Categories: Diseases and Conditions

How to Get Relief from Post Nasal Drip: 7 Home Remedies

It is that time of the year when you catch a flu, a sore throat, and a runny nose, and the constant snorting of mucus is not helping you in any way. The mucus just keeps on getting drained into your stomach, making you feel queasy.

A sore throat and flu are comparatively more bearable than the slimy mucus running up and down your nostril, making it difficult for you to breathe. As annoying as it may be, it is actually your body’s mechanism to fight off the infection-causing bacteria. How, you ask?

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Learn simple home remedies to get relief from post nasal drip

The glands in the lining of your nose, upper airways, and throat are constantly producing mucus to prevent your airways from drying out and to keep them moist. When the bacteria attack the upper airways, the warm and the moist areas provide them with the perfect breeding ground.

Your body’s inflammatory response to this bacterial attack is the production of thick and mucus phlegm, causing post-nasal drip. [3]

Causes of Post Nasal Drip

  • Allergies, one of the most common causes
  • A deviated septum or displaced septum (wall of cartilage between your nostrils)
  • Changes in the weather or cold temperatures and dry air
  • Sinus or viral infections resulting in a fever or cold
  • Pregnancy, medication for certain conditions such as blood pressure, and birth control
  • Spicy food

Symptoms of Post Nasal Drip

  • Scratchy and sore throat and chest
  • A constant need to clear your throat or swallow
  • Coughing invariably, loss of voice, and a runny nose
  • Cough that worsens at night
  • Bad breath, cramps, and body aches
  • Dizziness, nausea, vomiting and bloating
  • Face tension and hot flashes

Preventive Tips

  • Protect yourself from allergens such as dust and pollen by covering your nose and mouth when outside.
  • Avoid caffeinated drinks and quit smoking.
  • Keep yourself hydrated by drinking lots of water and other healthy drinks.
  • Consuming dairy products can worsen your condition. Avoid milk, cheese, and ice creams.
  • Consume a diet rich in low-fat meat, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Post-nasal drip lasts for about a week. See a doctor if your post-nasal drip persists for more than 10 days.

Managing Post Nasal Drip

Here are some easy ways to get relief from post nasal drip at home with natural remedies.

Method 1: Nasal Irrigation - Neti Pot

A neti pot is used for nasal irrigation or nasal douche, which involves flushing out your nasal cavity with a saline solution. The saline solution, which is a mix of water and common salt, thins the mucus and helps in the easy elimination of post-nasal drip. [1]

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As the common salt is antibacterial in nature, nasal irrigation gets rid of the symptoms of allergy and colds, clears congested sinuses, and relieves you from any infection.

It also helps unclog your nose and get rid of your unwanted snorting habit. The baking soda is an anti-inflammatory agent and soothes the irritated membranes of your nostril.

This simple method is beneficial for children who frequently suffer from sinonasal problems and helps resolve their condition significantly.

Things you’ll need:

Items needed to prepare saline rinse for nasal irrigation
  • Warm water - 1 cup
  • Baking soda - ¼ teaspoon
  • Common salt - ¼ teaspoon

Single-Step Treatment: Douche your nasal cavity with the saline solution

Add salt and baking soda to water and mix
  • Dissolve ¼ teaspoon each of common salt and baking soda in 1 cup of warm water.
  • Pour the solution into a neti pot.
Clean your nasal passage with the saline rinse
  • Tilt your head to one side while standing above a sink and squirt the saline solution into one of your nostrils.
  • Move your head forward, back, and side to side so that the solution reaches your nasal cavities.
  • Once done, blow your nose to remove the excess mucus and the solution.
  • Repeat the process with the other nostril.

Do this once daily for a few days until you are completely relieved of the post-nasal drip.

Method 2: Salt Water Gargle

Salt helps reduce the swelling by drawing excess water out of your nasal membrane. It is also an antimicrobial agent that helps draw the moisture out, making it difficult for the infection-causing bacteria to survive.

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Research shows that gargling at least three times a day effectively prevents upper respiratory tract infection in people with a healthy immune system. [2]

Single-Step Method: Dissolve salt in water and gargle

Use a salt water gargle for faster recovery
  • Dissolve 1 teaspoon of common salt in 1 glass of warm water.
  • Take a deep breath and sip a small amount of the solution.
  • Tilt your head back in a 30-degree angle and keep the back of your throat closed. Do not swallow the solution.
  • Gargle by making an “ahh” sound pushing the air up your throat for 30 seconds before spitting the solution out.
  • Repeat the process until you have gargled the entire solution.

Do this three to four times a day to get relief from post-nasal drip.

Method 3: Steam Inhalation

Inhaling steam loosens up the thick mucus and clears it from the back of your throat naturally, decongesting your nose and reducing any inflammation in your nasal membranes.

A 2018 study published in Oxford Medical Case Reports highlights that chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) affects the nasal and paranasal sinuses, often occurring as a result of a prolonged case of acute sinusitis, having post-nasal drip as one of the symptoms. Steam inhalation was advised as one of the adjunct therapies to treat CRS. [5]

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While a humidifier will moisten the whole room, doing something directly to your nose will give you better results, such as leaning over a bowl of hot water.

Adding peppermint oil to the bowl of hot water will help you get relief faster as it is a natural expectorant that has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.

Single-Step Treatment: Inhale the steam

Put a few drops of peppermint essential oil to hot water and inhale the steam
  • Boil water on a stove and transfer it to a heat-safe bowl.
  • Add 5-6 drops of peppermint oil to the hot water.
  • Lean over the hot bowl of water and cover your head with a towel.
  • Inhale the hot steam mixed with peppermint oil for 5-10 minutes to loosen up the thick mucus in your nostrils.
  • Remove the towel and blow your nose into the sink.
  • Wash your nose and hands.

Do this remedy twice a day until you get relief from a congested nose.

Method 4: Pineapple Juice

Pineapple juice is a rich source of vitamin C, which is believed to reduce cough, sore throat, cold, and flu symptoms. An enzyme called bromelain in pineapple is a strong anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial agent that helps with various respiratory problems such as asthma and allergies.

Its mucus-thinning (mucolytic) properties help break up the mucus in the sinuses or lungs and expel the slimy substance easily. [4]

Single-Step Treatment: Drink pineapple juice

Drink pineapple juice along with other alternative therapies for relief
  • Take a fresh pineapple and remove its rind.
  • Cut it into chunks of 1 inch and put 1 cup of pineapple into a blender.
  • Add 1 cup of water and blend the pineapple chunks with it.
  • Pour the juice in a glass and drink it.

Do this once every day to relieve yourself from post-nasal drip.

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Method 5: Ginger

Ginger root is a fibrous underground rhizome or stem that is rich in vitamin C, iron, calcium, phosphorus, and riboflavin.

It contains a high quantity of antioxidants that boost your immune system, and the active ingredients of ginger root, including gingerol and shagelol, have strong antimicrobial properties that fight off the infection-causing bacteria.

Ginger also has anti-inflammatory properties that help you get rid of a sore throat. [6]

Things you’ll need:

Items needed
  • Ginger, freshly sliced - 1 ½ inch
  • Organic raw honey - 2 teaspoons
  • Water - 1 cup

Step 1. Boil ginger in water and strain the infused water

Strain ginger water after boiling
  • Pour 1 cup of water in a kettle and place it on a cooktop.
  • Add 1 to 2 inches of freshly sliced ginger to the water, bring it to a boil, and then simmer it for 5-7 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat and let the ginger-infused water cool down.
  • Strain the infused liquid into a cup using a sieve.

Step 2. Mix honey to the ginger water and sip on it

Consume your ginger tea with a dash of honey
  • Add 1-2 teaspoons of organic raw honey to the ginger water and mix well.
  • Sip on the ginger honey tea to reduce post-nasal drip symptoms.

Drink this when you feel the need.

Method 6: Garlic

Garlic is a very potent antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial ingredient. It has been used as a medicine since ages to treat various bacterial and fungal infections.

It controls the overproduction of mucus, prevents infection, and promotes quick healing. This method requires further research to affirm its efficacy to heal the post-nasal drip. [2]

Single-Step Treatment: Eat raw garlic

Consume raw garlic to mellow down the cold symptoms
  • Peel 1 garlic clove and mince it for internal consumption. Consume it three times a day.
  • Add it as one of the ingredients in your cooking.

Continue with the treatment until your post-nasal drip is completely cured.

Method 7: Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce the inflammation of the nasal passages and fight the bacteria.

These claims lack scientific explanation but have helped many suffering from post nasal drip. Apple cider vinegar helps with the easy elimination of mucus by thinning it out and boosts your immunity to fight flu and colds.

Use apple cider vinegar that is unpasteurized and has the “mother” in it. The mother in apple cider vinegar is basically a culture of good and beneficial bacteria that turn apple cider into vinegar. It is a complex structure of beneficial acids that have various health benefits.

Things you’ll need:

You will need these three items to use this home remedy
  • Apple cider vinegar - 1 tablespoon
  • Organic raw honey - 1 tablespoon
  • Water - 1 glass

Single-Step Treatment: Mix all the ingredients and drink the mixture

Combine apple cider vinegar and honey in a glass of water and drink
  • Pour 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar into 1 glass of water and add 1 tablespoon of organic raw honey.
  • Mix all the ingredients and drink the solution on an empty stomach twice a day.

Do this until your post-nasal drip goes away.

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Additional tips for relief

  • Use a humidifier or vaporizer to keep your home humid. This helps reduce post-nasal drip.
  • To prevent the mucus from draining down your throat, prop your head up with a pillow while sleeping at night.
  • You can also use diluted apple cider vinegar for gargling. Just add 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to warm salt water and gargle.
  • You can also use eucalyptus essential oil instead of peppermint oil. It has anti-inflammatory properties and contains expectorant compounds that help break up the thick mucus and drain it easily.
  • Drinking a glass of warm lemon juice mixed with 1 teaspoon of organic raw honey can also be beneficial in reducing the post-nasal drip symptoms.

Resources:

  1. Principi N, Esposito S. Nasal Irrigation: An Imprecisely Defined Medical Procedure. International journal of environmental research and public health. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5451967/. Published May 11, 2017.
  2. Allan GM, Arroll B. Prevention and treatment of the common cold: making sense of the evidence. CMAJ: Canadian Medical Association journal = journal de l'Association Medicale Canadienne. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3928210/. Published February 18, 2014.
  3. Yu JL, Becker SS. Postnasal drip, and postnasal drip-related cough. Current opinion in otolaryngology & head and neck surgery. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26731683. Published February 2016.
  4. Passali D, Passali GC, Bellussi LM, et al. Bromelain's penetration into the blood and sinonasal mucosa in patients with chronic rhinosinusitis. Acta otorhinolaryngologica Italica : organo ufficiale della Societa italiana di otorinolaringologia e chirurgia cervico-facciale. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6036946/. Published June 2018.
  5. Singer E, Miller JE. Improved quality of life associated with long-term daily use of guaifenesin (Mucinex®) in a patient with chronic rhinosinusitis: a case report. Oxford medical case reports. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6109196/. Published August 25, 2018.
  6. Min C, Peng C, Wei G, et al. Moxibustion with Chinese herbal has good effect on allergic rhinitis. International journal of clinical and experimental medicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4659062/. Published September 15, 2015.
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Published by
Misty Hammond, RN, MSN, APRN, NP-C

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