Winter is the weather of stuffy noses. We’ve all gone through it. You’re bound to get one sooner or later this season, so you may as well understand what’s happening up there in your sinuses, and some clever home remedies to tackle it. Have you ever wondered why, when it’s really bad, you can’t even blow out the mucous properly? That’s because, if your sinuses get really irritated, the tissues and blood vessels themselves get inflamed and enlarged and that gives rise to the ‘clogged up’ feeling we all hate so much. Luckily for you, there are a number of ways you can deal with this problem.
The first and easiest thing you should do is take a hot shower. You probably know that this clears your sinuses, but here’s why: it’s all about the steam. The steam relieves the irritation on your nasal tissues and goes a long way in thinning your mucous, so that it drains more easily. Make sure your bathroom is airtight so that the hot, soothing steam stays in there for as long as possible. Sadly, though, this solution is only temporary.
This next tip is really quite interesting when you understand what’s happening. Nasal saline drops have been used since time immemorial. It’s essentially hot water with a pinch of salt. Why is this so effective? Recall that the inflammation of your nasal tissues is due to all the mucus irritating it. Now, when you use nasal drops, the salty water draws out the watery mucus through the process of osmosis. The saline solution is ‘hypertonic’ and the mucous in your nose is ‘hypotonic’, so the water is drawn out from the tissues and leaves your sinuses free and less inflamed. It’s magical. The drops can also help flush out allergens and irritants that are clogged up in your sinuses so as to help hit the inflammation from another angle. Be careful not to give this nasal saline solution to kids younger than five years of age. Don’t forget to warm it up before using it and use a sterilized dropper or spray canister. It may burn the first few times, which is why some people toss in a bit of baking soda to alleviate that side effect.
Don’t forget to stay hydrated. This is so important, because your body loses fluids quickly when you have a cold. Hot soups or drinks will also help with the sore throat that often accompanies stuffy noses. Best part is, the fluids will help thin out the mucous, allowing it to drain easier.
Ginger, honey, and lemon are all great for knocking out a stuffy nose. Perhaps one of the best things you can do is make a spicy nasal decongestant concoction from home ingredients. Just mix in honey, ginger, lemon, apple cider vinegar, a pinch of pepper and some oregano oil. You’ll probably have noticed that spice is one of the best items you can use to eliminate a clogged nose. It just drains everything right out. Opt for spice soups and hot drinks. You can even mix some of the above ingredients into your soup.
Last but not least, try using Vicks or a humidifier, most people have them lying around at home, and both go a long way in clearing out the congestion.
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