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5 Effective Home Remedies For A Runny Nose And Cough
If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s currently the middle of winter, and you know what that means: cold season. Every year, tens of millions of people are afflicted with the common cold and other upper respiratory illnesses that lead to persistent coughing, sneezing, and sniffling. One possible solution is to take over-the-counter cold medicine, but some common brands can make you so drowsy you can barely function. There are non-drowsy varieties of cold medicine as well, but these still contain large amounts of acetaminophen. This drug (the active ingredient in Tylenol) is normally used for pain relief and can be very tough on the liver. For something as simple as a runny nose, it’s probably excessive.
So what’s the solution? How can we treat a cough or runny nose without resorting to drugs? Relax—we’ve got you covered. Here’s a list of five cheap and effective home remedies that will clear out excess mucus and have you breathing normally and comfortably again in no time.
It’s important to understand that a runny nose isn’t necessarily an illness in and of itself. Sometimes it’s a natural and necessary physiological reaction to remove dust or other impurities that have somehow made their way into your lungs or airways.
But if these symptoms are happening for several days at time, or they coincide with a fever, it’s a safe assumption that you do indeed have a cold or some kind of respiratory infection.
Below is a list of time-honored home remedies that you can prepare using common household ingredients. Each of them is safe, inexpensive, and all-natural.
1. Steam inhalation
This is an ancient and proven method for alleviating any sort of respiratory condition. By inhaling the vapors of certain ingredients that are being boiled in water, you take in beneficial molecular compounds that can fight the symptoms of a cold. The steam loosens up mucus that’s accumulated in nasal cavities and the throat, and provides surprisingly fast relief.
These benefits can be obtained from inhaling plain old water vapor, and also from inhaling fumes from certain herbs, fruits, and vegetables. Try using rinds from citrus fruits, or chopped ginger or garlic.
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2. Special teas
There are a number of different types of homemade teas you can prepare that can provide ample relief for a runny nose and other cold symptoms.
One of the most effective recipes is a simple one involving ginger and the citrus fruit of your choice (orange or lemon works best). Cut up a two- to three-inch-long piece of ginger and drop it in a small pot of water. Peel the citrus fruit and add it to the pot, then bring the water to a boil. Pour it in a mug and enjoy! It’s worth a pointing out that ginger has a VERY robust taste and a little of it goes a long way, so adjust the ginger amount to your taste. (If you choose to use an orange, be sure to eat it for extra vitamin C to boost the immune system.)
This one may sound kind of weird, but just hear us out. Take some whole peppercorns (not ground pepper) and chew them before drinking them down with some hot water. For some people, it may seem like this makes their runny nose worse, but just give it a little while to work its magic, and your symptoms will improve.
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Another simple way to alleviate a runny noise is with a vapor rub. Products like Vicks and other brands frequently include ingredients like menthol or eucalyptus, which have powerful scents that can clear out mucus and stop your nose from running.
5. Salt water nasal spray
Finally, there’s a rather brisk method for clearing out your nostrils that’s almost free. No, we’re not talking about seawater, just plain old tap water and some common table salt is all that you need to prepare this home remedy. Mix a quarter teaspoon of salt with a small glass of warm to lukewarm water. Using a small water dropper, add a few drops to each nostril. Blow out any excess liquid. (Obviously be careful and don’t use too much liquid.)
Try some of these effective and time-tested home remedies and you’ll be breathing easier in no time!