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What Are the Most Effective Cures for Nasal Congestion?

Inhaling steam vapors will help loosen congestion.
Salt and pepper can help reduce sinus congestion, as placing one of these seasonings near the nose, or even inhaling it, can induce drainage.
A nasal spray for congestion.
Taking a warm bath can help relieve nasal congestion.
Cardamom seeds are sometimes used to relieve nasal congestion.
Drinking warm fluids can help break up nasal congestion.
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  • Written By: Autumn Rivers
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 22 October 2014
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Though there is no cure for the common cold per se, there are various cures for nasal congestion, most of which can be completed at home. One guideline to remember is that warmth can clear up the nasal passages, which is why a warm bath, hot drinks, and steam can help. Various herbs are also often helpful, including cardamom seeds, carom seeds, and peppermint, to name a few. Even salt and pepper can help reduce sinus congestion, as placing one of these seasonings near the nose, or even inhaling it, can induce drainage.

One of the most well-known cures for nasal congestion is heat, as this can loosen up the congestion easily. Taking a shower or warm bath can help relieve congestion, especially with the bathroom door shut since it can hold in steam longer. Even boiling water in a pot and inhaling the vapor can reduce congestion. Additionally, drinking hot liquids like tea or coffee may help, and can usually also soothe the throat, which is helpful since most colds are accompanied by a sore throat due to postnasal drip. Of course, drinking liquids in general, such as water or juice, can help the body get over nasal congestion as soon as possible.

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While heat is often helpful for sinus congestion, adding herbs often increases the effectiveness of this remedy. For example, putting just a teaspoon of cardamom seeds over some hot coals and then inhaling the resulting smoke is one of the little-known cures for nasal congestion. Crushing up carom seeds and tying them up in a small sack placed next to the pillow can also work as a cure for this issue, as inhaling the scent can clear up a stuffy nose. Breathing in peppermint essential oil, mentholated salve, or horseradish can have the same effect as carom seeds since all of these scents can open up the nasal passages, making them some of the simplest cures for nasal congestion.

Two seasonings that just about everyone likely has at their home are also considered cures for nasal congestion, and they are salt and pepper. For example, salt can be mixed with boiled water, and once the mixture has cooled off enough to qualify as just warm, it should be placed into an eyedropper. A few drops should then be squeezed into each nostril with the face tilted up so that the water drains into the nose, at which point the nose should be blown. A similar method involves adding baking soda to the mix, and then squeezing it into one nostril while holding the other one closed, followed by letting it drain into the throat. Not surprisingly, pepper does not need be mixed with anything to clear up the nasal passages, as just sniffing either red or black pepper is often enough to cause drainage.

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umbra21
Post 3

@Ana1234 - People just need to be careful that they use sterilized water when they do that. There have been cases of people dying from infection introduced when they tried to clear out their sinuses and introduced bacteria to the sensitive membranes in there.

I think it should also be said that if you think there is an infection, because your mucus is yellow or green, you're in pain, or you've got a fever, you should go and see a doctor about it.

Doctors tend to give out antibiotics too often these days, but a sinus infection is one of those cases where it's a good idea. They can last a very long time without medication and they get more and more uncomfortable as they develop.

Most cures for nasal congestion are treating the symptoms rather than the actual infection, so don't just rely on those either.

Ana1234
Post 2

@Fa5t3r - It might even be bad to use spray while you've got sinus congestion, because it tends to dry up your nose and if your nose is blocked it won't become unblocked if it dries up.

If you can bear it, I've found that the best, quick cure for blocked sinuses is to snort warm salt water. It can really hurt and it feels very uncomfortable, but if you've been suffering from a sinus headache then it might be the best solution.

Fa5t3r
Post 1

Whenever I've got a blocked nose I find that drinking a hot drink slowly, swishing the fluid around my mouth as much as possible, can help a lot.

One thing you'll want to avoid if you are prone to nasal congestion is relying too heavily on nasal spray. It is fairly addictive and I have more than one family member who essentially can't stop using it. Not in the sense of a drug addiction, but because it tends to make it so that you can never stop your nose from running without the spray, so you end up using it again and again.

It's good for occasional use, but I'd only use it in an emergency, like if I had to take an exam or something.

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