15 Excellent Home Remedies for a Runny Nose



Chances are that your nose is running faster than a waterfall. A runny nose is a very common and annoying problem. It occurs with most of us. But what is a runny nose exactly? A runny nose is a nasal discharge of mucus. A runny nose is the result of excess nasal mucus production, leading to watery nasal secretions that discharge from the nostrils or drip down into the throat.

Normally, your body produces mucus in your nose to keep your airways moist. But, when an invader such as the cold bug tries to get in, the body ramps up mucus production as a defense mechanism. While a cold or the flu is often the culprit, a runny nose can also be the result of allergies and sinus infection.



If not treated timely, it can lead to coughing, earaches, headaches and other problems. There are many over-the-counter medicines for a runny nose, but they often have unpleasant side effects such as drowsiness.

Many simple home remedies can give you instant relief and also decrease the intensity of your symptoms, without any side effects. So before the used tissues start taking over your desk and your bed, try out a few of these natural remedies to get rid of your runny nose fast.

Excellent Home Remedies for a Runny Nose

A good home remedy is safe, does not cost a lot, and can help your child feel better. They are also found in almost every home. The following are simple home remedies to help stop a runny nose.

1. Salt Water Rinse

1. Salt Water Rinse

Using salt water to clear your nasal passages is probably one of the easiest and cheapest ways to stop a runny nose in its tracks. Studies show that participants who used saline irrigation during a cold experienced a significant reduction in symptoms. Not only that but also reduces nasal secretions, sore throat and nasal obstruction.

In addition to providing immediate relief from a runny nose, salt has strong antibacterial and antiviral properties. These can help kill the microbes responsible for your sniffles in the first place. Salt water also alleviates the irritation that accompanies a runny nose. It also helps to thins the mucus.

How to Use

  • Mix 1/2 teaspoon of table salt with 2 cups of warm water (distilled).
  • Drip a few drops of salt solution into each nostril with your head tilted back.
  • Inhale very gently to draw the solution into your nasal passages.
  • Now blow your nose to remove the excess mucus and the salt solution.
  • Continue doing it for a few times in every single sitting.
  • Repeat the process 2 times in a day until you get complete relief from runny nose.
  • For extra relief, you can add a pinch of baking soda to balance the pH levels.

2. Honey for Runny Nose

2. Honey for Runny Rose

Honey has antibacterial and antiviral properties which help to reduce runny nose. Cinnamon is a spicy herb which helps to clear the bacteria that causes runny nose, while honey soothes irritation.

How to Use

  • Mix a tablespoon of honey and 3 – 4 drops of fresh lemon juice in a glass of warm water.
  • Drink while warm, twice a day.
  • This process will strengthen the immune system.

Or

  • Mix 2 tablespoons of honey, a pinch of cinnamon powder and quarter spoon of lemon.
  • Take this solution regularly.

3. Onion

3. Onion for Runny Rose

Onion helps to provide relief from a runny nose if it occurs due to a sinus infection or by bacteria, virus or fungi. Sulfur present in onion contains strong antibacterial properties which loosens up and drains out the phlegm easily. Smelling onion itself can provide relief from sinus infection. However, you can also try the below steaming method for quick relief.

How to Use

  • Chop 1 – 2 onions in thin slices.
  • Bring 1 -2 cups of water to boil and add onion slices into it.
  • Simmer for 5 minutes and remove from the flame.
  • Pour the solution into a cup.
  • Drink the onion tea and inhale the vapors coming out of it.
  • Repeat the process as required.

4. Steam for Runny Nose

4. Steam for Runny Nose

Steam is a very good home remedy that can be used to treat different nasal problems. It helps to clear out excess mucus which causes runny nose and sneezing, as well as the irritation.

How to Use

  • Add few drops of mint leaves or ginger slices into a bowl of hot water.
  • Drape a towel over your head and inhale the steam for about 10 minutes.
  • Blow your nose to clear the mucus but it should be gentle.
  • Repeat 3 – 4 times a day.
  • For more effectiveness, add few drops of any essential oil such as camphor, pine oil, thymol or others.

Note: You can also take regular hot water baths.

5. Herbal Tea

You must be thinking why all the remedies for a runny nose have to be smelly and boring with horrible tastes. But if you are looking for something that will cure your runny nose and which also tastes good, you may try this herbal tea. It uses some ingredients that we have already discussed but in a way and with some other ingredients that make it taste good.

How to Use

  • To 1 -2 cups of water, add 1/2 teaspoon each of crushed garlic, sliced ginger and cinnamon powder.
  • Simmer the mixture for 5 minutes and remove from the flame.
  • Strain it and add 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of honey into it.
  • Place a tea bag of any flavour into the solution and let it steep for few minutes.
  • Consume the tea slowly while it is still hot.
  • For effective results, you can exclude the straining and eat the garlic and ginger pieces while drinking the tea.
  • Consume 2 – 3 cups of herbal tea in a day.

6. Turmeric for Runny Nose

6. Turmeric for Runny Nose

This yellow herb 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 medicinal properties. This acts as an antidote for many health related conditions. It contains strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral properties which help to treat runny nose.

How to Use

  • Mix ½ teaspoon of dry, ground turmeric powder with a cup of linseed oil.
  • Let it soak for few minutes.
  • Heat the mixture. Once it starts smoking, remove from the heat.
  • Inhale the smoke slowly through one nostril and slowly exhale.
  • Repeat the same with other nostril as well.
  • Repeat it twice a day.

Or



  • To 1 or 2 cups of water, add 1/2 – 1 teaspoon of turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon grated ginger and a pinch of clove powder.
  • Bring this mixture to boil and simmer for 8 – 10 minutes.
  • Remove from the flame and strain it.
  • Add honey and stir well.
  • Consume this drink 1 – 2 times daily.

7. Mustard Oil

The warm and pungent mustard oil has been traditionally used as mucolytic. Mucolytics break up mucous and help draining out sinuses.  Mustard oil contains antiviral, antibacterial and also antihistamine properties. It also contains an ingredient that fights off the germs causing the infection. Besides, mustard oil can also slow down any bacterial damage. Hence, it can not only drain out the mucus but also treats the infection as well.

How to Use

  • Heat a small amount of mustard oil until lukewarm.
  • Pour 1 or 2 drops of the oil in each nostril using a dropper.
  • Tilt your head for few seconds such that the oil can get into sinus cavities and nasal passages. Mustard oil will moisten and lubricate any dry object like dirt present in your nose or sinuses.
  • Blow your nose to let the dirt come out along with mucous
  • Repeat the process for twice or thrice a day.

Note: You can also include mustard oil into your daily cooking.

8. Ginger for Runny Nose

8. Ginger for Runny Nose

Ginger has been used for thousands of years in the treatment of cold symptoms. It contains antioxidants, antiviral and also antifungal properties. It helps loosen phlegm and also give relief from respiratory discomforts. It’s thus, not only good for a runny nose but even for other symptoms of cold and flu-like sore throat and fever etc.

How to Use

  • Peel some fresh ginger.
  • Cut into small pieces and sprinkle some salt.
  • Chew the ginger pieces several times a day.

Or

  • Cut fresh ginger into thin slices.
  • Boil in a cup of water.
  • Strain the tea and add a little honey and lemon juice to taste.
  • Drinking ginger tea for 3 – 4 times a day will helps to give relief from cold and runny nose.

9. Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus oil is a superstar when it comes to fighting off the bugs that bring about runny noses. It acts as decongestant which gives instant relief.

How to Use

  • Add seven drops of eucalyptus oil and four drops each of lavender oil and peppermint oil to a bowl of warm water.
  • Cover your head with a towel and bend over the bowl.
  • Inhale the steam.
  • Repeat 2-3 times a day.
  • Eucalyptus oil can also be inhaled throughout the day by adding it to a handkerchief.

10. Garlic for Runny Nose

10. Garlic for Runny Nose

Yet another common herb from the kitchen, garlic is known for its excellent antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties. It cures your runny nose not only that but also common cold, influenza, sinus infections. While you can chew 1-2 cloves of garlic if you can stand the bad breath afterwards, making garlic tea by steeping it in hot water seems rather easy a remedy. You can also make garlic soup with yet another beneficial ingredient for relieving runny nose, onion.

How to Use

  • Cut 2-3 garlic cloves and add them 2 cups water.
  • Let this water boil.
  • Grate 1 small onion and extract its juice.
  • Add this onion juice to the boiling water.
  • Then add a pinch of salt.
  • Have this soup twice a day to get rid of a runny nose.

11. Basil

Holy Basil contains antifungal, antiviral and also antibacterial properties. These help to heal the runny nose by warming your body from inside.

How to Use

  • Chew 3 – 4 fresh basil leaves early in the morning on an empty stomach and before going to bed.
  • Repeat it regularly.
  • Or add a little jaggery to 2 – 3 basil leaves for taste and eat it twice a day.

Or

  • Add 8 – 10 basil leaves and 5 ground cloves to a cup of water.
  • Boil for about 10 minutes and add a small amount of sugar.
  • Allow it to cool down and drink it twice a day.

12. Stinging Nettle for Runny Nose

12. Stinging Nettle for Runny Nose

If you have got a runny nose due to some allergic reaction like hay fever (allergic rhinitis), stinging nettle can be useful to you. It is because this herb is a natural anti-histamine and thus is capable of reducing the amount of histamine in your body which is produced in a response to allergens.

How to Use

  • Add 1/2 fresh nettle leaves or 1 teaspoon of dried nettle herb to a cup of water.
  • Bring this to a boil and then simmer for 4-5 minutes.
  • Strain and add honey (optional).
  • Have this tea 2-3 times a day.

13. Acupressure

Acupressure can be used to cure a runny nose.

  • Apply pressure gently on the corner of your nose as this pressure point helps to alleviate sinus congestion and headaches.
  • Remember to close your nose every time while applying pressure.
  • Repeat 10 times on both nostrils.
  • Then apply mild and gentle pressure on the area just above your eyes.
  • Repeat the same process for about 10 times on both the eyes.

14. Chilli Pepper

Chilli Pepper or cayenne pepper contains capsaicin an antihistamine which clears up nasal congestion and runny nose. Although it will increase the nasal discharge, it will flush out the blockage and toxins that cause your runny nose. So make sure you include it in your diet and eat it regularly.

15. Oregano Oil

Oregano oil contains antifungal, antibacterial, anti-parasitic and also anti-inflammatory properties. All these are helpful in treating runny nose that occur due to sinusitis. The two important ingredients carvacrol and thymol present in oregano oil strengthen the immune system.

How to Use

  • Mix 2 – 3 drops of oregano oil in any juice and consume it.
  • Repeat daily until you get relief from the symptoms.

As you can see, managing a runny nose requires remedies that are often already in your kitchen. In addition to trying these, make sure you drink plenty of water to flush out excess mucus faster. Before you know it, you’ll be breathing a sigh of relief, without the mucus.

A runny nose will normally resolve in a few days after using one or more of these home remedies. However, if you develop a fever, cough or body aches, consult your doctor.



About felclinic 593 Articles
Felix Ntifo is a Registered General Nurse who has so much passion to improve health care delivery. He founded FelClinic with the hope of making health information accessible to everyone who may not come in contact with him personally. "At felclinic.com we are very passionate about health and well-being of everyone. Our team is made up of professional doctors, nurses, midwives and lab technicians."

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