Stuffy nose can accompany a variety of different ailments from allergies to the common cold to sinusitis. It’s generally not serious, though if it persists long term you may want to see a doctor. It is incredibly irritating though, and I know when my runny nose gets going, all I want to do is end it. How can we do it?
1. Hot soup.
People often swear by chicken soup specifically, but if you eat an exclusively plant-based diet, a nice, vegetable-dense veggie soup will do the trick. Soup helps moisturize the airways and thin phlegm, making it easier to expel. It also soothes sore throats. Having soup two or three times a day while stuffed up can help immensely.
This one surprised me a bit! Turmeric has powerful antibacterial and antiviral properties and helps get rid of phlegm by killing the bacteria that causes excessive mucus. It also helps threaten the immune system. Try these turmeric remedies:
- Add teaspoon of turmeric to a glass of warm dairy/non-dairy milk. Drink it in the morning and eening.
- Take a half-teaspoon of turmeric with a glass of water three times daily.
- Add a teaspoon of turmeric and a teaspoon of salt to a glass of hot water and gargle with it every other hour or so.
Ginger is a decongestant and has been used as a home remedy to fight respiratory infections for thousands of years. It also helps ease an upset stomach if you’re feeling a little bit queasy. One way to take it is to add a tablespoon of ginger slices to one cup of boiled water. Steep it for a few minutes then add a teaspoon of honey. You can drink this as much as you want. You can also just chew raw ginger slices or add ginger to your food.
4. Lemon juice.
Lemon juice is one of my all time favorite ingredients. It helps your body digest food more effectively, it’s great for boosting your immune system and it’s loaded with disease-fighting antioxidants. Lemon juice helps fight off infection, which is where its mucous-containing powers come into play. What you definitely don’t want to do is buy lemon juice from concentrate. Buy a fresh, organic lemon and juice it by squeezing it. You can add it to a glass of cold water or in your tea. Another option is to simply suck on a slice of lemon. Add a little bit of salt and pepper to soothe a sore throat and clear your sinuses.
5. Salt water.
Warm salt water treats phlegm by destroying the bacteria that may be causing it. It also helps soothe sore throat. Simply add a quarter teaspoon of salt to a glass of warm water and gargle periodically throughout the day.
6. Plain old steam.
Steam inhalation helps clear your sinuses by making your phlegm runnier and easier to eliminate from your body. A couple times a day, take a hot shower. Use water as hot as you can stand it. Make it nice and steamy. Additionally, you can pour boiling water into a bowl and hold a towel over your head over the bowl. Breathe in deeply through your nose for 5 to 10 minutes. This helps loosen up the mucous.
With any luck, this’ll help you beat the phlegm!