You will agree with me that whenever you get a sore throat, a hacking cough or when you rinse your throat with water in the morning, you feel as if there is something at the back of your throat. Well, any of these could be an indication of a post-nasal drip
Now, let’s understand the medical definition of postnasal drip.
Post-nasal drip (PND) is a very common problem that occurs as a result of excessive production of mucus by the nasal mucosa.
It is a very uncomfortable and irritating condition that affects people of all age and gender.
Mucus which is a thick, wet substance is continually produced in the glands lining your nose, throat, and airways.
Its main function is to moisten and clean the nasal membranes, humidify the air within the airways, traps and clear inhaled foreign matter and fight infections.
It is not uncommon to unconsciously swallow the mucus from your nose throughout the day. But when the mucus is overproduced, it starts dripping from the back of your nose, causing postnasal drip.
You may also notice additional symptoms such as an irritated or a sore throat, hoarseness, congestion, difficulty swallowing and a general feeling of weakness.
Postnasal drip can occur due to several factors such as common cold, flu, allergies, sinus infection, cold temperature, excessive dry air, spicy foods, and hormonal changes in the body, certain medications, and fumes from cleaning products, perfumes, smoke and other irritants.
Fortunately, you can treat many cases of post-nasal drip at home using simple and readily available natural ingredients.
However, if this condition persists for more than a week, please consult a doctor for proper examination.
1. Gargle with Salt Water
Gargling with salt water is one of the simplest and best home remedies to get rid of post-nasal drip.
It helps thin out the mucus making it easier to expel. Also, it helps flushes the irritants out of the nasal passages.
- Dissolve ½ teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water.
- Gargle with this solution a couple of times for 2 to 3 days.
2. Steam Inhalation
This is another simple but effective home remedy for postnasal drip. You can use this remedy with or without essential oils to control excess mucus production that causes post-nasal drip.
- Fill a bowl with hot boiling water.
- Add a few drops of any essential oil, optionally.
- Place a towel over your head and hold your face over the hot water.
- Inhale the steam deeply for about 10 minutes and then blow your nose.
- Repeat this home remedy 2 to 3 times daily until you fully recover.
Also, bathing with warm water can help break up the mucus.
Note: This home remedy is not recommended for very small children.
3. Nasal Irrigation
This remedy is very beneficial because it helps clear up excess mucus. In addition to that, it helps keep the nasal passages free from irritants thereby preventing further infection.
- Add a pinch of baking soda and ¼ teaspoon of salt to a cup of warm water.
- Pour this solution into a neti pot.
- In a standing position, tilt your head to one side while squirting the solution into one of your nostrils.
- Move your head back, forward and from side-to-side to help the solution reach other places within the nasal cavities.
- After that, blow your nose to get rid of excess mucus and solution.
- Repeat this procedure with the other nostril.
- Perform this remedy once daily for a couple of days and then a few times a week.
Garlic is one of the most popular herbs on the planet with powerful antibiotic properties.
It helps checkmate overproduction of mucus as well as prevention of infection. What’s more, it even promotes quick recovery.
- Roast 3 to 4 garlic cloves in 1 teaspoon of clarified butter for a minute. Eat them with some warm milk twice every day for a few days.
- Alternatively, chew a small piece of raw garlic a couple of times daily.
- Also, you can take garlic supplements after consulting the doctor.
Ginger is another popular herb that is considered a natural decongestant with antiviral, antibacterial, and expectorant properties. Just like garlic, it helps checkmate the overproduction of mucus and aids its removal. It is also a potent home remedy for a sore throat, chest congestion and hoarseness.
- Drink ginger tea 2 to 3 times daily. To prepare this tea, put a tablespoon of sliced ginger in 1 to 2 cups of warm water and simmer for about 10 minutes. Then, strain it and add a little honey before drinking it.
- Or, you can chew raw ginger slices a couple of times daily and add ginger to your cooking.
6. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper is very potent in getting rid of post-nasal drip because it acts as an antihistamine. The capsaicin in cayenne is very efficient in thinning out mucus for easy elimination. Not only that, but it also helps soothe an irritated throat.
- Make a mixture of ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper with honey, and take it 2 or 3 times daily for a few days.
- Another option, add ½ to 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper to a glass of warm water and sip it a few times daily.
- Also, endeavor to include this spice in your cooking as well.
Lemon is another effective post-nasal drip home remedy. Due to its high vitamin C content, it helps improve the body’s resistance to infections. It also helps loosen mucus for easy elimination from your nostrils.
- Squeeze the juice from ½ lemon into a cup of warm water and add raw honey for taste. Sip this mixture first thing in the morning on an empty stomach as well as a few times during the day to control overproduction of mucus.
- Also, consider adding lemon juice to your cup of green or black tea.
8. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has an alkalizing effect which makes it effective in treating post-nasal drip. It functions by thinning out the mucus, making it easier for elimination. What’s more, it also boosts your immune system to combat infections.
- Make a mixture of 1 to 2 tablespoons of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar and a little raw honey in a cup of warm water. Drink this solution twice daily for a few days.
- Alternatively, dilute raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar with equal amount of water. Then, heat the solution until it steams and then inhale the steam. Repeat this a few times daily for a few days.
9. Increase Your Water Intake
Maybe you aren’t aware, increasing your water intake can help thin out the mucus and facilitate quick recovery.
Not only that, but it also ensures proper hydration of your body and nasal passage.
It is worthy of note that, dehydration can aggravate symptoms of post nasal drip and make the condition even worst.
- Drink sufficient amount of water throughout the day to keep yourself well hydrated. For effective result, drink warm water.
- You can also drink green tea, hot lemonade, chicken soup, vegetable soup, and broth.
Importantly, avoid caffeinated drinks, alcohol, and soda which can cause hydration.
10. Increase Vitamin C Intake
One of the first lines of treatment against postnasal drip is to eat more vitamin rich foods. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps strengthen the immune system as well as resistance against various kinds of infections.
Not only that, but vitamin C also lowers the production of histamine in your body which is involved in allergic reactions.
- Eat more vitamin-rich foods such as papayas, oranges, lemons, tomatoes, bell peppers, berries, kiwi, broccoli and dark leafy greens.
- Also, you can take vitamin C supplements but only after consulting with your doctor for the correct dosage.