A stuffy nose is generally considered harmless – but it is extremely annoying! We’ll tell you 6 home remedies for a stuffy nose that let you breathe freely again and are much gentler than nasal spray.
We all know it all too well, especially when the humid and cool season is coming: this uncomfortable feeling, when the nose is “closed”, we have to breathe through our mouths and suddenly we can only speak with a strange nasal voice. In short: a stuffy nose is anything but sexy.
Are you also struggling with a stuffy nose? Instead of reflexively using your nasal spray, you should try to get a stuffy nose with gentle home remedies for the next cold. Because unlike nasal sprays, the natural home remedies gently swell the nose.
What are the causes of nasal congestion?
Aside from cold viruses, there may be other causes behind the runny nose and nasal congestion. These include allergies, for example to house dust or animal hair. In this case, one speaks of a so-called allergic runny nose. Other reasons for increased mucus formation in the upper respiratory tract can be smoke, dust, dry air and certain irritants.
In addition, excessive and regular use of nasal sprays can lead to permanent nasal congestion. Therefore, you should use nose drops or spray for a maximum of seven to ten days.
It’s good that there are plenty of home remedies that can effectively work against a stuffy nose. Here are the 6 best!
- Inhale to clear the airways
The classic home remedies for a stuffy nose include inhaling hot steam. The steam helps loosen the mucus, or moisturize the nasal mucosa. Spiked with salt or essential oils such as eucalyptus, thyme, anise or peppermint, inhalation works reliably against colds caused by colds.
Home remedies for a stuffy nose: inhale with essential oils© iStock
Inhale correctly: To inhale, you can fill a pot or bowl with hot water and then bend over the steaming liquid with a towel over your head. However, the risk of scalding yourself is very high. The eyes also get the etheric vapors, which can cause them to burn and tear. Steam inhalers
are therefore a safe option:
the practical inhalation attachment extends right over the nose and mouth, so that the healing steam can have an optimal effect on the upper respiratory tract without affecting the eyes. As with the classic bowl-towel variant, you pour hot water into the device, add the desired additive such as salt or oil and close the container with the corresponding attachment.
You can get an inhaler in the pharmacy, in the drugstore or online.
Saline solution for a stuffy nose:
For a homemade saline solution for inhalation, dissolve 1 g of table salt with 100 ml of hot water. Inhaling with salt water is gentler than with essential oils.
Important: asthmatics and children should never be treated with essential oils because they can cause asthma attacks and even shortness of breath.
Read also: Suitable home remedies for children and babies
Cold myths: what really helps and what doesn’t?
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- Nasal douche against a stuffy nose
Nasal irrigation with salt water can also help to clear your nose. This flushes pathogens or pollen out of the nose.
Using a nasal douche: Tilt your
head sideways forward over a sink for nasal irrigation. Pour lukewarm water (or salt water) into one nostril and drain it on the other side. With a very stuffy nose, you have to try several times until the mucus loosens. Be careful and don’t apply too much pressure.
A suitable nasal douche set is available here at DocMorris *.
- Drink a lot if you have a cold
In addition to various home remedies, it also helps the body to drink a lot with persistent colds. If the body is supplied with sufficient water, this promotes the liquefaction of tough mucus. Peppermint tea has an expectorant effect due to the high menthol content. Other herbal teas are also effective home remedies for a stuffy nose.
Home remedies for a stuffy nose: Drink a lot© iStock
- Vitamin C for colds
If we consume enough vitamin C, we feel better. Although it is not scientifically clear whether, how and why foods containing vitamin C shorten the duration of the illness, the result is crucial. Therefore, a cup of hot lemon with honey is highly recommended.
Tip: Do not pour boiling water over the lemon and honey, but let it cool briefly. The heat damages the good ingredients.
You should know: The top 10 vitamin C-rich foods
Home remedies for a stuffy nose: Vitamin C promotes well-being© iStock
- Onion and garlic against a stuffy nose
It may take some getting used to, but some swear by this home remedy: If you have a stuffy nose, you can cut an onion into pieces, put them in an open container and place them at head level next to the bed at night.
In addition to onions, you can also use this with fresh garlic. Smelling a freshly cut onion may also be helpful. The sharp smell of onions impels us otherwise the tears in his eyes, the vapors can loosen the mucus in a stuffy nose. If you (whether you own or partner) can not bear the smell of onions and garlic, may be in the tank a couple Insert cotton balls and drizzle them with mint oil, for example.
Good to know: Get rid of the smell of garlic: the best tips
- Keep the nasal mucosa moist
If your nose is frequently blocked, it can also be because you are often in warm, dry or smoky air. In contrast, moistening the nasal mucosa can help. Saline nasal sprays have a similar effect to nasal irrigation with salt water – expectorant and moisturizing. You can also use nasal ointment. The dry air in an overheated bedroom can be made more nose-friendly by regular ventilation and hanging wet towels.
A steam bath can also relieve a stuffy nose and moisturize the mucous membranes. Especially for colds, there are many bath additives that help you breathe freely again. These ensure that the mucous membranes in the nose swell. Additives with mint, eucalyptus, thyme or spruce needles and sea salt are particularly suitable.
Important: You should avoid the bath if you have high blood pressure or fever because the hot bath stimulates the circulation and is too stressful for the body under the circumstances mentioned.
A cold bath releases the mucus in the nose.© unsplash.com/ Abigail Lynn
Make a cold bath yourself:
For the cold bath, the water temperature should be between 32 and 36 degrees. Lie in the tub for 15 to 20 minutes. For a full bath, take a teaspoon of vegetable oil or honey and add a maximum of 10 drops of an essential oil, mix well. Since the oils fly away quickly, you should only put them into the water shortly before bathing.
Instead of the oils, you can also use herbs for the cold bath, these are somewhat milder. You can use different teas for this. Boil a liter of water and add 1 tea bag of fennel tea, 1 tea bag of peppermint tea and 1 teaspoon of aniseed. Let the brew steep in a jug for about 10 minutes. Pour the herbal mixture into your full bath.
Caution: Not all essential oils are suitable for pregnant women and children. Get advice in the pharmacy.
Nasal spray nasal congestion?
Nasal sprays with active ingredients such as oxymetazoline or xylometazoline have a decongestant effect and help very quickly against a stuffy nose. The effect lasts for several hours. However, drugs of this type should not be used for more than a week, as the professional association of ear, nose and throat specialists explains on their information page ENT doctors on the Internet .
The reason: if used too often, the nasal mucosa will get used to it. It swells up faster after each spray – the nose is blocked. The result: you use the spray even more often and a kind of vicious circle is created. In order to master such a habit or dependency, only complete renunciation helps.
Nasal sprays with active ingredient should not be used for more than a week.© iStock
Stuffy nose: when to see a doctor?
Generally, a stuffy nose is no cause for concern. However, if the symptoms do not improve within a week despite medication or home remedies, or if you have a fever or pain in the sinuses, you should see a doctor. Then, for example, there could be a sinus infection.
NOTE: Read the package insert (the label for medicinal water) about the risks and side effects of medicines and ask your doctor or pharmacist.