How to decongest sinuses naturally
How to decongest sinuses naturally
Sinus congestion can be uncomfortable and inconvenient. It happens when your sinuses become inflamed, and can cause symptoms including a blocked or stuffy nose and pain and pressure in the areas surrounding your sinuses, including in between your eyes, your forehead and either side of your nose. If it causes you to breathe through your mouth, it can also lead to a dry mouth and lips, as well as a sore throat.
There are over the counter decongestants available to help treat this problem, including nasal sprays, drops and tablets, syrups and flavoured powders that dissolve in hot water. However, these treatments are not suitable for everyone. For example, people with diabetes and pregnant women shouldn’t take them without getting advice from a doctor or pharmacist first. These treatments are also unsuitable for babies and young children. In addition, some decongestant medicines can make you feel drowsy.
An alternative option is to use a natural decongestant. Here, we explain what these treatments are and provide examples that you might wish to try.
What are natural decongestants?
Natural decongestants are treatments that don’t involve medicines. There are many different options available, and some may work better for you than others. Some may have no effect at all.
These natural remedies can typically be used alongside other medications, such as Ultra Chloraseptic’s soothing throat spray range.
What is a good natural decongestant?
So, what are the most effective natural decongestants?
- Stay hydrated – One well established treatment is drinking lots of hydrating fluids, such as water. Making sure you are well hydrated helps to thin your mucus, meaning you may find it easier to unblock your nose.
- Inhale steam – Some people also find that inhaling steam helps them to clear mucus from their nose. Like drinking lots of water, it helps to loosen and thin mucus. One way to inhale steam is to bend over a bowl of hot water, covering your head with a towel. Another option is to take a long, hot shower or bath.
- Use a humidifier – A humidifier can have a similar effect to steam. By adding moisture to the air, these devices can help to break up mucus and ease the feeling of stuffiness. Running your humidifier in your bedroom overnight while you sleep could help you to wake up feeling less stuffy.
- Try a warm compress – Placing a warm compress over your nose and forehead may help to loosen nasal secretions. It can also provide pain relief if you have a headache caused by inflamed sinuses.
What foods are natural decongestants?
You might find that particular foods help to clear nasal congestion too. For example:
- Spicy foods – Hot foods like chilli peppers can cause your nose to run, which might help you clear your nasal passages.
- Turmeric – This ingredient is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, and may therefore help your sinuses and nasal passages to open up.
- Pineapple – This fruit contains bromelain enzymes, which is thought to help dissolve mucus.
- Water – As mentioned previously, drinking lots of water to stay hydrated can help to loosen mucus.
How to decongest a baby naturally
Congestion can be especially unpleasant for babies because, unlike adults, they aren’t able to blow their noses. It can also make it difficult for them to feed.
Because medical decongestants aren’t suitable for babies, it’s important to know about the natural options available. These include using saline nasal drops or sprays to loosen mucus, and sucking mucus out of the nose using a device called a nasal aspirator. You can also run a hot shower and sit with your baby in the bathroom to let them inhale the steam.