‘Tis the season for colds and congestion.
It is common knowledge that we are more likely to become congested when the weather turns chilly. Our nasal passages are designed to warm and humidify air before it gets to the lungs. In colder temperatures, the nose overcompensates, stimulating an increase in mucus production. What’s the result? A runny nose, congestion and sinus pressure that can be hard to beat. Here are some simple home remedies to keep the sniffles under wraps.
Garlic contains decongestant and expectorant properties that work to unclog the sinus cavities and provide relief from pressure. For those who can stand the pungent smell, consuming raw garlic also helps to boost the immune system → simply chew it raw several times on a daily basis. For those of us with a more sensitive palate, consider a homemade garlic and honey tea. Using a mortar and pestle, blend 3 garlic cloves with 2 teaspoons of honey. Add to some hot water and sip the sniffles away.
To cure a stuffy nose, trying making some cayenne pepper tea. Cayenne pepper contains a compound called capsaicin, which provides the hot and spicy taste. Add half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper, two teaspoons of honey, and a lemon wedge into a mug before filling it with boiling water. This is not for the faint of heart – super spicy!!
If you want to remove mucus and stop post-nasal drip, try some black pepper. Take a little pepper in your palm and add three drops of sesame oil in it. Dip your finger in the mixture and apply it under your nose. Breathe in the strong aroma → it will induce sneezing, getting rid of the mucus in your sinuses.
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Apple Cider Vinegar
Whether you drink it, inhale it, gargle it or squirt it up your nose, apple cider vinegar is another natural decongestant. Try mixing 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with 2 tablespoons of honey. Add to some hot water for easy congestion relief.
Fenugreek is a spice that has anti-inflammatory properties beneficial in reducing congestion and sinus pressure. Mix one or two teaspoons of crushed fenugreek seeds in one glass of boiling water. Strain the liquid and enjoy! Remember, don’t take fenugreek during pregnancy as it may stimulate uterine contractions.
Although over-the-count decongestants may help, there’s significant risk of rebound swelling in your nasal passages. This can lead to a vicious cycle of inflammation and sinus pressure. Rebound swelling causes you to take more of the drug, but increased dosage causes it to lose its effectiveness…which then leads to even more use. Natural home remedies for congestion offer a simpler approach. Make sure to stock up before the cold weather hits!