A post nasal drip is not a disease but it can cause a host of problems. Sore throat and upper respiratory infections are some of the most common symptoms associated with a post-nasal drip. It can also lead to bad breath, throat irritation, nausea, lack of appetite, difficulty in breathing etc. If ignored, post nasal drip can sometimes lead to bacterial infections that may need antibiotics for treatment. How long a post nasal drip lasts varies from person to person based on individual immunity and lifestyle factors. The following home remedies can shorten the duration of an allergic post nasal drip:
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1. Apple cider vinegar
You can use this post nasal drip home remedy in two different ways:
- Gargling– Take a glass of warm water. Add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and cayenne pepper. Gargle with this solution 3 to 4 times a day.
- Internally– Drink a glass of warm water or juice mixed with a tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar. This remedy helps fight inflammation and pain and strengthens the immune system. Taken regularly, apple cider vinegar can prevent coughs, colds and post-nasal drip.
2. Flush out the nostrils daily
To prevent post nasal drip sore throat, you need to eliminate stale nasal secretions that get stuck in the airways. During your bath/shower, pour warm water down the nostrils and spit out the water that runs down the throat. You can also use a Neti pot filled with warm saline water to clear the sinuses out. This is a surefire remedy for preventing post nasal sore throat and seasonal nasal allergies. Try using sinus irrigating rinses available online and offline including SinuCleanse for this purpose.
3. Steam inhalation
Fill up a steamer with water and inhale the steam while covering your head with a towel. You need to inhale the vapors for at least 10 minutes. The steam clears out the sinuses and prevents post nasal drip. This remedy also prevents nasal congestion. To boost the power of steam, add some essential oils to it. Oils like Lavender, Eucalyptus, Tea tree oils etc are great for clearing colds.
4. Moisturize the nasal passage
Blood in post nasal drip could indicate dry nasal passages. So you need to moisturize the nostrils with the help of nasal emollients. Ponaris Nasal Emollient is so effective that even astronauts use it in space! It is available as drops as well as in spray form.
5. OTC help
Medicated nasal sprays like Afrin, or Neo-Synephrine are great for relief especially if your condition is causing sore throat or affecting your sleep. However, do avoid long term use of these sprays as they can cause nasal irritation and dryness. The sprays shrink the nasal tissue lining which causes your mucosa to swell even more. So avoid prolonged use of these products. Likewise, you can also use post nasal drip cough medicines but they can cause drowsiness.
6. Try herbs
Herbal tinctures and teas are very effective in treating catarrh which could lead to post nasal drip. Some of the best herbs to prevent and heal viral infections, allergies, asthma, bronchitis and other factors that lead to it are: Bilberry, Echinacea, Cayenne, Comfrey, Feverfew, Goldenrod etc. Drink a few drops of the tincture in warm water 2-3 times a day. You can also steep the herbs and drink the tea two to three times a day. This remedy will soothe the throat and prevent pain and inflammation.
7. Drink plenty of fluids
Fluids will help thin down the mucus that causes the drip in the first place. You must drink at least 8-10 glasses of water. Homemade fruit and vegetable juices, clear soups, broths and herbal teas are also great. Apple and dark grape juices are best as they soothe the throat and dilute mucus. Drink at least one 8-ounce glass of juice before meals.
8. Food therapy
Milk, cheeses and other dairy products trigger mucus production which can cause or aggravate the post nasal drip. So cut these foods from your diet.
9. Homeopathic remedies
Many homeopathic remedies are particularly beneficial for post nasal drip nausea and allergic post nasal drip. Kali bich, Arum, Sticta, Nux Vomica, Lycopodium etc are some of the most commonly prescribed homeopathic medicines for post nasal drip in infants and adults. A homeopath can recommend the right dosage based on your medical history and exact symptoms. Avoid caffeinated beverages like tea and coffee when taking these remedies.
See a doctor if your post nasal drip does not reduce after a week or you continue to experience bloody or thick nasal discharge, high fever and severe sore throat despite these remedies.