Natural Home Remedies for Postnasal Drip

As air is breathed into nasal passages, it is warmed to body temperature and humidified by the time it reaches your lungs. Glands in the lining of your nasal and sinus cavities produce fluid to lubricate your membranes of your sinuses, nose, mouth and throat.

clown with red nose, white face

Small, waving, hair-like cells, the cilia, help keep the nasal passageway clear of particles but when the air is very cold and/or dry, the mucus dries out and the cilia stop doing their work. The fluids begin to thicken and drip down the back of the throat.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

  • Bad breath
  • Coughing or throat clearing
  • Expulsion of mucus from the throat
  • Nausea
  • Throat discomfort

OTHER CAUSES

Besides dry air, postnasal drip can be caused by smoke, medications, respiratory conditions, breathing in chemicals, eating spicy foods, and even pregnancy.

ALLOPATHIC TREATMENT

Doctors recommend that you consult a physician if the problem doesn’t clear up on its own in several days, at which time you might be prescribed medications.

SELF TREATMENT

DIET

A healthy immune system is always the first line of defense against disease, disorder and inflammation.  To promote a healthy immune system, it is important to eat a balanced diet, with as much variety as you can manage, with lots of whole, fresh vegetables and fruits, quality protein and healthy sources of monounsaturated fat.  The Zone is an excellent nutrition plan.

FOODS THAT MAY PROMOTE HEALING

  • Bone broth
  • Spicy foods may help to thin mucus

FOODS AND OTHER SUBSTANCES TO REDUCE OR ELIMINATE

  • Alcohol
  • Carbonated beverages
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Dairy products
  • Fried foods
  • Smoke

TEAS AND OTHER LIQUIDS

You may find relief from throat discomfort by sipping herbal teas.

  • Aloe Vera juice
  • Ginger
  • Green tea
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme

HERBS AND SPICES

  • Garlic juice mixed with honey for antimicrobial properties
  • Turmeric mixed in milk as a decongestant

ESSENTIAL OILS

Essential oils can be administered via a diffuser for inhalation, administered topically in a carrier oil  (coconut, almond, olive, etc.), or undiluted drops can be added to a hot bath or compress.  Find recipes for blends on the web or create your own.

  • Clary sage
  • Eucalyptus
  • Fennel
  • Lavender
  • Oregano
  • Peppermint
  • Tea Tree

OTHER SUBSTANCES AND SUPPLEMENTS

The cost of having a blood test to determine if you have nutritional deficiencies is likely to be negligible compared to over-consuming expensive supplements that you do not need.

  • Coconut oil internally for its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties
  • Grapefruit seed extract supplement
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D

HYDRATION

Water is essential and a main nutrient for the human body.  Without it, you cannot survive for many days.  Staying hydrated is fundamental for a healthy body, and will also help to thin the mucus in your nasal passages, so how much is enough?  There are so many differences in people (i.e., how much we sweat), as well as the diets we consume (a lot of water comes from healthy, whole foods), but a general rule is to consume enough water that your urine is clear, but not so much that you dilute your nutrients.  If you are taking certain supplements that make your urine yellow, then you can start out with the formula of drinking ½ to one ounce of water for each pound you weigh.  If you weigh 130 pounds, drink 65 to 130 ounces of water a day.  Definitely drink when you are thirsty.

OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO

  • Drink plenty of fluids, which will help keep the mucus thin.
  • Gargle with warm salt water
  • Humidify the air
  • Keep your head raised during sleep
  • Oil pulling
  • Salt water spray
  • Use a neti pot (which can cause irritation after prolonged use). Always use distilled water.
  • Use steam to moisturize

ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES

 

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