Runny noses can be frustrating… because they get in the way of just about EVERYTHING. You can’t seem to 30 seconds without having to stop what you’re doing and grab a tissue.
Why Does This Happen?
A runny nose can be the result of a variety of different issues, such as a sinus infection, some sort of allergic reaction, the common cold, or something as seemingly benign as a significant drop in temperature. While it might be an annoyance at first, if you don’t take steps to treat the problem, it can quickly lead to even worse symptoms, including headaches and coughing.
You won’t have any problem finding an over-the-counter remedy for your nasal congestion, but some of those remedies could leave you drowsy. This, of course, makes it difficult to properly function during the day. But if you try these quick DIY solutions for a runny nose, you can once again have clear nasal passages without having to worry about falling asleep at your desk.
Of course, we always suggest seeking professional medical help if your runny nose lasts longer than expected, or if you’re having trouble dealing with the symptoms. Sometimes, a quick check up is your best bet.
Non-Drowsy Alternatives to Over-the-Counter Medicines
But while you’re waiting for that appointment… or if you want to try something a little different first, here are just a few home remedies that you can use to get relief:
1. Basil –
Chew three or four leaves on an empty stomach in the morning and before bedtime for a few days. You could also take about 10 leaves and mix them with five ground-up cloves in a cup of water. Bring the water to a boil, add a teaspoon of honey, and then drink the mixture after it cools down. Try this two times a day and see if that helps.
2. Onions –
You might think that the pungent aroma of an onion would worsen a runny nose instead of get rid of it, but the sulfur in onions may actually help dry out your nasal passages. It can be especially helpful if you have a sinus infection or a runny nose caused by a viral or bacterial infection. Additionally, onions contain quercetin – a flavonol which may help alleviate allergic rhinitis.1 Cut a couple of onions into thin slices and add them two to cups of boiling water. Let the liquid cool a bit, pour it into a cup and drink – make sure you inhale the vapors for faster relief.
3. Stinging nettle –
If you have sneezing, coughing, and a runny nose for no apparent reason, then you might have a condition known as non-allergic rhinitis. An herb known as stinging nettle could be just the thing to get rid of your issue. When we’re exposed to allergens such as pollen, that can lead to fluid flowing from your nasal passages – the offshoot of histamine, a substance we produce in reaction to that allergen. Stinging nettle can lower the amount of histamine and help stop that running nasal fluid.3 Add about a cup of nettle leaves to a cup of water and bring to a boil. Strain the liquid, let it cool somewhat and add some honey. Drink this a couple of times a day to help dry out your nose.
4. Salt water –
This is a fantastic home remedy, made even better by this simple fact – it’s easy, and you’ve already got the ingredients. Salt water makes it a lot easier for you to expel whatever irritants are causing your nose to run. It does so by making the mucus in your nose thinner. Simply take two cups of warm water and pour in a half a teaspoon of regular salt. Take a clean, sanitized eyedropper, fill it up with the liquid, tilt back your head and put in a few drops into each nasal passage. Breathe in slowly through your nose to help ensure that the salt water will reach deep into your nose, and then blow into a tissue to remove the mucus. Repeat three or four times, twice each day, and you should soon find relief.
5. Garlic –
Garlic has a strong aroma but it also has both antiseptic as well as antibacterial properties, which you can use to help clear your nose.4 Chop up four garlic cloves and pour them into a cup of hot water. Strain the liquid into a glass, add a bit of honey, and enjoy this “tea” two times each day. You could also get a small bit of garlic and chew it about four times each day to help dry your nose.
6. Honey –
While you might have to do a bit of searching to find stinging nettle, you can get honey at any store. Not only does it taste great, it can also help you find relief from a runny nose. Mix some honey (about a tablespoon) with four drops of lemon juice into a cup of warm water and drink two times a day. This mixture can also potentially help sooth a sore throat.
Reducing the Chances You’ll Develop a Runny Nose
While there’s no foolproof way to avoid nasal congestion, there are a few things that might help lower the chances you’ll wake up one morning with a stuffy, runny nose feeling miserable. A humidifier can moisten the air and help thin your mucus. Brothy soups can also help thin mucus and make it easier to drain from your nasal passages. And be sure you are drinking plenty of water, which will also prove helpful.
While a runny nose is usually not a cause for major concern, if it lasts for more than a week or two, you’ll need to see a doctor. This is especially the case if you also have a fever or if you notice any sort of green discharge. Those could be signs of a potentially serious medical problem.
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