DIY BEST Decongestant that REALLY Works! Get Rid of a Stuffy Nose Naturally
Oh! My gosh! I could hear my grand daughter in the other room, trying to breathe. She was ten years old, and we were having a nasty cold run through our home. One of the worst and most scary sounds in the world is listening to a child try to breathe through a stuffed up nose. I knew I had to do something about her congestion right away! Since I love my natural remedies, I went right to my best nasal decongestant recipe.
When noses and sinuses get congested around here, it's time to get out the ingredients to make a decongestant that works WAY better than store-bought, plus is safe and natural. This recipe will quickly relieve your nasal congestion and make you feel better fast!
Nasal congestion (a.k.a. stuffy nose) is very common as Winter approaches. In fact, many people suffer from stuffy noses off and on throughout the year due to seasonal allergies. Regardless of the reason for a stuffy nose, this recipe for natural decongestant is one you can have ready to go, just in case a stuffy nose strikes your home.
FTC Disclosure: There are affiliate links scattered throughout this article. If you click through and make any kind of purchase, I may receive a very small commission at no extra cost to you.
Why Not Just Buy an Over the Counter Decongestant?
Well, first off, OTC decongestants are often extremely addicting. Years ago I had a good friend who had taken Afrin so much (daily) that he HAD to take it or he seriously could not breathe, especially from his nose. He couldn't even tell if he was well or not. This is NOT a good situation.
Plus, these chemical mixtures are often filled with toxins! Why put unpronounceable chemicals into your body or your kids' little bodies when you can make your own decongestant with ingredients you know and understand? PLUS, it's a TON cheaper to make decongestant yourself, takes just a few minutes, it's actually pretty tasty, and best of all: It works!
Ingredients for Natural DIY Decongestant
A NOTE about the spices & herbs used: If I'm not using fresh herbs I grow or buy organic, I get my herbs and culinary spices from Starwest Botanicals. I purchase from Starwest because I get super high quality herbs/spices at bulk prices. The shipping is fast, too. These herbs & spices are WAY better (higher quality, fresher, & more choices) than grocery store spices, which may have been sitting around for years and are not nearly as potent. Just a tip to save you some money and help you get the BEST quality.
Ingredients for Natural Herbal Decongestant:
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup raw Apple Cider Vinegar (Find out how to make your own)
1/4 to 1/2 cup organic Honey (I use quite a bit of honey to offset the acids, and it tastes pretty good this way too!)
Ginger: 1 tbsp powdered OR 2 tbsp dried or fresh root
1/2 tsp Cayenne (I used 90,000 Heat Units for my last batch, and that was quite hot. If you are sensitive to Cayenne or spicy heat, be sure you go with a lower heat unit, OR just use less.)
Cinnamon: 1 to 2 tsp powdered OR 1 tbsp dried chips
Horseradish (optional)---about 1 tsp freshly grated.
**If you are planning to use this with young children, I would definitely do a taste test and dilute it well. You can also reduce the amount of Cayenne. Although this is a very safe decongestant, I do not recommend use for children under two.
Directions for Making Natural DIY Decongestant
Just add all the ingredients into a sauce pan. Bring to a simmer on LOW for about 5 to 10 minutes. You don't want to go crazy here and boil it...just a nice slow little bubbling simmer. This allows the herbs to release their active constituents into the mix.
Remove and strain the liquid into a jar. I use a fine mesh strainer. If you are using powdered cinnamon & ginger, you can lay a layer of paper towel over the strainer to catch more of the herb. This is an optional step.
Let cool down, then put on a lid and store. This will keep a long time due to the acids in the lemon juice and vinegar and the antimicrobial nature of the honey. If it's been awhile since you made your decongestant, be sure to do a sniff test, or just whip up a new batch. It's so easy!
If I'm using a lot of it, I will store it on the counter. If it's not going to get used fairly quickly, I'll put it in the fridge.
EDITED NOTE: One of my readers wrote in and commented that she would add the honey after the heating process so as not to kill the beneficial enzymes in the honey. I have not tried making this decongestant this way, but it would be worth experimenting with!
Honey absolutely has beneficial enzymes that help heal the body, but I believe in this traditional remedy it was added for its soothing and sweetening properties, and to offset the acids and heat of the spices.
How to Use Natural Decongestant
This is a very safe decongestant. Here are the basic steps to use:
1) SHAKE WELL. This makes sure any powdered herbs that settled will be dispersed into the liquid equally.
2) Just take a teaspoon or two once to several times a day. If it's too spicy, you can dilute in a bit of water or tea. I like it straight!
When I use my handmade decongestant, my nose generally starts to run a bit, I feel energized and more clear-headed and warm....and this is a GOOD thing! It means mucus is breaking up in those nasal/sinus passages.
How Natural Decongestant Compares to OTC Decongestants.
1) First, it works naturally to help loosen and expel mucus. It works quickly too, although you will notice the effects are different from the chemical OTC's.
2) Second, you'll have to take more than the amount in an OTC decongestant, such as a nasal spray. Luckily, it tastes ok so that shouldn't be a big deal. Also, it's GOOD for you!
3) Third, this natural decongestant has so many other health benefits that work on multiple systems in your body, which an OTC decongestant will NOT have. For instance, your heart, your lungs, your circulation, energy, blood sugar levels....all are improved by using the herbs in this mixture. In fact, an OTC decongestant, with all its nasty chemicals, will cause your liver to work overtime in order to filter out the impurities from the chemicals.
How Does Natural Decongestant Work?
The lemon juice and especially the raw ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar) help to thin that thick, sticky mucus in the nasal passages. Both also have many other health benefits too.
Honey has been used for ages as a remedy for colds and flu. Additionally, it is antibacterial and antiviral. Honey soothes the throat and membranes.
Cayenne, Ginger, Cinnamon, and Horseradish help to open up the sinus passages. The Cayenne, the Ginger (and the honey as well), all have exceptional expectorant benefits. This means they help loosen up the mucus.
More about Cayenne: The capsaicin in the Cayenne is a literal miracle compound. It's a pain reliever and also helps to reduce the inflammation that causes the nasal passages to close up. This is kind of counterintuitive, since it's such a hot and spicy herb. It's great for your blood vessels.
My husband says it tastes like a hot and spicy Apple Cider. LOL---so that tells you it tastes ok--just a bit spicy. It warms you right up, too!
I hope you'll give this remedy a try and let me know how it goes for you!
You'll probably enjoy these related articles:
- How to Prevent a Cold/Flu Naturally,
- What Herbs & Remedies to Take if You Feel a Cold or Flu Coming On,
- How to Deal With Symptoms of Cold & Flu if You Do Happen to Get Sick (Fever, Congestion, Cough, Sore Throat, etc.),
- How to Recover Quickly and STAY Recovered.
- How to Boost Your Child's Immune System.
Also---one more thing I wanted to mention is about using sinus rinses. These are great for helping clear up congestion too. My friend, Bonnie, over at The Not So Modern Housewife, has a great article and recipe for how to make your own sinus rinse with just two ingredients.
Do you make your own handmade remedies? I'd love to hear your thoughts, and if you have questions about making this decongestant, please leave comments in the comments section!
Hugs & Self Reliance,
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P.P.S. I have to make this disclaimer too: I am not a medical doctor. In no manner is any article on my website, including this one, meant to diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure any health ailment. Please see a medical doctor for any issues. I simply provide my own advice/opinions based on my years of experience and study. Every person is responsible for their health choices. Please do your own research!