Nasal congestion treatment: how to clear a blocked nose with household remedies    

Young woman in bed blowing her nose

A blocked nose can be extremely irritating. From the sleepless nights to the constant mouth breathing, it's a real pain. But nothing beats the relief of finally getting a blocked nose to clear. It's a shame, because it's often the last symptom to go away after a cold or flu. But you don’t need to suffer in silence! With our handy blocked nose remedies, you’ll be on your way to a clearer nose and better sleep.

P.s - Cushelle is here for your blocked nose no matter what, but we’re not medical experts. Always seek professional advice if you are worried about a persistent stuffy nose.

What causes a blocked nose?

There are many reasons you can suffer from a blocked nose, whether it be hay fever, a cold or anything in between. However, scientifically speaking, a blocked nose or nasal congestion can be caused by anything that irritates or inflames the nasal tissues. The stuffy feeling in the nose is a result of swelling inside the nasal lining, rather than mucus. The mucus simply acts to dispel any unwanted visitor and helps to relieve a blocked nose. Our immune system is such an amazing machine!

Our home remedies for a blocked nose

1. Take a warm shower

As easy as it sounds, having a hot shower or a long bath can help ease congestion.1 The heat helps the network of blood vessels in your nose to open and close more easily, which helps to drain your sinuses, making it a great blocked nose remedy.

2. Try a warm compress

Sticking with the heat, a warm compress can also provide more localised assistance.2 This is because the warmth helps to open your nasal passages. It can also help relieve inflammation inside your nostrils, whilst easing any discomfort you might be feeling across your sinuses and forehead, too. Trying this in tandem with blowing your nose throughout the day using a handy pocket tissue will help to ensure you can breathe easy.

Here are a few steps to make your own DIY compress:

·       First, soak a towel in warm water.

·       Once soaked, wring out any excess water.

·       Next, fold the towel neatly and place across your nose and forehead.

·       Lean back slightly to stop the towel from slipping and relax.

Helpful Tip: It’s a good idea to avoid lying completely flat, as when you’re more upright gravity will help to get your stuffy nose free of gunk.

3. Use ginger to relieve your blocked nose

Our grandparents often tell us about the good old days and one of their best blocked nose cures is ginger root. This warm, spicy ingredient can act as a comforting natural remedy for all kinds of cold symptoms. If you’re after some more tried and tested remedies, try out these grandparent approved cold remedies.Because if its good enough for grandma and grandpa, it’s good enough for you!

4.  Drink 6-8 glasses of water to help unblock your stuffy nose 

How does drinking water affect your nose? It’s all about the mechanics. Water, hot drinks and juices will help thin mucus, so it doesn’t clog up thickly, making it easier to get rid of when you blow your nose.  This also helps to ease pressure in your sinuses which can result in inflammation subsiding, helping to ease some of the discomfort you might be feeling.4

Warm drinks can be especially effective blocked nose remedies as you’ll be inhaling some water vapour as you sip.7 Pop the kettle on – how about a soothing cup of peppermint tea?

5. Try using peppermint as a natural decongestant

If the cause of your red, blocked up nose is related to sinus congestion too, then you might want to turn to the natural decongestant power of peppermint. Menthol is the main active ingredient, which may help to open your airways and clear out mucus by interacting with the mucus receptors in the nose.

You can harness the power by drinking peppermint tea, with the steam from a hot cuppa and the hydration from the water content also helping to ease your blocked nose.7 Alternatively, you could try adding peppermint essential oil to hot water for a relaxing blocked nose remedy.

6. Use steam and a humidifier  

Whether you choose hot water steam from a pot of boiled water and essential oils, or you have a specially designed humidifier at home, breathing steam works like magic for decongesting your nasal passages and soothing your stuffy nose.

With a humidifier, the water in the machine converts to moisture that fills the air and raises the humidity levels. This can help to relieve a blocked by thinning mucus in the sinuses and soothing the tissues and blood vessels that are inflamed and irritated. The great thing is that all you need to do is simply breathe in where the humidifier is operating.3

If you don’t have a humidifier, you can still benefit from the decongesting properties of steam.

Here is an easy and quick DIY humidifier:

  • First boil your kettle, once boiled carefully pour water into a bowl
  • Next, place a towel over your head, lean over the bowl and begin inhaling. Keeping the towel near to your head. By doing so the steam stays close to your nasal passages
  • Be careful not to get too close to the water

Helpful Tip: Try adding a couple of drops of peppermint essential oil to the water and combine ethanol with steam power.

Whichever method you use, inhale steam a couple of times each day until your nose feels clear, for an easy blocked nose cure. Once you have steamed your face, blow your nose to remove any excess mucus with soft tissues, to hygienically clean your nose.

7. Try using garlic as a nasal congestion treatment

You might see it simply as the perfect addition to a nice tomato sauce, but when it comes to soothing a stuffy nose, garlic is among the best blocked nose remedies. Garlic is said to help thin mucus that blocks the nasal passages, and its naturally antibacterial properties can help to reduce inflammation that can contribute to clogged-up airways. Simply add two mashed garlic cloves to food or boiling water each day, or if you’re daring enough to eat it raw, mash the garlic up and swallow it with honey.6

Next time you have a blocked nose and want to know how to soothe it, try one (or several) of these natural home remedies. Another nasal congestion treatment is simply keeping a pack of soft facial tissues handy so you can blow your nose hygienically.

Now, that you’re armed with 7 great home remedies for a blocked nose, why not take a look at our top tips on how to stop a runny nose and ways to boost your immune system? Here’s to good health and easy breathing.



1 Topical nasal decongestions, Nose, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence

2 Sinusitis, NHS Inform; 2020

3 The Right Way To Use a Humidifier for Sinusitis, (Medically reviewed), Everyday Health; 2021

4 How to Clear a Stuffy Nose, (Medically reviewed), Healthline; 2019

5 Top 7 essential oils for sinus congestion, (Medically reviewed), Medical News Today; 2019

6 7 Natural Remedies for Congestion Relief, (Medically reviewed), Everyday Health; 2017

7 Saketkhoo K, Januszkiewicz A, Sackner MA. Effects of drinking hot water, cold water, and chicken soup on nasal mucus velocity and nasal airflow resistance. Chest. 1978 Oct;74(4):408-10. doi: 10.1378/chest.74.4.408. PMID: 359266.

8 Mashhadi NS, Ghiasvand R, Askari G, Hariri M, Darvishi L, Mofid MR. Anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effects of ginger in health and physical activity: review of current evidence. Int J Prev Med. 2013;4(Suppl 1):S36-S42.

9 Allergic Rhinitis: 6 Herbal Remedies to Try, Sinus & Allergy Wellness Clinic; 2019

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