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Do you ever struggle with a stuffy nose that makes it hard for you to breathe? And when you have trouble breathing, then comes the inevitable struggle with brain fog and fatigue? I want to help you by sharing 5 simple but effective ways to open up a stuffy nose so you can breathe more easily,
If you’ve read any of my posts, you probably know by now that I love pursuing health in every area of life. When it comes to physical health, I love using natural remedies as my first go-to when something seems out of balance.
It’s remarkable how God designed our bodies to heal themselves when given the proper care. Whenever a sickness arises, I like to start dealing with it by using ingredients and remedies that are as close to natural as possible to give my body the help it needs to heal.
While I’ve had no experience with allergies, we’ve had a few stuffy noses over the years, and I’m always trying what I can to bring relief. I’d love to share with you what has helped the most with these 5 simple but effective ways to open up a stuffy nose.
1. Try Nasal Irrigation as Preventative and as Remedy
My husband has been using nasal irrigation for years, but it took me a long time to get on board. I was always afraid it would make me choke or gag or have some uncomfortable reaction.
I’m happy to say that I finally tried it and was amazed at how much it helped open up my nose. It’s really not hard to do at all, and the benefits are incredible.
You basically are washing out your sinuses by squirting water and a small amount of saline solution into one nostril and letting it drain out the other nostril.
My husband has tried many different ways to do this over the years, but he found a product we both really like called Xlear. Here it is on Amazon, but you can also find it any large drugstore: It’s a BPA-free plastic squeeze bottle with a removable lid which has a small opening at the top. You simply add a saline packet into the bottle, fill about 3/4ths full with distilled water, and then shake to dissolve the salt. (Note: You want to be sure to use distilled water so you don’t risk the chance of adding germs into your nose!)
I like to do it before I get dressed because it has the potential to get you a little wet. Standing over the sink, I squirt a little water into one nostril and wait for it to drain out of the other nostril. Then I squirt water into the other nostril and do the same. I go back and forth until I’ve used up all that’s in the bottle.
It’s amazing how much this opens up your nasal passages anytime. But if you are sick with a cold, it can really help to unclog and move out some of that stubborn mucus that just doesn’t want to move on its own.
2. Make a Steam Bowl with Essential Oils
This is such a simple procedure, but it is so very effective to loosen up that stuffy nose. Here’s what to do:
- Heat up about 4 cups of water. I usually bring it to a boil because I want all the steam I can get, for as long as I can get. But you don’t have to boil it. As long as it’s warm enough to begin steaming, you’re okay.
- Into your bowl or pot of hot water, add about 6 drops total of essential oils. I usually use 3-4 drops of Eucalyptus oil and 2-3 drops of Peppermint oil. (You could also use a drop of Thyme or a drop of Rosemary essential oils, as long as the total is 6 drops.)
- Drape a towel over your head and then hold your head over the bowl of steaming water. You want to get close enough to inhale the aroma of the oils but not close enough to burn your face.
- Stand there and breathe in the steam as long as you can tolerate it! I promise you’ll feel your nose opening up!!!
- When you have major congestion, try doing this every 3 hours or so to help clean out and open up those nasal passages.
Here’s a great article about this steam bowl if you want more information: Help for Head and Chest Congestion – the Steam (Bowl) Bath!
3. Make a Simple Inhaler to Carry With You
Essential oils have been proven to be incredibly effective when inhaled, and Eucalyptus and Peppermint essential oils are especially wonderful for the sinuses.
The simple inhaler we use looks like an old-fashioned tube of lip balm. I like to buy a large quantity of these, not just for us, but to have on hand to make quickly to share with guests, friends, or family who might need the help!
- Use a small, shallow glass dish and add maybe 10-12 drops of the oils you want to use to the bottom of the dish. Again, Eucalyptus and Peppermint essential oils are the ones we use the most for stuffy noses, but Thyme and Rosemary are great essential oils to use as well.
- Take the cotton wick and just roll it into the drops of oil. Using tongs or tweezers will help ensure you don’t get any germs from your hands into the oil.
- Then drop the cotton wick into the inner tube and seal the opening with the little plug cap. Place the cover tube over it and screw closed. That’s it!
- To use, unscrew, take the cover off and inhale. I close one nostril with a finger while I am inhaling the essential oils through the other nostril. Then I rotate to inhale with the other nostril.
These inhalers are great to keep in your purse, in a desk drawer, or by your bed. You can watch a great video here to see this inhaler being made. If you scroll to 2:00, you’ll see her actually putting the inhaler together.
♥Just to let you know, there’s a free checklist you can download at the bottom of the post that will give you even more ideas to help!♥
4. Use Garlic For Building the Immune System and Dealing with Infections
My first sinus infection occurred years ago when I was pregnant with our daughter. Of course, I could take very little medications while pregnant so I started researching to see if there were more natural remedies that would be safe for me to take. That’s when I discovered garlic oil!
A sinus infection is basically inflammation of the sinus passages, and garlic is full of anti-inflammatory properties. Garlic is also known to be an incredible antimicrobial which is important for dealing with bacteria that might be associated with an infection.
Over the years, anytime I’ve had a sinus infection or even had symptoms that seemed like one, I’ve taken garlic oil gel capsules. In doing my research for this post, I honestly didn’t find a lot of conclusive evidence that garlic oil capsules help with sinus infections. But I can say I’ve found them to help me tremendously.
Whether you use garlic oil capsules or not, garlic itself is an incredible benefit to your immune system. It’s a powerful antioxidant.
The capsules are just convenient and help avoid the garlic breath that comes later. But you can get even better benefits from adding fresh garlic to your diet.
Jo Robinson, author of Eating on The Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health, found in her research:
..if we take garlic, fresh garlic, and if we put it into hot oil or hot foods right away, we destroy its ability to produce allicin, which is the cancer-fighting compound that’s so important in garlic. This study found that if you simply chop it, press it, dice it, and set it aside for 10 minutes, during that time that its resting it makes copious amounts of this allicin. And once it’s created, it is not destroyed by heat.”
I love Jo Robinson’s book and since reading her findings about garlic, I try to press it or chop it first thing when I start preparing a meal to allow those healthy compounds to be developed. Garlic is so good for us!
Here’s a great article with 14 ways you can use garlic to help with your sinuses: Get Rid of Sinus Infection Quickly with Garlic
5. Use Food and Herbs to Open Up Passageways
In addition to garlic, there are several potent foods you can add to your meals or beverages when you have a stuffy nose.
- Peppermint tea is great for anything related to respiratory problems. We like to use a heaping tablespoon of looseleaf peppermint tea for 2 cups of water. Our favorite brand of peppermint tea we’ve used for years can be found here.
- Any foods in the allium family are great for their medicinal benefits – garlic, onions, shallots, and chives. Add them to salads, saute’ in stir-fries or add to soups or stews.
- Ginger is wonderful!!!! It’s full of inflammatory compounds and can be added to teas and foods. Use it fresh, not powdered! When I get a cold, I make a very simple ginger tea that is soothing and healing. (You can find out how I make it in my free checklist below!)
- Hot peppers will definitely open up your nose!!! The chemical, Capsaicin, found in chile peppers and black pepper, is responsible for creating and moving out mucous. Use jalapeños, Thai chiles, serranos, any hot peppers you can find and add them to your meals.
- Chicken soup has been thought of as a grandmother’s remedy, but it really works!! Especially if you make your own from bone broth that you’ve also made yourself. You can even add garlic and onions and peppers to your soup to boost the benefits!
My wish for you is that you’d never have another stuffy nose and could always breathe freely and deeply. But in case you do struggle with colds or sinus problems, I hope these 5 simple but effective ways to open up a stuffy nose will bring you relief.
Try irrigating your nose to keep it clean and open. Use essential oils with steam or in an inhaler. Try garlic oil capsules or even better, fresh garlic preparations. And try adding powerful herbs and foods to your meals and beverages to open up your nose.
Breathing in deeply with you,
In the comments below, please share with us something you’ve tried that helps open up a stuffy nose. We can learn from each other! Thanks!
Here’s that free checklist I mentioned earlier in the post! This printable is full of practical ways you can add spice to your diet to help open up your sinuses!
»»»Note: I am not a physician, dietician, or nutritionist. Any information I share on this blog does not claim to prevent, diagnose, or cure any disease or medical condition The information on this blog is for educational purposes only. It is assumed the readers will use their own discretion how best to use the information given. Please see a medical doctor or functional medicine practitioner if you need help in these areas.