- Saline rinse – This solution is one of the easiest natural remedies for a runny nose. To make a saline rinse, add half a teaspoon of sea salt to two cups of warm water, and stir until it completely dissolves. Then, using a dropper, apply the solution to the inside of your nostrils, keeping your head tilted back and breathing very slowly. Tilt your head back down after and blow your nose. Repeat this process until your mucus has reduced significantly. According to studies, using a saline solution improves cold symptoms, such as nasal secretions, sore throat, nasal breathing score, and nasal obstruction.
- Steam bath – It helps remove the excess mucus from the nasal passages, which causes a runny nose. To prepare a steam bath, heat a cup or two of water in a pot until it starts to steam. Do not let it come to a boil. Add a few drops of peppermint, eucalyptus, or thyme essential oil. For seven to 10 minutes, lean into the steam and inhale deeply. Then, blow your nose. Adding an antimicrobial essential oil can also help kill cold bugs in addition to removing mucus. Some essential oils also contain compounds such as menthol and thymol which act as decongestants.
- Hot drinks – A runny nose can be relieved by simply drinking hot water. According to studies, hot drinks provide immediate and lasting relief to various symptoms. Researchers believe that the ability of hot water to flush out and break down excess mucus is responsible for this effect. Adding lemon or any anti-inflammatory herb like chamomile to hot water provides antibacterial and antiviral effects as well.
- Mustard oil – Mustard oil is traditionally used in Ayurveda to treat sinus problems as it helps break down mucus. Based on research, it also contains powerful antibacterial properties that can fight against the most resistant pathogens, such as E. coli. To make use of mustard oil, heat a small amount in a pan until lukewarm. With a dropper, add a few drops to each nostril while your head is tilted back. Let it sit for a moment, then blow your nose. Repeat this once or twice each day.
- Ginger – For thousands of years, ginger has been used to treat symptoms of a cold, and research supports it age-old claims of effectiveness. Fresh ginger is best for symptoms of a cold. However, if you cannot handle the taste, you can add a little bit of raw honey, or grate it on your food. You can also make a ginger tea by cutting a few pieces of ginger into slices and soaking it in hot water for 10 minutes.
- Garlic – Garlic is best for warding off bugs that cause a runny nose. Its main compound allicin provides powerful antibacterial and antiviral properties. Garlic can be used to treat a runny nose by adding it raw in a soup or salad. To use garlic, crush and/or slice at least one clove per day before eating it. Let it sit for five minutes. If you cannot handle the taste of raw garlic, either cook it or take it in capsule form instead.
- Licorice Root – Glycyrrhizin, the active component in licorice root, contains properties that help break down excess mucus. Licorice root also contains antiviral, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties that support the immune system. Licorice root can be taken as a tea or in a capsule.
Although a runny nose is usually not a medical emergency, it can be a symptom of certain long-term or short-term conditions like a sinus infection or rhinitis. Anything that irritates or inflames the nasal tissues, including infections, allergies, and various irritants, can cause a runny nose. (Related: Antibiotics virtually useless when prescribed for a runny nose.)
Learn more about natural remedies by going to AlternativeMedicine.news.