For the medical practitioners, the term for “runny nose” is rhinorrhea. Runny nose is not a disease; rather it is a symptom of a disease. The condition can be described as accumulation of mucus fluid at the nasal cavity. Due to the build-up of mucus and because of its thin consistency, the mucus drips down towards the nose, hence, the term “runny nose”. Aside from dripping mucus, however, there is also difficulty of breathing, facial pain around the nose, headache and sneezing. If things get complicated, mucus will sometimes drip towards the Eustachian tube causing ear infection, especially to children.
There are several causes of runny nose. Cold temperature may induce rhinorrhea. Allergies are also popular, especially during springtime when pollen grains are abundant. Infection that will lead to common colds or sinusitis will also result to runny rose. Runny nose also occurs when there is fracture of the skull. But this runny rose has nothing to do with the mucus membrane of the nasal cavity, rather it involves the cerebrospinal fluid that leaks into the nasal cavity and is assumed to be runny nose. In this case, the person should be brought to the emergency room immediately. If it is caused by other factors, then medications may be used to treat the condition, depending on the cause. However, there are alternative remedies that are natural which can be utilized. Below are six of the natural alternatives for runny nose:
Popularly added to bean dishes or egg dishes, thyme has penetrating fragrance that can also be medicinal. Thyme is scientifically known as Thymus vulgaris; it comes in many varieties, such as French thyme, orange thyme, silver thyme and lemon thyme. Thyme is very rich in vitamin K. Just 2 teaspoon of this herb can already provide 60 percent of the required daily value of vitamin K. The herb is rich in flavonoids, such as apigenin, luteolin and thymonin. The herb also constitute of the volatile oil called thymol. This oil has been proven to have antimicrobial activity, especially against Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis. Thyme is excellent antioxidant and antimicrobial when ingested, it is also excellent when inhaled. If one is infected with the common colds or has sinusitis, inhalation of thymol can ease the runny nose symptoms.
Drink Oil of Oregano
Oregano is popular in Mexican and Mediterranean dishes. Called Origanum vulgare by horticulturists, oregano may be used in fresh or dried form. In cooking dishes, oregano is only added at the end since its aromatic and balsamic fragrance is lost when it is subjected to heat. Oregano is a good source of several nutrients, including vitamin K, manganese, iron, fiber and calcium. The oil of oregano, however, is a popular choice as medicine. Several studies show that it has antibacterial and antioxidant effect to the health. The volatile oil of oregano consists of thymol and carvacrol. These oils can stop the growth of Staphylococcus aureaus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Oil oregano, when drank, can help in relieving the inflammation and runny nose of the mucous membrane of the nasal passages. Several claims stated that oregano is very effective in halting runny nose, aside from relieving the causes of the symptom.
Watch what you Eat
One of the causes of runny nose is allergies. There are people who are allergic to specific allergen and specific foods. There are those who are sensitive to a large variety of allergens and foods. When a person is allergic to pollen, he is also most likely allergic to peanuts.
Allergies strike anytime since the condition is actually caused by the oversensitivity of your body that triggers the histamine to be activated causing several symptoms, such as hives, runny nose and in complicated cases, difficulty of breathing. The goal is to decrease the chances of getting runny nose. By taking care of the foods you eat, checking each and every ingredient of the dishes, the chances of getting runny nose due to allergies is decreased. If foods are new to you, take small amounts first and see how you will react. If you have the opportunity to check if a certain food has high allergen potential, do so and always be aware about it. Foods that are allergenic are eggs, peanuts, milk, fish, shellfish, wheat, tree nuts and soy. Always check the label of the foods and choose hypoallergenic foods, such as cucumber, carrots and broccoli, apples, pears, rice and most types of beans.
Irrigate with Salt Water
Although there are few studies that explore the effectiveness of salt water irrigation to prevent runny nose, several claims have come up regarding the effectiveness of such method. To use salt water solution irrigation, dissolve half a teaspoon of salt into a standard cup of warm water. Using a medicine dropper, draw some solution, tilt your back and insert the solution into your nostril. Try to breathe the solution. After a while, blow your nose to remove the solution as well as the mucus.
Take Ginger Tea
Ginger, no doubt, is one of the most common medicinal plant known to man. It is pungent, aromatic, and spicy and it provides huge health benefits. Ginger is used mostly for gastrointestinal problems, especially when there is too much gas in the intestine and you want to relax the organ. Ginger also has an anti-inflammatory effect. When using ginger as a treatment for runny nose, make sure that it is hot, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Not only will you get the anti-inflammatory effects of gingerols from ginger tea, the steam coming from the hot drinks can also help in loosening the mucus secretions.
China and India have been using turmeric, not only for their dishes, but also as medicine. Turmeric is perhaps one of the spices that have hundreds of health benefits; from relieving rheumatoid arthritis, to preventing cancer, to lowering the risk of leukemia in children, to protecting the cardiovascular and hepatic system. Turmeric is also a potent anti-inflammatory agent due to its curcumin, the substance that gives the dark yellow color of turmeric. With runny nose, turmeric can be used as an inhalant. To mix the inhalant, ground turmeric powder is soaked in linseed oil and heated. The smoke coming from the heated mixture can actually decrease the tendency of runny nose.