It’s that time of year, sore throats, coughs, and the dreaded stuffy, congested, clogged nasal passageway. I can handle the coughing and sore throat but the nasal congestion…nope, no way, nuh-uh. I turn into a giant bawling baby (I might be worse than the twins). I CANNOT handle it!!
Being the green crunchy Momma I am though that means I avoid most medications, I had a friend tell me about natural zinc lozenges and how they have helped her, so I might have to give them a whirl! So I have been trying long and hard to find the best natural relief from nasal congestion and here is what I’ve found!
The Neti Pot
Okay, I seriously loooove my neti pot. I’m pretty sure I dream about it when my nose is stopped up. I mean I could totally just curl up in bed with my neti pot and let the hubby sleep on the cough because it is all I need when I feel icky (shh…don’t tell my husband though).
So. you may or may not be wondering just what in the heck a Neti Pot is. It is a pot that you fill with water or a DIY saline solution and then rinse your sinuses out with it. When using a neti pot you must use sterile/distilled water or tap water that has been boiled for at least 3 minutes (I always shoot for somewhere around the 5-minute mark) so that you do not introduce any nasty bacteria to your nasal passageway. As distilled water 5l is literally purified from both contaminants and minerals, it could prove useful for these specific purposes over tap water.
Get a Neti Pot Here (scroll down close to bottom of page).
One of the most important things when congested is to stay hydrated. One way I like to do that is by drinking herbal teas. This serves a few purposes.
- It keeps you hydrated which helps thin the mucus in you nasal passageways.
- It soothes sore throats from drainage.
- It can boost your immune system depending on the type of tea.
- It can promote drainage and reduce sinus pressure.
I really like peppermint tea and am constantly sipping on a cup. The menthol plays a duel role it soothes my throat while helping to break up the congestion in my nose.
My second favorite tea is chamomile, it is really soothing to my throat and bonus it helps me sleep!
After that there is echinacea which boosts your immune system.
I usually make a blend to drink when I am sick
1 1/2 parts peppermint
1/2 part chamomile
1/2 part echinacea
I then use 3″ cotton tea nets to brew individual cups of tea with about a tablespoon of the blend. You can find cotton tea nets on this page.
Another thing I use and love to support my respiratory system is essential oils!
I diffuse Thieves (to help support my immune system) and peppermint (helps support my respiratory system). I also apply oils topically.
One of my favorite ways to apply oils is a mixture of Peppermint, Lavender, and Lemon.
Another 2 great blends for respiratory support are are Breathe Again and RC.
I also apply essential oils and essential oil blends to reflexology points on my hands and feet and massage them in for 2-3 minutes.
I take probiotics daily in the form of either a supplement or fermented foods. They are important while you are sick to get in plenty of good probiotics because it helps the good bacteria in your body stay strong and overrun the bad stuff. It also helps keep the good bacteria in your gut if you are on any antibiotics.
The supplement I take is from Miessence it is made out of fermented raw whole foods and contains 13 strains of lactobacilli. It is certified Organic. It is easy for you body to assimilate. The formulation of this product has taken over 20 years and it has been through multiple stressors to insure that it makes it through your stomach and into your gut where it will do the most good. One of my favorite things about the Miessence probiotics is that I know the culturing medium is whole foods and not fecal matter or dairy like most others. They have both a powder and a liquid version of their probiotic. There are other products I’ve got my eye on too. I’m also looking forward to trying out the Dherbs natural herbal supplements too for their purported support of hair, skin, nails, and the immune system.
I also eat fermented foods like kimchi, pickles, homemade yogurt , organic miso paste, and sauerkraut. I also drink fermented beverages like kombucha and kefir. You can get cultures for yogurt, miso, kombucha, and kefir at Cultures for Health (they also have cheese making kits, which I love!).
Some other things you can do are:
- Run a humidifier.
- Take a hot shower.
- Take elderberry syrup to boost your immune system.
- Drink bone broth or have soup with a bone broth base (chicken and dumplings, yummm!).
- Take Fermented Cod Liver Oil for vitamins A & D