The nose may be the guardian of your lungs, but sometimes it needs a hand in dealing with the constant assault of dirt, pollution and cold or allergy seasons. Being exposed in the first line of defense against diseases, dry nasal passages are a common symptom among people who live in dry environments.
The reasons for chronic dry and cracked nostrils vary from the usual – blowing your nose too often – to other, more serious conditions, such as Sjögren’s syndrome, nutritional deficiencies, or atrophic rhinitis. A nose lacking in the appropriate amount of wetness causes itching, wheezing, and even bleeds.
Below we’ve listed a number of Napoleonic natural remedies that will hydrate and moisturize the dry nasal passageways, thus strengthening that line of defense. No matter what, your body needs to come up with a strategy to win every battle against outside threats.
Dry Nasal Passages: Top Remedies to Decongest your Airways
1. Petroleum Jelly
We’ll start with a somewhat controversial remedy for dry nasal passages. While some doctors disagree about the use of petroleum jelly, other voices hail the benefits of this natural moisturizer. However, there’s no denying the long and many uses of the soft paraffin jelly.
First of all, keep in mind to use a good brand of petroleum jelly. When you look for it in the supermarket, eye those classic blue containers with the words Vaseline Jelly on. At home, apply a small amount on the inside of your nostrils. Don’t overdo it, though.
You may find yourself at the pointy tip of a double-edged sword. While petroleum jelly can heal those cracks and wounds of a dry nose, it is also a slippery affair. In excess, it will infiltrate the lungs, where it will cause severe medical problems.
2. Steam or Sauna
A short-term, yet effective relief for dry nasal passages, the steam and humidity of a sauna bath will allow your mucous membranes to moisten and at least breath – free of pain and dryness – for a while.
The steam acts as a natural humidifier and helps clear your nose without that much-dreaded handkerchief that will leave it red, sore and scarred. Just hang your head over a bowl of boiling hot water. Not only will the steam penetrate into the skin opening your facial pores, but with each skin infusion of warm air, your nostrils will simply flare with relief and excitement.
For a lasting effect, allow 15 minutes to pass and then follow this treatment with our next natural remedy.
3. Coconut oil
Coconut oil is our natural ally in our battle against dry nasal passages. Applying this eternally benevolent remedy in the nostrils will prevent dryness while reducing the pain. Simple and perfumed, coconut oil is also a better alternative to petroleum jelly if the above-mentioned risks of the latter remedy scare you in any way.
The method of use is easy. Warm up half a teaspoon of coconut oil in a microwave. Soften until it’s ready to anoint your nostrils. It shouldn’t last longer than 10 seconds because you don’t want it in full liquid form, but semi-solid.
Dip a cotton swab and apply up to 3 times a day to the inside of each nostril. Better to do it before going to bed.
4. Almond Oil Couple with Aloe Vera Gel
Since we’ve taken to the road of miraculous ointments, let’s be consistent in our choices and fill that bathroom cabinet with the staples of natural home remedies. We can’t stress enough the myriad properties of Aloe Vera. This fragrant gel is used for almost everything. It is indeed multitalented as far as nature’s cures go, and dealing with dry noses happens to be one of its specialties.
In our case, the Aloe Vera gel should be used in pair with almond oil. The former will soothe the dryness quickly, while the latter will cover those painful cracks and moisturize the red skin.
Use a cotton ball or a q-tip to apply the half a teaspoon of almond oil mixed with a quarter of Aloe Vera gel to the inside of the dry nostrils. Repeat this remedy for several days until you can once again see beyond your suffering nose.
5. Vitamin E Oil
Fighting a dry nasal passage is one of the many multifaceted and boundless properties of vitamin E oil. The remedy is known to be enriching for the skin and a great moisturizer to reduce dryness.
Once you pierce a vitamin E capsule, you can either tilt your head upwards and irrigate your nose with a few drops, or dip a Q-tip in and coat both your nostrils. Repeat two times a day and you’ll feel your nose running free and unimpaired by dry mucous once again.
6. Olive Oil
A few drops of olive oil will clear that nasal congestion. Olive oil is a great lubricant and, much in the same way like coconut oil, it will hydrate your mucous and reduce dryness. You can either use a dropper or a cotton swab. Apply a few drops in the nostrils and repeat two times a day until you start seeing the effects.
7. Sesame Oil
Of that extensive array of remedy oils, sesame oil stands out with the highest content of vitamin E and an intoxicatingly flavorful smell. So not only will it decongest and hydrate your dry nasal passages, but summon the exotic images of the North African spice markets and the sesame-mapped Silk Route.
Use a cotton swab, or alternatively a dropper. Let the sesame oil slip down each nostril, and then inhale deeply so that it reaches further down the nasal passages. A study conducted in 2011 matched the benefits of sesame oil to those of saline irrigation methods. When looking at stuffiness, crusts, and bleeding, it was found that sesame oil improved 80% of the participants, while saline only 30%.
8. Saline Irrigation
Nasal saline runs deep roots in history, but only recently has Western medicine started advertising the benefits of nasal cleansing for what it deemed to be ‘the dirtiest organ in the human body’. The saline method has the double advantages of being inexpensive while universally recommended. If you’re allergic to any other sinonasal medication, pregnant or simply can’t tolerate a glob of petroleum jelly up your nostrils, stick to this time-honored remedy.
You can purchase a saline nasal spray from the drugstore. Alternatively, make one at home by pouring a teaspoon of salt into a cup of warm water. Take a dropper and irrigate your nose with a few drops. In no time, this method will grow on you and your nose.
Additionally, you can also gargle with salt water to relieve the dry nasal passages and throat.
A dry nose is bad enough without having to breathe in dry air as well. Consequently, humidity in the environment you spend most of your time is crucial to provide ultimate relief to your dry nasal passages. Place a humidifier or vaporizer in the center of the bedroom or working room. One piece of advice, though. The humidifier should not point towards any kind of wooden furniture, unless you want a change of décor into a new moldy look.
If you don’t feel your congested nose is worth the investment, you can always devise a ‘Home Alone’ appliance to get rid of the problem. The method is incredibly simple, if not especially aesthetic in design. Just fill a bucket with water and place it near the heater. It will humidify the ambient and moisten those dry nasal passages practically overnight.
10. Chili Peppers
The fiery chili peppers will not only make your eyes tear up but your dry nose as well. At least, this is the improbably finding of a study conducted in 2011 by the University of Cincinnati. The researchers concluded that a nasal spray containing capsaicin, an ingredient derived from the Capsicum annum chili peppers – you might find it familiar in the form of that hot, spicy burn that follows eating a chili – may ease symptoms of non-allergic rhinitis.
Weirdly enough, chili peppers will not worsen, but ease symptoms such as irritation and dryness in the nose.
Another natural solution to address dry nasal passageways is eucalyptus. The oil made from this green plant is famous for easing common cold or flu pains. Its strengths include antibacterial, antifungal, and expectorant properties. If you want to keep your airways fluid and airy, as they should be, eucalyptus oil is your best friend. Studies show that the appropriate dose to solve the problem is of 200mg three times a day.
12. Yellow Dock
Due to its tonic and detoxifying properties, yellow dock has been valued as a healer plant for centuries. Mainly known for dealing with digestive problems, this flowering common weed found extensively across the US and Europe may also help discharge the mucous and decongest the lungs.
However, keep in mind that yellow dock tastes and acts differently according to the cooking methods. You can boil it, or consume the leaves in salads, although not in excess. It can cause diarrhea. The root contains the most power to heal. You can drink it as an infusion or swallow it in capsules.
13. Chicken Soup
Chicken soup is so tasty we have to count it in as a home remedy for those dry nasal passages. The nutrient-richness of the chicken soup will help decongest the nose, while the selenium ingredient in the recipe will boost your body’s regeneration power.
A certain amount of moisture lining the inside of the nostrils is vital to the normal defense strategy of your nose against air pollutants. Therefore, dry nasal passages should be a cause for concern. It means your main defender is slackening, leaving your body exposed to external threats.