Winter is definitely here where I live, very frigid with a couple more months of it stretching out before us. It’s common in this weather to develop a deep cold with a congested head, nose and chest. It sneaks up on us and not fun at all to endure!
Here’s a nice, soothing remedy that uses a blend of dried herbs that can help break up that uncomfortable stuffiness. If steaming isn’t your thing, I’ve also included below DIY instructions for using a saltwater solution.
Herb Blend Recipe:
4 tsp peppermint leaves
3 tsp rosemary
3 tsp thyme
(Makes two treatments)
- Mix all the items together, split in half and save one part in an airtight container or ziploc bag.
- Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Remove from heat and add the 1/2 herbal mixture.
- Cover and steep for 10 minutes.
Follow the instructions for use on this page…Edited Slightly Below
- Place pot on counter or table (on top of a hot pad to protect the table surface) and take off the lid.
- Cover your head with a large clean towel and position face over the vessel (with the fabric acting as a tent over the bowl to capture the steam).
- Keep eyes closed and face at least 10 to 12 inches from the piping hot liquid.
- Your nasal passage should clear quickly, when it’s possible to do so, breathe in deeply (through nostrils) the fragrant steam.
- Enjoy the soothing heat and relax, it feels good to be able to fully breathe through nostrils again but don’t overdo it. Keep the time between 5 to 7 minutes before getting up and removing the towel.
- When the time is over, splash skin with slightly cool water and pat dry.
Do this two nights in a row to help break things up. This is especially beneficial for head colds.
If you’re not up to doing a full treatment, try pressing a wet, hot washcloth positioned across the nose and cheek bones. When heating the cloth, run the water as hot as possible (only as skin will tolerate but not enough to burn you). Rest quietly until the cloth has cooled. This should help relieve pressure.
If it’s a deep chest condition, consider trying the recipe for a mustard plaster found on this page. It’s a tried-and-true home remedy that your grandmother is likely familiar with ;).
How To Relieve Sinuses With A Saltwater Spray
There’s no need to buy special nose drops or sprays, a homemade saline nasal solution is easy to make and all the ingredients needed are likely in your cupboard right now…
- Boil then cool to (comfortably) warm a small pot of water. Remove 1 cup and then bottle and refrigerate the rest. This refrigerated batch can be used again without boiling, just heat to the temperature most comfortable to you and proceed to the next steps below.
- Dissolve 1/2 tsp of Kosher salt (or any non-iodized salt) and a 1/2 tsp of baking soda into the 1 cup you set aside. The baking soda isn’t strictly necessary but it does act as a buffer against stinging.
- Pour the mixture into a small squeeze bottle or neti pot then carefully squirt/pour the fluid into nostrils to rinse the nasal passage.
- After draining all the liquid, blow out through the nose any remaining residue. This can be done three times per day.
- If you have congested nasal passages or a stuffed/severe headache or a toothache or jaw ache that puts you through the roof, you may have a sinus infection–don’t be shy about having your doctor check it out.
How To Use The Neti Pot (or bottle): Simply bend over a sink, tilt face to the side (9 o’clock position), then while breathing with your *mouth*, pour or squeeze the salt solution into the top (left) nostril (it will run out the other side and into the sink), then do the same for the other (right) nostril (turning head the other way, 3 o’clock position). It’s not complicated but if you can’t visualize this or are struggling, just do a search on YouTube for directions and you’ll see how easy it is.