Millions of people around the world suffer from nasal congestion due to allergies or colds. Prescribed medications often make your symptoms worse, prolong symptoms or cause uncomfortable side effects. Almost everyone has had the experience of taking an antihistamine medication and feeling drowsy, lethargic and mentally unclear.
What many people do not realize is that antihistamines may slow your body’s natural reaction to allergens or infections, thereby making your body less effective at fighting off allergens or infections, and making your symptoms last for a longer period of time. The good news is that you do not have to suffer. There are many simple techniques that you can use wherever you are to lessen nasal congestion, get rid of your pain and end your frustration with antihistamine medications.
When you were a child, your mother probably gave you vapor rub before bed to treat congestion. Vapor rub is a natural nasal congestion cure made from mentholated petroleum gel that painlessly opens nasal passageways and does not inhibit your body’s natural histamine response. Vapor rub is best used at night because it may stain clothes or be uncomfortable while you are at work. Vapor rub enables you to breathe easily, which helps you get a better night sleep and wake feeling refreshed in the morning.
Vaporizers and vapor rub go hand in hand. Vaporizers are small machines that plug into the wall and heat water until it is released as warm steam. When you breathe in the warm steam, nasal passageways expand and you breathe easier. One concern about vaporizers is to ensure neither pets nor small children are accidentally burned by the hot steam. You also need to make sure that the steam does not damage furnishings in your house. A good alternative to a vaporizer is to take a warm bath or shower. The water will naturally turn to warm steam and open your airways. This option provides more safety for people concerned about pets or children.
Drinking warm liquids is an easy nasal congestion remedy that you can use on home, on the go, at work or anywhere that you can heat water or another beverage. Simply heat your beverage to the point where it is warm and steam forms but where the beverage is not too hot to drink. Sip the drink slowly, holding your nose and mouth close to the cup. Because the mouth and nasal passageways are so closely connected, you will inhale some of the steam, causing your airways to expand and relieve congestion.
If you love spicy foods, eat them when you are experiencing nasal congestion. Although this is a less popular nasal congestion remedy, you will feel relief almost as soon as you eat a spicy food. The spicy food contains capsaicin, a natural compound found in peppers. This chemical is believed to affect the thickness of mucus. By making your mucus more runny, spicy foods naturally give you relief from your nasal symptoms. Use this natural nasal congestion solution sparingly because spicy foods can cause inflammation, which may worsen your condition or create other side effects such as stomach discomfort.
Everyone knows that warm compresses cure many problems that ail you, but people sometimes overlook this great natural healing tool when it comes to congestion. Simply dampen a washcloth or towel with warm water and place on the affected area. If you place a warm compress on your nose or cheeks, the heat will naturally cause your sinus areas to expand, allowing for better drainage of nasal congestion. Be careful that the compress is not so hot that you burn your skin. Warm compresses are another natural tool to quickly and effectively alleviate congestion without drugs.
Neti pots have been used throughout the world for thousands of years, although this congestion solution is unknown to many people in North America. You need to make a saline solution of water and salt. Natural sea salt or medical grade salt, which you can buy at a pharmacy, works best. You should try to avoid commercial salt with added chemicals or added iodine. Many neti pots come with a spoon to measure the right amount of salt for the water. If you do not have such a spoon, you can add one teaspoon of salt for every 500 ml of water. You should use water that is warm but not too hot.
Test the water by placing a few drops on your wrist. The water should feel warm but not burn you. Stir the water and salt together until the salt is completely dissolved. You are going to pour the saline solution into one nostril and let the solution drain out of the other nostril. Stand over the sink and open your mouth wide enough that the passageway between your nose and mouth naturally seals. You should be able to breathe comfortably through your mouth. Bend over and hold your head sideways. The nostril through which the liquid exits should be the lowest point. Slowly pour half a pot of saline solution into one nostril and out of the other while continuing to breathe through your mouth. Repeat on the other side.
When you have finished blow gently with both nostrils. Then you can blow with one nostril at a time. You can use this tip daily to relieve nasal congestion.
Nasal congestion does not have to be frustrating or painful if you use these easy and inexpensive tips. Healing without drugs enables you to use your body’s natural responses to allergens or infection. With few side effects and little to no cost, these tips will keep you happy and healthy and help you end the frustration associated with nasal congestion.