Congestion is one of the more annoying manifestations of catching a cold, and the stuffy nose and sinus pain that result from it can make other cold symptoms even more unbearable. Instead of loading up on an over-the-counter decongestant, which may make you drowsy and foggy-headed, here are four natural ways you can relieve congestion.
Use the shower: Steam from a shower is beneficial for opening up nasal passageways, so focus on breathing while you're in there. Make a conscious effort to breathe deeply and slowly to maximize the steam's decongesting benefits.
Exercise: You may not feel like you're at full energy, but even if you go slower than you're used to, cardio can help open up your nose and relieve sinus pressure. Aim for 20 minutes of brisk walking, jogging, or other cardio to help break up sinus pressure.
Tea remedy: A spicy tea can help open nasal passages while also warming you up. Peruse your spice cabinet and look for ingredients that help with other aspects of your cold as well, like this sage tea, which helps soothe a cough, or a ginger-based brew, which helps boost your immune system. For extra-strength congestion help, make this apple cider vinegar and cayenne pepper tea.
Neti pot: Many people swear by using a neti pot and warm saline solution to clear nasal passages when they are congested from a cold or allergies. While using a neti pot is generally safe, there are some precautions you should use to ensure your pot stays bacteria free, like only using sterilized or distilled water and cleaning your neti pot thoroughly after each use. Read more tips on how to use a neti pot safely here.