Stuffy nose? Sinuses all blocked up? Finding it hard to breathe? Sinus infections and stuffy noses suck but are part and part of winter (and even summer) for some people. So why do we get blocked sinuses in the first place? And what can we do to reduce congestion?
Why do we get runny noses and blocked sinuses?
Mucus is produced in the mouth, throat, sinuses, lungs and stomach. It acts as a protective layer, stopping membranes from drying out and cracking. It also acts as a sort of mop, which traps unwelcome substances like bacteria or dust. Mucus also contains antibodies and enzymes which can combat infection.
When you have a cold or allergy, your mucus production goes up to try and overcome the illness faster. The more mucus you produce, the more you are able to rid the body of germs.
If mucus is a good thing, that transports germs out of the body, why do we feel so miserable if we have a stuffed nose?
It’s because we need to keep the mucus moving. If you have a stuffed, rather than freely running nose, you are probably dehydrated, and less likely to feel better soon.
This is why, pharmaceutical over the counter medications that stop your nose from running, won’t actually cure the infection. It’s just giving you temporary relief, whilst hampering your recovery progress.
Whether it's a cold or allergies that are bringing your congestion, a stuffy nose can make you miserable.
Tips to Relieve Sinus and Nasal Congestion
Stay super hydrated
Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. Plain herbal or fruit teas such as Pukka Organic Breathe In Tea also count as water. The more hydrated you are, the more effectively your body rids itself of infection.
Try a herbal decongestant
Herbs like mullein and plantago can help relieve sinus and nasal congestion when taken as a tincture. A. Vogel Plantago tincture assists in hydrating the mucous membranes whilst removing congestion. It’s also good for middle ear infections as well as the sinuses and throat. A nasal spray like A. Vogel Sinuforce Nasal Spray or Otosan Nasal Spray can provide quick relief while on the go.
Fun Fact ! Plantgo has been tracked through pollen records which tell us it has been present in Ireland for over 5,000 years! Mentioned repeatedly in Irish history and lore but also as the main feature of a children’s game.
At home, aromatherapy oils with eucalyptus and peppermint can help relieve a stuffy nose in a diffuser or by adding a few drops to your pillow. Try Absolute Aromas Breatheasy Essential Oil Blend (also available as a room spray or A. Vogel Po Ho Oil. A dry salt inhaler may also help clear sinuses - we like Inhalo Dry Salt Nasal Inhaler
Include Garlic in your diet
Garlic either in tablet form or eaten (preferably raw) is antibacterial and will help to overcome an infection faster.
Take a look at our full collection of products for natural relief from congestion
Please note, this blog is for informational purposes only and should not replace medical advice.
It’s always best to consult your doctor before taking any new supplements, treatments or remedies if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or on medication.
Are you looking for more information on cold and flus? Read our blog 'The Flu & The Flu Vaccine: What You Should Know'.
Checked and updated: 6th September 2023