Natural Remedies

Natural Ways to Get Rid of a Runny Nose

The nasal cavity is protected by a substance called mucus. This mucus is a secretion of a tissue called the mucous membrane, which lines the nasal cavity. The primary purpose of mucus is to moisten your breath and trap foreign contaminants like pollen, dust, and bacteria.

Normally, the mucus drips down the throat upon mixing with saliva. However, those suffering from rhinorrhea, or a runny nose, will notice mucus dripping or draining from their nostrils.

Did You Know!

Normally, your nose and sinus produce about one litre of mucous daily. This quantity increases when you fall sick.

On average, adult contracts a cold or runny nose at least 2-3 times in a year(1), whereas, children contract it more often. These numbers simply indicate how common an occurrence a runny nose is. While it may not be a cause of concern, it can be rather inconvenient. Thus, if you are looking for tips on how to get rid of a runny nose, then you have come to the right place! Read on to know about the best natural remedies for a runny nose.

Naturopathic Remedies for Runny Nose

  1. Essential Oils
  2. Home remedies
  3. Foods


A runny nose is more of a symptom than a condition. As such, there could be multiple issues that could cause a runny nose. Here are a few common causes of a runny nose:

  • Allergies
  • Common cold or flu
  • Sinusitis
  • Deviated septum
  • Medication
  • Hormonal changes
  • Dry air
  • Nasal polyps
  • Smoke
  • Pregnancy
  • Spicy foods

Common cold or flu is the leading cause(1) for a runny nose.

Wondering how to stop a runny nose? Let’s have a look.

CURE 1: Essential Oils for Runny Nose

Inhaling the goodness of essential and regular oils will result in the stoppage of the mucus flow in no time.

1. Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus oil min
Image: Shutterstock

The cooling smell of eucalyptus can not only stop your nose from running but also help with health conditions like a common cold.

Did You Know?

There are more than 400 different species of eucalyptus! Amongst these, Eucalyptus globulus (commonly known as Blue Gum), the primary source of eucalyptus oil worldwide.

Why Does it Work?

Due to its antiviral(1) and antimicrobial(2) properties, eucalyptus oil has been the most well-known remedy for allergies, common cold, and their symptoms. The anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties are also capable of relieving the condition. As such, it is particularly effective against those suffering from a chronic runny nose.

Materials Required
  • Eucalyptus oil.
  • Handkerchief.
  1. Dab a little eucalyptus oil on the handkerchief and inhale through it.
  2. Keep taking a few whiffs every now and then throughout the day.


Do this daily until the symptoms subside.

2. Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil is extracted from the leaves of spearmint. It has a minty-fresh refreshing fragrance.

Why Does it Work?

The menthol in peppermint oil helps with decongestion of the chest. It thins out the mucus so that it can be easily expelled from the body. Peppermint oil also possesses antiviral(3) properties through which it can help cure your cold. When mixed with lavender oil, the blend can also target the infection that is the root cause of the runny nose. This is due to the antibacterial and antifungal(4) agents in lavender oil.

Materials Required
  • Three drops of peppermint oil.
  • Five drops of lavender oil.
  • 30mL of carrier oil (such as jojoba oil or almond oil).
  1. Blend the essential oils and the carrier oil.
  2. Apply the mixture to your neck, chest, and on the bridge of your nose.
  3. Let it stay.

NOTE: Do NOT use peppermint oil for kids who are of age six years or below.


Keep applying this oil blend two to three times a day.

3. Mustard Oil

Mustard Oil

The thick viscous oil prepared from mustard seeds is rather effective against cold.

Did You Know?

Due to its pungent odour, mustard oil is an effective insect repellent.

Why Does it Work?

Mustard oil is loaded with antibiotic and antiviral (5) compounds that make it highly effective. It not only offers runny nose relief but also helps in getting rid of colds.

Materials Required
  • A tablespoon of mustard oil.
  1. Warm the oil
  2. Gently drip a few drops of the oil in each nostril.


Try this remedy twice a day (morning and night) until the condition goes away.

Also Read: The Best Essential Oils to Treat Stress

CURE 2: Home Remedies for Runny Nose

Are you looking for ways on how to cure runny nose using the items lying around your house? Here are a few remedies that may help.

1. Salt Water

Common salt is more than a mere seasoning in food; it is indeed an ingredient to get rid of a runny nose!

Why Does it Work?

Saltwater has the capacity of thinning down the mucus, which, in turn, becomes less viscous and more likely to be removed from the body. Further, it clears(6) out any foreign elements present in the nasal cavity, which may be causing your allergies.

Materials Required
  • Two teaspoons of salt.
  • Two cups of lukewarm water.
  • Dropper.
  1. Mix the salt in the water and stir it until it completely dissolves.
  2. Squeeze the bulb of the dropper and fill it with the saline solution.
  3. Administer a few drops of saline water inside your nostrils.


Do this two to three times a day.

2. Steam or Hot Shower

What’s good for a runny nose? Some good old steam!

Why Does it Work?

The warmth borne by steam is capable of breaking down mucus. As a result, the mucous readily comes out from your body rather than leaving behind a stuffy feeling.

Materials Required
  • A bowl of boiling hot water.
  • A large towel.
  1. Place your face and sinuses above the bowl containing hot water.
  2. Cover your head with the towel and inhale the steam.
  3. Stay under the towel for about fifteen minutes and then blow out your nose.

Alternatively, you can pop into your bathroom for a quick, hot-water shower and gain the same results.

TIP: You can add a few drops of eucalyptus or peppermint oil to the hot water to inhale the essential oil along with the steam.


Take steam for about three to four times a day.

3. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar appears to be a tried and tested home remedy for every health condition imaginable.

Did You Know?

Apple Cider Vinegar is prepared from crushed, distilled, and fermented apples.

Why Does it Work?

Due to its antiviral and antibacterial properties, Apple Cider Vinegar is effective against a runny nose. It also triggers the production of antihistamines, which are extremely helpful in curing allergies. Thus, if you are suffering from a runny nose due to an allergy, try treating it with some apple cider vinegar.

Materials Required
  • Two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar.
  • One teaspoon honey.
  • Half a teaspoon of ground cinnamon.
  • A glass of lukewarm water.
  1. Combine all the ingredients in the lukewarm water and stir it well.
  2. Drink the mixture while it is still warm.


Consume this drink about two times in a day.

4. Honey and Lemon

The combination of lemon and honey is well-known for curing throat infections. However, did you know that it is also rather potent against a runny nose?

Why Does it Work?

Honey possesses antibiotic(7) properties. Its potency is further enhanced with a similar antimicrobial(8) property contributed by lemon. Collectively, they can cure nasal infection effectively. Further, the inflammation of the nasal passage can be reduced due to the anti-inflammatory action of honey.

Materials Required
  • A tablespoon of honey.
  • Juice of half a lemon.
  • A glass of warm water.
  1. Mix all the contents in a glass and drink it.


Drink this concoction twice a day until the condition subsides.

5. Herbal Tea

Herbal Teas

Unlike regular tea, which is brewed from tea leaves like oolong, black, and green, herbal teas are prepared from dried flowers, herbs, or spices. Depending on the ingredient that you pick, you can gain benefits from drinking its tea.

Why Does it Work?

If you are suffering from a runny nose, it is extremely important to stay hydrated. However, drinking water may not seem like an attractive option in such a condition. This is where herbal tea comes into the picture. It not only supplies fluids to your body but also decongests your airways due to the warm steam. Hence, it is advisable to inhale the steam of the tea before drinking it.

Chamomile possesses antibacterial and anti-inflammatory(9) properties. Further, it boosts antihistamine production and strengthens the immune system. Thus, it is the most preferred herbal tea for treating a runny nose.

Materials Required
  • Two teaspoons of dried chamomile flowers.
  • Two cups of hot water.
  1. Pour the hot water over the dried chamomile flowers and let it brew for two to three minutes.
  2. Strain out the chamomile flowers, and drink when warm.


You may drink this chamomile tea two to three times a day.

CURE 3: Foods

What to take for runny nose, which will be readily available and would not cause any side-effects? Food!

1. Ginger

Ginger in a spoon

Ginger is often considered a superfood due to the centuries-old knowledge about the health benefits that it offers.

Why Does it Work?

The antioxidants present in ginger can cure a variety of health issues. It also possesses antiviral and antifungal properties that can cure the root cause of a constant runny nose.

Materials Required
  • Ginger.
  • Salt.
  1. Finely grate the ginger, top with some salt.
  2. Pop it in your mouth.

Alternatively, you could brew ginger tea and drink it.


Chew on ginger for at least three to four times a day.

2. Garlic

According to ancient folklore, garlic can ward off vampires. While nothing is known of vampires, it can positively ward off a runny nose. Here’s how.

Why Does it Work?

Garlic not only boosts your immune system but it also warms up your body internally. A compound called allicin (10) possesses antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties, which will get rid of all the microbes causing the runny nose in the first place.

Materials Required
  • Three or Four small, peeled cloves of garlic.
  1. Chew on the garlic clove and then swallow it.


Eat one clove at a time and space out the activity in three or four parts right through the day. You may do this daily until the symptoms go away.

3. Turmeric


Turmeric is the golden condiment paving the way for better health. It promotes overall health and wellness in your body.

Turmeric is considered a natural antivenom(11) for King Cobra bites!

Why Does it Work?

Turmeric powder is rich in compounds that offer antibacterial, antiviral, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory benefits. As a result, it helps with loosening the mucus and alleviates the itchiness and irritability that accompanies a runny nose.

Materials Required
  • One teaspoon of turmeric powder.
  • One cup linseed oil.
  1. Allow the turmeric powder to soak in the linseed oil.
  2. Heat the oil until it smokes. Inhale the smoke.

Also Read: Proven Health Benefits of Turmeric

TIP: Freshly ground turmeric works wonders in this remedy.


Repeat this remedy twice a day until you gain relief.

Fortunately, you can deal with a runny nose at home. Simply try out the natural remedies listed above to breathe easy. Most of the natural cures not only help with a runny nose but could also alleviate other accompanying symptoms such as a cold or sore throat.

Just remember to drink an adequate amount of water to compensate for the loss of fluids. You could even try eating spicy food as the capsaicin can help cure a runny nose. However, practice care as it is also a stimulant for a runny nose.

What do you do when you are suffering from a runny nose? Share your runny nose hacks with us now!


Following are some frequently asked questions in connection with a runny nose:

1. What to do for runny nose?

If you are suffering from a runny nose, you can try out the home remedies given above. While they may help fix a runny nose, it still doesn’t truly address the underlying issue that could be causing the runny nose. As such, identify the reason behind why your nose is running and treat that as well.

2. What are the common signs and symptoms of a runny nose?

The most characteristic symptom of a runny nose is the excessive production of mucus to a point where it drips out from the nostrils. It could block the nasal passage, which causes stuffiness. Other symptoms include:

  • Constant sneezing.
  • Facial pain.
  • Headache.
  • Rawness in the skin around your nose.
  • Nosebleeds.

If the mucus travels to the ear canal or in the throat, it could also lead to ear infection and throat infection, respectively.

3. How to prevent a runny nose?

Here are a few preventive measures that will protect you from contracting any condition that results in a runny nose:

  • If you are allergic, keep your surroundings clean. Stay away from any allergens.
  • Wear a mask or cover your neck, mouth, and nose while heading outside in winters.
  • Use a humidifier if your runny nose is a result of dry air.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Follow a healthy and well-balanced meal plan.

4. Should I see a doctor?

Normally, a runny nose is no cause of concern. However, if you notice that your mucus is yellow or green, consult a medical professional at the earliest.

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