7 Practical Remedies to Relieve Nasal Congestion

· October 19, 2018
Remedies for nasal decongestion include oral remedies and even inhaled solutions. For optimal results, it's best to combine both until the congestion fades away.

Nasal congestion is an annoying issue caused by allergies or a respiratory problem. It involves an inflammation of the mucous lining in the nose, which makes it difficult to breathe because it blocks the nasal passages.

A weakened immune system and being easier for viruses to spread can make the condition even worse and cause plenty of other problems. It generally goes away after a week or a few days, but you can speed things up with some homemade remedies to relieve nasal congestion.

Today, we’re going to show you 7 of these practical, easy-to-make remedies to help you with congestion. Read on!

The 7 natural remedies to relieve nasal congestion

1. Saline solution

saline solution, one of the remedies to relieve nasal congestion

A homemade saline solution is one of the oldest home remedies to relieve nasal congestion and get rid of excess mucus.  


  • 1 tbsp. sea salt (10 grams)
  • 1 liter of water
  • 1 needle-free syringe


  • Boil the water, add the tablespoon of salt, and let cool.
  • Use 5 mL of this solution and apply to each nostril.
  • Repeat this process twice a day, every day.

2. Steam inhalation

Inhaling steam is a good trick for opening the respiratory tract and for nasal decongestion. Prepare boiling water and add calming herbs to it, such as chamomile or eucalyptus.

You might like:

Easy, Useful, and Natural Chamomile Remedies


  • 2 liters of water
  • 1 handful of chamomile flowers or eucalyptus leaves


  • Add the handful of your chosen herb to the water and boil for 5 minutes.
  • After that time, remove from heat and cover your head with a towel.  Start to inhale the steam released from the water.
  • You will feel immediate relief because the moisture and heat will calm the inflammation.

3. Hot water compress 

hot compress

Another way to use heat to relieve inflamed nasal cavities is by applying hot water compresses.


  • 1 soft, absorbent cloth
  • 1 cup hot water (250 mL)


  • Soak the cloth in the hot water, making sure the temperature is bearable.
  • Apply the compress to your nose and forehead, and let it work for a few minutes.

4. Warm water with honey

Honey’s antibiotic properties help in treating respiratory problems and relieving nasal congestion. Drinking it with warm water can improve your breathing.


  • 2 tsp. honey (15 grams)
  • 1 cup of water (250 mL)


  • Pour the two teaspoons of honey into one cup of warm water, then drink before going to bed.
  • Drink every night until the symptoms go away.

5. Ginger and lemon infusion

ginger lemon infusion

Ginger has anti-flu and nasal decongestion properties that improve respiratory health when under attack by a virus.

Read more:

Avoid Getting the Flu with These 8 Foods


  • 1 piece ginger root
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp. honey (7.5 grams)
  • 1 c. water (250 mL)


  • Bring the cup of water to a boil. Once boiling, remove from heat and add the ginger.
  • Steep for 10 minutes, then add the honey and lemon juice. Drink.
  • Drink up to three times a day.

6. Garlic

Garlic’s antibiotic properties are useful for fighting viruses and bacteria that proliferate in the respiratory tract. Its sulfuric compounds reduce inflammation in nostrils, which can help relieve nasal congestion.


  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 glass water (100 mL)


  • Crush the raw garlic and add to a bowl with 100 mL water.
  • Steep for a few hours, then pour the liquid in a dropper.
  • Apply 10 drops to each nostril and repeat twice a day.

7. Onion

onion juice treatment for hair

With effects very similar to those of garlic, onion is another good remedy for freeing up the nasal passages and relieving nasal congestion.


  • 1 piece of onion


  • Cut an onion in half and smell for 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Repeat twice a day, until the inflammation is alleviated.

These are some of the most common, most effective remedies to relieve nasal congestion. But you also have to back them up with a diet rich in vitamin C and antioxidants.

If it last for more than a week, it’s best to see a doctor and find other solutions.

  • Corren J, Baroody FM, Pawankar R. Allergic and nonallergic rhinitis. In: Adkinson NF, Bochner BS, Burks AW, et al, eds. Middleton’s Allergy: Principles and Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 42.
  • Naclerio, R. M., Bachert, C., & Baraniuk, J. N. (2010). Pathophysiology of nasal congestion. International Journal of General Medicine. https://doi.org/10.2147/IJGM.S8088
  • Grzanna, R., Lindmark, L., & Frondoza, C. G. (2005). Ginger—An Herbal Medicinal Product with Broad Anti-Inflammatory Actions. Journal of Medicinal Food. https://doi.org/10.1089/jmf.2005.8.125
  • Israili, Z. H. (2014). Antimicrobial properties of honey. American Journal of Therapeutics. https://doi.org/10.1097/MJT.0b013e318293b09b
  • Bogdanov, S. (2014). Honey in Medicine. Bee Product Science. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0033-1359950