5 Natural Ways to Ease your Stuffy Nose
Holistic Living

5 Natural Ways to Ease your Stuffy Nose


23 April 2015


Blocked up? Don’t despair, whilst there’s no instant cure, there are ways to make things a whole lot more comfortable and move that mucus along much more quickly.

1. The Koala’s Secret Weapon: Eucalyptus Oil

Now this one doesn’t mess about. Not only is it scientifically proven to actually kill the bacteria that got us in this mess in the first place, its an anti-inflammatory agent. Cineole is the active chemical if you like technicalities. [1]

Right, before we go koala crazy, undiluted eucalyptus oil can add a headache to your problems so we need to break it to our senses gently. These are your options:

  • Get Steamy: Place 2-5 drops in a bowl of steaming water, hide under a towel and breathe deeply. Ah that’s better isn’t it? Don’t burn your nose now and this is not recommended for your little ones – its dark under that towel
  • Rev up your humidifier: Load your humidifier up with 4 -5 drops and all that’s left for you to do is lie back and reap the rewards. The moisture will lubricate your nose, the aroma will break down the mucus and the morning will bring a whole new day. Perfect for kids too. [2]
  • Shower Power: Place 2-3 drops on your shower floor, close the door and do your stuff while the magic happens. Once it gets really steamy you can pretend you’re in a spa.
  • Get it ON your chest: Mix 5 – 10 drops into half a cup of olive or coconut oil and gently massage on chest. Its important to mix it, though remember those headaches
  • A Little HANKY Panky: Simply place 4-5 drops on your nicest hanky and keep it close. The edge of your pillow will work too. Mind your eyes, you need those.

2. Let Us Spray: Homemade Saline Nasal Solution

There’s no hocus pocus with these.  They simply thin the mucus, soothe the inflammation and help rinse out pollen or bacteria that might have got you into this mess in the first place. You can buy these, nicely sterilized complete with pump from your local pharmacy, which is best for kids as they are isotonic and the same saline concentration of human blood. Alternatively for yourself or other adults, you can make your own:

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Mix 1 teaspoon of no iodine sea salt in 2 cups of cooled, boiled, distilled or sterilized water. Using a bulb syringe, take aim. Go for the back of your head rather than the top. Then gently blow. (Note: Any nasal deformities or issues with your septum, check with your doc first). [3]

3. Go Menthol: A Hot Cup of Peppermint Tea

Peppermint contains mucus-thinning menthol.[4] Combine that with steam and a warm soothing liquid and you’re some way towards junking the gunk. You’ll feel more alert too. What’s not to love?

4. It's Just a Warm Up: Nasal hot packs

Simply soak a washcloth in warm water and place over your face for 10 -15 minutes and repeat several times a day.  Best to inform your friends first.  They may think you’re rather ineffectively hiding from them.

5. The Vampire Slayer: Garlic

As well as a flavorsome and fragrant ingredient to your favorite recipes, garlic is also a natural anti viral and immune system booster.[5][6] Allicin is the active compound that works the magic and gives this bountiful bulb its distinctive smell.[7] Peel your cloves, cut or crush and expose to the air for 5 – 10 minutes. That will fully activate that Allicin. Simply eat and feel better.

*It’s probably a good idea to follow with Peppermint tea if you do want to do some kissing however.

Happy Breathing!

  1. Salari, M. H.; Amine, G.; Shirazi, M. H.; Hafezi, R.; Mohammadypour, M. (2006). "Antibacterial effects of Eucalyptus globulus leaf extract on pathogenic bacteria isolated from specimens of patients with respiratory tract disorders". Clinical Microbiology and Infection 12 (2): 194–6. doi:10.1111/j.1469-0691.2005.01284.xPMID 16441463
  2. Sinclair, A. Remedies for common family ailments: 10. Nasal decongestants. Prof Care Mother Child. 1996;6(1):9-11.
  3. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/05/26/Nasal-Irrigation-Spring-Cleaning-for-Your-Nose.aspx
  4. Keifer, D.; Ulbricht, C.; Abrams, T.; Basch, E.; Giese, N.; Giles, M.; DeFranco Kirkwood, C.; Miranda, M.; Woods, J. (2007). "Peppermint (Mentha xpiperita): An evidence-based systematic review by the Natural Standard Research Collaboration". Journal of Herbal Pharmacotherapy7 (2): 91–143. doi:10.1080/j157v07n02_07.
  5.  Ilić, Dušica; Nikolić, Vesna; Ćirić, Ana; Soković, Marina; Stanojković, Tatjana; Kundaković, Tatjana; Stanković, Mihajlo; Nikolić, Ljubiša (9 January 2012). "Cytotoxicity and antimicrobial activity of allicin and its transformation products". Journal of Medicinal Plants Research6 (1): 59–65. doi:10.5897/JMPR11.917.
  6. Nahas, R.; Balla, A. (2011). "Complementary and alternative medicine for prevention and treatment of the common cold"Canadian family physician Medecin de famille canadien57 (1): 31–36. PMC3024156PMID21322286
  7. "Mechanism and kinetics of synthesis of allicin.". Pharmazie59 (1): 10–4. Jan 2004.PMID14964414.