If it’s you, you child, your friend, your significant other, runny noses are annoying! A runny nose can be the result of many different things, sickness, allergies or irritants; and can drip down your face (lovely I know) or down the back of your throat. The cause of your runny nose can determine the best option for relief, so first, try to figure out why your nose is running so you can try the best remedy. Then read on to learn how to stop a runny nose naturally.
If you have allergies, either seasonal or environmental (dogs or dust) allergy medicine will probably cut the running down. Think antihistamine like Claritin or nasal spray like Flonase. Medicine specifically for allergies will block or reduce production of histamines which is a fancy way of saying it will reduce your body’s instinct to kill the allergen present. The side effects of your body attacking the things you are allergic to are your runny nose, itchy eyes and so on. Cut that attack down, cut the annoying side effects down.
Tips on how to get rid of a runny nose naturally
Medicine isn’t for everyone or every situation so there are many alternatives to relieve a runny nose. An easy, cheap and effective remedy is steam. It will break up the congestion in your nose that is causing your nose to run. There are a few ways that you utilize steam.
The easiest way is to use your shower. Close the door to the bathroom, turn your shower on all the way hot and wait for your bathroom to become a steam sauna. Try to breathe deeply and calmly. Sitting in the steam for about 10-15 minutes will relieve a clogged and dripping nose as well as calm a cough if you are suffering from that as well.
You can also use a bowl of boiling water to make a mini steam sauna just for your face. Bring water to a strong boil, remove it from the heat and sit with your face about 6 inches above the water. Drape a towel over your head so the steam stays around your face and breathe deeply.
Bonus tip! Add a few drops of essential oil to boiled water for additional benefits. Using a mint oil, like spearmint or peppermint, will help with additional clearing of congestion. Eucalyptus and lavender can be used as well, these oils will relax you and could be a great addition to a steam before bed.
Flush it out
Flush your nose. Saline sprays from the drugstore are a great quick fix for a runny nose. There is no medicine in a saline spray so it can be used as much as needed, it is only a saltwater mixture. The salt in the spray will break apart and dry up the congestion so you can breathe better. If you don’t want to buy a saline spray you can mix your own salt water mix in a Neti pot or use a small dropper for application. Mix a cup of warm water with ½ teaspoon of salt for your own homemade saline solution.
Vick’s. There’s a reason Vick’s has been around for so long and so many people use it. A couple dabs of the menthol rub below your nostrils will clear them up pretty instantaneously. If you don’t want to use the rub, they make little Vick’s tubes. It looks like a chap stick that you put in your nostril and then inhale. Same effects as the menthol rub under your nose, instantaneous clearing. The effects of the stick do not last as long as the rub, or a saline spray but affords some fast relief.
Blow your nose!
This one seems silly, but is obviously very effective. Before you start blowing though, press a warm washcloth against your nose and sinuses. This will have a similar effect to steaming yourself. It will open up your nasal passages a little more letting more mucus build up out.
Pro Tip! If you’re blowing your nose a lot, dap a little bit of Vaseline around your nostrils so they don’t get too chapped and irritated from excessive use of tissues.
It is actually extraordinary how many ailments are fixed when you are hydrated enough! Most of the general population lives at a dehydrated level, it’s why we get headaches all the time, have worse acne, muscles that hurt, the list goes on and on. Think about it, when you are dehydrated even your saliva is thicker than normal, so imagine how much thicker your mucus is when you are not properly hydrated! If it’s thinner it might cause less irritation in your nasal cavity and be easier to expel.
Be careful of what you eat.
While suffering from a runny nose there are foods that can actually aggravate it more. This is seen even more in children than adults, but the same principles apply. Try to avoid dairy, eggs, shellfish, nuts and gluten. These are extremely common allergens to begin with and even if you are not lactose intolerant or allergic to peanuts, they can still irritate your immune system if is already slightly weakened. On the other side of the spectrum you might want to try some spicy foods. Like the vapor rub, spices can temporarily relieve a runny nose. Indian food is a great option because it most often contains turmeric, a great decongestant.
It is important to remember that these are things to simply relieve the annoyance of a runny nose. If you have a runny nose due to a common cold or the flu, unfortunately you can’t get rid of it, it’s something you will have to ride out, but these should give a little relief. Also, if you have a persistent runny nose that you can get no relief from that is not due to allergies, it might be a good idea to see a doctor, just in case it is something more serious like a sinus infection or other affliction that needs medical attention.