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  • 10 Ayurveda-Inspired Ways To Get Rid Of Runny Nose And Sniffles

    10 Ayurveda-Inspired Ways To Get Rid Of Runny Nose And Sniffles

    The Ayurveda Experience July 28, 2023

    With the advent of a changing season, there often comes an unwelcome visitor that dampens our spirits: the dreaded runny nose and sniffles. We've all experienced the endless tissue pileup and the annoyance of a ticklish nose. Constant sniffling can be very irritating, especially when your nose keeps on dripping.  

    The discomfort of runny nose can be caused by either cold temperatures during the winter and rainy seasons or because of an allergic reaction. 

    Allergic sniffles and a runny nose can especially attack at the most unlikely times and places. To all those who find themselves amidst a nasal warfare every now and then, fret not! With the wisdom of the ancient science of Ayurveda, we’ll unveil to you 10 ways to bid farewell to constant sniffling and runny noses, with grace and speed. 

    Why do runny nose and sniffles occur? 

    A runny nose and sniffles occur when there is an excess production of mucus in your sinuses or nasal passage. Increased mucus production is the body’s way of flushing irritants, allergens, and cold and flu viruses out of the body. That being said, we are here to equip you with a holistic toolkit to alleviate this discomfort and help keep up your immunity:  

    1. Do steam inhalation

    One of the most popular methods of getting relief from a runny nose is steam inhalation. It can be easily done with a vaporizer but do not worry if you do not have one. A pot of hot water is enough to help you do a simple steam inhalation at home. 

    Just inhale the steam coming off the pot by leaning over it. Drape a towel over your head and face so the steam does not escape out into the open. 

    Be careful and do not bend down too much over the pot as the steam can burn your face. Take a break every now and then. 

    Steam inhalation is effective even in sniffles without a runny nose, blocked nose or congested nostrils. 

    2. Keep yourself hydrated

    Hydration helps lubricate your nasal membranes and runny nose

    Hydration helps lubricate your nasal membranes. 

    Drinking warm water and other warm drinks can help. Try herbal teas mixed with honey, hot lemonade, hot soups, stew, or clear bone broth; they may help with the nasal congestion and help soothe your nasal passages. 

    Stay away from caffeinated or carbonated drinks as they can dry out your nasal passages. 

    READ MOREHoney Ginger Remedy For Weight Loss, Immunity, Worms + More 

    3. Use spices generously in your food

    Spices act as natural immunity boosters. 

    Flavor your food with spices like ginger, turmeric, garlic, black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and green chilies. 

    • Maricha (black pepper): It assists in dealing with symptoms of common cold, cough, infections etc. Apart from this, it helps to tackle muscle pain and digestive problems. Black pepper also exhibits anti‐inflammatory, antioxidant, antipyretic, antimicrobial as well as anti-viral properties. 
    • Pippali (long pepper): It helps promote the absorption and bioavailability of other bioactive constituents and has significant antiviral properties.  
    • Nagara (dried ginger): It helps deal with digestive problems and aids in dealing with cold and cough. Apart from this, it helps promote hunger, stimulates taste, and is easily digestible.  

    4. Use ginger tea or fresh ginger pieces with rock salt

    Ginger has long been known as an effective home remedy for runny nose and sniffles. It exhibits antiviral, anti-toxic, anti-fungal, and antioxidant properties that help clear nasal passages. 

    You can take ginger in two ways.

    - Consume ginger in tea 2-3 times a day. 

    - You can slice a few pieces of ginger and eat it with a little rock salt. 

    Usually, all the herbs having a pungent taste increases Vata. The exception is ginger and long pepper. 

    One of the many health claims attributed to ginger is its ability to decrease inflammation, swelling, and pain. According to research, a dried ginger extract and a dried gingerol-enriched extract were each reported to exhibit analgesic and potent anti-inflammatory effects. 

    5. Use garlic

    Garlic has strong antibacterial and antiseptic properties that make it a wonderful remedy for a runny nose and sniffles. Apart from this, garlic has a high nutritive value and helps to make the digestion process easier. 

    You can prepare a soup by boiling 3-4 cloves of garlic crushed in a glass of water. Boil for several minutes then strain and mix with a little salt or sugar to taste.  

    READ MOREHow To Fight The Flu With Ayurveda 

    6. Use honey

    Honey helps reduce runny nose

    Honey has strong antibacterial and antiviral properties that help reduce various symptoms of a runny nose. It helps provide a widely available and cheap alternative to antibiotics. 

    You can mix 2 teaspoons of honey in a glass of lukewarm water and drink it twice a day. Add a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice and ½ teaspoon of fresh ginger juice to it as well. This enhances your immunity and helps with a runny nose. 

    READ MORERaw Honey Benefits, Raw Honey Uses, Types Of Honey 

    7. Try basil

    Basil offers antimicrobial, antiviral, antioxidant, anti-fungal and strong healing properties. 

    You can chew 3-4 leaves of basil every morning before breakfast and at night before going to bed. 

    Holy Basil or tulsi is perhaps one of the best examples of Ayurveda’s holistic lifestyle approach to health, with anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. 

    Tulsi tastes hot and bitter and is said to penetrate the deep tissues, dry out tissue secretions, and normalize Kapha and Vata. Tulsi is also known to help protect body organs from exposure to cold. 

    8. Cloves

    Cloves act as respiratory aids. The spice is used as an ingredient while consuming tea, in tropical Asia, to help facilitate coughing. Breathing in the aroma released from hot clove tea is another common way to use cloves for respiratory disorders like coughs, colds, asthma, bronchitis, and sinusitis. 

    9. Turmeric

    Turmeric acts as an antidote to many health problems including a runny nose and sniffles. The herb has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral properties which make it very effective in helping with a runny nose or common cold. It further exhibits pro-immune activities. Here are the various ways in which you can consume turmeric: 

    • Take a cup of warm milk and add one teaspoon of turmeric powder to it. Drink daily before going to bed at night. It boosts your immunity and helps in getting rid of sniffles and runny nose, as well as sore throat. 
    • Have a cup of warm turmeric tea 2-3 times daily. Add ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder to a cup of hot water. When it gets warm enough to be sipped, add a teaspoon of honey and enjoy. This is very soothing to the nasal passages and the throat as well. 

    READ MORETurmeric Benefits, Dosage, Side Effects + More 

    10. Have jaggery

    You can have a piece of jaggery with your herbal tea instead of sugar. 

    Jaggery acts as a very good cleansing agent and exhibits anti-toxic activities. A daily dose of jaggery is highly suggested to help prevent cold and related infections.  

    Why runny nose, sniffles and sore throat are common when it’s cold?

    Being cold by itself does not cause people to come down with a runny nose, sniffles and sore throat. The following though can contribute to frequent occurrence of colds, sniffles and runny nose during the fall and winter seasons. 

    Rhinoviruses (viruses that cause the common cold) thrive in low temperatures. 

    According to a 2013 article in Nature News, researchers have recognized this fact for decades. Additionally, a 2009 article published in Respiratory Medicine reported that in a cold environment, the upper respiratory tract temperature may be more favorable to the replication of rhinoviruses, leading to an increase in occurrences of the common cold during times of lower temperature.

    READ MORESinus Infection (Sinusitis), Symptoms, Causes + Natural Remedies 

    To summarize, our bodies may produce fewer antiviral immune signals and leave us more vulnerable to infections in places having low temperatures. Therefore, cold temperatures and low humidity, characteristics of the 'cold' season, are associated with increased occurrences of acute respiratory tract infections. 

    Despite the inconclusive nature of research concerning the relationship between cold temperature exposure and the common cold, the cautious thing to do may simply be to stay warm during the cold season.   

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    • (PDF) Overview and management of Colds and Flu (researchgate.net)  
    • Spices and herbs: Potential antiviral preventives and immunity boosters during COVID‐19 - PMC (nih.gov)  
    • (PDF) Indian Spices and their Medicinal Value (researchgate.net)  
    • Traditional herbs against COVID-19: back to old weapons to combat the new pandemic | European Journal of Medical Research | Full Text (biomedcentral.com)  
    • Spices and herbs: Potential antiviral preventives and immunity boosters during COVID‐19 - PMC (nih.gov)  
    • (PDF) Indian Spices and their Medicinal Value (researchgate.net)  
    • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92775/#  
    • Spices and herbs: Potential antiviral preventives and immunity boosters during COVID‐19 - PMC (nih.gov)  
    • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32817011/  
    • https://www.ijrrjournal.com/IJRR_Vol.8_Issue.5_May2021/IJRR034.pdf 
    • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4296439/   
    • Molecular Basis of the Therapeutical Potential of Clove (Syzygium aromaticum L.) and Clues to Its Anti-COVID-19 Utility - PMC (nih.gov)  
    • https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ptr.2124  
    • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92752/ 
    • (PDF) Jaggery: A traditional, Nutritional and medicinal sweetner (researchgate.net)  
    • “Cold viruses thrive in frosty conditions.” nature.com/news. (2013). 
    • “Cold temperature and low humidity are associated with increased occurrence of respiratory tract infections.” Resp Med. (2009). 

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