There are lots of ways to get natural congestion relief so you can breathe easier
Whether it’s a common cold, allergies, or something more severe, all of us get gunky and congested from time to time. And while there are loads of over the counter and prescription meds your doctor may recommend for you, there are also some simple ways to get natural congestion relief with herbs or oils you may already have on hand that will help you feel less gunky and more comfortable.
Steam and salves are simple ways help make you more comfortable when dealing with congestion. Sometimes we lean over a bowl of steaming water, enjoy a steaming mug of tea, or drop a steamer in the shower (recipe at the end of this post). We put salve on our chest, under the nose or even on the bottoms of our feet. You’ll find common ingredients used in all of those methods, either as essential oils or using the plant itself.
Let’s take a look at some natural congestion busting ingredients:
In its native Australia, the eucalyptus tree has been used in the past as an antiseptic to kill germs. The oil was used in traditional Aboriginal medicines to heal wounds and fungal infections. Herbalists often recommend using fresh leaves in gargles to soothe sore throats and treat bronchitis and sinusitis.
Eucalyptus ointments are also used on the nose and chest to relieve congestion. Eucalyptus oil helps loosen phlegm,
According to Medical News Today, many people find that inhaling peppermint oil feels good when they have blocked sinuses. This is because of its cooling effect. Peppermint oil contains menthol which may affect the mucus receptors in the nose, helping to open the airways and clear mucus.
I love a steamy mug of peppermint tea. I’ll also include it in salve and use before I run or work out to help me breathe easier even when I’m not feeling under the weather.
Delicious and warming, ginger has some natural anti-inflammatory qualities making it help soothe inflamed sinuses or lungs. Also, because of ginger’s antiviral and antibacterial properties, congestion is can be reduced. It dries out any excess mucous and stimulates removal of its build-up.
Tea tree essential oil may also help reduce inflammation, which may help bring down sinus swelling. Reduced swelling often eases the symptoms of congestion, such as a runny or stuffy nose.
Rosemary is so easy to grow, I love being able to sprig for whatever need I have year round. If you don’t have a plant, the dried herb or essential oil are both effective. Highly antiseptic, rosemary is a mint family member that is great at opening airways and easing congestion.
Ways to use natural congestion busters
There are loads of different ways to use these natural ingredients to help reduce congestion. Please remember, these natural remedies aren’t meant to replace contacting your doctor when needed and most can be used in conjunction with medications. When in doubt, check with your doctor or pharmacist.
A simple salve with any of the above essential oils is a simple way to reap the benefits. Massage onto chest, on the bottoms of your feet, and dab a little right under your nose. Use this recipe but substitute peppermint, eucalyptus and tea tree for the oils listed. Use grapeseed, avocado or even olive oil instead of the dandelion infused oil.
A delicious steaming mug of ginger or peppermint tea with a generous spoonful of local honey is relaxing, soothing to the throat and helps release congestion.
To make an herbal steam, simply throw and handful of any of the above herbs/plants (fresh or dried) into a steaming bowl of water. Cover your head with a towel and lean over the bowl for 8-10 minutes, taking a break whenever you need it. (Keep your eyes closed)
Instead of a steaming bowl of water, add your herbs/plants to a cotton or muslin bag and drop in the bath. This gives you the benefit of the herbs with easy cleanup after your bath
And finally, try this super easy recipe for Shower Steamers. The steamy water release the amazing aroma from the oils so you’ll feel like you can breathe again.
Congestion busting shower steamers
- Silicone mold
- ½ cup baking soda
- ¼ cup citric acid
- 10-12 drops each peppermint, rosemary, and eucalyptus essential oils
- spray bottle with witch hazel
- Mix the baking soda and citric acid together. Add the essential oils. Once everything is well combined, spray small amounts of witch hazel into the mixture. Only add enough witch hazel so that the mixture holds it shape. Press well into molds (like you’re making a sand castle).
- Allow to dry in molds for at least two hours. Remove from mold and allow to air dry overnight. Store in an airtight container. Place one steamer where water from the shower will hit and begin to dissolve it….and release all the lovely, soothing aroma.