Medically, the nasal congestion or the stuffy nose is caused by sinus infection, mucus buildup, swollen nasal tissue, cold, and allergies. And, ayurvedically, Kapha imbalance leads to nasal congestion and coughs.
So, nobody enjoys debilitating feelings that come with nasal congestion. The pounding headaches, nose dripping incessantly, difficulty in breathing, — the stuffy nose lasting longer than weeks can result in chronic health conditions like the growth of nasal polyps (noncancerous growth), long-term sinus infection, and deviated septum.
For the sufferers of nasal congestion spending days in misery, frustration, and helplessness, there are Ayurvedic natural remedies for nasal congestion that work to treat the underlying causes and aggravated Kapha dosha thus controlling the symptoms of chronic health conditions associated with nasal congestion and providing long-term relief.
For the treatment of stuffy nose, the science of Ayurveda encompasses herbs for sinus congestion, foods to avoid, and natural treatments. Let’s learn about them in the following section.
Foods to Avoid for Preventing Nasal Congestion: The consumption of certain foods contributes towards the formation of mucus and increase of Kapha in the body beyond the permissible limits causing nasal congestion and sinusitis.
● Milk and dairy products: Like butter, cream, whole milk thickens the mucus and, therefore it takes a longer time to get out of your system consequently resulting in chronic congestion. The irresistible ice-creams contain a substance ‘casein’ causing allergies to delve in the system that result in nasal congestion.
● Refined Sugars: Everything in excess is bad. The consumption of sugar is no exception. High intake of products having refined sugar like chocolates has inflammation enhancing properties raising the levels of mucus. Also, high sugar intake makes you fat, a highly motivating reason to limit your sugar intake. There are Ayurvedic remedies for natural weight loss as well that you can adopt.
● Gluten: Foods rich in gluten causes inflammation and formation of mucus, one of the chief causes of nasal congestion.
The Herbs for Sinus Congestion:
● Fenugreek Seeds (Methi): This natural herb has anti-inflammatory properties that help in the detoxification of mucous membranes. Add some fenugreek seeds in hot water or tea and drink it two-three times a day. The heat and damp fenugreek seeds will help thin the mucus allowing it to get out of the system naturally and further opening the sinus cavities.
● Apple Cider Vinegar: Unfiltered Apple cider vinegar can help you a lot with your congestion problems. Add a few drops of this vinegar in hot water mixed with lemon or honey for taste to loosening the deposited mucus.
● Onions: Decongest with onion. An herb with pungent smell may not be your first choice for healing. But, the high concentration of vitamins and minerals in the onion is effective in clearing stuffy nose and facilitating easy breathing.
● Basil: Basil as one of the natural remedies for sinus congestion is effective and handy. You can chew 4-5 basil leaves before breakfast and after dinner for best results.
● Ginger: Ginger is loaded with anti-inflammatory properties that make it the best cure for a stuffy nose. There are a number of ways to use ginger for unclogging the nasal passage: have it in a tea or lukewarm water. You can also boil ginger root, soak a clean cloth in the brew, and place it on your nose and face.
Some Home Remedies and Natural Treatments for Treating Nasal Congestion:
1. Mustard Oil: Daily, put 2-3 drops of mustard oil in your nostril to clear the passage from the mucus. Make sure you perform the procedure with utmost care. In Ayurveda courses in Kerala, you can learn the technique of oil pouring.
2. Drink Hot Soups: Drinking hot liquids can help liquefy the mucus so that you can get a clear nose. Add pepper in your soup to amplify the healing process.
3. Sniff Heated Ajwain: Tie a small quantity of ajwain herb in a fresh muslin cloth and make a poultice. Heat the poultice in a vessel and sniff for clearing a stuffy nose.
4. Saline Sprays: Using a saline spray is a traditional technique of treating nasal congestion. The saline-water used in the process helps in removing viruses and bacteria from the nasal passage. A saline rinse is also helpful in reducing inflammation of mucous membrane and breeding of irritants from dust, pollution, and fragrances.
5. Take Steam: Boil water in a vessel with drops of herbal oils like eucalyptus, oregano and inhale the steam coming out from it by covering your face with a fresh towel. The steam helps breaks up the congestion by humidifying the dry mucus.
6. Do Yoga: The practice of yoga poses like the cow-face pose, head to knee posture, and yoga breathing exercises open the chest and improve circulation thereby giving relief from congestion.
Get rid of the lingering cold and congestion with the Indian healing system of Ayurveda and the natural remedies for sinus congestion.