Nasal congestion usually happens when an allergen or cold irritates a person’s nasal passages. When this happens, their nasal lining responds to the irritation through inflammation, which in turn causes their nose to produce excessive mucus to try and remove the allergen.
Nasal congestion can make a person uncomfortable. The person will have difficulties in breathing and sleeping due to the congestion. When the mucus becomes too much, the chest can also get congested.
There are several ways through which someone can get nasal relief without the use of over the counter or prescription medications. These ways are also more affordable because some of the items they will use are available in their homes. However, some items may require the person to purchase them, but are not as costly as some of the medications they may buy.
1 - Neti Pot And Saline Solution
Neti pots are becoming increasingly popular for nasal relief. These are small pots that resemble teapots (For brand recognition more than anything else. They are also available as cylindrical nasal irrigators) but have a sprout that a person can insert into one half of the nose. Neti pots irrigate the nose and drain out any mucus present that causes congestion. They can be purchased at an average price of $15 in any retail outlet.
The person should first fill the pot with a warm solution of pharmaceutical-grade salt. Not just any salt is good for nasal irrigation. After filling the pot, the person should then tilt his or her head and place the sprout of the pot into one side of their nose. The solution should flow gently through the nasal passage for a few minutes, in through one side and out through the other.
2 - Use of a High Vitamin C Diet
A diet containing a high content of vitamin C is also beneficial in providing nasal relief. A person can obtain vitamin C through foods or fruits. Fruits commonly known to contain vitamin C include oranges, pineapples, strawberries, kiwi fruit, papayas, guavas, and tomatoes. Foods that have vitamin C include spinach, broccoli, and kales. If you don’t get enough through diet, you can also take vitamin C supplements. Vitamin C boosts the immune system of a person enabling it to reduce the inflammation in the nasal lining. It also has other benefits, such as antioxidant properties that prevent diseases such as colds and flu.
3 - Spices
Spices such as ginger, chili powder, and garlic are widely used for nasal relief. Ginger can be used in foods in ground or powder form and in drinks in the form of teabags. When used in hot beverages, a person gets nasal relief in two ways; through the spice and also through the steam from the hot drink. Spicy foods promote mucus drainage by making the mucus thin. Some spices such as turmeric and ginger also have anti-inflammatory properties that have the added advantage of reducing the inflammation in the nasal lining. When the inflammation is reduced, the nose will stop over producing mucus.
4 -Essential Oils
A person can also use essential oils to make a nasal spray for nasal relief. Some of the essential oils that can provide nasal relief include rosemary, eucalyptus, peppermint, and oregano. The oils have some properties that help in providing nasal relief. Eucalyptus oil, for example, has properties that help with mucus drainage. On the other hand, peppermint enables decongestion by directly acting on mucus receptors located in the nasal lining.
5 - Hot or Cold Compresses
A compress can be placed across the nose bridge for nasal relief. For a cold compress, most people use a frozen bag of peas wrapped in cloth, such as a small towel. Warm compresses can be made by soaking a small towel in warm water then gently wringing out the excess water before placing it across the nose bridge. Compresses help by reducing the inflammation in the nasal lining and thereby reducing the amount of mucus the nose produces.
6 - Steam
Steam is an alternative to a humidifier and vaporizer if a person cannot afford to purchase them. The use of steam naturally raises the humidity of the room, which makes mucous thin for easy draining. The steam can be in the form of a hot shower, bath, or hot drinks such as hot water or tea. Alternatively, the person can fill a large bowl with hot water, place a towel over his or her head, then lean over the bowl for a few minutes. The steam allows mucus to drain from the nose and provides instant nasal relief. Some people also add eucalyptus oil to the hot water to make nasal relief more effective and long-lasting.