girl with runny noseA runny nose is a common condition, and almost everyone has had this annoying and uncomfortable experience. A running nose is simply the result of excess mucus produced following drainage of the nasal tissues. This drainage may occur through the nasal passage or may be passed down through the throat. In some cases, the drainage occurs both through the nose and the throat. For the most part, the production of excessive mucus is the body’s way of getting rid of allergens.

This explains why some of the most common causes of a runny nose are allergens such as specific food for allergic persons, reactions to medication, and allergy to dust mites. In quite a number of cases, a runny nose also results from a drastic change in the environment, such that different weather patterns in a remarkably short period of time trigger the excessive mucus production. Other causes include hormonal fluctuations, common cold and flu.

If not addressed in time, a runny nose easily gives way to more defined symptoms. These include severe coughing, migraines as well as pain in the ears. There are different medicines available in the market, yet while these products are effective, it is also important to mention that they are often accompanied by unpleasant side effects such as drying of the mouth, drowsiness and loss of appetite.

The good news, however, is that there are a number of easy-to-use home remedies that you can bank on. These remedies are not only free of many of the aforementioned side-effects, they are also quite easy to get. Additionally, the remedies provide great relief while reducing the severity of the symptoms.

1. Steam Therapy:

Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: A bowl containing hot water, a clean handkerchief and a towel. Menthol (optional
Difficulty: Moderate (This is attributed to the risk of scalding with hot water. For this reason, this home remedy is not suited for young children, the invalid and the elderly).


Steam therapy is a timeless procedure which you can use to help alleviate the symptoms that accompany a runny nose. Steam works as an excellent remedy because it helps loosen and clear the excessive mucus. This then makes it easy to blow your nose. Menthol is added as an optional ingredient, and is preferred due to its amazing decongestant properties.


  1. Take the bowl containing hot water and add the menthol before placing your head over it.
  2. You will then cover your head using a clean towel; the purpose of doing so is to trap the steam and let it fond its course to your nasal passages.
  3. Remain in this position for about 15 minutes, making sure you inhale the steam intently.
  4. Once the time has elapsed, blow your nose to drain the mucus.
  5. Repeat this procedure thrice daily until you start to feel much better.


2. Salt Solution:

Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Two teaspoons of table salt, two cups of warm water, a dropper (may be substituted with a neti pot), a clean handkerchief.
Difficulty: Easy


It is impossible to talk about natural home remedies for a runny nose without talking about salt solution. This age old remedy is loved for its ability to thin the mucus as well as get rid of allergens within the nasal system. The end result is mucus that is easy to blow out while eliminating the irritation that characterizes a runny nose. This remedy only requires table salt, which is pretty much accessible. In addition, it takes just about 20 minutes, and can be repeated twice daily. Take caution, however, not to overindulge in this remedy, or even use excessive salt for rapid results. The reason for this is that in excessive amounts, the salt completely dries the nasal passages, and may trigger a heightened reaction in response to the presence of irritants and allergens.


  1. Add the salt to the two cups of warm water and stir to dissolve completely.
  2. Take your dropper and suck three drops of the salt solution.
  3. You will then tilt your head backwards and place two drops in each nostril.
  4. Draw the solution into your nasal passages by inhaling slowly and carefully. This is done to ensure that the salt solution works effectively.
  5. Using the clean handkerchief, blow your nose to get rid of the thinned mucus alongside the salt solution.
  6. You can repeat this procedure twice at any given time, a couple of times each day until you get relief from the symptoms of a runny nose.


3. Ginger:

Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Fresh ginger, a pinch of salt OR fresh ginger, a cup of water and a teaspoon of honey
Difficulty: Easy


Ginger is yet another excellent remedy for treating a runny nose. This is because ginger is packed with antioxidants and anti toxic properties that not only help the body get rid of allergens and irritants, it also thins mucus and makes it easy to expel. There are three ways to use this remedy: you could choose sprinkle salt on the fresh ginger and chew on it during the day, prepare tea with the fresh ginger and sip on it severally during the day or simply combine steam therapy with the healing benefits of fresh ginger. The latter has the benefit of warming the body, which certainly creates a warming sensation across the body that makes the discomfort slightly more manageable.


Method 1: Using the Fresh Ginger to chew on

  1. Peel the fresh ginger and clean it under running water.
  2. Cut the ginger into small bite-size pieces and place in a bowl.
  3. Sprinkle salt on the chopped ginger and mix well.
  4. Chew on the salted ginger severally during the day.
  5. This wholesome remedy combines the action of salt and ginger for quick relief from a runny nose.

Method 2: Preparing tea using Fresh Ginger

  1. Peel the fresh ginger and clean it under running water.
  2. Cut the ginger into small bite-size pieces and place in a cup.
  3. Add water to fill the cup and transfer to a pan.
  4. Boil the mixture for five minutes to extract ginger’s healing properties.
  5. Strain the tea to get rid of the ginger.
  6. Add a teaspoon of honey (which is a natural sweetener and therefore has minimal side effects) to the ginger tea and stir.
  7. Take this tea thrice daily.
  8. Ginger tea works excellently for both a runny nose and the common cold, so if your runny nose results from the latter, the tea certainly offers double benefits for you.

Method 3: Combining Ginger with Steam Therapy

  1. Peel the fresh ginger and clean it under running water.
  2. Cut the ginger into small pieces and transfer to a pan.
  3. Add water the equivalent of two cups and bring the mixture to boil.
  4. Once boiled, transfer the mixture to a bowl.
  5. Lean over the bowl and inhale the steam for about five minutes or until the mixture cools.
  6. Repeat this thrice daily for relief from a runny nose.


4. Eucalyptus Oil:

Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Four drops of eucalyptus oil, two drops of lavender oil, two drops of peppermint oil, warm water in a bowl, a clean towel, clean handkerchief (optional).
Difficulty: Easy


Eucalyptus oil is a powerful decongestant that makes it one of the top natural remedies when it comes to the home treatment of a runny nose. The addition of lavender and peppermint oils work to enhance the remedy’s potency. On its own, eucalyptus oil may be applied on a clean handkerchief to inhale during the day and get relief from the symptoms of a runny nose.


  1. Add the each of the oils as outlined above to the bowl containing warm water.
  2. Stir the mixture to blend the oils and therefore draw the benefits therefore.
  3. Cover your head with a towel and lean over the bowl. This is done to trap the steam and channel it to your nose where the oil’s benefits help decongest the nasal passages.
  4. Deeply inhale the scented steam and hold in every 5 seconds or so. Do this until the water cools down.
  5. Repeat the procedure twice daily for relief from the discomfort of a runny nose.
  6. Alternatively, place two drops of eucalyptus oil on a clean handkerchief and use this as a quick fix to inhale the oil when you cannot get the steam therapy option setup. This also works pretty well for people who are always on the move.


5. Turmeric:

Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: What you require – ground turmeric, a cup of water (may be substituted with a glass of warm milk) or half a teaspoon of ground turmeric powder, a cup of linseed oil and source of heat
Difficulty: Easy


Turmeric is one of the most diverse natural remedies available, and works excellently in providing relief from a runny nose. These healing properties are attributed to the presence of potent antioxidants and antiviral properties, both of which help manage irritation of the nasal passage thus reducing the effects of a runny nose. There are two methods you can use to get the healing properties of turmeric as a natural remedy. The first remedy involves soaking the turmeric in linseed oil and smoking it to get rid of excessive mucus. The second method revolves around the more simpler method of preparing a drink from turmeric.


Method One: Preparing the Turmeric drink

  1. Put half a teaspoon of ground turmeric powder in a cup of water.
  2. Stir the water before heating it for 5 minutes.
  3. Allow to cool and drink this mixture throughout the day to manage the runny nose. You could use a glass of warm milk in place of the water to prepare turmeric tea. This tea works just as well as the drink prepared using the water.

Method Two: Soaking the Turmeric powder in Linseed Oil

  1. Place half a teaspoon of the turmeric powder in a bowl containing linseed oil and soak for 5 minutes.
  2. Heat the resulting oily mixture until it starts producing smoke.
  3. Turn off the heat and place your head over the pan to allow you to inhale the smoke.
  4. It is advisable to close one nostril and inhale the smoke through the other for maximum benefits.
  5. Repeat this procedure thrice daily to alleviate the runny nose.


6. Cinnamon + Honey:

Time Required: 15 Min
What You Need: Half a teaspoon of cinnamon, three tablespoons of lemon juice, two tablespoons of honey and a cup of warm water.
Difficulty: Easy


The combination of cinnamon and honey makes for a great remedy in the treatment of a runny nose. The cinnamon has excellent antibacterial properties that help get rid of irritants and possibly the bacteria that triggers a runny nose. Honey too has excellent antibacterial properties in addition to its ability to soothe the throat in cases where the excessive mucus is drained through the back of the throat.


  1. Mix the honey, cinnamon and lemon juice in the cup of warm water.
  2. Stir the mixture well and drink thrice daily over a couple of days until you feel better.


Other natural remedies that you can use for the home treatment of a runny nose include mustard oil which has potent antibacterial properties, garlic as well as cayenne pepper whose antihistamine properties help clear the nasal passages by flushing out any irritants or allergens present. In addition to these remedies, it also helps to blow your nose gently to prevent irritation. Staying hydrated by drinking lots of fluids also goes a long way in eliminating toxins from the nasal passages.