8 Natural Ways to Unblock Your Nose When Suffering From a Cold
Nasal congestion is one of the most annoying symptoms of having a cold. We know that it brings you down, but that’s why you need to fight back and not let a cold control your life. From hot drinks to inhaling steam, there are plenty of things you can do at home without necessarily resorting to medicine.
Bright Side would like to present 8 scientifically proven, natural ways to clear your airways faster and efficiently.
1. Sleep on your side.
A blocked nose means that there is a lot of mucus trapped in your sinuses that prevents you from breathing right. So it’s important that you keep your head elevated during the night by adding a second pillow. It’s also vital that you try and sleep on your side instead of on your back since that will help with the blockage. Your nose will have a much better chance of “draining” itself during the night rather than allowing the build-up of even more mucus.
2. Hydrate with hot soups and teas.
Drinking hot liquids may not help you get rid of your cold faster, but it will relieve you of the annoying symptoms. Researchers have found that people who drink hot beverages instead of ones at room temperature feel much better in regards to their condition. Chamomile, green tea, chicken soup, and hot water with lemon and honey can soothe you effectively. The placebo effect that they create is very important so that you feel better and more relieved.
3. Use a warm compress on your sinus.
The way a warm compress works is by reducing the inflammation in your sinuses and unblocking your nasal airways. Just take a clean cloth, dip it in warm (but not hot) water and place it on your upper nose and lower forehead. The warmth of the compress will make your nostrils open up and give you the ability to breathe easier. Make sure you don’t leave the compress on for too long, as you might end up burning your skin.
4. Rinse your nose out with a neti pot.
This might not be the most comfortable thing to do, but it has been proven to be effective in cleaning your sinuses. Just stand over a sink and place the spout of the neti pot in one of your nostrils. The water will enter your nose and it will flow out from the other nostril. You can do this exercise for 1 minute on each nostril.
Keep in mind that you can’t use just any water. The FDA advises that you use distilled or sterile water and not tap water that might be full of salt and other harmful elements.
5. Buy a humidifier.
The cold, dry air that is usually in our houses makes it even worse for your blocked nose. And that’s where a humidifier comes in handy since it releases the much-needed humidity in your room. You can keep it on, day and night, but it is more useful while you sleep since it helps you rest and feel more comfortable. You don’t have to worry about any serious dangers, and you’ll notice a great improvement in your blocked nose very quickly.
6. Inhale the steam from boiling garlic.
Garlic is known for its anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, and it can do tons of good when you have a cold. You can either eat it or (preferably) boil it in some water and inhale its steam and avoid the smelly breath. You can use a towel over your head in order to keep as much steam trapped as possible. However, you don’t want to get too close to the garlic water pan — ideally, keep an arm’s length distance from it.
7. Eat spicy food.
You’ve likely noticed that when you eat something spicy, your nose starts running. So this might be a good temporary solution to keeping your nose unblocked for some time. What you can do is start adding general spices to dishes, including red hot peppers, garlic, ginger, and turmeric. Turmeric might not unblock your nose, but it has very important anti-inflammatory properties that will help you with your cold in general.
8. Inhale specific essential oils.
Peppermint and eucalyptus are 2 plants that contain menthol, which is a natural decongestant. You can drink tea that’s flavored with either one of them, but you can also use their essential oils. For the peppermint oil, it will be better to use it for a chest rub after you mix it with a carrier oil to avoid any skin burns. You only need a few drops of peppermint and an ounce of carrier oil, such as coconut.
On the other hand, you can inhale eucalyptus oil by wetting tissue paper with a few drops and leaving it by your head at night. You can also boil some water with a few drops of the oil and breathe in the steam. Make sure the oil doesn’t come in direct contact with your skin because it can cause burns.
What method has helped you unblock your nose without resorting to medicine? You can share your tips with us.