10 Home Remedies for Runny Nose

Runny nose (rhinorrhea) refers to some state when your nasal lining produces excessive amounts of mucus. It is a very common and annoying problem. It occurs due to inflammation as well as blockage of the linings in your nasal passages and sinuses, mainly resulting from viral infection which is known as common cold.

While a runny nose may not be very harmful for your body, the discomfort it causes can harm your work and daily activities.

There are many over-the-counter medicines for runny nose, but they often have unpleasant side effects like drowsiness. Many simple home remedies can decrease the intensity of your symptoms, and help you get rid of runny nose, without any side effects. Here are 10 effective and simple home remedies for runny nose.


1. Steam

Steam is an effective home remedy for runny nose. It will help loosen up the mucus to ensure that you might be able to readily blow your nose clear and eliminate the blockage when you inhale steam.

Although steam coming out of clear hot water can also be powerful, when you make this an herbal steam with the addition of such herbs as mint, ginger or essential oils like eucalyptus, camphor, thymol, pine oil etc. you ensure quick relaxation for longer time.

  • Hold your face over a bowl of hot water, with a towel over your head to trap the steam. Breathe in the steam for about 10 minutes, and then blow your nose.
  • Do this 3-4 times a day.
  • Alternatively, you can take a hot shower or bath.

2. Salt Water

Salt water is the best home remedy for alleviating the irritation that accompanies a runny nose. Salt water will help thin the mucus, making it easier and more comfortable to expel. It will also help clear the nasal passages of irritants.

  • Mix 1/2 teaspoon of table salt in 2 cups of distilled warm water.
  • Using a dropper, put a few drops of the solution into each nostril with your head tilted back.
  • Inhale very gently to draw the solution further into your nasal passages. Then blow your nose to remove excess mucus and solution.
  • Do this a few times at a sitting until you feel relief.
  • Repeat a couple of times each day until your condition improves.

3. Ginger

Ginger never fails to deliver when it comes to natural remedies. In order to get rid of runny nose, just chew on small piece of ginger down your throat. Ginger will immediately make your body warm and helps in increasing the blood circulation in the body. Making the body warm means that your nasal passages are relieved from the mucus completely, thereby stopping the running nose within minutes. Chew ginger as often as needed until you are completely relieved.

  • Alternatively, cut ginger root into thin slices, put them in a cup of water and boil it for some time to make a tea. Add a little honey for taste and drink the tea 3-4 times a day.
  • You can also boil one teaspoon of ginger powder in 2 cups of water and inhale the steam.

4. Garlic

Garlic has excellent anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial properties that make it a wonderful home remedy for runny nose.

  • Boil 3-4 cloves of chopped garlic in a cup of water for several minutes. Strain the solution, add some sugar and drink the soup twice a day.
  • You can also chew a small piece of garlic 3-4 times a day to warm up your body and get rid of runny nose.

5. Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus oil is a decongestant and can give you instant relief from a runny nose. It is certainly used to take care of flu and cold and is widely utilized in the making of cough lozenges, ointments and inhalers. This oil contains anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties. The vapors of eucalyptus oil are regarded as a fantastic decongestant because of the anti-inflammatory properties that restrains mucus secretion.

  • Add 7 drops of eucalyptus oil and 4 drops each of lavender oil and peppermint oil to a large bowl of hot water.
  • Cover your head with a towel and lean over the bowl to inhale the scented steam.
  • Do this 2-3 times daily.

6. Sage  

This is one of the most effective natural remedies for runny nose and related infections. Sage has come to be known as a good herb for many medical conditions due to its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

  • Add one teaspoons of dried sage leaves in a cup of hot water.
  • Steep for 5-8 minutes.
  • Strain and add honey for taste.
  • Drink this tea once a day to get rid of runny nose.

7. Watercress

Take one ounce of watercress twice a day. There are several ways by which you can take watercress. Make a tea out of it or add it along with your tea. Whichever way you use it, it is extremely beneficial in stopping a runny nose.

  • For making a watercress tea, take 2 teaspoons of dry watercress and steep it in a cup of hot water. Strain and drink two times a day.

8. Turmeric  

Turmeric has been used since ancient times by Ayurveda and Chinese medicine to treat various medical conditions. The compound curcumin present in turmeric gives it all its health benefits. Curcumin has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties making it a perfect home remedy for runny nose.

  • Soak 1/2 teaspoon of dry, ground turmeric in a cup of linseed oil. Hold the mixture over heat until it starts smoking. Slowly inhale the smoke through one nostril and then the other. Do this twice daily.
  • You can also take 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder twice a day. Take it with some water. This will help loosen the mucus in the body.

9. Mustard Oil

The pungent and warm mustard oil has been used as mucolytic. Mucolytics help emptying sinuses out and break up mucous. It’s anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties.

  • Heat a small amount of mustard oil until it is slightly warm. Using a dropper, put 1-2 drops of the oil in each nostril. This will help clear up the nasal passages. Do this 2-3 times a day.
  • Alternatively, add 2-3 tablespoons of mustard oil and one tablespoon of caraway seeds to a pot of boiling water. Inhale the steam. The strong aroma of mustard oil will warm up the respiratory system, thus providing instant relief from a runny nose. Do this twice daily.

10. Nettle

The herb nettle can relieve a host of problems inside the nose like inflammation of the nasal passage, itching inside the nose and nasal congestion. Nettle can be boiled in a cup of water for making nettle tea which will immediately relieve running nose. You can use them as supplements too which are available in herbal shops.


  • Spicy foods can also cause runny noses, and make existing runny noses worse.
  • Drink lots of fluids, such as water or fruit juice. These will help flush out the fluids that are built up in your nose. Stay away from caffeinated beverages like coffee or tea, which will cause your nose to get more stuffed up.
  • It is better to get the fluid out than keeping it in, so blow instead of blocking.
  • Make sure to use a nice, soft tissue so that your nose won’t get irritated after blowing it several times.
  • Keep tissues with you at all times.
  • Stay warm while applying these home remedies.

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