Eat Drink Better

Published on April 14th, 2013 | by Heather Carr


Five Natural Remedies for Nasal Congestion and Sinus Pressure

Mushroom and Barley Soup

Colds and allergies bring with them unpleasant nasal congestion and sinus pressure. And they can happen at any time of the year. These five natural remedies can help you breathe easy.

Drink plenty of fluids – It may seem counterintuitive, but more liquids will help with decongestion and prevent dehydration. Water is always a good choice, but if you prefer flavor, add some lemon, honey, or go with a tea.

Hot tea – There’s something soothing about curling up with a cup of hot tea. Hot tea keeps you hydrated with the water and it also gets the mucus moving with the heat. Tea has antioxidants to keep you healthy. Yerba mate contains vitamins and minerals in addition to its antioxidants. Peppermint is an ever-popular nose-clearing tea. I like chai spice teas and yerba mates for a little more pep.

Hot soup – When my sinuses are pounding my head, I rarely feel like eating, even though I know I need to. Soup is good at that time. It has liquid, warmth, nutrition, and enough calories to keep me going. Try this Easy Slow Cooker Veggie Broth.  Add some ginger and chili peppers to the veggie broth. The nice thing about crockpots is that the soup can stay in there for several hours after it’s done. Just stop by, spoon up a bowl, and inhale the goodness while you’re there.

Chicken soup – This may seem like a subset of the above category, but chicken soup has its own specific properties.  Chicken soup is a classic remedy for colds. It helps to relieve nasal congestion in three ways. It has an anti-inflammatory effect. If your congestion is a result of a cold or allergies, the membranes in your sinuses are inflamed, increasing the pressure. The warmth and moisture helps in the same way that hot tea and hot soup help.

Peppermint oil or eucalyptus oil – Put a few drops of a strong oil on a tissue or rag and hold it under your nose. Be careful not to let it touch your nose if it’s raw.

Mushroom and barley soup photo via Shutterstock

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About the Author

Heather Carr loves food, politics, and innovative ways to make the world a better place. She counts Jacques Pepin and Speed Racer among her inspirations. You can find her on Facebook or .

5 Responses to Five Natural Remedies for Nasal Congestion and Sinus Pressure

  1. Julie Dole (@JewelDole) says:

    Also: try the herb cat’s claw (capsules or tincture.) I sometimes use it for congestion, and I’ve seen it work wonders on my friends who have allergies.

    • Heather Carr says:

      I’ll have to look for that. This congestion is lasting long after the rest of the cold has left.

      • If you haven’t tried it yet, a neti pot can really help! It’s a little weird at first, but once you get used to how to breathe while you’re using it, it’s awesome.

        • Heather Carr says:

          Neti pots are weird and wonderful! They’re very helpful.

          I don’t know what I have, but it won’t let go of me. I’m running in a 5k this weekend and I can’t breathe!

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