Post-nasal drip (abbreviated PND) is a condition that refers to the excessive production of mucus in the nasal cavities. This essentially creates a dripping sensation in the throat area and at the back of the nose. It is important to note that while the production of mucus is a normal occurrence, when produced in excess amounts, the mucus accumulates and creates discomfort.
There are many causes of PND, and these range from nasal infections to allergens and in some cases disorders that affect the swallowing mechanism. There are two types of secretions produced in the nasal cavity: thin and thick secretions. The difference between the two revolves around the changes in consistency of the secretions.
Some of the symptoms that accompany these secretions include a sore throat, excessive coughing, congestion and overall body fatigue. There are numerous causes of post-nasal drip, but the good news is that a number of home remedies which you can use to alleviate the symptoms of the condition. These home remedies are typically used to reduce the excessive production of mucus, and they therefore tie in with remedies used for managing a runny or stuffy nose.
Additionally, should you notice that PND does not resolve itself after a couple of days of using the natural home remedies, you need to consult your doctor. Once a proper diagnosis is done, your doctor will then advise you on what home remedies will be best suited for your treatment regimen. This is important because it prevents drug-home remedy interactions that may have unpleasant side effects.
1. Salt Water Gargle:
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: Half teaspoon of salt and a cup of warm water.
Salt water gargle is one of the simplest home remedies for the management of post nasal drip. The salt present in the solution thins the mucus and makes it easy to expel. In addition to this, the salt also helps get rid of irritants found in the nasal cavities. It is an effective remedy and is easy to prepare using the directions listed below.
- Place half a teaspoon of salt in the cup of warm water and stir thoroughly to ensure complete dissolution of the salt.
- Gargle the solution a couple of times for about 3 days in a row. Monitor the progress of the PND and note whether there are any improvements.
2. Steam Therapy:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Boiling water in a bowl, a clean towel and a few drops of your choice essential oil (optional).
Steam therapy is one of the most effective home remedies for the management of Post-nasal drip. The steam that arises from the bowl of boiling water and into the nasal cavity loosens the mucus and makes elimination faster. This makes it easy to control the accumulation of mucus at the back of the nose, thus eliminating the discomfort that accompanies PND. The addition of essential oil is done to compliment the function of the steam inhalation. The preferred essential oil is eucalyptus oil, but you can select any of the essential oils available.
NOTE: The difficulty of this home remedy is categorized as moderate for the simple reason that it is not ideal for little children and the elderly. This is attributed to the accompanying risk of scalding, making it important for users to exercise caution.
- Add the drops of essential oil to the bowl containing boiling water.
- Lower you head before placing the towel over your face in order to contain the steam and allow it to permeate the nasal cavity.
- Inhale the steam as deeply as you can, for approximately 10 minutes in each session.
- After the inhalation, blow your nose to get rid of the mucus.
- Repeat this procedure thrice daily until the post-nasal drip clears.
- Steam inhalation can always be accompanied by a warm bath to get the best results.
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: Onions, grated ginger and three teaspoons of sugar.
Onions are a great natural remedy used in the management of Post-nasal drip, thanks to the natural antibiotic properties found in onions. These properties help get rid of potential infections while creating a conducive environment for the expulsion of mucus and other irritants in the body. Onion also has natural compounds that promote healing and soothe the back of the nose. Ginger is added for its ability to clear the mucus with ease.
- Peel the onion to reveal the fleshy part of the bulb.
- Chop the onion to get small fine pieces before sprinkling the grated ginger.
- Mix the two ingredients well by tossing and flipping in a bowl.
- Transfer the mixed ginger and onions to a pan and turn on low heat.
- Sprinkle three teaspoons of sugar to the mixture and mix well.
- Turn the heat off and cover the pan for some 10 minutes.
- Ingest the resulting mixture thrice daily for best results.
NOTE: If you are concerned about the smell of onions in your breath, you can always chew on mint leaves or fresh parsley leaves as this effectively gets rid of the pungent smell.
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: A piece of fresh ginger, a cup of water, a strainer and a teaspoon of honey.
Ginger is also an excellent remedy used to alleviate the symptoms of Post-nasal drip. It not only has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce the discomfort in the throat and in swallowing, it also has antibiotic properties that help deal with potential infections. This reduces mucus accumulation, in effect aiding in the expulsion of the mucus. Honey is added to soothe the throat and get rid of the characteristic hoarseness that accompanies PND.
- Peel the fresh ginger and wash well.
- Grate the ginger in a bowl and transfer it to a cup of water.
- Stir the mixture before bringing it to boil.
- Boil for four minutes before straining the concoction.
- Add a teaspoon of honey to the ginger tea and stir.
- Drink this concoction thrice daily for a couple of days until the PND eases.
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: Four cloves of garlic, a teaspoon of ghee, quarter glass of warm milk.
Garlic is a potent home remedy for a host of conditions, and Post-nasal drip is one such condition. Garlic’s potency is attributed to its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties which aid in the expulsion of the accumulated mucus. In addition, the garlic also eliminates any particular pathogen-causing irritants in the nasal cavity. This enhances healing and soothes the throat region. The warm milk is intended to cater for the swallowing process. Take care, however, to ensure that you do not take copious amounts of milk as it is known to increase the production of mucus which only worsens the condition.
- Peel the cloves of garlic to remove the flaky layers.
- Chop the cloves into sizable pieces.
- Place a teaspoon of ghee on a pan and turn on the heat.
- Once the ghee is sufficiently hot, place the chopped garlic in order to roast.
- Turn the heat off and allow the roasted garlic to cool for a couple of minutes.
- Swallow the roasted garlic and finish it off with the warm milk.
- Repeat this procedure twice daily until you get relief from PND.
6. Black Pepper:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: Black pepper or peppercorns, pestle and mortar, a teaspoon of ghee or butter, a teaspoon of lump sugar
Black pepper is best known for its culinary purposes. What you may not realize is that this spice also plays an integral role in its capacity as a natural remedy. Black pepper is packed with antimicrobial properties that help get rid of infections which trigger excessive production of mucus. In addition, it is also packed with antioxidants, minerals and vitamins all of which hasten the healing process. Note that while you may use black pepper in powder form, the pepper corns make for a better option.
- Take the peppercorns and grind using a pestle and mortar.
- Place a teaspoon of ghee on a pan and turn on low heat.
- Once the ghee melts, roast the coarse black pepper.
- Add the sugar to the roasting mixture and stir some more.
- Turn the heat off and eat the resulting mixture while it is still hot as this is when the remedy is most potent.
- Repeat this procedure and take the remedy twice daily until you notice an improvement in the symptoms associated with PND.
7. Cayenne Pepper:
Time Required: 25 Min
What You Need: Half teaspoon of cayenne pepper, half teaspoon of honey OR the pepper and a cup of water
Cayenne pepper powder is an effective remedy that helps with the treatment of PND. This is because cayenne pepper contains capsaicin, which is responsible for thinning the mucus and making it easy to expel. Additionally, cayenne pepper’s properties as an anti-histamine that helps treat and manage the symptoms of PND. Honey is added to the mixture to soothe the throat as well as prevent any infections. There are two ways you can use cayenne pepper as described below: using pepper and honey or preparing tea from the powder.
Using Cayenne Pepper and Honey:
- Mix the cayenne pepper with the honey and stir so that the resulting mixture is even.
- Take this mixture thrice daily for a couple of days until the condition improves.
Using Cayenne Pepper and a cup of warm water:
- Boil a cup of water and place aside.
- Place a teaspoon of cayenne pepper powder in a cup and add the hot water.
- Stir in a teaspoon of honey and drink this mixture while still hot. Use this remedy thrice daily for best results.
Other natural home remedies that work excellently in the management of post-nasal drip include freshly squeezed lemon juice which works by thinning mucus, apple cider vinegar whose high pH value both thins the mucus and boosts your immunity as well as baking soda in warm water. In addition to the use of these remedies, it helps to get rid of potential allergens in one’s environment as this only adds to the severity of Post-nasal drip. Staying away from foods that increase mucus production such as milk and dairy products also goes a long way in managing Post-nasal drip.