10 Ways to Unstuff Your Nose Naturally
How to Unstuff a Blocked-Up Nose Without Medicine
Normally I am a pretty healthy person—I get sick very rarely. But any of us can wake up with an uncomfortable, stuffed nose and sore throat. Just this morning, I woke up and found I could not breathe out of my left nostril, and to make matters worse, my throat hurt, too. I found that blowing my nose only made my stuffiness worse and increased my discomfort.
Perhaps I caught something when I delivered cupcakes across the street last night; maybe my allergies were acting up (here in Connecticut, trees can wreak havoc on one's sinuses). Whatever the reason, when I get a stuffy nose, I want to get rid of it ASAP and move on with what I have to do that day—which is why I've found and tested several remedies throughout the years.
Though I hate having a sore throat and stuffy nose, taking medication is not my first course of action. Usually one of my home remedies takes care of the problem. Because of today's runny nose, I decided I would share my home remedies in this article. In most cases, one or a combination of these practices works for me.
All of these at home tactics will help to clear out your nasal passageways. Not only will you be able to breathe better, but you will be clear-headed so you can have a productive day ahead.
How often do people get stuffy noses and nasal congestion?
How Often Do You Have a Stuffy Nose or Nasal Congestion Where You Cannot Breathe through Your Nose Properly?
1. Gargle Your Nose With Salt Walter to Help Alleviate Stuffiness
Doing a salt-water nose gargle is very simple. Just fill up a small cup with warm water and a pinch of salt. Close one nostril and snort the salt water with the other nostril. Then simply blow your nose.
Incidentally, along with salt water, you can also use Listerine for a nose gargle. If you have the beginnings of a sore throat, as I did this morning, Listerine can do wonders.
Of course, this technique is very difficult to use on little ones. As the mother of a two-year-old, I know how often children's noses can get stuffed, but their noses are so small that it's hard to clear them out.
2. Use a Neti Pot to Clear Your Nose
I know I have already mentioned a salt water gargle as a way of clearing your sinuses. The gargle is simple because you probably already have all of the necessary supplies. However, the neti pot is the nicer way of doing a salt water gargle—if you can, I recommend using a neti pot over a mug. Simply fill the neti pot with salt water and pour it into one nostril while tilting your head to the opposite side. These neti pots come with "saline solution," that you pour into water to use in your pot. However, "saline solution" is another word for salt, so once you run out of the solution, you can simply use about one teaspoon of sea salt.
Below, I have included a video to show you exactly how to use a neti pot. It's not as scary as it looks. It does wonders for your health, so it's something you should learn.
3. Use Mouthwash When You Think a Cold Is Starting
While I am focusing on how to clear a stuffy nose in this article, sometimes sinuses come hand-in-hand with a sore throat. Maybe you have experienced this, too. When your sinuses flare up, does your throat begin to feel itchy and scratchy?
Well, my first home remedy for this is to get the Listerine out of the medicine cabinet. This stuff is not just for the plaque on your teeth (I have already mentioned how it can help with a runny nose). When you have a sore throat, gargle with Listerine, and it will make a huge difference in how you feel a few hours later.
If you don't already have mouthwash, I recommend the regular Listerine that comes in yellow. The blue one and other flavors are way too sugary—just my opinion.
4. Take a Hot Shower or Boil Water
The steam from a hot shower will help to clear out your nose. While this clearing effect can be temporary, it still can help the process of clearing your nasal passageways.
Alternatively, the steam from a pot of boiling water can help clear your nose. Just be careful not to get your face too close to the pot, because the steam can get quite hot and boiling water can splash. Start with your face over a foot away from the water, and adjust accordingly.
This can be easier than taking a hot shower, because you don't have to change your clothes.
5. Drink a Full Glass of Water
One of the reasons your nose is stuffy is because of mucous buildup. Drinking ample water helps to thin out this mucus—just another way water helps your body. You always want to make sure you stay hydrated, especially when you are not feeling 100 percent.
6. Eat Spicy Foods
Spicy foods will often help drain the nose. Like the effect of steam, this effect may only be temporary, but will help lead to more lasting results. We make Indian food everyday, so I can easily add a serrano chili or cayenne pepper to make something extra spicy.
Try adding chilis to your cooking. If that's too much effort, you can easily order spicy Indian or Vietnamese dishes.
7. Lie on the Side That Is Unstuffed or Less Clogged
This can help relieve the pressure on the more stuffed side of your face. Lying on your side works especially well after nose gargling salt water or using a neti pot.
8. Massage Your Sinuses
Massaging your sinuses can help to break up the congestion. It works, just like any massage, by loosening things up.
Below is a video that walks you through exactly how to drain your sinuses using massage and pressure points.
9. Cut an Onion
This morning, an item on my to-do list was to make sauce. It required onions. This instantly unstuffed my nose. The strong smell of the onion not only made me cry, but also helped open up my nostrils.
10. Use a Humidifier While You Sleep to Add Moisture to the Air
We do this in our Connecticut home during the wintertime. A humidifier instantly puts moisture into the air, increasing the humidity (hence the name). Like drinking a glass of water, using a humidifier can help thin out the mucus in your nose and sinus areas, allowing you to breathe better and sleep more restfully.