Natural Cures For Runny Nose

By Patricia | June 12, 2009

A runny nose is medically termed as rhinorrhoea. The word rhinorrhoea comes from the Greek words, ‘rhin’, which means ‘of or from the nose’ and ‘rhia’, which means ‘flow or discharge’. A runny nose is not usually something to worry about. While there could be a number of reasons for a runny nose, the most common are viral infections. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), over 200 viruses can cause the common cold, whose predominant symptom is a runny nose.

While a lot of us want fast relief from this very annoying yet not so serious problem, it is a fact that there is no cure for a runny nose resulting from the common cold. The good news though is that these infections go away on their own in a few days, and basic home remedies are enough to manage the discomfort associated with a runny nose.


When anything enters the nasal cavity, whether it is an infectious pathogen or dust, the nasal cavity gets filled with a clear mucous. This mucous is the first line of defense for the body, preventing bacteria, virus and other foreign bodies from entering the body. This results in what we call a runny nose. Usually, if the runny fluid is blown out, it will clear the nostril.

A runny nose may also be a symptom or a result of various types of problems or infections. Listed below are some of the common causes of a runny nose.

  • Infections: One of the most common reasons for a runny or dripping nose is infections by bacteria and viruses. Viruses that cause the common cold usually result in a runny nose.
  • Allergic reactions: Allergies to certain food stuff such as peanuts, shellfish and milk or external factors such as dust, pollen, mites can result in a runny nose.
  • Cold weather: Have you often wondered why you get a runny nose more when the weather is cold than when it is warm? This is mainly because the body produces mucus to warm the external air before it enters the body. In dry cold, the nasal passages get dried up, therefore more mucus is produced to line the nasal cavity and warm the incoming air.
  • Crying: Crying also causes a runny nose. This is because when we cry, the excess tears go out through the corner duct in the eye, into the nasal cavity, resulting in a runny nose.

Other causes:

  • Head trauma (this is a serious condition)
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Whooping cough
  • Tumors in the nose
  • Hormonal imbalances

How to cure runny nose?

Runny nose treatment depends on what causes the runny nose in the first place. Listed below are some of the common treatment options for a runny nose.

  • If the runny nose is caused by a viral infection, no antibiotics are necessary. In fact, simply taking rest for a couple of days will help fight the infection more effectively than any medication can.
  • Runny nose caused by bacterial infections are usually treated with antibiotics. However, do not take antibiotics unless you doctor advices you to do so; excessive use of antibiotics can allow resistant bacteria to remain in your body.
  • When allergies cause a runny nose, antihistamines and anti-inflammatory medication is usually administered.
  • Home remedies such as practicing nasal saline irrigation can help clear out the nose. Also, simply blowing out the mucus and not inhaling it will help the infection clear out faster.

There are quite a few natural cures as well.

  • Ginger Tea: To start with, start a course of ginger tea. Ginger is one of the most effective anti-inflammatory remedies and should be had as an addition to tea or green tea and always drunk hot.
  • Spicy Diet: Next, have a spicy diet that is rich in chili. Again, this is a very good decongestant, as you may have noticed whenever you have eaten spicy food.
  • Tamarind and Pepper: South Indian delicacy rasam prepared using tamarind and pepper is a very ancient runny nose remedy for toddlers. Around 250 ml of water is kept to boil and 50 mg of tamarind is added to it. This is then left to boil for three to five minutes. Half a teaspoon of finely powdered pepper and a teaspoon of butter are then added to the mixture. The ingredients in the mixture clear the nose and throat. Runny nose after eating this is a sign of improvement as the nose gets cleared with the release of discharge.
  • Vitamin C: Timely intake of vitamin C-75 mg in case of adults and 35 mg in case of children will avoid common cough and cold
  • Turmeric: Turmeric is an effective runny nose remedy for babies. A little less than a teaspoon of turmeric powder mixed with hot milk is a very good runny nose treatment for children. The turmeric powder should be pre heated in a scoop for a minute or so. Turmeric is an effective runny nose remedy for babies. A little less than a teaspoon of turmeric powder mixed with hot milk is a very good runny nose treatment for children. The turmeric powder should be pre heated in a scoop for a minute or so.
  • Bitter Gourd: The bitter gourd plant’s roots can be very successfully used to cure runny nose and cold.
  • Lady’s fingers: Lady’s fingers have high content of mucilage in that which helps to alleviate the swelling and irritation in the throat.

A runny nose on its own is not a serious problem. However, if coupled with one or more of these symptoms, a health care professional needs to be contacted.

  • A high fever, over 100.4 degrees.
  • A runny nose that lasts over 10 days.
  • Fever and runny nose that does not respond to treatment.
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