15 Home Remedies for Runny Nose

With cold season around, runny nose is the common and annoying problem most of us experience. Usually, the glands present in nasal passages and sinus produce mucus to keep them moist enough. But when the bacteria or allergens enter our body, they produce more mucus to flush them out. This is the main reason of experiencing a runny nose.

Apart from that, common cold, sinus infection and sudden change in weather can also trigger a runny nose. It has to be treated on time, if not it can lead to headache, earache, coughing, throat infection and other problems.

The over the counter medications for runny nose have side effects like drowsiness. Fortunately, we can get immediate relief by using natural remedies like salt water rinse, steaming and other methods mentioned below.

Home Remedies for Runny Nose:

In this article, you can find a number of different remedies which you can try at home with simple ingredients and simple processes.

1. Salt Water

Salt water alleviates the irritation that accompanies a runny nose. It helps to clear the nasal passages thins the mucus.

Process 1:

  • 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. Steam

Steam is a versatile remedy that can be used to treat nasal problems. It helps to clear out excess mucus which causes runny nose and sneezing, along with irritation.

  • Add few drops of eucalyptus oil or menthol oil 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.
  • Repeat 3 – 4 times a day.
  • For more effectiveness, add few drops mint leaves, ginger slices or few drops of any essential oil like camphor, pine oil, thymol or others.

Note: Regular hot water showering or bathing can also help.

3. Turmeric

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

Process 1:

  • 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.

Process 2:

  • Stir a teaspoon of turmeric powder in a glass of warm milk.
  • Drink this before going to bed.
  • This process will give relief from lots of cold symptoms.
  • Optional: Add a pinch of black pepper for taste.

Process 3:

  • 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.

4. Mustard Oil

Mustard oil contains antibiotic, antiviral, antibacterial, antimicrobial and antihistamine properties. It also contains glucosinolate – fights off the microbes and ally isothiocyanate – fights off the fungal infection. Apart from that, various isothiocyanates present in mustard oil can slow down any bacterial damage. Hence, it can not only drain out the mucus but also treats the infection as well.

Process 1:

  • 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.

Process 2:

  • Take 2 – 3 tablespoons of mustard oil and a tablespoon of caraway seeds.
  • Add them to a pot of boiling water.
  • Breathe the steam as the strong aroma of the mustard oil will clear up the respiratory system and thus provides instant relief from the runny nose.
  • Repeat this process twice a day.
  • Alternatively, include mustard oil into your daily cooking.

5. Ginger

Ginger contains antioxidants, antiviral, antitoxic and antifungal properties. It helps to loosen the thick mucus and provide immediate relief from a runny nose.

Process 1:

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

Process 2: Ginger Tea

  • 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.

Process 3:

  • Boil a teaspoon of ginger powder in 2 cups of hot water.
  • Inhale the steam for few minutes.
  • Alternatively, you can use ginger in the form of lozenges.

6. Garlic

Garlic contains strong and natural, antibacterial and antiseptic properties.

Process 1: Garlic Soup

  • Boil 3 – 4 cloves of chopped garlic in a cup of water.
  • Strain the solution and add small amount of sugar.
  • Drink this soup twice a day.

Process 2:

  • Chew a small piece of garlic 3 – 4 times a day to warm up your body.
  • Doing this repeatedly will cure your runny nose.
  • Garlic supplements can also help.

7. Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus oil acts as decongestant which gives instant relief.

  • 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.

8. Basil

Holy Basil or Indian Tulsi contains antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties which help to heal the runny nose by warming your body from inside.

Process 1:

  • 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.

Process 2:

  • 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.

9. Cinnamon and Honey

Cinnamon is a spicy herb which helps to clear the bacteria that causes runny nose, while honey soothes irritation.


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

10. Honey

Honey has antibacterial and antiviral properties which help to reduce runny nose.

  • 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.

11. Onion

Onion helps to provide relief from a runny nose if it is caused by 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.

  • 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 vapours coming out of it.
  • Repeat the process as required.

12. Herbal Tea

If you are searching for tea that only treats runny nose but also tastes good, then you should try the following recipe. All the ingredients used in this process are effective in providing relief from runny nose.

  • 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.

13. Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne Pepper contains antihistamine which clears up the 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.

14. Use of a Tissue

  • Rip a tissue into equal halves.
  • Roll the tissue into a tiny ball (size of nostril).
  • Place this tissue gently inside your each nostril.
  • Relax yourself and breathe normally so that the tissues will absorb the fluids that comes out of the nose
  • Process has to be repeated regularly to get relief from a runny nose.

15. Oregano Oil

Oregano oil contains antifungal, antibacterial, anti-parasitic and anti-inflammatory properties which are helpful in treating runny nose caused by sinusitis. The two important ingredients carvacrol and thymol present in oregano oil strengthen the immune system.

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