[toc]Colds affect everyone at least three times a year. They cause a runny nose, persistent nasal congestion, fever, watery eyes and headaches. In many cases, stuffy noses are caused by sinus infections brought on by allergies. Some people suffer from chronic nasal congestion or allergic-rhinitis induced nasal congestion, particularly at night.
Nasal congestion obstructs breathing causing people to breathe out of their mouth since their nose is stuffy or blocked. Congestion occurs when there is swelling of the nasal cavity accompanied by thick build-up of mucus. The thicker the mucus, the harder it becomes to breathe. This causes particular discomfort while lying down. If your nasal passages are congested, prop a few extra pillows under your head at bedtime.
This will help you sleep better. It is best to let a cold run its course which can vary from 2 days to a week unless very severe. Try these effective home remedies for nasal congestion to alleviate discomfort and stay well rested even at night.
5 Home Remedies For Nasal Congestion
This is one of the most popular methods for clearing blocked nasal passages. Steam inhalation is the introduction of warm air in the nose and throat. The moist air causes the mucus to thin and makes it easier for you to breathe. Bring a liter of water to boil and pour it into a bowl.
Cover your head with a towel and hold your face over the bowl. Inhale the steam for 10 minutes. You can alternatively use a facial steamer. Please note that steam inhalation is not a cure but merely a treatment to drain the mucus. After 2-3 hours, the mucus will build up again and the procedure must be repeated.
Nasal Irrigation Or Saline Rinse
Nasal irrigation or nasal lavage is a therapy that uses a saline solution to flush out the nasal passages. You can use either a neti pot or a rubber bulb syringe for this purpose. The saline solution is prepared by mixing 1 cup of boiled and sterilized water with 1/2 teaspoon of iodide-free salt. Stir in a pinch of baking soda. Pour the mixture into a neti pot or suck it into a bulb syringe. Hold your head at angle over a basin and pour the solution through one nostril.
It should run through and drain through the other nostril. If the saline water gets in your mouth, spit it out. Keep the equipment clean and discard the unused solution. Use a freshly made solution for each use.
This pungent oil works wonders on a blocked nose. Mustard oil is a popular home remedy for nasal congestion in India, mainly because it is always at hand in the kitchen. It works as an excellent decongestant and brings quick relief especially when applied before bedtime. You can pour a few drops in hot water and inhale the steam or dab a drop or two on to the bridge and sides of your nose.
Mustard oil causes the mucus to thin out and makes it easier to breathe. You can also rub a few drops onto your chest and back. Always use pure mustard oil while treating congestion.
This home treatment works on the same principle as steam inhalation. Heat is used to loosen thick mucus and ease the aching associated with a sinus condition. Heat a cup of water till it is just comfortable to touch. Dip a clean washcloth or any soft terrycloth towel in the bowl of hot water and wring out the excess. Gently press it to the pressure points on your face, mainly the upper cheeks, forehead and nose. Repeat 5-6 times and then wipe your face dry.
The heat from the compress will release sinus pressure. Recline or lie down while applying the compress for best results. Use this home remedy at least 3-4 times a day to relieve blocked nasal passages.
Spicy food can help in temporarily thinning out thick mucus as it stimulates the sinuses. Hot peppers, horseradish, ginger, black pepper and chillies are some of the spicy foods you can include in your diet when you have a cold. Perk up a simple soup with a piece of ginger or add a dash of chili to a gravy. Sprinkle black pepper powder on mashed potatoes or an egg salad.
Many people find it difficult to stomach peppers and chillies so it is best used in very small quantities. Some studies have shown that excessive consumption of spices can lead to more mucus production so the key here is to eat it in moderation for it to be effective in clearing the nasal passage.