How to Use a Neti Pot and Salt to Stop a Runny Nose Without Drugs
Many over-the-counter cold and allergy medications aimed to clear the sinuses and stop a runny nose contain an active ingredient called Phenylpropanolamine (PPA). According to the Healthy Canadians website, however, products containing this ingredient were recalled in 2000 because of a risk of hemorrhagic stroke, which can lead to death in some cases. Some of the over-the-counter treatments include Triaminic, Contac-C, and Dimetapp, all of which my family has often purchased when we had colds. Now we are thinking again.
If you would rather avoid drugs and treat your cold and allergy symptoms with natural remedies, try this method of nasal irrigation with a saline solution. This is an old yogic cleansing practice called neti. There are two ways to do it.
Natural Remedies for a Runny Nose from Colds and Allergies
The first way is with a neti pot which you can buy on-line or in a natural foods store for a few dollars. Add 1/4 teaspoon uniodized sea salt, and dissolve the salt in about 1/2 cup warm water. Use water that is safe to drink, or boiled and cooled if you are not sure. Then lean over the sink, turn your head to one side and pour the salt solution into the upper nostril until it runs out the lower nostril. The water then is running in one nostril, up through the nasal passage, and out the other nostril, clearing mucous and bathing the membranes as it goes. Use about half the pot of water in one nostril, then turn the head to the other side and do the opposite nostril. Once the neti pot is empty, block one nostril with your finger and expel the water and mucous from the open nostril, then clear the other.
Neti Pot Solution with Uniodized Sea Salt
Stop a Runny Nose with Salt Water and a Neti Pot
Uniodized Sea Salt for Nasal Irrigation to Stop a Runny Nose
Other remedies for sore throat and runny nose
- Chew fresh ginger root. Peel the root, and cut it into small pieces. Keep them in a small container you can carry with you during the day, and every hour or so put a piece in your mouth, chew lightly to release the juice, suck the juice and hold it in your mouth before swallowing. Ginger helps relieve the sore throat and clears it up faster, and the fumes help clear the runny nose, too.
- Drink hot water with lemon and honey.
- Sleep. Take the day off work, stay in bed and rest. Don't make other people sick, and get well faster yourself. During sleep and deep relaxation the body's immune system functions, dividing antibody cells to fight disease.
- Wash your hands often. Every time you blow your nose, germs get on your hands and everything you touch becomes a vector for germs to move to others.
Treatment for Runny Nose and Sore Throat
A second method, which is harder to learn but has the advantage of clearing the throat area and soothing a sore throat if you have this symptom as well as the runny nose with your cold, is to drink the salt water through both nostrils at once and spit it out the mouth. This method is easiest to do in the shower. I keep sea salt in a screw-top plastic container in my shower so it is easily available for a facial scrub and for neti during my shower. Dissolve about 1/4 teaspoon of uniodized sea salt in about 1/2 cup of warm water. Use a drinking cup or mug for this. Tip the cup so the saline solution is at the rim, then exhale and put both nostrils right under the water, and suck the water in through the nose. With practice you learn to block the throat with the tongue so the water does not go into the lungs, but at first while you are learning, you will probably choke and cough. Keep practicing.
Once the water is in the nose, spit it out the mouth. With practice, you will be able to develop a steady stream of water coming out your mouth.
How to Stop a Runny Nose and Sore Throat with Salt Water in a Mug
Benefits of Saline Nasal Irrigation
Why is this a good practice? The salt water dries out the mucous membranes and sterilizes the nose and throat, stopping the growth of virus or bacteria that are causing the infection. For several hours after, your nose will feel dry and clear, and your sore throat will diminish. Do it once or twice a day as needed.
Experiment with the amount of salt you need, depending on your body chemistry. If the water is too salty, you will gag. If the water is not salty enough, it will burn a little and feel uncomfortable on the mucous membranes.
Treatment for a Runny Nose Includes Relaxation
If you have a cold or are suffering from allergies, it is helpful to make time during your day to lie down flat on your back with your head slightly elevated, and relax. This supine position allows the sinuses to drain down the throat to where you can blow the nose gently or spit mucous out the mouth into a paper tissue. Spend the time practicing full diaphragmatic breathing into the belly, into the ribs, and into the collarbones to fully oxygenate the blood, blance the blood chemistry and allow deep cellular cleansing.
Follow the instructions below for a seven-minute guided relaxation with breathing. When you do this after practicing neti, you will get up with clear nasal pasages and feel great for hours.
Stop a Runny Nose with Guided Relaxation and Full Breathing
"Drug Products Containing Phenylpropanolamine." Healthy Canadians website