Suffering from a stuffy nose, whether accompanied by a cold or simply an individual occurrence, can make talking, eating and sleeping difficult. While many over-the-counter medications exist to help temporarily open up nasal passages, many people prefer to find natural ways to open up their stuffy nose.
Probably the easiest and most inexpensive way to help clear a stuffy nose is with the use of steam. Although steam facial machines can be purchased at a rather inexpensive rate, the same result can be achieved with common household items. A large pan, such as a spaghetti pot, is big enough to be filled with water to create continuous steam. To create the steam, however, a few tbsp. of salt must be added to the water before boiling. When the water begins to boil, if there is not enough steam produced, small amounts of salt can be added to the pot of water until the steam is sufficient.
By holding a towel over the head and leaning above the pot of boiling water, the steam will be easy to inhale quickly and effectively. This can be done for up to 20 minutes at a time, taking care not to lean in too close to avoid burns.
A neti pot is a recently popular natural way to open a stuffy nose. This little pot, which looks like an Aladdin’s lamp, is filled with saline solution and then used to irrigate the nose. The saline solution works by shrinking the membranes in the nasal passage when poured into one nostril and allowed to flow out the other. Using a neti pot correctly takes practice and patience, but once it is mastered, regular use when suffering from a stuffy nose can lead to healing of the cilia in the nose membranes, according to Dr. Murray Grossman, author of Sinusitis Tips.
To use a neti pot, fill the pot with lukewarm water and add saline solution. Lift the tip of the pot to one nostril and tilt the head to the side to allow the water to flow out of the pot into the nose cavity. The solution will slowly drain out of the other nostril along with some other blocked-up particles that may be inside the cavity. Repeat on the other side of the nose to clean it on both sides. This can be done once or twice a day while symptoms of a stuffy nose persist.