Having a runny nose is a huge pain – kleenexes clutter your home while you’re constantly caught sniffling and sneezing just to be able to breathe normally. At least when you’ve got a runny nose it’s running in the right direction.
Post-nasal drip is when mucus drips back, into your throat, and is much worse than a runny nose. Both are symptoms of something bigger, but a runny nose usually just pops up when you’ve got a cold. A post-nasal drip is a symptom of something more serious.
Follow Your Nose
From something as small and common as allergies to more problematic chronic issues like sinusitis, rhinitis, or infection, post-nasal drip is when your sinuses don’t have a proper release system and the heavier-than-normal mucus flows down your throat.
It is unpleasant, uncomfortable, and unwelcome. I don’t want to equate post-nasal drip to drowning in your own mucus, it is more the constant need to clear your throat. And sometimes when you cough or sneeze, mucus will come up into your mouth. The only thing you want when you’ve got post-nasal drip is an immediate remedy.
These remedies were designed to reduce the amount of mucus in your sinuses and help restore the natural balance your body wants. If the problem is irritant-derived i.e: from cigarette smoke or allergens, the best way to stop post-nasal drip is to limit these irritants. So quitting smoking and staying indoors during allergy season are the first steps.
Natural Remedies To Post-Nasal Drip
Gargle Salt Water
The salt reduces inflammation and dries up excess mucus. Add ½ a teaspoon of salt to 1 cup of warm or room-temperature water. Pour a small amount in your mouth and gargle for 1 to 2 minutes, up to 5 times a day.
Drink More Water
In life sometimes the easier answer is the most effective. Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day. This will ensure your nasal passages are properly hydrated. Dehydrated passageways compensate for the lack of water by making more mucus, so drink up!
Ginger and Thyme Tea
The most instantly effective remedy; ginger exerts an anti-inflammatory effect while thyme is a potent antibacterial. Add ½ a teaspoon of freshly ground ginger and ½ a teaspoon of fresh thyme to 1 cup of boiling water, cover and steep for 10 minutes. Strain and drink up to 2 times a day. If consumed regularly, this anti-inflammatory tea may be very helpful in eliminating post-nasal drip.
Peppermint Oil Vapor
The volatile oils found in peppermint work to break up mucus and calm inflammation of the nasal passages. Bring 1 cup of water to a rolling boil. Once hot, pour into a bowl and add 5-10 drops of peppermint essential oil, bring the bowl under your nostrils and breathe deeply for several minutes.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Acetic acid makes ACV a great post-nasal drip remedy. Add 1 tablespoon of unprocessed apple cider vinegar to 8-ounces of water. You can add 1 tablespoon of raw honey, to sweeten. Drink this mixture twice daily for optimal relief.
Eucalyptus Oil Vapor Treatment
With active anti-inflammatory and expectorant properties, eucalyptus oil breaks up excess mucus and relieves nasal passageways. Bring 2 cups of water to a rolling boil and pour into a bowl. Add 5 drops of eucalyptus oil, lean over the steam and drape a towel over your head. Breathe normally for 3-5 minutes. For optimal results, use this method in the morning or right before bed.
Make sure your eyes are closed during the breathing-in process, as eucalyptus oil can sting your eyes.
When you inhale dry air your body increases the moisture in your throat by making more mucus. Increase the air moisture in your house with a humidifier and breathe normally. You’ll soon notice the post-nasal drip easing.
Saline Nasal Irrigation
Some people say that a Neti Pot is the best cure to post-nasal drip. The saline reduces inflammation, thins mucus, and washes away irritants and infections. Mix a ¼ teaspoon of finely ground non-iodized salt into 8 ounces of warm water and add to your Neti Pot. Lean forward and turn your head to side over the sink. Gently insert the Neti Pot spout into the upper nostril and raise the Pot slowly. Breathe through your mouth and allow the solution to flow out the other nostril. Repeat on the other side.
Now you can breathe easy. If you’ve tried any or all of these, share your favorite with us!