Nasal congestion, or stuffy nose, is a very common ailment, especially during wintertime, when common cold and flu viruses lurk everywhere around. This condition can be very uncomfortable and prevent a person from performing their everyday activities. There are many ways, natural and not, to solve this problem, but this article focuses on the natural choices for decongestion.
About nasal decongestants
Nasal congestion is a condition in which mucus is collected in the nose and in sinuses, even in ears. People call it “stuffy nose” because it feels exactly like that. The mucus is partially blocking the nasal passages and it makes it difficult to breath through nose. Along with this discomfort, there may also be some pressure and pain.
Decongestants work by reducing the mucus production and making the mucus thinner, so it is easier to expel. The market offers many different brands of decongestants, but it should be said that some, if not most of them, have side effects. One of the most serious side effects is dependency. Some people use nasal decongestants so much that they become addicted and use them even when there is no real reason for it. They may also cause nausea, headache, drowsiness, and dry mouth.
On the other hand, there are many natural alternatives to over-the-counter decongestants and most of them have no side effects whatsoever.
Steam is one of the best ways to get rid of nasal congestion. One option is to use a vaporizer, but a simple bowl of hot water, possibly with essential oils added in, will work just as well.
Some people avoid fresh onions because of its smell, but it is the smell, precisely the fumes from a freshly cut onions, that can help relieve stuffy nose. The method is simple, all it takes is to cut an onion and breathe in deeply its fumes. Of course, it also helps to eat raw onions, chop them in salads or soak them in some honey.
If the congestion is affecting the ears, peppermint oil may be the best solution. Peppermint and menthol thin the mucus and relieve congestion, and they also soothe the area and speed up the recovery.
Spicy food, especially if using hot peppers like cayenne, chili or jalapeno, can be very effective in decongesting stuffy nose. One of the best remedies is a simple chicken soup with some fresh hot peppers sliced thinly.
Garlic is considered to be a very beneficial food that helps with a great number of ailments. Nasal congestion is one of them. One or two cloves of raw garlic will not only thin the mucus and phlegm and relieve congestion, but they will also have their antibiotic effect and boost the immune system.