Runny nose is an embarrassing problem. Some causes of runny nose are- common cold, a sinus infection, an allergic reaction and a sudden changing of weather. If you do not treat it quickly, it may lead to headaches, coughing, earaches and other cold-related problems.
You will find a large number of OTC medications for getting rid of a runny nose, but these will usually have distasteful side effects such as drowsiness. We have some simple home remedies for runny nose (stuffy nose) which can give you quick relief without side effects.
How to Get Rid of a Runny Nose Using Home Remedies
To take a warm towel compress, you have to follow this process-
- Soak one small hand towel in boiling hot water.
- Drain it thoroughly.
- Now, place the towel on your face.
- Repeat once in the morning and once in the evening.
This will aid in alleviating sinus pressure and opening up your nasal passages.
Steam also serves as an effective home remedy to cure a runny nose. Inhaling steam can help clear the excessive mucus that results in sneezing and a runny nose.
- Take a bowl of hot boiling water.
- Bend over the bowl and put a towel over the head in order to trap steam.
- Inhale this steam for almost 10 minutes.
- Now, blow your nose in a napkin.
- Do it four times every day.
You could add five drops of menthol or eucalyptus oil to the water before breathing the steam in.
2. Take Hot and Spicy Foods
You must eat spicy foods. Hot and spicy food, such as wasabi, peppers, turmeric and ginger can temporarily ease stuffy nose. It is possible that when the tang of the spice wears off, congestion can be worse than even before. If you wish to have the real spiciness, try a decongestant. If there is no decongestant available, try eating spicy food.
Cayenne pepper is an antihistamine working to clean up and treat a runny nose. It increases nasal fluid discharge so your body could flush the blockage out, along with toxins causing the runny nose.
Turmeric serves as a spicy antidote for a runny nose. It has antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties which make turmeric very effective to treat a cold along with a runny nose.
- Take half a tsp of dry and ground turmeric into a cup of linseed oil.
- Heat this mixture until it begins to give out smoke.
- Now, inhale this smoke slowly through a nostril while blocking the other.
- Do the same with the other nostril.
- Do it twice every day.
Alternatively, you can take half a tsp of turmeric powder mixed with a glass of warm milk two times every day, once in the morning and once in the evening. It can help loosen all the mucus in your body, giving you a quick relief from runny noses, coughs, colds, sore throats and asthmas too. You could add one pinch of black pepper with it.
3. Gargle with Salt Water
Salt water is easily the best home remedy to treat a runny nose. Salt water is able to thin all the mucus, making it more comfortable to force out. It would also help to clean up your nasal passages of irritating elements.
- Take half a tsp of pure salt in a large cup of distilled, hot water.
- Take a dropper and use it to put some drops of this solution into both nostrils.
- Your head should be tilted back while you do this or they will run down outwards instead of inwards.
- Very slowly, inhale the solution to draw it further into the nasal passages. Don’t be hasty or you will end up sneezing all of it out.
- Now, straighten your head and blow your nose. That will remove all the excess mucus along with the solution.
- Do it four or five times at a stretch, until you get relief from a runny nose.
- Repeat it twice a day until you improve.
[ Also Read: How to Get Rid of Phlegm ]
4. Chicken or Vegetable Soup
Hot chicken soup or vegetable soup, preferable both mixed together, is a great remedy for anything cold-related conditions, including a runny nose.
- In a pot, melt some butter in vegetable oil over moderate heat.
- Add chicken cubes to it and cook until light brown, about five minutes.
- Add the stock and some vegetables like carrots, onion, celery, parsley, pepper and salt.
- Let it simmer and cook until the veggies are all tender, almost 20 minutes.
5. Honey with Lemon Juice
Honey has great antiviral and antibacterial properties that can reduce the symptoms of a running nose.
- Pour two tablespoons of pure honey in a small cup.
- Put half a tablespoon of lemon juice and just a pinch of cinnamon powder into it.
- Mix it well and drink it.
- Take the mixture twice every day.
Alternatively, you can mix two tsp of honey into a glass of lukewarm water and drink this twice a day.
Also, you can do this-
- Take one tbsp of honey and a few drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice.
- Pour them in a glass of lukewarm water.
- Mix it well and take it when it is still warm.
- Repeat this twice a day.
- This remedy could help strengthen the immune system alongside preventing a runny nose.
6. Use Humidifier
If you are suffering from a runny nose and you are not willing to spend too much time or money, you should get some warm-air humidifiers. Make sure you choose the right kind of humidifier. The warm-air humidifiers are more cost-effective than the cool air humidifiers.
Humidifiers can put moisture in the air or remove it. There are different kinds of humidifiers — vaporizers, ultrasonics, impellers etc., but these work to increase moisture into the air. When the air surrounding you is too warm, the mucus inside your nose runs freely, making drainage easier. Cool air humidifiers make the air colder to make your nose dry and stop the flow.
If you do not have a humidifier and you do not want to buy one, you could make yourself one with household items you have.
- Take some water in a pot.
- Bring it to a boil.
- Place this pot on an anti-heat trivet.
- Put the pot in any room you will be present in and let the pot rest.
- You can also pour it into a large bowl and put in the room.
- The hot steam is going to increase the humidity content into the room.
7. Keep Yourself Hydrated
You must drink abundant liquid to remain hydrated. Dehydration could aggravate your symptoms of a runny nose. Try to avoid alcohol and caffeine, since these may cause dehydration. Water would be your best option to stay hydrated. To determine if you are drinking enough water, take a look at your urine. If it is yellow, your system has not been getting enough water. If the urine is clear, your water intake is fine.
Lemon, papaya, orange, apple, grape, berry- these fruits juice will help to keep you hydrated.
8. Press on the Nostrils / Blow Your Nose
Blowing your nose regularly helps to get rid of a runny nose. Runny noses happen when you have too much dense fluid and mucus-clogged into the nose and throat. The most effective way to treat runny noses is to bring excess fluid out. If you blow it too often, it would cause redness and burning in skin. Massage your nose gently in the areas between your eyes and on the earlobes to alleviate sinus pressure. Those are the points that can relax your sinus problem, in turn slowing down the runny nose.
- Apply some pressure to your nostrils, one by one, opening and closing them slowly.
- Rub the spots in between your eyes and eyebrows
- Also, rub both of your earlobes gently to complete the process.
For better results, you should use a washcloth soaked in hot water.
- Press on the corners of your nose ten times.
- Put the pressure gently to prevent your nose from running worse.
- Your nose has to be nearly closed every time you put pressure on that area.
It is a medical fact that these pressure points are able to help ease headaches and sinus congestions which spring from allergies and colds. Repeat the process all over the area above your eyes, putting mild pressure. Do it 10 more times on either side of your face, twice a day.
[ Also Read: How to Get Rid of the Flu Fast ]
9. Drink Coffee or Herbal Tea
To get rid of a runny nose, you have to drink lots of herbal tea. Tea can keep you hydrated and appease a sore throat usually accompanied by a stuffy nose. A great remedy for stuffy nose is-
- Take some water and heat it.
- Mix 2 tbsp of honey and one medium sized lemon.
- Pour the warm water into it and add the lemon juice and honey.
- Mix well and drink this solution two times a day.
- You can add three tbsp of fresh fruit juice that has vitamin C with it.
- This solution will help you get rid of a runny nose and soothe your sore throat as well.
10. Plenty of Rest and Sleep
You have to sleep 8 hours at least, every night. Also, always stay upright and support your head tilted backward while you sleep. Always prop up your head on two or three pillows if you are lying down, head tilted backward. It will be better if you try to go to sleep on your back all the time, if possible.
11. Basil Leaves
Basil has antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal as well as great healing properties which keep your body warm from the inside and also treat your running nose. You can follow any of these processes-
- Chew on a few fresh basil leaves every morning every morning and at night, right before going to bed.
- Mix three basil leaves along with a little bit of jaggery two times every day in order to get rid of your runny nose. It can also take care of the common cold.
- Add ten to twelve basil leaves, some sugar and some cloves to some water. Boil the mixture for about ten minutes. Cool it and drink it twice a day.
12. Ginger or Ginger Tea
To get rid of runny or stuffy nose in a short time, Ginger plays an important role. It has different properties including antifungal, antiviral and antitoxic properties, plus a wide variety of antioxidants. These can provide a quick relief from a runny nose and also getting rid of it. Follow any of these processes to get rid of a runny nose-
- Chew on small pieces of raw, fresh ginger dusted with some salt three or four times a day to get quick relief from a runny nose.
- Slice up some ginger root, pour them in one cup of water. Boil it to make tea. You can add a bit of honey to taste. Drink this tea three times every day.
- Boil a tsp of ginger powder into a mug of water and breathe in the steam coming off it.
13. Eucalyptus Oil Remedy
Eucalyptus oil is a natural decongestant and could give you quick relief from a running nose.
- Heat up a large bowl of water.
- Pour a few drops of eucalyptus oil and peppermint into it.
- Now, cover your head with a large towel.
- Lean over above the bowl to breathe in the steam.
- Do it three times a day.
You can also put a few drops of eucalyptus oil in a handkerchief, taking it in all day to ease your symptoms. You can also put a bowl or cup of water mixed with eucalyptus oil on your bedside table at night.
14. Take a Hot Water Shower
Taking a hot shower everyday will warm up your entire body, not only your nose. During the shower, it is better if you can sprinkle some lemon or eucalyptus oil in the tub or water. That will help with the runny nose.
How to Stop a Runny Nose With Over-The-Counter Medications
15. Saline nasal Drops or Spray
You should use salt water to wash the nasal passages out, freeing the mucus and other garbage. You could use a neti pot, syringe or any other product made for nasal irrigation.
Do the following procedure to prevent a runny nose by irrigating it and removing pollen or dust or from your nasal passages.
- Take some distilled water with a neti pot.
- You have to do a sinus rinse which washes salt water into one nostril, making it come out the other one. Make the rinse by taking about 240mL of distilled water, mixed with baking soda and salt.
A runny nose could irritate the mucus in your nasal passages and cause you a bloody nose. The rinse can dry up mucus.
To moisturize your nose, you could add some glycerin to that nasal rinse. Take half a teaspoon of Glycerin 99.5% Anhydrous. You will get this in any pharmacy, stashed in the first aid department. Glycerin is a moisturizing agent that can form a barrier which stops dust and pollen from getting in contact with your mucous membranes. A nasal rinse with salt water helps stop blood flow from a bloody nose as well. Be alert to not inhale the salt water.
16. Over-the-Counter Medication
You can try medicines and supplements to get rid of a runny nose. There are many over the counter creams, pills and sprays for this purpose, such as:
- nasal sprays that have olopatadine; use by prescription
- topical decongestants and vapor rubs.
- zinc or magnesium supplements could help open up your nasal passageway. Supplement oral pills having magnesium 400mg can help the blood vessels dilate and refurbish blood vessel responsiveness into the mucus-producing glands. Oral supplement pills having zinc 15mg can benefit intracellular pathways which cause mucus like secretions.
If you are using vapor rubs, just rub a small amount of it under your nose. You could apply the rub to the chest area as well. Inhale deeply to get rid of your running nose in no time.
You can try prescription medications such as Ipratropium Nasal spray and Olopatadine Nasal spray. Olopatadine spray is an antihistamine and mast cell stabilizer. Ipratropium bromide acts as an anticholinergic agent, similar to atropine. It has also been used popularly as an inhaler in order to treat lung disease. Remember to irrigate and give time to your nasal passages to dry up before you use nasal sprays.
All these remedies should help you get rid of your runny nose. But if the symptoms persist, it might be more serious. See your doctor as soon as you can.