We have all been in that hazy blurry place where green slime is oozing from our nostrils, our head feels like it’s being squashed in a vice and our nose is so red it looks like it’s gone 12 rounds with Mike Tyson.
This experience seems to happen at the worst of times too. Usually, it’s around Christmas time when the dreaded cold rears it’s less than jolly head. A runny nose is not what you were hoping for from Santa.
Then there is the dreaded ‘Summer Cold’. It’s warm, it’s sunny and everyone is in the mood for a party and here you are Mr Sniffles, moping around with a pocket full of boogers looking like slimer from Ghostbusters flew up your snout.
How lame you sound when you call off the date because you are too embarrassed to show up with a handful of dried snot tissues and a nose that looks like it’s had a dry shave with some sanding paper.
So what is causing our blocked stuffy noses and what can we do to get rid of it and make sure we are in great shape for the summer BBQ’s? And don’t worry, you don’t need to cancel Christmas this year.
Let’s take a look at the 4 primary culprits that contribute towards a runny nose (click here to go straight to the remedies), and then lets look at the 21 most effective ways to heal your stuffy nose and clear your head so that you arrive at the date or party with a clean healthy bill of health.
After all, no one wants to hang out with a strawberry-nosed clown with a waterfall of mucus flooding down their face.
- THE MAIN OFFENDERS
- STRUCTURAL ABNORMALITIES
- NONALLERGIC RHINOPATHY
- 21 NATURAL CURES
- 1) BASIL
- 2) GINGER
- 3) ANTISEPTIC HERBS
- 4) TOMATO JUICE
- 5) FRESH JUICES
- 6) SMOOTHIES
- 7) STEAM (EUCALYPTUS OIL OR PEPPERMINT OIL)
- 8) HERBAL TEAS
- 9) HONEY
- 10) APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
- 11) MUSTARD OIL
- 12) LEMON JUICE
- 13) GARLIC
- 14) NETI POT
- 15) FENUGREEK SEEDS
- 16) TURMERIC
- 18) ACUPRESSURE
- 19) SOFT TISSUE
- 20) DECONGESTANTS & ANTIHISTAMINES
- 21) HOT COLD THERAPY
THE MAIN OFFENDERS
Every year around 37 million Americans suffer from what is known as sinusitis (a blocked, stuffy nose) at least once each year.
The 4 main contributors to sinusitis, or a bunged up/runny nose:
- Structural abnormalities
- Nonallergic rhinopathy
The symptoms of the 4 primary causes are:
- Blocked drainage ducts
- Nasal swelling
- Narrowing of the nasal ducts
- Nasal polyps
The average adult suffers from the common cold 2-3 per year. Due to lower exposure and immunity, children suffer more colds which explains why Snotty Simon on the playground always has a runny nose.
There are a variety of viruses which can infect us and stimulate a stuffy nose, a byproduct of infection.
Most infections are transmitted via hand to nose contact, such as shaking hands with someone who is coughing and sneezing. Some viruses however, are airborne and are easily contracted such environments.
An airplane is a good example of a place that can be riddled with airborne viruses.
Gregory Poland, director of Mayo Clinic’s Vaccine Research Group and a professor of medicine and infectious diseases, had this to say of his experience with airborne airplane viruses.
“a cough or sneeze a few rows away could have blown millions of microscopic viruses my way. And if I had turned on my little overhead fan, I could have unknowingly blasted those viruses even faster toward me. All I needed to do after that was touch my eyes, nose or mouth and — voila! Infection.”
You can look at this article by Independent Traveler for tips on how to avoid the dreaded airplane cold.
Once an infection has been contracted and absorbed by the nose, the body goes into defense mode by releasing histamine, a natural substance which stimulates the release of antibodies that then attach themselves to mast cells.
This results in dilated blood vessels and increased mucus production which leads to runny noses, phlegm production and coughing. Symptoms include:
- Nose – sneezing, itching, mucus production
- Sinuses – congestion, headaches
- Eyes – watery, burning, itchy
- Skin – rashes, hives, itches
- Lungs -wheezing, spasms
- Stomach -cramps, diarrhea
If you are suffering from a viral infection your nose will have poor resistance to bacteria. If you are discharging yellow or green mucus, it it is likely that a bacterial infection has set in.
Take a look at this infographic, courtesy of the University of Health Care Utah, to find out what the color of your snot means.
Although it is often recommended that a physician should be consulted, this is usually overkill. The remedies included in this article, more often than not will prove to be sufficient in dealing with bacterial infections.
The solutions provided later, combined with time and rest, should be more than enough to heal a runny or blocked nose caused by infection, thus saving you unnecessary medical bills.
If however, you are feeling particularly under the weather and experience thick mucus discharge, pain in the cheeks, upper teeth and behind or above the eyes and forehead, it may be wise to consult your physician.
When a runny or blocked nose is caused by allergies it is referred to Allergic Rhinitis.
By breathing in pollen, mold, dust or animal dander, the body releases chemicals which cause a variety of alleric reactions such as:
- Watery eyes
- Runny nose
- Stuffy nose
- Sore throat
- Dark circles under the eyes
Pollen is the biggest contributor to allergies. By avoiding high pollen areas at certain times of the year, places such as grassy fields and flower gardens, you will go a long way towards protecting yourself.
It is however, understandable that you might want to be out in the fresh air taking a stroll through the countryside during the spring and so the remedies can provide a great solution if you do become affected.
The symptoms of allergic rhinitis can be exasperated by external factors such as cigarette smoke, humidity, the wind, hairsprays, chemicals, perfumes and wood smoke.
As with infection, the body will release histamine (antibodies) to defend against the irritation caused by the allergic reaction and as such, a runny or congested nose shall follow.
Aside from avoidance, symptom relief is typically achieved by using antihistamines such as Benadryl, corticosteroids such as a nasal spray like Mucinex, and decongestants like Sudogest.
Abnormalities such as deformations of the nose or nasal septum (the thin, flat bone cartilage that divides the nostrils) are a very common cause of nasal congestion.
Such abnormalities are usually the result of a birth defect or injury. According to birthinjuryguide.org, a large percentage of injuries occur to children during the birthing process.
It is reported that up to 4% of nasal injuries can occur in newborn children.
If the cartilage that divides the two nostrils has been damaged through injury, or is present from birth, a stuffy nose can be a long term problem.
Other structural abnormalities include:
- Nasal septum deviation
- Adenoid and tonsil hypertrophy
- Turbinate hypertrophy
- Nasal Airway anatomy
- Nasal foreign body (NFB)
- Valve obstruction
- Sepium deviation
- Enlarged adenoids
Eating, sleeping, speaking and breathing can all become challenging if the nasal passages are obstructed.
Not only can the nasal cavity become a source of pain and discomfort but our daily lives can become significantly affected by the obstructions.
In a severe case, a comprehensive clinical evaluation is necessary and surgery may be needed. In less severe cases, medication may solve the problem.
(also known as VASOMOTOR RHINITS)
Rhinitis is a condition that affects around 19 million Americans, yet it’s cause is unknown. It is not caused by a blockage, allergy or infection but is characterized by a combination of symptoms that include:
- Nasal congestion (stuffy nose)
- Runny nose
- Watery nasal drainage
The nasal membranes become inflamed due to abnormal nerve control of the blood vessels in the nose.
The membranes also tend to over expand when there is a vasomotor rhinitis response, which leads to nasal congestion and a stuffy nose.
Rhinitis means inflammation of the nose and nasal membranes. Vasomotor means pertaining to the nerves that control the blood vessels.
Although the exact causes are unknown, thing such as alcohol, dry environments, medication, air pollution and strong emotions have been known to trigger it.
Although there is no specific known cure for this elusive condition, it can be controlled by avoiding its triggers, over the counter medication and nasal irrigation.
21 NATURAL CURES
We all suffer from stuffy noses from time to time and for some of us it is more regular than we would like.
Many factors influence what causes a blocked or runny nose from environments, nutrition, and immune system strength, to psychology, genetics and cellular make up.
Thankfully, most stuffy noses and colds can be easily alleviated with simple homemade or over the counter remedies. Here we look at 21 solutions that will have you breathing clearly and fully in no time.
Basil, sometimes referred to as Holy Basil or Indian Tulsi, has been used for centuries to relieve a stuffy nose. By warming the body from the inside, the antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties help to heal a runny nose.
Option 1: Fresh Basil Leaves
- Chew 3-4 fresh leaves first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, before bed.
- Continue to chew throughout the day.
Option 2: Basil Herbal Tea
- Add 8 – 10 basil leaves and 5 ground cloves to a cup of water.
- Boil for about 10 minutes.
- Add a small amount of honey or other natural sweetener.
- Allow it to cool.
- Drink twice a day.
- Basil is easy to grow in the garden or on the windowsill in a pot.
- Avoid dried basil, fresh is always best.
- Herbs grow best indoors with a plastic freezer bag placed over them.
- Consume on an empty stomach – which is 1 hour before food or 2 hours after food is taken in.
Ginger is a wonder root vegetable that has been used by indian and asian cultures for thousands of years.
It’s spicy flavor packs a powerful punch and is a fantastic natural remedy to have in your holistic medical box.
With a huge array of antioxidant, antifungal, anti inflammatory and antiviral properties, ginger offers rapid relief from the irritating symptoms of a blocked nose.
Option 1: Ginger Root
- Peel fresh ginger
- Cut up into small bite sized chunks
- Add a little honey if desired
- Chew throughout the day
Option 2: Ginger Tea
- Use a grater or peeler to cut the fresh ginger into thin slices and add to a cup of boiled water and allow keep boiling for 3 minutes.
- Strain or simply filter with lips.
- Add honey or alternative natural sweetener if desired.
- Drink 3 – 4 times a day.
- Adding honey will not only sweeten the tea but it will boost the antiviral and antioxidant count.
Option 3: Ginger Steam
- Boil 1 teaspoon of ginger powder in 2 cups of hot water and pour into bowl.
- Place towel over head and bowl ensuring everything is covered. This will encapsulate the steam from the bowl and prevent it from dispersing, ensuring that it is directly absorbed.
- This method will soften the mucus causing your nose and eyes to run.
- You may feel some sensitivity as the spices stimulate and open up your congested nasal passages but preserver and you will unblock your stuffy nose using this effect stream remedy, in no time.
Option 4: Hot Ginger Compress
- Slice a 3 inch piece of ginger root into thin sections.
- Add ginger and 2 cups of boiling water to a saucepan.
- Boil for 20 minutes on a low heat.
- Take a washcloth or towel and soak in the brew.
- Apply to face and head for 15 minutes whilst placing attention on the nasal area.
- Drink up the remaining ginger tea when finished with the bowl for extra results.
3) ANTISEPTIC HERBS
Herbs such as thyme, mint and eucalyptus are highly effective antibacterial medicinal plants that prove to be highly effective at unblocking stuffy noses.
Option 1: Herbal Steam
- Add a handful of fresh peppermint, thyme and eucalyptus from the garden to a small bowl (supplement fresh peppermint and thyme with dried versions and eucalyptus leaves with the eucalyptus oil).
- Add boiling water to bowl.
- Cover head with towel and lean over the bowl keeping your nose and face within a ruler’s length (8-10 inches) above the water.
- Inhale for 10 minutes or until the water cools.
- Repeat this process throughout the day and prepare for your nose to run, eyes to water and cheeks to flush because of the heat. Do not worry, this is a painless procedure.
- Child supervision recommended.
4) TOMATO JUICE
Fresh tomato juice is high in vitamin C and rich in antioxidants thanks to lycopene. Not only do tomatoes boost your immune system but they are great for opening up your sinuses by melting mucus and soothing inflamed blood vessels.
Option 1: Tomato Juice
- Blend or juice 3-4 fresh tomatoes.
- Add 1 tablespoon of crushed garlic.
- Half a tablespoon of fresh black pepper.
- 1 tablespoon full of honey.
- Add ingredients to tomato mixture and either blend or stir with a spoon until well combined.
- Drink 2-4 times per day for effectiveness.
Option 2: Virgin Bloody Mary
- Chop and puree 3 stalks of celery in a food processor (include the celery leaves).
- Add 2 teaspoons of horseradish sauce.
- Add 1 teaspoon of chopped shallots.
- A dash of worcestershire sauce.
- 1 teaspoon of celery salt.
- 1 teaspoon of kosher salt.
- Juice of 2 limes.
- 12 dashes of hot sauce such as tabasco.
- 1 bottle of tomato juice.
- Combine ingredients with celery mixture and stir.
- The tomato and spices will ensure that you can still enjoy the social gathering at the pub whilst combating your blocked nose.
5) FRESH JUICES
Fresh juices such as the lemon ginger blast are an extremely effective way to combat blocked noses and colds.
Not only are fresh juices stuffed full of antioxidants which help combat and prevent infection and viruses, they are antifungal, anti inflammatory and antiviral.
Option 1: Basic Lemon Ginger Blast
- 1 lemon, peeled (organic lemons do not need to be peeled).
- ½ inch of fresh ginger root.
- 1 green apple.
- Half inch of habanero (or hottest you can find) chili pepper (can supplement with cayenne pepper powder).
- Run ingredients through juicer.
- Add 1 cup of water.
- Pour and serve.
- This drink will be very hot and spicy. To take the edge off it and improve digestibility, add half to 1 cup of high quality water.
Option 2: Advanced Lemon Ginger Blast
- 2 lemons, peeled (organic lemons do not need to be peeled).
- 1 – 2 inches of fresh ginger root.
- 2 – 4 green apples.
- 1 Bunch of cilantro (coriander).
- 1 Bunch of parsley.
- 1 Bunch of fresh mint.
- 1 bunch of dandelion leaves, black (dinosaur) kale or arugula (rocket).
- 1 floret (bunch) of celery.
- 1 cucumber.
- 1-3 habanero (or hottest you can find such as scotch bonnet) chili peppers.
- 2-4 cloves of fresh garlic.
- 1 inch of fresh turmeric root.
- Run everything through the juicer.
- Add 1 -2 cups of water.
- Pour and serve.
- This antifungal, antiseptic, anti inflammatory, antiviral vegetable juice, packs a punch like no other.
- It’s circulation boosting, alkalizing, antioxidant properties will fend off any virus or infection, proving to be one of the most effective methods on this list for recovering a blocked stuffy nose and fending off a cold.
- To add extra oomph to this vitamin, mineral and phytonutrient packed miracle drink, use a slow masticating juicer where possible so as to extract the maximum amount of nutrients and to extend the shelf life.
- Turmeric root has a strong coloring that can dye your juicer. Clean by soaking the discolored parts in baking soda and water for 20 minutes and then rinse.
- Make a big batch and store in a mason jar in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Drink this power juice every day to increase your immunity and build an impenetrable wall of defense that will help to prevent blocked noses and colds in the future.
This is probably the most effective and powerful remedy for unblocking a nose in this list!
Smoothies, when made correctly, provide an excellent way to raise your bodies virus protecting defenses by increasing your antioxidant count, improving circulation and stimulating blood flow.
They are a quick and convenient way to boost nutrition whilst tasting great.
Option 1: Chocolate Orange Smoothie
- Peel and chop 3 navel oranges.
- 2 handfuls of fresh or frozen blueberries (or any berries you can find).
- 2 tablespoons of raw cacao (make sure it is 100% raw and pure cacao not the standard cocoa which is traditionally used in chocolate dishes).
- 2-3 cups of unsweetened almond milk (shop bought or home made – see recipe here).
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract or 1 inch of vanilla pod (substitute with essence if extract is unavailable).
- 1 tablespoon of cinnamon powder.
- For extra sweetness and calories add 1 ripe banana (if the skin is spotted it’s perfectly ripe – peel and look inside before you decide the banana is not fit to eat, you might be surprised!).
- 2 handfuls of ice.
- Add to blender jug and blend on highest setting for 1 – 2 minutes until smooth.
- Pour and serve.
- The oranges are high in vitamin C which is known to prevent and cure colds and runny noses.
- Berries and raw cacao are very high in antioxidants and low in sugar.
- Antioxidants mop up free radicals which wreak havoc with our immune systems and lower our resistance to infection and illness, making us more susceptible to stuffy noses and colds.
- It is important to blend for 1-2 minutes to ensure that the drink is extra smooth. No one wants a lumpy smoothie!
- Ice will make the smoothie taste better and allow you to blend for longer without destroying the essential enzymes through overheating.
Experiment with the ingredients and amounts. Add more or less of an ingredient to taste. The good thing about smoothies is that you can add more ingredients to suit personal taste.
Option 2: Mean Green Ginger Dream
- 2-3 ripe bananas.
- 1-2 handfuls of frozen or fresh berries.
- 1-2 handfuls of fresh spinach (or any combination leafy greens such as kale, chard or arugula).
- 1 inch of fresh ginger root.
- 2-3 cups of almond milk, coconut water or high quality water such as mountain spring water.
- 2 handfuls of ice.
- Add to blender jug.
- Blend at high speed for 1-2 minutes until desired consistency is achieved.
- Pour and serve.
- For added antiviral, antioxidant and fiery bite, add 1 habanero chilli.
- The greens in this drink will alkalise your system and flood your system with a vast array of healing nutrients that will increase your immunity and help prevent a runny or stuffy nose.
- The spicey foods will open your nasal airways and fend off viral infections, whilst lowering inflammation.
7) STEAM (EUCALYPTUS OIL OR PEPPERMINT OIL)
If your nasal passage i.e your nostrils, are blocked, then inhaling the aroma of natural oils can easily solve the problem by softening mucus and opening up the airways.
Option 1: Eucalyptus/Peppermint oil aroma
- Boil some water and add to a bowl.
- Mix in a few drops of chosen oil.
- Place a towel over your head and ensure to cover the bowl so as to capture the steam.
- Hover face around 10 inches above the bowl.
- Inhale for 15-20 minutes.
- Peppermint oil is extremely potent so breath it in with care.
- Do not get your face too close to the water.
- Take big deep breaths.
- Children should be supervised.
8) HERBAL TEAS
Herbal teas should be a part of everyone’s medicinal armory. They offer a quick and easy solution to your stuffy nose. The warm fluids thin out mucus, and the herbal vapour which emits from the hot cup also works to reduce sinus infection.
Option 1: Fresh Herbal Tea
- Pick a variety of fresh herbs from your garden, such as blackberry, chamomile, peppermint and rosemary.
- Add to boiled water and simmer for 6 minutes before taking off the heat.
- Pour and serve.
- Drink throughout the day to keep your body topped up with herbal goodness.
Option 2: Dried Herbal Tea
- Boil kettle.
- Pour boiling water into a mug and add herbal tea bag or mixture.
- Let sit for 6 minutes before removing the bag or blend, and enjoy.
- Allow to cool before drinking otherwise you will burn your tongue and reduce sensitivity.
- Honey or agave nectar can be added for extra sweetness and antiviral properties.
Honey is excellent at treating bacterial infections. Dr Rowena Jenkins from the University of Wales reports that honey, particularly manuka honey, has the ability to kill bacteria by destroying the key bacterial proteins.
With it’s high levels of monosaccharides, fructose and glucose, this sweet delight is packed full of minerals and possesses antiseptic and antibacterial properties.
It is also known for it anti-allergy properties making it a great seasonable remedy.
It’s no wonder it’s the bear’s favorite!
Option 1: Honey Spoon
- Take 2 teaspoons of honey in the morning and 2 teaspoons full at night, preferably on an empty stomach.
Option 2: Honey Water
- Mix 1 large tablespoon full of honey with a glass of warm water and drink.
10) APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
Vinegar is said to have been discovered around 5000 BC and is heralded as a superfluid.
It has many different medicinal properties and has a wide variety of uses which includes its ability to break up and reduce mucus in the body by clearing out your sinuses.
It also possesses excellent antibacterial properties making it a great weapon against infection.
Option 1: Apple Cider Vinegar Drink
- Combine 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with water and consume.
Option 2: Apple Cider Honey Water
- Mix 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with 1 tablespoon of a high quality honey in a glass.
- Add water to mixture and stir.
Option 3: Apple Cider Lemon Honey Concoction
- Prepare the ‘option 2’ mixture above and add the juice of one lemon.
- Enjoy these mixtures throughout the day. They will add a new flavor to your water and offer additional health benefits such as combating arthritis, reducing acidity and increasing energy.
- Apple Cider Vinegar is superior to standard pasteurized, filtered vinegar because it is a type of vinegar that is unprocessed and unfiltered.
- By fermenting vinegar it develops what is known as ‘the mother’, a cobweb-like amino acid-based substance which is excellent at fighting infections.
11) MUSTARD OIL
Mustard oil supports the break up of mucus and helps with nasal drainage in those with a blocked nose. It contains glucosinolates which are known to break down the bacterial proteins in mucus and thus allow you to breathe easier.
Option 1: Mustard Bung
- Apply some mustard oil to your fingers.
- Place mustard oil into nostrils.
- Repeat as needed.
- Be prepared for a slight burning sensation and keep some tissue close by as you are likely to sneeze, thus dislodging even more mucus and freeing up your nasal canal.
12) LEMON JUICE
As well as lemon juice, lemons can be applied topically to fight off bacterial infections and loosen dried mucus that is blocking up your nose.
Due to the large amounts of vitamin C, B6, A, E and a wide spectrum of minerals, lemons are superb combatants against stuffy noses because of their antibacterial and antiviral properties.
Option 1: Peppery Lemon Patch
- Slice a ripe lemon in half.
- Squeeze the juice of 1 half of the lemon into a bowl and store the other for later use (You can use a simple folk to squeeze out the juice).
- Add some black pepper to the lemon juice and mix well.
- Topically apply to the affected area with a tissue or cloth.
- Ensure mixture does not get in your eyes as this will cause a painful reaction.
- You may experience a stinging sensation if the area you are applying to if ir’s raw from lots of rubbing and wiping. The lemon will ultimately help to heal these areas but it may feel a little uncomfortable at first.
Option 2: Lemon Water
- Using a lemon squeezer, squeeze out the juice of two lemons into 1 quart (liter) of quality water and drink
- This drink can be enjoyed as a refreshing cool drink or you can warm the water which will help to further soften mucus as the lemon properties battle bacterial infections.
Dracula wasn’t afraid of garlic because of its potent smell. He couldn’t stand the stuff because as a man of death and decay, he found that the powerful antibacterial and antiseptic properties of garlic were more than a match for his fangs.
Garlic contains fructosans, allins and saponins which give this herb its powerful antifungal, antiviral, antimicrobial properties. Garlic is an excellent defense against infection.
Option 1: Garlic Soup
- Peel and boil 3-4 cloves of garlic in 1 cup of water.
- Strain the solution and add a little honey.
- Pour into a bowl and serve.
- Drink twice daily
Option 2: Garlic Losanges
- Peel 1 clove of garlic.
- Chew 3-4 times a day.
- Avoid the opposite sex.
Option 3: Fresh Garlic
- 1 clove of garlic peeled.
- Chop and mince into small pieces.
- It is important to mince up the garlic. If swallowed whole it will not digest and will come out in your poo. Trust me, garlic does not add to the pungent smell of your toilet session.
- Eating garlic in it’s raw state is a very quick and potent way to overcome a stuffy nose.
- Don’t use this method during date night.
14) NETI POT
A neti pot is a container that holds water and has a spout on the end. It can be utilized to clear your nasal canals by forcefully uprooting the blockage and flushing out the offending pollutants that are creating the issue in the first place.
- Fill the neti pot up with warm water.
- Add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar or a good quality salt such as himalayan mountain salt, or sea salt.
- Tilt head back.
- Carefully place the spout in one nostril and tilt your head to the opposite side so that the fluid can go up your nostril and drain out of the other nostril.
- Repeat the entire procedure for the other side.
- Go through the entire process 2-3 times.
- Your eyes will water so keep tissues close by and be prepared to blow your nose.
- You are likely to experience an uncomfortable stinging feeling in your nose. Persevere and in around 1 hour your head will clear up and you will be breathing much more easily. This is an intrusive procedure that requires care.
- Do this in the privacy of your own home, in the bathroom with a mirror, so you can carefully examine what you are doing.
- Use good clean water. If you must use tap water, boil it and let it cool down before using it.
15) FENUGREEK SEEDS
Fenugreek is a herb similar to cloves and is native to the mediterranean regions. It opens up the sinus cavities and thins mucus. Not only will it thin out thick fluids but it clears the nasal passages and reduces inflammation and swelling.
Option 1: Fenugreek Seed Blend
- Take some fenugreek seeds and blend them in a glass of drinking water.
- Heat up the water for a few minutes before turning off the heat and removing the pan.
- Strain the blended seeds.
Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, is known to heal sinus problems and clear the nasal passages. Turmeric is an excellent natural anti inflammatory that is extremely effective at combating sinus infections.
Option 1: Spicy Smoke Out
- ½ a teaspoon of dry, ground turmeric powder.
- 1 cup of linseed oil.
- Combine in a cooking pot and let sit for 2 minutes.
- Heat over cooker until the mixture begins to smoke and then remove from heat.
- Inhale the smoke through one nostril at a time.
- Repeat several times throughout the day.
Option 2: Tumeric Water
- ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder.
- 1 glass of water.
- Combine and stir with a spoon.
- Drink 2-4 times a day to loosen mucus.
Option 3: Turmeric Milk (non-dairy)
- 2 cups of coconut or almond milk.
- 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder.
- ¼ teaspoon of black pepper (this increases the absorption rate).
- 1 inch of fresh grated ginger.
- 1 tablespoon of honey (preferably manuka).
- Combine all of the ingredients, except for the honey, in a saucepan.
- Heat on medium until it starts to bubble.
- Turn down heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Strain out the ginger.
- Stir in the honey.
- Pour and enjoy.
By applying pressure to specific body parts, inflamed blood vessels and sinus pressure can be significantly reduced.
- Apply gentle pressure to the bottom corner of your nose as this pressure point helps to alleviate sinus congestion and headaches.
- Remember to close your nose every time while applying pressure.
- Repeat 10 times on both nostrils.
- Then apply mild and gentle pressure on the area just above your eyes
Repeat the same process for about 10 times on both the eyes.
- Visit Modern Reflexology for more detailed directions.
19) SOFT TISSUE
Tissue paper is every cold sufferers ally. Because you are blowing and wiping your nose all day, it is not recommended that you use your hand!
Keep a pocket full of tissues with you at all times when you have a blocked nose.
Option 1: Snot Balls
- Tear a soft tissue into equal halves.
- Roll the tissue into 2 tiny balls (size of nostril).
- Place the tissue gently inside each nostril.
- Relax and breathe normally so that the tissues absorbs the fluid that comes out of your nose.
- Repeat throughout the day…in privacy.
- Be gentle and do not push the tissues too far up your nose.
- Not recommended as a remedy for children.
Option 2: Blow Your Nose
One of the most effective ways to fix a blocked nose is to aggressively blow into a tissue. Most people just sniff into a tissue when they have a blocked or runny nose but the trick to expelling the infected mucus is to blow hard.
- Take a piece of tissue in your hand and cover your nose with it.
- With your thumb and index finger around each nostril, blow hard.
- By blowing this hard you will release much more mucus from your nose and are more likely to get rid of the infection.
- If you have a particularly bad runny or blocked nose then use very soft tissue like Kleenex. This will help prevent a sore nose that is sensitive to the touch. You do not want to add more problems to your situation!
20) DECONGESTANTS & ANTIHISTAMINES
Decongestants reduce swelling in the nasal passageways and relieve pressure which allows air to flow more freely.
Antihistamines block the chemical histamine that your body creates as a response to infection. Histamines swell tissue and cause your nose to itch.
Option 1: Decongestants
- Decongestants come in the form of pills or nasal sprays which can be purchased over the counter or online.
Option 2: Antihistamines
- Older antihistamines such as brompheniramine and chlorpheniramine have been known to be effective at reducing stuffy noses.
- Your doctor can prescribe these medicines and they can also be found online.
21) HOT COLD THERAPY
By exposing ourselves to hot and cold temperatures we stimulate our lymphatic system which works as a sewage system for the body.
By stimulating the lymphatic system, lymph fluid gets moved through the body.
Lymph fluid is responsible for expelling toxins and getting rid of waste.
In an Austrian study 50 adults were split into 2 groups. 1 group took saunas for 6 months while the other did not. By the end of the study the sauna group has experienced less colds than the non-sauna group.
Option 1: Hot/Cold Showers
- Turn the shower as hot as you can stand it and spend 30 seconds to 1 minute underneath it.
- Turn the shower temperature as cold as it will go and spend 30 seconds to 1 minute underneath it.
- Repeat 5 times.
- Take it easy with the hot and be sure not to scold yourself.
- It takes time to work your way up to being able to withstand the cold but the benefits are well worth it.
Option 2: Sauna/Cold Plunge
- Find a thermal spa.
- Spend 10 – 20 minutes in a sauna, sanarium or steam room.
- Shower off your sweat.
- Jump into a cold plunge pool or stand under a cold shower for as long as you can handle it.
Nothing will make you feel as alive as sweating it out in a sauna and then experiencing the awakening effects of dipping into a cold plunge pool.
There are more than 200 types of viruses that can cause a cold and thus a blocked or stuffy nose. The most common virus is the rhinovirus which accounts for 10% – 40% of all cases.
The respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is also responsible for 10% of colds, whilst the parainfluenza virus is the cause of another 10% of colds.
With an estimated 22 million school days lost to the common cold each year, and an estimated 1 billion colds suffered by Americans each year, it’s no wonder that many of us are on the lookout for effective remedies.
By trying out any of the 21 remedies offered in this article you are sure to find an effective technique that will work for you and your family.
But what about prevention? Surely by taking powerful preventative measures we put ourselves in a much better position to avoid a stuffy nose or cold in the first place.
Nutrition is our number one ally against the common cold. If you want to prevent a blocked or runny nose then ensuring that your nutritional reserves are topped up is your best option.
Foods that are high in antioxidants such as fruits are excellent at preventing viruses from setting in. Nutritionally packed vegetables that are high in minerals and phytonutrients such as kale, chard and spinach, will also ensure that the common cold is anything but common to you.
Spicy foods and herbs, as mentioned throughout this list, are also very effective at preventing viral and bacterial attacks as they are antifungal, anti inflammatory, antiviral, and antibacterial.
By adding more fresh living fruits, vegetables, spices and herbs to your diet, you will build an impenetrable wall which ensures your protection against invading intruders that are trying to ruin your day.
It’s easy to include more of these foods in your diet in the form of smoothies and juices, as mentioned in this article.
Provided you eat plenty of nutrient dense plant based foods, exercise regularly and rest well, then it’s unlikely that you will suffer from colds, despite the common consensus that colds are inevitable.
We do not catch colds, we eat them! What we eat has a large impact on how resistant we are to illness and how well our immune system functions.
We can eat foods that will lower our immunity and increase our risk of infection. Mucus forming foods such as dairy and wheat products are high offenders!
Or we can eat food that will strengthen our immunity and lower our risk of contracting a viral infection. Leafy greens and spices are the superheros here.
If however, your immune system does become compromised and you do catch a cold, you can try anyone of the 21 methods covered in this article to get yourself back in the game in no time.