Is runny nose annoying you?
Besides constantly dripping with mucus, is it also makes your breathing difficult?
Has your skin turned red and is breaking due to constant rubbing?
In scientific terms, a runny nose is when there is excess drainage produced by nasal and adjacent tissues and the blood vessels in the nose. This may be in the form of a clear fluid and may also be in the form of thick mucus. In other words, a runny nose may also be known as “rhinorrhea” and “rhinitis”. When you have rhinorrhea, your nose will discharge a thin, relatively clear nasal fluid. When you have Rhinitis, there will be an inflammation of the nasal tissues, which ultimately will lead to a runny nose. There may or may not be nasal congestion and it differs from person to person.
So how do you get rid of the runny nose?
Are there home remedies that really work?
In this article we will talk all about a runny nose – the causes and the best remedies to stop your nose from running.
When you get a runny nose, it may be due to a number of reasons that actually irritate the nasal tissues.
Here are some of the most common causes that may lead to a constantly watering nose:
- Allergies: You may suddenly find yourself with a runny nose when you are close to your allergies. Some people get it due to the dust, some due to pollen in the air and anything else too. Depends on the allergies from person to person.
- Drug Addiction: If you are dependent on a certain kind of drug and you are not getting the dosage you want, as a withdrawal symptom your nose might start leaking
- Common Cold: Any cold or flu is usually associated with a runny nose
- Nasal polyps: Though quite rare, if you have nasal polyps, it will automatically make your nose run. The only way you can get rid of this is to remove the polyp
- Asthma: People who are afflicted with asthma may see that a running nose is again a very common symptom
- Tobacco smoke: A lot of people who are not able to tolerate tobacco smoke and their nasal tissues are affected which in turn causes their nose to leak
- Deviated Septum: A deviated septum might prevent you from breathing properly or it might even lead to a running nose. The only way to get rid of it is to have it operated
How do you recognize a runny nose? Besides the most common symptom of your nose leaking, here are a few more ways to spot a leaky nose:
- Stuffy nose
- An itchy nose
- Very frequent headaches
- Flu-like symptoms
- Watery eyes
- Eczema-like symptoms- your skin might break out constantly
Once you see these symptoms, it is important that you find out a remedy that will treat it or at least alleviate these symptoms.
The section below gives you all the remedies that you can do at home and also cure your runny nose.
How to Stop Runny Nose
Here are some very effective remedies to get rid of your runny nose:
1. Salt Water
Things you need: ½ teaspoon of baking soda, ½ teaspoon of salt and distilled water. If you are using tap water, first boil it and then let it cool before using
- Mix the baking soda and salt in the water and gently snuff this water through your nose.
- It is okay to swallow some of the water since it is harmless.
- Let the water flow down through your throat and then spit it out
How it works: The saline water solution can help clear out the mucus and stuffiness from the nose
How frequent to use: Up to twice a day
Things you need: Take a bowl full of warm/hot water and a towel big enough to cover your head
- Sit with the towel above your head and inhale the steam from this.
- Do this for at least ten minutes and then blow your nose
How it works: The steaming helps to clear out the congestion and makes breathing easier
How frequent to use: 3-4 times a day
3. Mustard Oil
Things you need: Some mustard oil, heated
Directions: Use the warm mustard oil and drop a little bit of it in both your nostrils
How it works: The mustard oil has anti-histamine and anti-inflammatory properties that can help to clear a runny nose
How frequent to use: A few drops before sleeping can make quite a difference to the nose and you will feel much better
Things you need: Take a cup of milk and mix some turmeric in it
Directions: Drink a cup of milk with turmeric mixed in it.
How it works: turmeric has highly anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties that provides quick relief from a runny nose.
How frequent to use: Drink this glass of milk every night before sleeping
5. Sour fruits
Things you need: Lime, orange, pineapple or any other juice from sour fruits
Directions: Drink some sour fruit juice from the above listed fruits for quick relief
How it works: Sour fruits have a high concentration of Vitamin C that helps to cure a runny nose
How frequent to use: Drink the juice at least once a day for relief
Things you need: Raw ginger, ground clove, salt
- Grind one teaspoon of raw ginger and mix it with clove and salt.
- Have one teaspoon of this for instant relief
How it works: Ginger has anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties that make it very easy to cure a runny nose
How frequent to use: once a day till your runny nose subsides
Things you need: Garlic pods
- Mix garlic into almost all the dishes that your cook- soups, veggies etc.
- You can also boil a few cloves of garlic and drink this water when it’s cooled down.
- If you find the taste a little too strong, you can mix a sweetener and have it
How it works: Garlic is an anti-septic and has a great effect on flu-like symptoms that cause a runny nose
How frequent to use: Once every morning should give you good relief
Things you need: Water and some onion slices
- Chop the onion into thin slices and boil this in the water.
- Inhale the steam from this water for a couple of minutes to help ease out the mucus in your nose
How it works: Onion is very rich in sulfur that helps to clear out a blocked and stuffy nose
How frequent to use: You can use this once a day, especially before sleeping to get relief from a runny nose
Things you need: One teaspoon of grated horseradish
- Put the horseradish in your mouth and hold it till you feel the flavor.
- After that, swallow the horseradish.
How it works: Horseradish has mucolytic properties that help to clear out the nasal passage and make your runny nose a little better
How frequent to use: Horseradish is quite strong, so have a pinch of it once a day to clear out your nasal passage
10. Eucalyptus Oil
Things you need: Mix one drop of Eucalyptus oil in a warm bath of water
- After you have mixed the eucalyptus oil in the warm water, inhale this water and take the steam in for at least 10 minutes.
- Now blow your nose
How it works: Eucalyptus oil is a very powerful decongestant and helps in clearing out a blocked and runny nose
How frequent to use: Using it once before sleeping can do wonders for a stuffy nose
Things you need: Honey (1tsp), lemon juice (1tsp)
- Mix the honey with lemon juice in a warm glass of water and have it every day in the morning
How it works: Honey is a good antibacterial agent and helps to get rid of a stuffy nose
How frequent to use: the potion is mild enough to have 2-3 times in a day. So keep having it unless you feel a little better
Things you need: Dried sage leaves, 1 teaspoon of honey and water
- Boil the sage leaves in water and then let this solution cool.
- Mix a little bit of honey in this and drink the potion once it has cooled down
How it works: The honey and sage mix is a very good decongestant and can help clear a blocked nose
How frequent to use: If you are okay with drinking this potion, you could repeat twice or thrice in a day for maximum effect
Things you need: Basil leaves, honey and water (based on preference)
- Make a paste of the basil leaves and extract the juice from this.
- Mix it with one teaspoon of honey and have it or you can mix it with some water to dilute the juice and have it
How it works: Antibacterial and antifungal, basil leaves can quickly help get rid of a runny nose
How frequent to use: Drink the juice once every morning on empty stomach for best results
14. Cayenne Pepper
Things you need: Cayenne pepper powder mixed with water
- Mix cayenne pepper with water and strain the water so that there is no residue.
- Drink this water mixed with honey for best results
How it works: Cayenne pepper works as a decongestant and removes the stuffiness from the nose
How frequent to use: Cayenne pepper is a very strong agent and if you are not comfortable with the fiery taste, you can have it once a week
15. Nettle leaves
Things you need: Fresh nettle leaves, water and honey
- Add the nettle leaves to water and boil this.
- Mix some honey in this mixture and drink this.
How it works: Nettle leaves are a very powerful anti-histamine and can easily cure a blocked nose that may be caused due to an allergy
How frequent to use: You should have it two to three times daily
Things you need: Astragalus roots, water
- Heat astragalus roots in the water and boil it.
- Strain this mixture and drink the water after cooling it
How it works: Herbal teas like this have very strong antioxidant properties and helps remove the blocked nose
How frequent to use: 2-3 times in a day should be a good enough to help you recover
Things you need: Thyme (dried), ginger, warm water
- Mix thyme and ginger in water and boil this.
- Once cool, strain and have the water as tea
How it works: Kind of an herbal tea again, it acts as a decongestant and an antiseptic and provides quick relief to a blocked nose and flu-like symptoms
How frequent to use: You can have this concoction at least twice every day for best results
18. Caraway Seeds
Things you need: Caraway seeds
- Just take a few caraway seeds and inhale this for some time.
- This will help calm down a runny nose
How it works: Caraway seeds have a mild and cooling effect that can help with a runny nose
How frequent to use: Whenever you feel like you are getting a runny nose, simply smell the seeds for a calming effects
19. Saline nasal spray
Things you need: A saline solution that can be bought from any pharmacy
- Pour in the saline solution and let it flow through your throat, it is okay to swallow some of the saline water as it will not harm you in any way
How it works: Saline water has a goof effect on blocked nose and mucus and helps clear out a runny nose
How frequent to use: As many times as you want – it’s harmless and gives relief for a couple of hours
20. Warm compress
Things you need: A warm compress that you can make at home, or you can buy an electric one from the store
- Use the warm compress over your head or on your nose and forehead to clear out sinus and congestion.
How it works: The warm compress acts as a decongestant and clears out the mucus, which in turn helps to get rid of your blocked nose
How frequent to use: You can use the warm compress several times in a day for quick relief
Things you need: Just your two fingers!
- There are several points on your face that are very good pressure points and can help ease the congestion that may be caused due to sinus or a blocked nose.
- These are the areas like the ear lobes and your forehead (especially near the eyebrows)
How it works: These pressure points stimulate the acupressure points and help to get rid of the blocked or runny nose. It is important to apply a steady and firm pressure and keep that pressure on for at least 10 seconds for relief
How frequent to use: It’s an easy process and you can do this several times in a day for relief
22. Blow your nose
Things you need: Just a handkerchief
- Blow your nose to take out the mucus and try and not pressure yourself too much
How it works: Blowing your nose will help clear out the nasal passage and also any other residue that may be blocking the nose
How frequent to use: You can blow your nose as many times as you are comfortable. But be gentle with the process as blowing your nose too many times may make your nose skin very sensitive and your skin might even break out
Foods to avoid:
A runny nose sometimes may even be caused due to allergies of certain kind of food. It is hence best to avoid the food that may lead to a stuffy and blocked nose.
Here are some common foods that you should be staying away from if you want to avoid a runny nose:
- Avoid food that have a lot of added sugars- these are just empty calories and do not provide any benefit. This is true for fruit juices. Have juices that are good sources of vitamin C but avoid the processed and store-bought ones as they have a lot of refined sugar
- Fatty meats are hard to digest and not good for a runny nose. If you want to get rid of the runny nose, stick to hot soups with a generous dose of ginger and garlic as both help to cure a stuffy nose
- Avoid alcohol as it suppresses the immune system and prevents the ability of the body to fight an infection. It also dehydrates the body.
- If you are allergic to dairy products, it is best to avoid them during the time you are suffering from a cold. Instead stick to other sources of protein like soy milk. Milk products sometimes also increase the mucus production which aggravates a runny nose
Prevention and precautions
Instead of going through the whole process of curing a runny nose, why not avoid it from the very first instance?
Take a look at some precautions to prevent a runny nose:
- If you are prone to getting a cold, make sure you cover yourself well during the cold weather. Whenever you are going outside, cover yourself with a warm clothes like caps, mufflers and mittens
- When you are indoors, make sure you have a humidifier running. Warm and dry air might trigger a sinus attack which in turn may lead to a runny nose
- Medicated sprays are quite effective when it comes to helping with a runny nose. You should try and use it sparingly because you might get addicted to it. Dependency on a nasal spray is not good and you should instead focus on other natural preventive methods
- Always include ginger and garlic in your food because they have antiseptic and antiviral properties that prevent you from getting a cold easily. Incorporate them in as many foods as possible for the best prevention
- Use saline solutions to clear out your nasal passage at regular intervals. This will prevent you from getting a runny nose frequently
When to See a Doctor?
A runny nose is a common occurrence and you can easily get rid of it within a few days’ time.
But when should you think of getting a doctor and when should you be aware of the warning signs?
Here are some common warning signs and when you should actually be visiting a medical professional:
- If your runny nose symptoms have been there for more than ten days
- In addition to your runny nose, you are also running a very high fever
- You have had a constant nasal discharge after a head injury
- Your discharge has a particular colour to it. This is a sign of a bacterial infection you should get it checked as soon as possible
So here is all we know about a runny nose, how to prevent it and what the best remedies are that will help you get rid of it. It is a very common problem and a cold or a flu or some allergy might trigger it. The remedies are natural and instead of reaching out to the nearest over the counter medicine, you should try solving it with warm water or ginger or garlic.
The important thing is to be aware of why you are suffering from a runny nose and target a specific cure for it. Always look out for the warning signs and if you feel you need to see the doctor, make sure you go at the earliest time.