Top 5 Remedies for Nasal Congestion

man blowing nose into tissue while in bed

Top 5 Remedies for Nasal Congestion

May 15, 2024

Nasal congestion can have a number of causes, including viral infections like the flu or common cold, bacterial infections, seasonal allergies, nasal polyps, and others. No matter the cause, having a stuffy nose can make you feel miserable and cause trouble breathing, headaches, and sleep problems. Here are some of the best remedies for nasal congestion that can help you find relief from this irritating symptom.

1. Drink Plenty of Water

Increasing your fluid intake to stay hydrated is one of the best remedies for nasal congestion. This won’t provide instant relief, but it will help thin the mucus in your nasal passages and promote drainage to relieve congestion in the sinuses. Hydration also helps your immune system function to fight the infection. Opt for hydrating fluids like water, herbal tea, and broth, and avoid dehydrating beverages that contain caffeine, alcohol, and added sugars. You may find that drinking hot liquids can help relieve other symptoms as well, such as a sore throat or cough.

2. Breathe In Steam

woman breathing in steam from bowl of hot water with white towel above her head

Have you ever noticed that taking a shower can make you feel a lot better when you’re sick? This is because breathing in steam helps to relieve nasal congestion and sinus pressure. The steam thins and loosens mucus as well as reduces inflammation in the nasal passages. This helps mucus drain and relieves swelling that contributes to congestion and pain. Inhaling steam from a shower or hot water in a bowl can help your breathing return to normal for a little while.

3. Rinse Your Sinuses

Nasal irrigation is one of the most effective remedies for nasal congestion. Rinsing your sinuses with a device like a neti pot can remove irritants and germs, loosen mucus, add moisture to nasal passages, and promote sinus drainage. This helps to reduce the inflammation and excess mucus that are contributing to your nasal congestion. Fill the neti pot with a saline solution of warm, sterile water and salt. Use the pot to pour the solution into your nose one nostril at a time, letting the liquid drain out the other side.

4. Apply a Warm Compress

woman with nasal congestion lying on couch with warm compress on forehead

Nasal congestion and sinus pressure are primarily caused by inflammation in the nasal passages. Applying a warm compress to your forehead, nose, cheeks, and eyes can help relieve this inflammation and ease your discomfort. You can purchase a warm compress to heat up in the microwave, or you can make one at home. Soak a washcloth with warm water, wring out the excess, and place it over your face for 20 minutes at a time.

5. Try Natural Decongestants

Some of the best remedies for nasal congestion can be found in nature. For example, vitamin C may act as a natural decongestant and promote proper sinus drainage. It may also shorten the duration and severity of your cold symptoms. If your nasal congestion is the result of allergies, you can try taking ginger. Ginger has anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory properties that can help relieve congestion due to allergies. Other natural decongestants that may help include peppermint, garlic, turmeric, and eucalyptus oil.

Boost Your Immune System to Fight Infections

Nasal congestion is never fun to deal with. If you want to feel better quickly and reduce your chances of getting sick in the future, you should take steps to boost your immune system and help your body fight off infections and illness. Check out these top ways to boost your immune system so you can get and stay healthy.