause the swelling and inflammation in your nasal passages to worsen. Instead of huffing and trying hard to blow out every last bit of snot, roll up a wad of tissue and stuff it into your nostril one at a time. Change the tissue every time it gets soaked. This helps to collect and absorb the excess mucus and is a gentler way to treat your runny nose.