There are a number of reasons why you may have a runny nose. You may have a cold or you could be suffering from allergies. While there are medications you can take to dry the mucus up, many of these medications have side effects. Some may leave you sleepy, while others can cause side effects such as a severe drying reaction that causes your nose to bleed. Fortunately, there are many natural ways to treat a runny nose, helping you to breathe easier. Here are three of the top ways to naturally treat a stuffy or runny nose.
Drink Plenty of Water
Believe it or not, but one of the best ways to naturally treat a runny nose is to drink plenty of water. If you have a runny nose that you are trying to clear up, try to drink eight to ten eight-ounce glasses of water spread throughout the day. Drinking hot tea and warm chicken broth can also help you stay hydrated while soothing an irritated throat that often accompanies a stuffy nose. When you drink water, your runny nose will not clear up immediately. In fact, the opposite may occur. It may feel like your nose is runny more than it was before. This is because the liquids help to thin out the mucus. This allows it to drain properly and may help to clear up your runny nose faster than if your mucus hardened and became trapped in your sinuses.
Use a Saline Nasal Spray
Another way to naturally treat a runny nose is to use a saline nasal spray. A saline spray helps to remove any blockages in your nose that may be preventing mucus from flowing as it should. It also helps to flush mucus out while also soothing the membranes in your nose to prevent them from drying out. Saline nasal sprays can be purchased at any drug store or you can make your own by following these directions:
- Boil eight ounces of water. It is important to boil the water, as this kills any germs, bacteria and microbes that may be living in tap water.
- Allow the water to cool until it is very warm. Add 1/4 teaspoon of salt and mix it until the salt dissolves. It is very important to ensure the salt completely dissolves or your mixture won't work. If your nose is extremely dry, has been bleeding or the saline solution will be used on a child, consider adding in 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda. This helps to neutralize the solution and prevent any stinging that can be associated with salt water. This should be dissolved at the same time as the salt.
- Allow the solution to cool to room temperature. Place the mixture into a nasal spray bottle. Place any leftovers in the refrigerator. It can be stored for two days before it should be discarded. Use the solution as needed to relieve a stuffy nose or to flush out a nose that is constantly running.
The last way to naturally attempt to treat a runny nose is to use ginger. Ginger can be used in a variety of different ways to clear up a runny nose caused by a variety of different reasons. This is because ginger has many properties, including antiviral and antifungal ones. Here are a few of the ways that you can relieve a runny or stuffy nose with ginger.
- Cut up small pieces of fresh, raw ginger and sprinkle them with a small amount of salt. Chew on them several times a day to help clear up a runny nose.
- Cut fresh, raw ginger into thin slices. Place them into a pot with water and boil them to make a tea. If desired, add honey based on your taste preferences. Drink this mixture three to four times a day for best results.
- Boil two cups of hot water. Add one teaspoon of ginger powder to the water. Place your face above the boiling water and inhale the steam. This can help to open up your sinuses and stop the runny nose.
Drinking plenty of water, using a saline nasal spray and using ginger can help to relieve most runny noses naturally. Unfortunately, not every runny nose will clear up on its own. If you have tried these remedies and find that they are not helping, you will want to make an appointment with your doctor. They may be able to give you a prescription medication or fluticasone nasal spray to help relieve your symptoms quickly.