Natural Remedies for Nasal Congestion, Sore Throat and Aching Muscles

| 4/22/2010 1:43:00 PM

I was home sick this week with a stuffy nose, sore throat and aching muscles—all the symptoms of a cold or flu. So what does a natural health blogger do when she’s sick? Research the effectiveness of natural flu and cold remedies, of course!

Nasal Congestion

After a sleepless night of difficult breathing, the first thing I wanted to fix was my congested head.

Steam: One of the oldest remedies for clearing your nasal passages is to fill them with steam. The moist air loosens the gunk in your nose and throat and helps to move the mucus along. As the only requirement for this remedy is a source of hot water, you can try this trick in a variety of places: in the shower, over the stove while you're cooking, with a cup of tea at work, etc.

Steam tent
If you're having trouble breathing because your nose is clogged, cover your head and a bowl of hot water with a towel and inhale the steam. The moisture will move the mucus along, helping you to breathe again. Photo By assbach/Courtesy Flickr 

Wanting maximum relief, I opted for the "steam tent". For this remedy, boil a pot of water on the stove. When steam starts to rise, drape a towel over your head, lean over the pot and inhale. The towel should trap the steam in. Naturally, make sure to keep your face at a safe distance from the pot so as not to scald your skin.