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10 Ways To Clear Stuffy Nose With Home Remedies

By Riddhi Parmar +2 more

A stuffy nose can be so annoying. Sometimes your nose will get blocked, and sometimes it drips. You neither inhale nor exhale. You may also feel that your nose is pack with a lot of mucus. But when you blow your nose, nothing comes out. So, how to get rid of a stuffy nose?

stuffy nose home remedies

The nose has a vast network of blood vessels with valves that open and close. Whenever you catch an infection, your nasal nerves get stimulated, causing valves to open, which results in more blood entering the nose. It causes swelling in your nasal passages that make your nose stuffy.

Causes of Stuffy Nose

There are various causes of the stuffy nose that includes:

  • Bacterial, viral and fungal infection
  • Common cold
  • Sinusitis
  • Allergic
  • Asthma
  • Deviated nasal symptoms
  • Nasal polyp 

There is a various line of treatments according to the underlying cause. Whenever you feel nasal congestion or other stuffy nose symptoms, like sneezing, fever, and postnasal drip, remain for more than ten days, you need to seek medical attention. However, a stuffy nose can be treated easily with plenty of home remedies in an earlier phase. Home remedies and palliative measures can work effectively to calm the irritated nasal passage.

Saline solutions, steam and decongestants are very helpful in addressing concerns about nasal congestion. Steroids may again be used but with utmost caution and for the shortest possible time since their use beyond a continuous period of 3 days or so may worsen the congestion and damage the nasal mucosa.

Dr Ashish Bajaj – M.B.B.S, M.D. in Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology

Did You Know?

Home remedies for stuffy nose 

1: Steam inhalation

Image Source: freepik.com

Steam inhalation is one of the effective home remedies for congestion. It is the oldest method to get relief from this irritating nasal congestion. Previously we used to take steam by pouring hot water in a bowl and placing our towel on our heads to inhale the steam. But today, different steamers are available for steam inhalation. It is also used for beauty purposes like facial to make your face glow. You add antiseptic herb in steamer such as peppermint seeds and take steam 2-3 times per day.

2: Warm compress 

Image Source: freepik.com

A warm compress can help unclog a stuffy nose by reducing inflammation and opening the nasal cavity. You can apply hot pressure from the outside of your nose that will help you tremendously. It may help relieve the inflammation in your nostrils and sinuses and make it easier to breathe.

3: Ginger

Image Source: freepik.com

Ginger is high in anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants that may help reduce the stuffy nose. It is super effective against the clogged nose. You can use ginger as a compressor. 

For the compressor, you can boil 2 cups of water with ginger pieces in it. Soak a fresh washcloth in the brew and place it on your face gently for 15 minutes. You can also make a ginger tea and drink this tea thrice daily for instant relief from a stuffy nose.

4: Honey 

Image Source: freepik.com

Honey is versatile and beneficial for various health conditions, making it valuable for stuffy nose treatment. It is a rich source of powerful nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. It also has an antibacterial property that helps fight against various bacterial infections. Honey can calm the nasal passage, irritated throat and clear the excess accumulation of mucus. 

Two tablespoons of honey with a cup of lukewarm water can clear your clogged nasal passage. You can also add honey in milk or tea to relieve your symptom. 

5: Garlic

Image Source: freepik.com

Garlic is the best source of antioxidants that stimulate your immune system by multiplying white blood cells. It helps in the production of antibodies that may fight against your respiratory complaints. 

You can add some garlic cloves or crushed garlic in hot soup at least twice a day.

6: Grapefruit extract 

Image Source: freepik.com

Grapefruit are a rich source of vitamin C and antioxidants that help to boost your immunity. It contains a powerful antioxidant named Quercetin that works as an anti-allergic agent. 

For best result, add few drops of grapefruit extract in warm water and inhale it. The steam of this extract may clear your blacked passage instantly. 

7: Onion 

Image Source: freepik.com

Onion is rich in various health benefits due to the presence of vitamins and antioxidants in it. It has a strong smell that smelling onion for 5 minutes can clear your stuffy nose. 

8: Spices

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Out of other spices, black pepper works wonderfully in a stuffy nose. You can make a drink of a tablespoon of black paper and a tablespoon of honey. Mix these ingredients and add them to water and boil the water. Drinking this mixture can provide immense relief from a stuffy nose.

9: Apple cider vinegar 

Image Source: freepik.com

All essential nutrients are present in apple cider vinegar are necessary to get relief from a stuffy nose. It also has antibacterial and antifungal properties.  

Mix 2 teaspoons of Cider vinegar with warm water and consume it at least 3 times a day. You can also add a tablespoon of honey to this drink.

10: Stay hydrated 

Image Source: freepik.com

Drinking a lot of water in various forms such as juice and soup can be beneficial to reduce your blacked nose. They help thin the mucus in your nasal passages, pushing the fluids out of your nose and decreasing the pressure in your sinuses. 

A neti pot works at its most basic level. It thins mucus and helps flush it out of the nasal passages. Research backs up these claims, showing that nasal irrigation can be an effective way to relieve sinus symptoms when used along with standard treatments.

Dr. M.G. Kartheeka – MBBS, MD(Pediatrics)

Also Read: Debunking Myths: Does Your Heart Really Stop When You Sneeze?

How to stop a runny nose in 5 minutes

Searching for quick ways on how to unclog your nose instantly at home within few minutes? Fortunately, below are few effective techniques that can help you unstuff your nose instantly:

  • Drink Warm Water: Sip on a glass of warm water slowly. This can help soothe the irritation in your nasal passages and reduce the runny nose.
  • Nasal Irrigation: Using a saline nasal spray or a neti pot, rinse your nasal passages with a saline solution. This can help clear mucus and irritants, providing quick relief.
  • Acupressure: Gently press your fingers on the sides of your nose near the nostrils, and hold for a minute. This may help reduce nasal congestion.
  • Peppermint Oil: Applying a small amount of diluted peppermint essential oil on the sides of your nose can provide a cooling sensation and help stop a runny nose.
  • Spicy Foods: Eating spicy foods like hot peppers or horseradish can temporarily clear nasal passages and reduce congestion due to the capsaicin content. Enjoy a small amount of spicy food for quick relief.

Remember, these methods can provide temporary relief, but if your runny nose persists or is accompanied by other severe symptoms, it’s advisable to consult a healthcare professional. Additionally, staying hydrated and getting adequate rest can also contribute to a quicker recovery.

Stuffy Nose in Babies and Kids

A stuffy nose in babies and young children is a common occurrence, and it can be distressing for both the child and the parents. Let’s explore the potential causes, effective remedies, and relief strategies for dealing with a stuffy nose in infants and kids.

Causes of Stuffy Nose in Babies and Kids:

  • Common Cold: One of the primary reasons for stuffy nose in babies and children is the common cold. Cold viruses can cause inflammation and increased mucus production in the nasal passages.
  • Allergies: Allergens such as pollen, dust mites, or pet dander can trigger allergic reactions in children, leading to a stuffy nose in kids.
  • Dry Air: Dry air, especially during the winter months when indoor heating is in use, can dry out the nasal passages, making it difficult for children with stuffy noses to breathe comfortably.
  • Environmental Irritants: Exposure to environmental irritants like cigarette smoke or strong odors can irritate the nasal passages and cause congestion in kids.

Home Remedies and Relief:

  • Saline Nasal Drops: Saline nasal drops or sprays are safe for babies with stuffy noses and young children. They can help loosen mucus and provide relief. Gently suction the nose after applying saline drops.
  • Humidifier: Using a humidifier in the child’s room can add moisture to the air, preventing nasal dryness and offering relief for stuffy noses in kids. Ensure the humidifier is clean and well-maintained.
  • Elevating the Head: For stuffy noses in babies, elevating the head of the crib slightly can help mucus drain more effectively. For older children with congestion, extra pillows can have a similar effect.
  • Steamy Bathroom: Create a steamy environment by running a hot shower and sitting in the bathroom with the child for a few minutes. The steam can help loosen mucus and alleviate stuffiness in kids.
  • Hydration: Ensure your child with a stuffy nose stays well-hydrated. This helps keep mucus thinner and easier to clear.
  • Nasal Aspirator: Use a bulb syringe or nasal aspirator to gently remove mucus from a baby’s nose with congestion. Be cautious not to insert it too deeply.
  • Allergy Management: If allergies are the cause of stuffy noses in kids, identify and minimize exposure to allergens. Consult a pediatrician for allergy testing if necessary.

While a stuffy nose in babies and kids is often a minor and temporary issue, consult a healthcare professional if symptoms persist or worsen. They can provide guidance and rule out any underlying concerns, ensuring your child breathes easy once again.

When to Get Help

Hopefully, these home remedies for a stuffy nose can help you get some much-needed relief. However, in some cases, you may not experience any progress or recovery. Here are some things to keep in mind that may need medical attention:

  • If your nose does not clear up for more than 5 days it may be a sign of something more serious
  • If you find it very difficult to breathe (either through your nose or mouth)
  • If you have additional symptoms like green mucus, tightness in the chest and severe, coughing
  • If your stuffy nose is accompanied by headaches, ear pain or facial pain, it may indicate something serious 
  • If you have a fever along with a stuffy nose and neither of them goes away despite home remedies and antipyretics

These symptoms may point towards a serious bacterial or viral infection, or some other root cause. Please be sure to inform your doctor or meet them at the earliest in case you have the above symptoms.

Read more about: 9 Best Foods to Ease Your Cough and Cold


A stuffy nose can be frustrating, with blocked or dripping nasal passages and an excess of mucus. Causes include bacterial, viral or fungal infections, allergies and more. Seeking medical attention is necessary if symptoms persist for over ten days or are accompanied by fever. However, early-stage relief can be found through home remedies like steam inhalation, warm compresses, ginger, honey, garlic, grapefruit extract, onion, spices, apple cider vinegar and staying hydrated. For severe symptoms like difficulty breathing or persistent fever, immediate medical attention is essential. By understanding these remedies and symptoms, individuals can take control of their stuffy nose discomfort and seek expert evaluation if necessary.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How to clear a stuffy nose instantly?

To instantly clear a stuffy nose, try inhaling steam, using a warm compress or irrigating the nasal passages with a saline solution. Menthol rubs and decongestant nasal sprays may also provide quick relief. However, it’s essential not to overuse nasal sprays to avoid rebound congestion.

When should I seek medical attention for a stuffy nose?

If a stuffy nose persists for more than ten days and is accompanied by fever, severe headaches, ear pain or facial pain, it may indicate a more serious condition requiring medical attention. Difficulty breathing or additional symptoms like green mucus should also prompt a visit to a healthcare professional.

Does spicy food help with a stuffy nose?

Yes, spicy foods containing ingredients like chilli peppers can help temporarily alleviate a stuffy nose. Capsaicin, found in spicy foods, can open nasal passages and promote mucus flow, providing relief from congestion.

Is a stuffy nose contagious?

A stuffy nose itself is not contagious, but the conditions causing it, such as colds or flu, can be contagious. Proper hygiene, like frequent handwashing and avoiding close contact with infected individuals, can help prevent the spread of viral infections.

How to relieve a stuffy nose in infants and young children?

For infants and young children, using a nasal bulb syringe with saline drops can help clear mucus. Elevating their head during sleep, maintaining proper hydration and using a cool-mist humidifier in their room may also provide relief.

How to prevent a stuffy nose during allergy season?

To prevent a stuffy nose during allergy season, stay indoors when pollen counts are high, keep windows closed and use air purifiers to reduce allergens. Regularly cleaning and dusting the house can also help minimize exposure to allergens.

Is blowing the nose too hard harmful?

Blowing the nose too forcefully can lead to ear pressure changes, and if done frequently or aggressively, it may irritate and damage the delicate nasal lining. Gently blowing one nostril at a time is recommended.

Can regular exercise help alleviate a stuffy nose?

Engaging in regular exercise can improve blood circulation and boost the immune system, which may indirectly help with nasal congestion by reducing the severity of colds and allergies.

What are common causes of a stuffy nose at night?

Stuffy noses at night can result from allergies, sinusitis, or dry indoor air. To improve nighttime breathing, consider using a humidifier, elevating your head with extra pillows, or using saline nasal spray before bed.

 What causes a stuffy nose during pregnancy?

Stuffy noses during pregnancy can be attributed to hormonal fluctuations and increased blood flow to nasal passages. Consult a healthcare professional for safe and effective ways to address this symptom while pregnant.

 Is it common to experience a stuffy nose during ovulation?

Some women may notice nasal congestion during ovulation due to hormonal changes, which can affect the nasal passages. It’s a temporary and benign symptom.

What causes a stuffy nose during period?

 A stuffy nose during the period can be linked to hormonal changes, particularly increased progesterone levels, which may result in nasal congestion for some women.

Can stuffy nose cause headache?

Yes, a stuffy nose can lead to headaches. Nasal congestion can create pressure in the sinuses, which may result in sinus headaches. Additionally, the reduced oxygen intake due to nasal congestion can contribute to general tension-type headaches.

Can stuffy nose cause ear pain ?

Yes, a stuffy nose can lead to ear pain. The connection is due to the Eustachian tube, which connects the middle ear to the back of the throat. When the nasal passages are congested, the Eustachian tube may not function correctly, leading to ear discomfort or pain as pressure builds up in the middle ear.

Can stuffy nose cause loss of smell ?

Yes, a stuffy nose can cause a temporary loss of smell. When the nasal passages are congested, it can block the flow of air and prevent odor molecules from reaching the olfactory receptors in the nose, resulting in a diminished sense of smell.

What causes a stuffy nose due to air conditioning?

A stuffy nose due to air conditioning is typically caused by the cold, dry air that can irritate and dry out the nasal passages.

What causes a stuffy nose due to a fan?

A stuffy nose due to a fan is typically caused by the fan circulating allergens and dust in the air. These airborne particles can irritate the nasal passages, leading to congestion and a stuffy nose.

How to clear sinuses?

To clear sinuses, try inhaling steam by leaning over a bowl of hot water, or use a saline nasal spray to moisturize and flush out mucus. Additionally, gently massaging the sinus areas on the face can provide relief.

Why is my nose always stuffy?

A consistent stuffy nose can result from various factors, including allergies, infections, or structural issues like a deviated septum. Allergic reactions to pollen, dust, or pet dander, for example, can lead to nasal congestion. It’s essential to identify the underlying cause with the help of a healthcare professional for effective treatment.


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