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All stuffed up and wanting to breathe – but without the chemicals? Here’s how to get relief fast!
Step 1: Inhale steam
Go into the bathroom, close the door, and draw a hot bath or shower. When the room is filled with steam, inhale deeply. Or boil a pot of water, put a towel over your head, and lean over the pot, keeping your head about 6 inches above it. Then, inhale the steam.
Pour a few drops of eucalyptus oil into the tub, onto the shower floor, or into the pot of water. The vapors reduce inflammation and clear sinuses and congestion.
Step 2: Drink licorice tea
Drink licorice tea. Licorice root is an expectorant that breaks up mucus in the nose and the lungs, so you’ll breathe more easily.
Step 3: Snort a saline rinse
Snort a saline rinse. Available at drug stores, it’s proven more effective than medicated nasal sprays. It not only clears the nasal passages, but reduces inflammation.
You can make your own saline rinse by adding half a teaspoon of table salt and a pinch of baking soda to 8 ounces of warm tap water. Just don’t keep it more than 24 hours.
Step 4: Spice things up
Eat something with hot peppers. They contain capsaicin, the chemical that makes your nose run when you eat something spicy.
Step 5: Try peppermint
Put some peppermint oil, available at health food stores, on a cloth or cotton ball and sniff the vapor. Peppermint contains menthol, proven to clear congestion. Or drink hot peppermint tea, inhaling the steam as you drink.
Step 6: Eat chicken soup
Have some hot chicken soup. This homespun remedy can break up mucus, helping you get over your cold faster.
Did You Know?
If you take over-the-counter nasal sprays for more than three days, they can actually make congestion worse!