Natural remedies for sinus and nasal congestion relief
Although a stuffy or congested nose can be caused by thick mucus blocking the nasal passage, it can also be caused by swelling and inflammation of the small blood vessels lining our sinuses, not to mention that certain medical conditions like asthma can trigger symptoms as well.
While gently blowing your nose may help, clearing all the mucus can be difficult, putting you at risk for an infection that may trigger excessive mucus production as your immune response becomes over-reactive. When this happens, you may feel some fluid dripping down the back of your throat.
There are several natural methods that can provide relief for a stuffy nose, while also reducing nasal drip. However, the most effective method to stop congested sinuses is to prevent it in the first place.
According to a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, the best way to prevent colds, including the sinus problems that often accompany them, is to simply gargle with plain water three times a day. If you do that, the study says you’ll reduce your risk of catching a cold with nasal congestion by nearly 40 percent.
Nevertheless, and despite your best efforts to prevent it, you may still experience sinus congestion. But the good news is there is something you can do to get relief – and naturally.
There are a variety of home remedies that can effectively relieve sinus discomfort and the underlying inflammation, as well as symptoms from a common cold and the flu. Here are some of the most common for treating sinus problems:
Steam and Clean Treatment – Steam thins out mucus and constricts blood vessels, making it easier to rid your nasal passages of any gunk clogging them up. Here are some tips for using steam to effectively de-stuff your nose:
1. Boil a pot of hot water, then pour it into a bowl and add six drops of eucalyptus, peppermint, lavender or mint oil, which are common oils used in aromatherapy to alleviate symptoms of congestion.
2. Next, hold your face over the bowl with a towel placed over your head and the bowl, then inhale the steam.
3. You can also add herbs to the boiling water or add vinegar when inhaling steam to help kill bacteria.
Sinus Rinse Treatment – One of the most popular ways to relieve congestion is by using a saline (salt) solution to clean and clear your nasal cavities. You can buy a commercially prepared solution from your local pharmacy, or make one yourself: