What is Stuffy Nose?
Stuffy Nose is a terribly annoying problem that causes a great deal of discomfort because of nasal blockage. Contrary to the popular misconception, this condition is not caused due to thick mucus. Rather, it is caused when upper respiratory tract infections leading to reddened and inflamed blood vessels cause the membranes lining the nose to become swollen.
As this is a fairly common problem, there exist a variety of conventional as well as natural home remedies for Stuffy Nose treatment. When proper curative and precautionary measures are not taken in time, chronic nasal congestion due to Stuffy Nose can give rise to issues like Snoring, Sleep Apnea and can cause disruption in hearing and speech development in case of children.
Causes and Symptoms of Stuffy Nose
Stuffy Nose or nasal congestion is triggered by upper respiratory tract infections in the form of Common Cold, Influenza, Sinus Infections, Allergies and other related issues. Immunocompressed patients are more susceptible to such infections which in turn may lead to nasal obstruction.
Though nasal sprays and drops are meant to provide relief from Runny Nose and Nasal Congestion, excessive use of these decongestants (for instance, using them for more than 3 days) can also aggravate the problem of Stuffy Nose. Besides, over the counter oral decongestions are not considered good for individuals suffering from high blood pressure, heart disease, urinary tract problems etc.
As the name suggests, Stuffy Nose is characterized by blockage in the nasal passages. The condition is often accompanied by other symptoms such as fever, headache, painful sinuses, chest congestion, persistent cough etc.
Natural Home Remedies for Stuffy Nose
• Inhalation of steam is one of the most common home remedies for Stuffy Nose natural treatment. This therapy involves boiling some water and then leaning over the pot to inhale steam after putting towel over the head.
You can also add a quarter teaspoon of vaporub in the water increase the effectiveness of this home remedy. Alternatively, you can simply sit in front of a cool mist humidifier to cure Stuffy Nose at home. Breathing the steam from hot shower is also useful in breaking up congestion.
• Heating apple cider vinegar and then inhaling its fumes is highly beneficial in clearing Stuffy Nose. Inhaling the steam of hot water mixed with some grapefruit juice also serves as a valuable natural remedy for Stuffy Nose home treatment.
• Keeping the head elevated by putting a couple of pillows under the head while sleeping helps considerably in reducing the discomfort caused by this problem.
• Taking a mixture of ginger juice, lemon juice, crushed basil leaves and honey is one of the most widely used Stuffy Nose home remedies.
• Put about 2-3 drops of peppermint oil on a cotton cloth, bring it close to the nose and inhale it to relieve Stuffy Nose and Nasal Congestion easily.
• Consumption of hot liquids like herbal teas, vegetable broths and soups is highly useful in healing this condition. Ginger, garlic, black pepper etc can also be added in the soups to make this remedy more effective. Smelling a slice of onion also serves as a good decongestant.
• Using nasal saline spray is one of the most popular home remedies for Stuffy Nose. You can prepare the saline nasal spray at home by boiling a cup of water (preferably distilled) mixed with one teaspoon each of baking soda and salt (kosher salt, sea salt or simple table salt) and stirring the mixture until the water is completely clear.
Pour the solution in a nose dropper or nasal spray bottle when it cools to room temperature. Neti pots filled with saline solution can also be used.
• Eucalyptus, horseradish, yarrow and several other herbs have been known to help reduce and heal this problem. You can either inhale the essential oils of either of these herbs or inhale the steam of infusions prepared with these herbs.
• Alternative therapies like yoga, acupressure and aromatherapy can also help relieve this problem.
Diet for Stuffy Nose
When dealing with Stuffy Nose, inclusion of nutritious foods in the diet, especially the ones rich in vitamin C and zinc is highly recommended. It is also recommended to stay away from fermented alcoholic beverages. Instead, have herbal teas like green tea, ginger tea, ephedra tea etc. Plus, drink adequate amount of water, preferably warm water.
Consumption of cayenne pepper tea prepared by adding a quarter teaspoon of cayenne pepper powder in a cup of boiling water and other hot and spicy foods also serves as one of the most effective natural home remedies for Stuffy Nose as the intake of such foods triggers a reflex response that makes the nose runny, thereby aiding in decongestion and removing the irritants causing this problem.