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What are Some Home Remedies for a Runny Nose?

Gentle nose blowing can help relieve a runny nose.
If the air in a home or room is dry, a humidifier can help thin out mucus.
A runny nose accompanied by a fever should be diagnosed by a doctor.
Table salt can be dissolved in distilled water to make a saline solution that can be used to clean out the sinuses and relieve a runny nose.
A parent should ask a pediatrician before giving their child any over the counter medication for a runny nose.
A nasal spray may be effective.
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  • Written By: J. Beam
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 11 September 2014
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A runny nose might be the result of a cold, allergies, or even spicy foods. Regardless of the cause, a runny nose can be both aggravating and inconvenient. There are many home remedies that can be employed to treat a runny nose or at least alleviate the aggravation of one. The important thing to remember is that a runny nose is different than nasal congestion and should not be treated with a decongestant unless a doctor recommends it.

A runny nose is the result of increased mucus production in the sinus and nasal passages. The increased production of mucus is usually the result of the body attempting to clear cold or flu viruses or irritants and allergens from the body. A normal amount of mucus is always present, lubricating the lining of the nasal passageways and keeping germs out. An increased production typically results in runny noses and even postnasal drip, both of which can be irritating.

The best relief for a runny nose is to help the body by gently blowing the nose at regular intervals. However, excessive blowing can irritate the outside of the nose and make it tender and sore. For an excessively runny nose caused by seasonal or environmental allergies, try an over the counter antihistamine. For runny noses caused by cold or flu, an antihistamine may help alleviate the symptom, but because they slow the production of mucus they can cause germs to linger in the nasal cavity longer.

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Saline sprays or rinses are another option for alleviating the irritation that accompanies a runny nose. Saline nasal sprays are available over the counter and help thin the mucus, making it easier and more comfortable to expel. Saline sprays also help rid the nasal passages of irritants. You can also make your own saline solution by dissolving one-fourth of a teaspoon of salt in 2 cups of warm water. Using a rubber suction bulb, place a few drops in each nostril. Also consider using a humidifier if the air inside your home is dry as dry air also thickens mucus.

Most of the time, a runny nose will clear up on its own within three to five days. If a runny nose is accompanied by other symptoms including fever, does not disappear within two weeks, or the mucus secretions become green, change color or contain blood, you should call your doctor. Treating children with a runny nose can be difficult if they are too young to blow their nose. For possible over the counter relief for children, you should consult a pediatrician or family physician first.

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Discuss this Article

anon934992
Post 34

@anon348037 and anyone else: I had a runny nose for a long time. I ended up getting advice from someone to use a neti pot. It got rid of it within two months, and I did not have a runny nose for three months. It came back, so I used the neti pot again, and it gets rid of it. Go get the Neti Pot!! You can buy it almost anywhere. Try it!

anon348037
Post 33

I am from India. I have had a runny nose for over two years and I suffer badly. When I wake up in the morning, I sneeze a lot, my eyes get red, I have an itchy nose, I get tired and am not be able to do anything. I tried nasal sprays, but they didn't work. Now I'm taking an ayurvedic treatment. It was better but again, I'm back to the same situation. Does working the night shift increases sinus problems? Can anybody help?

anon345856
Post 32

I have had a runny nose, irritation and itching also in my nose for more than eight years. I have tried so many nasal sprays and tablets with the consult of doctor, but have no relief yet. My problem becomes chronic and my condition is going very bad. My throat is also not good. Please advise me how to get rid of from this problem, because it creates daily problems in my life. I cannot sleep, can't read, can't play, can't talk and so many other things. Please help me.

anon327331
Post 30

Runny/Stuffy noses are common in my family.I use Ayr Saline Nasal Mist. After some time I don't have the urge to blow and I feel better. If that doesn't work for you, try and rub your middle finger and index finger on the sides of your nose. Hope this helps!

anon326289
Post 29

I think you can just simply trim your hair inside your nose, because they sometimes tickle your nostrils and trigger it to produce more mucus.

anon303527
Post 28

I have had a bad case of runny nose for years. Nothing worked for me, not even prescription meds. However, whenever I take echinacea and zinc for six weeks out of the year it boost my immune system and eliminates seasonal allergies, common cold, flu etc.

I'm always busy and order it the majority of the time so it can be convenient. However, I did not take any this year, and now I am stuck with a runny nose. Echinacea takes a week to show its benefits but I need some benefits now.

anon260447
Post 26

I have to constantly sniff to clear my nose. This has been going on for years with me trying various medications, etc. The strange thing is that when I am out in the open there is no problem, but indoors or in the car it is a constant problem and annoying to anyone in my company. Can anyone help? --laurie

mbbschina
Post 25

I have tried so many nasal sprays and tablets with the help of doctors. But no relief yet. Now my problem is even worse. I I often get ear pains(got a hole and healed), headache and sore throat(so bad). My condition is getting so bad. I have spent lots of money on it.

anon196615
Post 24

Oh my goodness. I've had a really runny nose all day, came and read this then took anon24185's suggestion of swigging some alcohol (only had some brandy in the house) and straight away my nose has stopped running. Wow. I gargle rum for a sore throat or cough (with honey) and that works too, but didn't think about using alcohol for a runny nose.

anon168174
Post 23

I was so tired of taking medications for my allergies. Finally read nutritional Healing and took the advice of going vegan, plus cutting out oils (fried foods, etc.) and I became a new being! Not only did the allergy symptoms I hated disappear but also dry itchy skin in the winter went away and even mosquito bites didn't itch anymore. My complexion was so nice I didn't have to use foundation anymore either.

It was difficult at first, but with the Internet great recipes are everywhere. I have Liisa now so it's tough to follow it as closely but please try it. It will make your whole body recover from things you thought were just normal from aging. A couple supplements might be necessary too, so please research more.

anon162970
Post 21

Steam your face. It actually works!

anon157345
Post 20

Try a neti pot. Do it consistently every morning and night for a few weeks. Conditions should improve.

anon154847
Post 19

I have a runny nose and sneezing with the last 15 years. nothing helps. I have tried sprays and antihistamines. just fed up with blowing my nose.

anon122666
Post 18

Just a tip. I had severe runny nose issues every time I caught a cold, flu or allergy. I tried everything to slow it down but nothing helped. Turned out in the end I was allergic to the tissues I was using.

Also I agree with "anon71506" but I only attempt this in the shower. I use tissues the rest of the time. I find it helps cause it removes anything that may be causing extra irritation (a lose nose hair, bit of tissue., etc.)

anon118164
Post 17

My husband had a chronic runny nose until we stopped eating wheat. Then it went away.

anon106964
Post 16

my goodness. go to the clinic and have your blood checked, first of all. try increasing the consumption of warm water for a few days, then think of getting medicines.

anon99982
Post 15

Help. I've had a runny nose for two months after never experiencing a problem. It recently led to a really bad chest cold and the headaches are a pain.

I stay very fit and eat well but for some reason I changed into a mucus making machine and I don't know where it comes from. I've been to the doctors, tried antihistamines, tried vicks, tried saline cleaner, tried lemsip, tried clarinase. Does anybody have any ideas please? Yours, Andy

anon79121
Post 14

i have a runny nose, headache and red itchy eyes. I have taken antihistamine, but it has not worked. Also, i don't want to keep taking that. It's better to get cured through natural ways and it helps in the long run. I will try doing steam inhalation with vicks.

anon78624
Post 13

I have had a running nose for about twenty years. I have tried so many remedies including doctor's but nothing seems to be working. Could anyone please suggest any remedy and oblige.

Chad from U.K.

anon71506
Post 12

I just thought I'd add to the "blowing your nose at regular intervals" idea. For the past few years, instead of using tissue, whenever possible I'll just run some warm water, placing my nose in the stream and blowing it into the sink, alternating nostrils etc. Then washing my hands with soap after and drying off my face.

Obviously this might not be for everyone but it works extremely well and clears out your nose better than anything I've found.

anon70940
Post 11

Sprinkle a little bit of thyme powder (you get it in the spice aisle at the grocery store) on the back of a spoon and sniff a little up both nostrils. Blow your nose a few minutes later and it should work.

anon66239
Post 10

Try using a Netti Pot. It's a weird shaped little pot that you fill with a warm water/salt solution. You pour it slowly in one nostril with your head tilted to the side and then do it from the other side. It will flow through unless you're sinuses are totally blocked.

It helps to clear out infections and is also supposed to be very good for people with allergies, since it's supposed to flush out the allergens that are stuck up there.

It can be a bit weird at first, but it's worth a try as it's not very expensive and can't hurt you.

I often use it when I've got a cold to try to help things along and stay away from a serious sinus infection.

anon59176
Post 9

When you have a runny nose, which is associated with cold or flu, take 5-6 drops of onion juice and mix it with a teaspoon of canola or vegetable oil, then put about 3-5 drops of mixture in each nostril. It is a bit uncomfortable, but works every time.

anon58469
Post 8

everyone just needs be sensible here. i feel like dying taking ibuprofen and panadol and in bed with lemon tea, augmentin? why take an antibiotic for runny nose, pointless!

anon57966
Post 7

I use 1 tablespoon of ground turmeric in hot tea,coffee, or just water. It works pretty quick for me at stopping a runny nose. If it starts running again after an hour or so, I just make another cup.

anon31319
Post 6

For those with allergies, try an antihistamine nasal spray called 'azelastine.'

anon24185
Post 5

well lets just say im old and i saw my grandpappy do this when i was just a little tike roaming the dirt paths of the ol' whisky river and this trick never let our family down. its easy really too. just get a bottle of whiskey, just some jim beam or wild turkey will do and take a big ol drink, fill your mouth full!. one gulp does the trick. do it at night and when you wake up, your nose will be clear, and not runny! i guarantee this will work

nenee
Post 4

why has my nasal drip returned this time of year, i was fine in the summer, i started with green mucus and had antibiotics but im left with my nose filling with clear mucus and dripping when i go outside, could it be a winter allergy to something outside??

are there any medicines i could do to stop this once and for all instead of taking anti histamines?

ajkarloss
Post 3

I have runny nose for more than 2 years I guess. I have tried so many nasal sprays and tablets with the help of doctors. But no relief yet. Now my problem is even worsen. I I often get ear pains(got a hole and healed), headache and soar throat(so bad). Condition is going so bad. Have spent lots of money on it.

I am from India. But currently working in Malaysia and moving to Norway within 2-3 months. I am really scared that my problem may get worsen in Norway because its a cold country. Someone plz advice me.

anon12905
Post 1

I have had a runny nose for over 3 weeks. went to my family doctor. He recommended zyrtec or Benadryl. i have tried, not enough relief. I am tired of blowing my nose. Please recommend something. I thought of trying to take biaxin or augmentin.

please advise

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