If you are suffering from post nasaldrip then this article is for you. Today we are going to see some of the best home remedies on how to get rid of nasal drip once and for all. The human body is constantly exposed to pathogens such as bacteria and viruses in our environment.
Over the long period of evolution, the body has perfected its defense mechanism to tackle these invaders. One of the most important defense mechanisms is the production of a thick, wet substances we are all too familiar with – “mucus”.
This sticky fluid is secreted in ample amounts by the glands lining stomach, intestine, throat and nose. The mucus serves a dual purpose; it keeps these areas moist and helps to trap and destroy the invading pathogens.
- Causes of Post Nasal Drip
- Best Home Remedies for Post Nasal drip
Although for the most part, we don’t even give a second thought to the mucus being produces by our body, it can, sometimes become a problem. Especially if it is produced in excess amounts by the lining of the nose and throat causing it to constantly drip out of the nose (runny nose), or even worse, sliding back your throat, in which case it is called a post nasal drip.
I need not say that it is not a very pleasant feeling to have a thick fluid dripping at the back of your throat. In some cases may cause some other problems if left untreated.
Causes of Post Nasal Drip
If the mucus is produced in normal amounts, it just slides down the throat and mixes with the saliva to be taken into the gut. However, sometimes, the mucus produced is either too thick or too much and results in nasal drip. There are many reasons to why that might happen including, but not limited to:
Allergies often stimulate the production of mucus in the throat and nose causing runny nose and in some individuals post nasal congestion.
A Sinus infection can often lead to an inflammation called sinusitis. This can also stimulate the mucus production and cause postnasal drip.
3. Common cold and flu
These are also very common causes of over production and thickening of mucus and sometime result in post nasal drip.
4. Deviated septum
Either congenital or caused by a trauma to the nose, defeated septum is known to cause postnasal drip due to improper draining of the mucus.
5. Weather and Environment
Cold and dry weather often results in over production of mucus. Also, if there is a lot of fumes of chemicals or pollution in the air you breath in, there is an stimulation in production of mucus which may lead to nasal drip as well.
Food and drugs
Certain foods, especially spicy food can cause increase in mucus production. Also, so me blood pressure medications and birth control pills are known to be mucogenic.
Nasal drip may cause hoarseness, coughing and in general a very uncomfortable feeling of something lodged in the throat. If it persists, it may lead to difficulties in swallowing, and general feeling of weakness.
Sometimes, the excess mucus may block the Eustachian tube, which connects the throat to the middle ear, causing serious inner ear infections as well. Hence, treatment of this ailment is necessary.
Best Home Remedies for Post Nasal drip
The treatment depends on the underlying cause of the increased mucus production. Many approaches are available. There is no dearth of medications to treat various causes of the stimulated mucus productions.
However, many people prefer to have a more holistic approach and hence there is no shortage of home remedies to treat post nasal drip as well. Here are some of the remedies available which you can try.
1. Medical treatment
Antibiotics: If the root cause of the stimulated mucus production is a bacterial infection, antibiotics are very efficient in clearing the condition. The antibiotics, however, need to be prescribed by a medical practitioner and you can not get them over the counter at a retail pharmacy.
Antihistamines: These are anti allergy medications usually available in the allergy isle of your drug store. These are only effective if the root cause is an allergy. However, if you take over the counter antihistamines, be advised that some of them may produce drowsiness.
Mucus thinning agents: Sometimes the root cause of the post nasal drip is an unusually thick mucus. In such cases, a mucus thinning drug such as Mucinex, may help to alleviate the condition.
2. Ginger root
Ginger is a herb that has a myriad of medicinal properties. It is a very potent decongestant . It also has some anti bacterial and expectorant properties. Ginger can thus, not only inhibit the production of excess mucus but aid in its expulsion as well.
You can use ginger a couple of ways:
- While making tea, add a tablespoonful of grated ginger and bring the concoction to a boil and let it simmer for 5-10 minutes. You can add some honey and a lemon wedge to your cup as well
- You can add ginger while cooking and if you like, you can also chew it…
Apart from being a very tasty spice, garlic also has some impressive medicinal properties. It has long been used in the far east as an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory agent.
You can incorporate garlic in your diet and can try the following as well
- Sauté a couple of cloves of garlic in some clarified butter and eat it with some warm milk once a day for a few days
- Garlic is also available as a supplement. Consult your doctor before taking though.
4. Nasal irrigation
Nasal irrigation refers to the cleaning the inner nasal cavity with water. Irrigation helps in getting rid of the irritants lodged in the nasal cavity and may prevent infections as well. You can prepare an irrigation solution at home as follows:
- Take a cup of warm (not hot) water and add a quarter teaspoonful salt and a pinch of baking soda
- This solution can be now used to irrigate the inner nasal cavity using a procedure called ‘Neti’. You can find detailed instructions here.
5. Salt Water Gargles
Gargling is one of the best ways to soothe the throat as well as thinning the mucus. Always gargle with lukewarm water with salt in it. You can add a teaspoonful salt to a couple cups of warm water and gargle for 2-3 days and you will see a difference in the thickness and even amounts of post nasal drip.
Inhalation of steam infused with essential oils such as eucalyptus helps to thin the mucus and relieve congestion.
- Take a bowl of hot, boiling water
- Add a couple drops of essential oil
- Drape a towel over your head and inhale the steam for 5-10 minutes
- Repeat once or twice a day
- Just be extra careful of the hot water
7. Cayenne Pepper
The antihistaminic properties of cayenne pepper can help relieve minor allergies and hence help in treating post nasal drip. The active ingredient of the cayenne called capsaicin, is known to thin the mucus as well. You can use cyan pepper in cooking.
If you can handle the heat of the pepper, you can try mixing about half a teaspoonful with a tablespoonful honey and eat it a couple times a day.
8. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is known to thin mucus and boost immunity as well. You can take a couple of teaspoonful of cider and mix it with some honey in warm water and drink the potion twice a day. Another way of using apple cider vinegar is using it in your steam therapy discussed earlier.
Green lime juice is known to decrease mucus production and work wonders to treat post nasal drip.
- Squeeze about half medium sized green lime in a cup of hot tea
- Drink this concoction first thing in the morning
- This will eliminate the mucus from last night in your system and also help clear your liver
- You will feel energetic throughout the day
10. Take care of allergy causing agents
Many a times just removing an allergen from your environment can work wonderfully in controlling the post nasal drip. You can use the following tips
- Use air purifiers in your home,
- Cover your mattresses with dust mite proof covers,
- Dust your home regularly and vacuum the carpets,
- Check yourself for allergies.
Post nasal drip can be very discomforting and you should get yourself checked if it persists chronically. Including the home remedies described above will surely help you to control the symptoms better.
Always remember to consult your physician if the symptoms are prolonged or if the discharge is foul smelling or if you are running a fever. These might be an indication of an infection that requires immediate medical attention. Also, if there is blood in your post nasal drip, consult the doctor immediately.