More commonly known as stuffy nose, nasal congestion refers to the obstruction in the nasal passages due to inflamed membranes inside the nose. According to experts, it is typically caused by cold, sinusitis, flu, and rhinitis. It can also be triggered by certain irritants such as dust, pollen or tobacco smoke.
Although nasal congestion is rarely a sign of a serious ailment, it can be bothersome. You can find quick relief from nasal congestions and its symptoms using some natural decongestants.
What Causes Nasal Congestion?
There are many causes of nasal congestion. Some of them are:
- A case of Acute sinusitis
- Different types of allergies
- Chronic sinusitis
- Churg-strauss syndrome
- Common cold
- Decongestant nasal spray overuse
- Deviated septum
- Drug addiction (substance use disorder)
- Dry air
- Enlarged adenoids
- Foreign body in the nose
- Hormonal changes
- Influenza or flu
- Certain types of medications, like high blood pressure drugs
- Nasal polyps
- Nonallergic rhinitis
- Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)
- Thyroid disorders
- Tobacco smoke
- Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (Wegener’s granulomatosis)
Home Remedies for Nasal Congestion
When it comes to medicinal plants, ginger is always one of those that top the list. Scientists have long verified that the folkloric use of ginger is justified as it can indeed cure a wide range of health problems.
It’s best for nausea and vomiting, and can do so much in relieving stomach upset and other gastrointestinal disturbances.It’s also good to know that ginger can help alleviate nasal congestion.
In a 2008 study, which can be found in the Global Journal of Pure and Applied Sciences, it was reported that ginger’s active compounds such as ethyl acetate can treat various diseases including the common cold.
In addition, ginger also contains flavonoids that make it an efficient antirhinoviral agent, preventing the onset of rhinoviral infections. This is why ginger is a popular solution for respiratory ailments that cause annoying symptoms such as a nasal blockage.
Black pepper does more than just make you sneeze. This popular spice native to India has been used since ancient times for its medicinal purposes.
Amazingly, black pepper is a fantastic solution for constipation, indigestion, muscular pain, dental problems, diarrhea, heart disease, and anemia. It is also believed to be an effective remedy for common cold and other respiratory ailments. Apart from its strong antimicrobial properties, it is also a mucokinetic that loosens mucus to provide relief from nasal congestion.
One of the most frequently used ingredients for herbal teas is peppermint. Who doesn’t love it rich flavor and minty aroma? It’s a must to know that peppermint tea is more than just a delicious beverage.
Scientific evidence shows that phenolics in peppermint have strong antiviral, anti-microbial, and immunomodulating effects as well as potential anti-allergy properties. It can easily combat the viruses and bacteria that infect the respiratory tract.
It also powers up the defense mechanisms of the body’s immune system so that it would be more difficult for harmful microorganisms to penetrate and cause harm. All these make it an ideal remedy for nasal congestion and the conditions that cause this symptom.
There’s so much that you don’t know about eucalyptus oil. Apart from leaving a soothing and cooling sensation when applied on the skin, this oil actually has a lot more benefits that you should get to know more about.
It works as an anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antibacterial, antispasmodic, and immunostimulant.Those who’d like to put an end to the unpleasant nasal congestion should get also get hold of this oil, as it is a natural decongestant.
In a study conducted at The Elizabeth General Hospital in New Jersey, USA, 24 healthy individuals who suffer from common cold were assigned to inhale either a combination of aromatic vapors that included eucalyptus, or
After 60 minutes of inhalation of the aromatic vapors, and after intranasal spraying of 0.25% phenylephrine solution, the participants felt much better and no longer suffered from breathing difficulties. It was concluded that eucalyptus oil can significantly improve cold infection and nasal congestion.
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Most of the health benefits linked to Echinacea is attributed to its immunological properties. For those who are suffering from nasal blockage, this herbal remedy is said to help by clearing out common cold.
In 2001, German scientists assessed the effectiveness of Echinacea in 80 patients with first signs of cold. The use of Echinacea resulted in a decrease in the duration of the illness, helping the patients recover more quickly from the respiratory infection.
Apart from its therapeutic efficacy, Echinacea has also been found to be an effective preventive measure for this ailment. Since it has immunostimulatory properties, this herb can help power up the body’s immune defense, and protect it more efficiently from viral and bacterial infections.
An orange contains two things that are good for your stuffy nose. First, it is rich in vitamin C, which according to studies, can alleviate nasal congestion by treating common cold.
In a study that was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, a comprehensive trial was performed to test the efficacy of vitamin C as a common cold treatment. Findings show that daily intake of one gram of vitamin did reduce the number and duration of colds per subject.
There was also a notable 30 percent decrease in the “total days of disability” among vitamin C takers. In another study, this time, featured in the British Journal of Nutrition, it was found that vitamin C consistently reduced the episodes of
Saline solutions have long been used for disinfection as well as treatment of certain ailments. Its efficacy on the common cold, sinusitis, sinonasal disease, and other infections that cause blockage in the nose has been demonstrated in numerous studies.
In the University of Wisconsin Medical School-Madison, USA, researchers conducted a randomized controlled trial involving 54 patients with chronic or recurrent sinus infections.
Among these patients, those who were asked to use saline solutions reported of improved condition. Interestingly, this natural remedy did not cause any harmful side effects.
Irrigating the nasal cavity with this solution also moisturizes it and helps get rid of encrusted material that makes breathing difficult.
When to See a Doctor for Nasal Congestion
Nasal congestion can be a symptom of an underlying condition. Therefore, if you have any of the following symptoms then you should not waste time but go and see the doctor as soon as possible:
- Symptoms are lasting more than 10 days
- You are running a high fever
- The nasal discharge is yellowish or green in color. Also, you have pain in the sinus or a fever.
- Blood in the nasal discharge
The traditional decongestant and allergy drugs have a lot of side effects. In milder cases it’s better to try the home remedies than over the counter medications.
With simple but safe and effective home remedies, you can find immediate relief from nasal congestion as well as the respiratory ailment causing this symptom.
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