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Proven natural remedies for relieving a stuffy nose (nasal congestion)


diseases conditions and symptoms

Stuffy nose and clogged sinuses are definitely an unpleasant health problem. Many people believe that the stuffy nose is the result of retaining too much mucus in the nasal passages. However, a clogged nose is usually the result of inflamed blood vessels in the sinuses. A cold, flu, allergies or sinus infection can inflame these blood vessels. Besides drugs, there are also some natural remedies that can help with nasal congestion and relieve blockage.

Natural remedies for relieving a stuffy nose

Add moisture to the air

Using a humidifier or diffuser with essential oils in your home or office is a simple and effective way to reduce nasal congestion. Inhalation of moist air helps to soothe irritated nasal tissues, reduces inflammation of the sinuses and dilutes accumulated mucus. Conversely - dry air hinders the self-cleaning of the nostrils and contributes to the retention of potential irritants and allergens.

Some electrical devices such as humidifiers for warm and cool fog, are equally effective for increasing the level of humidity and relieving nasal congestion. We recommend using only appliances from certified manufacturers, with a warranty and clear instructions for use and origin. Whatever type of appliance you choose, be sure to change the water daily and clean the appliance according to the manufacturer's instructions to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold.

Try nasal irrigation

Rinsing nasal passages using a device such as Neti pot can help release accumulated mucus and eliminate irritants, allergens and microbes. Although it may seem like an unpleasant procedure, it can bring great relief when properly done. Neti pot is safe to use with sterile or distilled water. Never use tap water unless you have boiled and cooled it.

If you do not want to undergo such a procedure, nasal spray with saline and injection into the nose can also help soothe dry nasal passages. There are also herbal nasal unclogging sprays, which usually include eucalyptus, propolis, lavender (Lavandula spica L.), geranium (Geranium L.), mint ((Mentha)) and others.

Take a hot shower

Have you ever noticed that when you have caught a cold, a hot shower can help relieve a stuffy nose? The reason is that inhaling steam reduces pain in the sinuses and pressure, helping the outflow of mucus. Inhaling steam over a pot of boiling water is also another option, but be careful not to get too close to the water.

Apply a warm compress

If you have headaches or pain in the sinuses as a result of nasal congestion, try to relieve the condition with a warm compress directly on the nose and forehead. This can help relieve nasal inflammation and pressure and relieve discomfort.

Use of decongestants

Decongestants cause narrowing of small blood vessels in the nose. This reduces swelling in the mucus membrane of the nose and reduces the feeling of blockage. Natural remedies that can support these processes are vitamin C, ginger, eucalyptus and others.

Increase fluid intake

This rule applies to almost every condition which could make us sick. Although it will not provide immediate relief, drinking plenty of soft fluids and maintaining good hydration will help dilute mucus in the nasal passages, making it easier to leak through the sinuses. This also means more recent blockage relief. It does not matter whether they are hot or cold drinks, it is important that the amount is more than the minimum according to age, gender and weight.

Relieve nasal congestion with herbs and other plants

Nettle (Urtica dioica)

This plant is well known to those who are unhappy enough to have touched its leaves. As a famous antioxidant, with antimicrobial and analgesic action, nettle can reduce inflammation associated with allergies without causing any side effects that come with the use of pharmaceuticals. [ [ref. 1] 

Handrails (Perilla frutescens)

This not so famous herb is a member of the mint family and can help you in the battle against the symptoms of allergic rhinitis. Many studies have shown that handrails are useful for the treatment of nasal congestion, sinusitis, allergic asthma and eye irritation.  [ref. 1] 

Sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides)

This plant grows like a shrub or a small tree, it is easily recognizable on its prickly gray twigs and bright orange ovoid fruits. Sea buckthorn contains more than 190 nutrients and phytonutrients! It is ideal for people who suffer from allergic rhinitis, as well as asthma, chronic cough and other respiratory disorders. It is known to contain large amounts of superoxide dismutase (SOD), an enzyme that plays a critical role in maintaining respiratory health.  [ref. 3] 

Ginger (Zingiber officinale)

Ginger is a safe and highly effective herb that you can try as a tea to relieve nasal congestion and headaches. As you sip your tea, inhale the steam coming out of the glass. You can also combine it with other herbs, such as turmeric (Curcuma alismatifolia), which is another powerful natural healer.
  1. Natural remedies for relieving a stuffy nose
    • Add moisture to the air
    • Try nasal irrigation
    • Take a hot shower
    • Apply a warm compress
    • Use of decongestants
    • Increase fluid intake

  2. Relieve nasal congestion with herbs and other plants
    • Nettle (Urtica dioica)
    • Handrails (Perilla frutescens)
    • Sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides)
    • Ginger (Zingiber officinale)


Herbs are also a remedies (albeit of natural origin) and you should treat them as such. Watch out for the correct dosage as well as contraindications, and consult your GP or allergist before taking them for nasal congestion or any other health problem.


  1. Urtica dioica
  2. Perilla frutescens
  3. Hippophae rhamnoides

The author

Bettina Tsvetkova is a Bachelor of Marketing and Master of Entrepreneurship, a fan of healthy eating, power sports and cycling. Author of over 1500 scientifically based articles, product texts and promotional materials on a healthy topic for Bulgarian and foreign websites.


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