How to Stop a Runny Nose – 21 Proven Remedies

A runny nose can be an annoying symptom that sometimes seems to last for days or even weeks.

If you have a chronically drippy nose, or if you are struggling with a cold that just will not go away, it is helpful to find relief from your nasal congestion quickly.

Treating a runny nose doesn’t have to mean taking medications that often have severe side effects.

Most runny noses are easily treated with a few natural remedies.

Knowing what is causing your runny nose can help you figure out the best natural solutions.

Our guide gives you a variety of treatments, herbal remedies and nutritional therapies that will quickly stop your runny nose.


What Causes a Runny Nose?

Whether you suffer from seasonal allergies, a chronic allergic reaction, a typical winter cold, a sinus infection, or some other upper respiratory disorder, there is nothing more annoying than a runny nose.

The constant dripping of mucus from your nose can be infuriating.

The painful sinuses, irritated skin, sore throat, and headache that often accompany these symptoms are also very annoying.

The most common cause of a runny nose is seasonal allergies, hay fever or some other type of allergic reaction.

If you are allergic to pet dander, mold, pollen, dust, or other environmental irritant, you are likely very familiar with this nasal symptom.

Other causes of a runny nose include sinusitis, which is an infection of the sinus cavities, the common cold, and influenza.

When your nose is consistently runny, you are often blowing your nose a lot, wiping your nose, and sniffling to avoid post-nasal drip.

This can interfere with your daily activities, leave you with a red nose and make you feel pretty miserable.

A runny nose can even lead to dehydration, which can have other health consequences.

Whatever the cause of your runny nose, you can treat the swollen sinuses, inflamed skin, excess mucus, and other symptoms that are making you miserable.

You do not even have to go to the drugstore to do this effectively.

Here are our favorite natural remedies for treating your runny nose.


Natural Treatments

Rinse Your Sinuses

When you have a runny nose, one effective treatment is to rinse your sinuses regularly.

Neti pots have been used for centuries to keep sinus passages clean, rinsing away excess mucus, flushing out allergens or microbes that could be causing your sinus distress and breaking up mucus.

You can use warmed saline water or even warmed saline herbal tea to help relieve your runny nose symptoms.

If you do not have a neti pot, you can use a bulb syringe or a nasal irrigation kit.

Be sure to hold one nostril closed with your finger while rinsing the other one.

Let each nostril drain completely, before moving to the other side.

It may be necessary to lower your head and turn it side to side to get all the water to drain thoroughly.


Blow Your Nose Regularly

When your nose is runny, it is because your body is trying to rid itself of unwanted invaders, whether they are allergens or microbes.

Blowing your nose, instead of sniffling and keeping that extra mucus inside your nose, can help rid your body of these substances faster and help you feel better sooner.


Use Steam

Taking a hot, steamy shower or using a steam inhalation technique can help to moisturize your nasal passages, as well as relax your sinuses, which can help with your runny nose.

If you do not feel well enough to stand in the shower, you can make a steam bath, by placing boiling water in a large bowl, then draping a towel over your head, while you place your face close to the water.

You can even add certain herbs to your water to help open up swollen sinuses, as you will see below.

If you are suffering from a cold, the flu, or chronic allergies, sleeping with a cool-mist humidifier in your room is also an excellent technique for keeping your nasal passages lubricated.


Use Heat or Cold on Congested Sinuses

You may need to experiment with which works best for you.

However, using either a hot or cold compress can help to relieve the pain and pressure of congested sinuses.

Depending on your needs, heat or cold can supply relief and help your runny nose symptoms.

You can use a reusable cold pack or hot water bottle, or you can try a washcloth soaked in icy or hot water.

Place it on your face for 10 minutes and repeat regularly.


Use a Mentholated Salve

Placing a dab of salve containing camphor, eucalyptus, or menthol just below your nose, can supply pain relief and help to open congested sinuses.

If your nose is raw from consistent blowing or sniffling, these ingredients also provide a mild numbing effect, which can also offer relief.


Elevate Your Head While Sleeping

If you are congested, try sleeping with an extra pillow under your head or elevating the top of your mattress slightly.

This will help your sinuses to drain and allow you to breathe easier.


Do Yoga

If you have a runny nose or sinus infection, some yoga poses can help you drain your sinuses.

The supported reclined cobbler’s pose is excellent for this purpose.

To perform this pose, place a pillow or rolled blanket under your back and lie on the floor or your bed.

Bend your knees to bring the bottoms of your feet together.

Relax your arms by placing them out to the sides of your body and remain there, as long as you are comfortable.


Try Acupuncture

Those with seasonal or chronic allergies may also try acupuncture to treat the cause of their runny noses.

Acupuncture has been shown to reduce allergy symptoms, like a runny nose, as well as the severity and duration of allergy flare-ups.


Herbal Remedies

Drink Herbal Tea

Drinking hot beverages is an excellent way to open sinus passages, keep yourself hydrated and soothe inflamed mucous membranes in your throat and nose.

Drinking hot tea made from congestion-fighting herbs means you are getting twice the benefit from this age-old practice.

Goldenseal, yarrow, sage, and rose are all excellent herbal remedies for helping you fight a runny nose.

Ginger root is also an excellent tea additive since it lowers inflammation and can help fight viruses and other germs that might be making you sick.

Ginger also helps to soothe a sore throat which is irritated due to sinus drainage.


Take Echinacea

Echinacea has been used for generations to boost the immune system and help lower your risk of catching a cold.

Echinacea also helps to reduce the duration and severity of a cold.

Therefore, if you are already sick, it is still a great idea to take it.

Echinacea’s compounds help to bolster the immune system’s ability to fight infection.


Use Eucalyptus Oil

As a cold and flu remedy, you can’t go wrong with eucalyptus oil.

This natural compound contains bioactive chemicals that fight infection, including cineole.

Using eucalyptus oil can help reduce swelling in the sinuses, lower the production of mucus that is causing your running nose and fight off the germs causing these symptoms.

It also helps open lung airways.

Therefore, if you have a cough along with your runny nose, then eucalyptus oil can help.


Take Homeopathic Oscillo

Oscillococcinum is a homeopathic remedy for colds and flu that can shorten the duration of your illness and decrease symptoms.


Try Butterbur

If you suffer from allergies which are causing your runny nose, you may want to start taking butterbur.

Extracts from this herb have long been used to treat allergies, asthma and other respiratory disorders.

This herb blocks your body’s natural histamine and leukotriene reactions, which are released during an allergic response.

People with hay fever, seasonal allergies and even pet allergies may get relief by using this herb daily.

You can use the raw herb in teas or take an extract or capsules.


Nutritional Remedies

Eat Immune-Boosting Foods

When you feel a cold or the flu coming on, start eating healthy foods that boost your immune system.

The best foods for treating a runny nose include chili peppers, which open sinuses and break up mucus, mustard, and horseradish, which thin the mucus in your sinuses, onions, which help fight infection and green tea, which is rich in immune-boosting compounds.


Take Zinc

Zinc is a micronutrient that is vital to the function of your immune system.

It has also been shown to decrease viral activity, by inhibiting virus reproduction in the mucous membranes.

Zinc is available in lozenge form, which makes it easy to supplement this mineral when you are sick.

The lozenge is also soothing to your throat.


Get Plenty of Vitamin C

One of the best nutrients to help boost your immune system and get you feeling better faster is Vitamin C.

This antioxidant helps by stopping free radicals from damaging tissue.

It allows your immune system to function more effectively.

At the first sign of illness, increase your Vitamin C intake and keep it up for at least a week after the symptoms disappear.

Reliable sources of Vitamin C in your diet include citrus fruits, red peppers, and broccoli.

You can also take Vitamin C supplements.

You should try to get a total of 3,000 milligrams of the vitamin every day, while you are ill.

Vitamin C can help you fight off illness and shorten the length of a cold or the flu.


Eat Honey

Honey has powerful antioxidants.

It also has antibacterial properties that can help you fight off a cold.

Honey is also excellent for helping with upper respiratory infections and fighting coughs.

Add honey to your herbal tea, eat a teaspoon with meals, or use it in your recipes.


Eat Homemade Soup

Whether it is chicken soup or vegetable soup, there are many benefits to eating this cure-all when you have a runny nose.

The benefits come from healthy vegetables, proteins and herbs used in making most soup recipes.

The vitamins and minerals in garlic, onions, carrot, celery and other vegetables, plus the amino acids in chicken or beans, help enhance your ability to fight infection and feel better faster.

Since hot liquids help to keep you hydrated and loosen mucus, homemade soup is the perfect choice when you have a runny nose or other cold symptoms.


Try Spicy Foods

Foods like peppers, turmeric, garlic and ginger are known to thin mucus, as well as reduce the inflammation of the sinus passages.

You can eat spicy foods, take capsaicin supplements, or rub ointment with capsaicin in it on your chest or sinuses.

All are effective, when you have a runny nose.

Garlic is a natural antiseptic, helping you fight against infection, and turmeric naturally reduces inflammation.

Uses these in herbal teas or homemade soup to treat your runny nose.

You can even try golden milk, which is warm milk with one teaspoon of turmeric.


Get more Quercetin

If you have allergies, considering getting more quercetin in your diet.

This antioxidant is a type of flavonoid, which reduces the release of histamines that cause allergy symptoms.

You can eat quercetin when you consume black tea, berries, apples, red grapes and red onions.

You can also take quercetin supplements, which is good if you have chronic allergies.



Ending the constant drip of a runny nose can be a lifesaver for many people.

Whether you have a cold, the flu, allergies, or a sinus infection, a runny nose that lasts for days or even weeks can be a real sore of irritation, as well as possible contamination of others.

You can treat your runny nose naturally by using holistic techniques, herbal remedies and nutritional therapies to address the root cause of your runny nose, as well as relieve the nasal symptoms.

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