Many people choose a more natural approach to their health care by avoiding chemically manufactured medications and treating minor illnesses through holistic means. These practices include using pure ingredients to create natural decongestant options. Some forms of nasal decongestants are meant to be ingested, such as peppermint and mandarin oranges, while others are to be inhaled, such as camphor and steam applications. These all natural decongestants are considered to be safe and effective, but a treatment should not be used if it includes a known allergen to the patient. It is advisable to experiment with a few of the natural nasal decongestants to find the most effective method for the individual.
Certain foods contain properties that work as a natural decongestant and, over time, have proven themselves to be very effective. Citrus fruits, such as oranges, lemons, and limes, are all very effective at helping to break up mucus in the sinuses and allowing for easier breathing. Mandarin oranges are especially good natural decongestants, whether the patient chooses to eat them, drink the juice, or use as an aromatic. Garlic is another food famous for its role as decongestant, and is effective both when eaten or used as an aromatic. Drinking peppermint tea is another good food option for reducing nasal congestion, and it is very effective for soothing the irritated tissues of the throat and sinuses.
Additional food options for natural decongestant remedies are onions and hot peppers. Onions contain a mild irritant to the respiratory system that often results in watering eyes and running nose when cut or diced. Many holistic health experts suggest cutting an onion and inhaling its scent to reduce nasal congestion symptoms. Hot peppers work in a similar manner by releasing a chemical known as capsaicin. When eaten or its aroma inhaled, this chemical breaks up mucus and promotes better breathing and relief.
The natural ingredients of menthol and camphor are very effective natural decongestant options as well. These remedies should not be eaten, but can instead be used as a chest rub in place of conventional cough medicines or syrups. They are thought to be less caustic than over the counter chemical products. Camphor and menthol can also be used for nasal congestion when added to bath salts or facial steaming devices and inhaled. The menthol or camphor combined with hot steam is a very effective method for delivering the soothing properties to the irritated and clogged sinuses.