Whether due to allergies, a cold or flu virus, sinus infection, or a respiratory infection, congestion is an unpleasant experience that can be tricky to combat. Out of desperation and the need for relief, many people suffering from congestion often turn to over-the-counter medications to treat the symptoms. You should know that there are a range of home remedies for congestion that not only work better but tend to cost less overall. Congestion home remedies often can be found in the family home, but if a trip to the store is necessary, the cost of groceries needed to create a congestion home remedy are often less expensive than cough and cold medications. The following list of home remedies for congestion are natural, safe, effective, and often provide longer-lasting relief without negative side-effects.
Try the best home remedies for congestion that will offer you quick relief!
1. Honey, Lemon, Black Pepper and Cinnamon Syrup
A syrup concoction of honey, lemon, black pepper and cinnamon is extremely effective for congestion. All four ingredients are powerful natural healers.
Lemons contain a lot of vitamin C and flavonoids, both of which help fight infection. Terpene limonoids have anti-viral properties that help fight the cold, flu, and other viruses.
Black pepper is an anti-inflammatory, with expectorant and antibacterial properties. It is also loaded with vitamin-C, vitamin K, manganese, potassium, and iron.
Honey is a natural cough suppressant. Both honey and cinnamon have antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. While safe for adults and children over 12 months old, pediatricians do not recommend giving honey to children under the age of one.
- Pour 2 tbsp. of lemon juice (fresh-squeezed is best) into a small cup.
- Add 1 tbsp. of raw honey (local honey is recommended) to the lemon juice.
- Stir the lemon juice and honey until blended well.
- Blend in 1 tsp. of cinnamon to the lemon and honey mixture.
- Finally, stir in half a tsp. of black pepper.
- Drink the concoction as quickly as possible.
2. Steam Therapy
Inhaling steam is one of the most traditional home remedies for congestion and also for a stuffy nose. The steam can either be inhaled by taking a hot shower, sitting in the bathroom with the door closed while running a hot shower, boiling water in a pot on the stove to create steam, or through the use of a vaporizer. Use caution if boiling water over a stove and ensure the heat is turned off before inhaling the steam. Herbs and essential oils may also be added to the steam for added relief.
- Boil water in either a large pot or pan.
- Wait for the water to boil, then turn off the stove.
- Place a towel over your head and the pot or pan.
- Breathe the steam in for approximately 15 minutes
One or more of the following herbs can be added to the boiling water for added relief: peppermint, eucalyptus, rosemary, thyme, basil, lavender, garlic and oregano
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a very popular among home remedies for congestion. The reason apple cider vinegar is so popular for healing is that it contains anti-fungal and antibacterial properties, along with many potent vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B1 and B2, vitamin A, vitamin E, calcium and magnesium, which all help to treat infections. Apple cider vinegar also has a high pH level, which breaks up mucus. The acid in apple cider vinegar helps to stop bacteria from growing. This is also a great home remedy for cough in kids.
- Measure 1 tbsp. of apple cider vinegar.
- Dilute it in a glass of water.
- Drink the apple cider vinegar solution three times per day to clear up congestion.
Garlic also is an excellent congestion home remedy. The garlic cloves contain many nutrients and healing components, one of which is allicin, which is converted from alliinase when garlic is chopped or crushed. Studies have shown that allicin helps to prevent the common cold. It has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. In addition to allicin, garlic contains vitamin B1 and B5, vitamin C, manganese, iron, zinc, and calcium.
- Take one raw garlic clove.
- Crush and mince it.
- Swallow the paste without chewing.
- Repeat twice per day until symptoms disappear.
5. Oregano Oil
Oregano oil is a very potent natural antibacterial that has worked for many people, especially for sinus congestion. This oil contains phenols, which are thymol and carvacrol, extremely powerful agents for fighting infections. Carvacrol inhibits the growth of multiple bacterial strains. Thymol is an anti-fungal that helps prevent tissue damage and assists with healing. Oregano oil also contains many other antibacterial and antioxidant properties. This is one of the most powerful natural home remedies for congestion. You can make oregano oil at home, but the process takes a couple of weeks. It can also be purchased in tincture form or capsule.
- Dilute oregano oil with water, olive oil or coconut oil at a 50% ratio and place a few drops under the tongue.
- Keep it there for 5 minutes, then rinse with clean water.
- Do this 2-3 times per day.
6. Ginger tea
One of the best home remedies for congestion is ginger. Ginger is an ancient healer for many conditions, including sinus and respiratory infections. There are many chemical components in ginger, but the component most famous for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties is gingerol. There are various ways to use ginger, including as a tea, raw ginger, ginger powder or essential oil.
- Add 12 oz. of boiling water to 2 tbsp. of freshly grated ginger root.
- Let it sit for 10 minutes.
- Add 2 tsp. of honey and 1/4 tsp. of cayenne pepper.
- Add 1 tbsp. of lemon juice to the mixture.
- Sip until finished.
- Drink approximately 3-4 cups of these teas per day while symptoms persist.
7. Capsaicin (Peppers)
If you can bear the heat, capsaicin, found in chili peppers, can help to clear up congestion. Research suggests it can reduce mucus buildup, congestion, and coughing. Peppers such as jalapenos, habaneros, cayenne, and tabasco peppers all have capsaicin. The higher the capsaicin level, the more potent.
- Mix 1 tsp. of pepper powder to 1 tbsp. of lemon juice.
- Drink the mixture quickly.
- Allow the sinuses to drain, using a sink, or paper towels.
- Flush cold water after inhaling the cayenne pepper to help with the burning sensation.
- Repeat every evening for best results.
8.Vitamin C Immune Booster Smoothie
Often vitamin C is thought of as preventative, but vitamin C is also a very strong natural antihistamine and studies have shown that it can reduce congestion. Vitamin C is especially helpful for congestion due to allergens. The great thing about vitamin C is that it can be found in a variety of foods or easily taken as a supplement. You can take this remedy may once or twice per day as an immune system booster.
- Dice 1/2 cup fresh strawberries.
- Wash 1/2 cup spinach.
- Slice up 1/4 cup kiwi.
- Cut 1 large carrot into 1/4 inch chunks.
- Peel and cut 1/2 orange into segments.
- Add 1/2 cup almond milk and the juice of 1/2 lemon.
- Add all ingredients listed from top to bottom in the blender.
- Blend only a few of the produce at a time until you get a smooth paste.
- Serve the smoothie into large cups and enjoy!
9. Elderberry Syrup
Elderberry is another one of the sworn by home remedies for congestion that has been used for ages. Echinacea syrup can treat viral infections, bronchitis, flu, bacterial infections, and other respiratory infections. Elderberries contain flavanoids that contain antiviral, antibacterial, and even cancer-fighting properties that stimulate the immune system and fight off infections. Elderberries come dried form, and as a syrup. Most natural food shops carry elderberry syrup and it is highly effective specifically for treating respiratory and sinus problems.
- Use pre-made elderberry syrup.
- Follow the instructions on the bottle.
- Usually dosage is 1 tbsp. four times daily.
10. Echinacea Tea
Native to North America, Echinacea is a cone flower that has been used by Indian tribes for many years. Its roots, flowers, and leaves all serve medicinal purposes. The properties in Echinacea are very strong immune system boosters. Echinacea contains vitamin C, flavonoids, polysaccharides, and inulin. In addition to many other conditions, Echinacea is very popular for treating colds, the flu, respiratory, and sinus problems.
Echinacea tea is available in many health food stores, but you can also make your own.
- Bring 8 oz of water to a slow boil.
- Slowly add half a cup of dried echinacea flowers, roots or leaves.
- Cover and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- Strain the tea into a mug.
- Add honey or maple syrup (optional) and sip until finished.
Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric that has impressive antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties. It is especially helpful for sinus congestion.
- Cut up small chunks of turmeric.
- Keep a small piece of turmeric in the mouth throughout the day or night to relieve chronic cough.
There are many ways to alleviate congestion without relying on over-the-counter medications that not only get quite expensive but come with a variety of side-effects that can cause many problems. Natural remedies have existed for so many years and there is a reason they are still popular today: they work! In fact, many home remedies for congestion work better and provide longer-lasting relief.
Image Sources: No attribution required