Snot slurps are disgusting and embarrassing in public, regardless of whoever they come from. But when you’ve got a runny nose, it’s quite difficult to avoid doing it yourself.

A runny nose by itself is mostly uncomfortable, but it can be quite a nuisance when teamed up with other cold or flu symptoms like coughing, sneezing, nasal congestion, a sore throat and the like. Over time, it can also leave your nose red, sore and tender due to repeated wiping.


Mucus, from any part of the body, is supposed to be our friend and protector, but an excess of anything is almost never deemed good. Let’s take a look at what causes this excess mucus and how you can stop a runny nose with home remedies.

get rid of runny nose

Causes and Symptoms of a Runny Nose

  • When nasal and adjacent tissues and blood vessels produce excess fluids, it results in constant discharge through the nasal passages. These symptoms are referred to as ‘runny nose’ symptoms.
  • Runny nose symptoms arise when the nasal tissues become irritated or inflamed, usually due to an infection or allergy. Viral infections like the common cold, a sinus infection and the flu are the most common infections that cause a runny nose.
  • Dry air, tobacco smoke, drug addiction, medications and hormones may also lead to a runny nose.
  • Eating excessively spicy foods can also get your nose running.

How to Prevent a Runny Nose

  • Stay clear of known allergy triggers, if possible. If needed, take over-the-counter antihistamines during the allergy season.
  • Consider regular nasal irrigation if you spend a lot of time in extremely dry air. Regular irrigation with saline water also rinses your nasal passages of pollen or dust, thus preventing an allergy-induced runny nose.
  • Wash your hands frequently and maintain stellar personal hygiene when viruses are going around.
  • If you’re down with the flu, get plenty of rest and drink lots of fluids to help your body heal faster.

Home Treatment for a Runny Nose

Trying to knock out common cold symptoms like a runny nose with antibiotics is not a smart choice. Not only are antibiotics rarely effective in such cases, you can easily get good results with some natural remedies. When used promptly, natural remedies can comfort and support your body while your immune system fights the infection.

Here are 6 best home remedies you can use to stop a runny nose.


Method 1: Use Ginger

Ginger generates warmth and improves blood circulation in the body, making it one of the most effective natural flu remedies. It’s particularly good for a runny nose, due to its antiviral and antibacterial properties that fight the infection causing the symptom.

This medicinal root is readily available and makes a tasty tea, which will not only help regulate the nasal discharge but also keep you well hydrated.

Things you’ll need:

ginger tea for runny nose

  • Raw ginger, peeled and sliced (generates warmth) – 1 to 2 inches
  • Lemon juice, fresh (improves the body's immunity) – 2 teaspoons
  • Raw honey (contains antiviral and antibacterial properties) – 3 teaspoons
  • Water – 1 cup

Step 1. Make ginger tea

make ginger tea for runny nose

  • Pour 1 cup of water into a pan placed over heat.
  • Add the slices of 1 to 2 inches of raw ginger to it.
  • Bring it to a boil, then let it simmer on low heat for about 5 minutes.
  • Strain the ginger tea into a cup.

Step 2. Add lemon juice and honey

add lemon juice and honey to ginger tea for runny nose

  • Add 2 teaspoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice to it.
  • Add in 3 teaspoons of raw honey as well.

Step 3. Mix it well and drink the ginger concoction daily

ginger tea to get rid of runny nose

  • Mix the ingredients thoroughly.
  • Drink this ginger brew 3 times a day until you get relief from your runny nose.

Method 2: Use Essential Oil

Essential oils can be very helpful in unclogging the sinuses and treating a runny nose. Essential oils help tamp down flu symptoms by boosting the body’s immune system as well as helping neutralize toxins released by the pathogens.

Many adults can dry up excess nasal discharge in a short time by applying essential oils like lavender or lemon underneath the nose. However, the use of undiluted essential oil may cause irritation in some individuals.

The best way to use essential oils for nasal conditions – be it a runny or stuffy nose – is with steam. Steam efficiently carries the essential oil vapors through the nasal passages for speedy relief.


Things you’ll need:

essential oil to get rid of runny nose

  • Eucalyptus essential oil (excellent decongestant) – 7 drops
  • Lavender essential oil (helps dry up excess nasal discharge) – 4 drops
  • Peppermint essential oil (treats runny nose) – 4 drops

Step 1. Add essential oils to hot water

add essential oils to hot water to get rid of runny nose

  • Fill a bowl with steaming hot water.
  • Add 7 drops of eucalyptus essential oil to it.
  • Add 4 drops each of lavender and peppermint essential oil to it.

Step 2. Breathe in essential oil steam to cure a runny nose

essentail oil steam to get rid of runny nose

  • Lean over the bowl and hold a towel over your head so it makes a tent to trap the steam.
  • Breathe in the essential oil vapors until the water cools down and there’s no more steam.

Repeat this remedy twice a day until it cures your runny nose.

Method 3: Use Saline Water

Saline irrigation is a popular and effective way to clear the sinuses. If you find using a neti pot complicated and scary, a simple saline rinse should be enough.


Salt water will effectively break up the thick fluids accumulated along the lining of the nasal passages, which you’ll then be able to easily blow out. Doing this regularly will rid your nasal passages of old and infected mucus, thus promoting the natural healing process.

Step 1. Make the saline solution

make saline solution to get rid of runny nose

  • Pour 1 cup of distilled water into a bowl.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of salt to it.

Step 2. Dissolve the salt and irrigate your nose with the solution

use saline solution for runny nose

  • Dissolve the salt completely into the water.
  • Draw a few of drops of the saline solution into a sterile dropper.
  • Stand over a wash basin and tilt your head back.
  • Drip a couple drops of the saline solution into each nostril, inhaling it simultaneously to draw it in.
  • Bend your head forward and blow through your nose to expel the loosened mucus.
  • Do this 4 or 5 times in a single session.

Repeat twice a day until your nasal passages are clear.

Method 4: Use Garlic

Garlic, like ginger, falls in the category of body-warming foods that also improve blood circulation. Garlic is a natural source of antibiotics and helps your body fight off the infection. Its anti-inflammatory properties also soothe the inflammation in the nasal passages, alleviating the symptoms.

Just inhaling fresh-cut, raw garlic regularly for a few days can provide relief from a runny nose. For quicker relief, you can also consume 3 or 4 cloves of raw garlic throughout the day. Another effective method is to consume garlic tea or soup on a regular basis.

Step 1. Make garlic tea

make garlic tea to get rid of runny nose

  • Pour 1 cup of water into a pan placed over heat.
  • Peel and chop 4 or 5 cloves of garlic and add it to the water.
  • Bring the water to a boil, then let it simmer for about 3 minutes.
  • Strain the garlic tea.

Step 2. Add honey (optional)

add honey to garlic tea to get rid of runny nose

  • Optionally, you can also add honey to the tea. This will improve the taste as well as help your immune system fight the cold.

Step 3. Drink the garlic tea to relieve your runny nose

garlic tea for runny nose

  • Mix the solution well.

Drink the garlic tea twice a day until you get relief from your runny nose.

Method 5: Use Vicks VapoRub

Vicks VapoRub is a classic remedy to treat common cold symptoms. While usually used to treat congestion, it can also cure a runny nose. Eucalyptus oil, turpentine oil and camphor are the active ingredients present in the popular formula.

Direct application of Vicks VapoRub can help loosen the mucus accumulated in the nasal passages. Getting rid of accumulated fluid can alleviate your runny nose.

Single-Step Treatment: Apply Vicks VapoRub on your chest and throat

apply vicks on your chest and throat

  • Rub Vicks VapoRub on your chest and throat to loosen the phlegm.
  • Cover the area with a towel or a thick cloth for as long as you can.

Repeat this 2-3 times a day, especially before going to bed.

You can also slather the VapoRub on the bottoms of your feet and put on thick socks to get quick relief from runny nose.

Note: The normal Vicks formulation is not suitable for children under age 2.

Method 6: Use Herbal Tea

Relief from a runny nose can be found in numerous herbs like eucalyptus, peppermint, chamomile, oregano, basil, sage and nettle, to name a few. Some of these can be brewed into teas, while essential oils of some are more potent and effective.

Many of these herbs have bactericidal and anti-inflammatory properties, while some are also rich in antioxidants. These herbs boost the body’s immune system and help alleviate symptoms like a runny nose.

Here, we’ve using dried sage to make a tea. You can choose an herb that suits you.

Things you’ll need:

herbal tea to get rid of runny nose

  • Hot water – 1 cup
  • Sage tea (contains anti-inflammatory properties) – 1 teaspoon
  • Raw honey – 1 teaspoon

Step 1. Make sage tea

make sage tea to get rid of runny nose

  • Add 1 teaspoon of sage tea to 1 cup of steaming hot water.
  • Cover and let it steep for 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Uncover and strain the tea to remove the tea leaves.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of raw honey.

Step 2. Stir it well and drink the sage tea twice a day

drink sage tea for runny nose

  • Stir it with a spoon to dissolve the ingredients well.

Drink this sage tea at least twice a day until it stops your runny nose.


  • Be sure to be gentle while drawing the saline solution into your nose.
  • In place of a dropper or neti pot, you can use a sterile syringe (without the needle) to irrigate your nostrils.
  • Add garlic to broths, soups, stocks and stews in generous amounts to combat multiple flu symptoms, including a runny nose.
  • Onion can be used in ways similar to that of garlic to treat a runny nose.
  • You can also consume sage with honey for relief from a runny nose.
  • You can also use Vicks for steaming out your flu symptoms. Just put a glob of Vicks VapoRub into a bowl of steaming hot water and breathe in the steam.


Summary of How to Stop a Runny Nose

stop a runny nose

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