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Home Remedies For Stuffy Nose – From Instant Relief to Long-Term Improvements.

Home Remedies For Stuffy Nose – From Instant Relief to Long-Term Improvements.

A stuffy nose is not a joke. Your speech becomes slurry, you sound funny while taking, your nose begins to drip mucus (not every time, though) and just when you blow your nose to get a moment of sweet relief, your nose gets filled up in no time, leaving you frustrated and slow again. It makes your head feel really heavy and reduces your capacity to perform any of the tasks you should be performing on a normal day. It sure doesn’t help if your job involves a lot of paperwork in a little time frame.

Stuffy nose, also known as blocked nose or nasal congestion (more officially) is a respiratory disorder. It is also a condition that occurs more often than any other. There is a common misconception among most people that nasal congestion is as a result of the accumulation of mucus in the nose. This is not true. It actually occurs when the blood vessels in the nose become inflamed, leading to the swelling of the tissues lining the nose. It could also be caused by any of the following;

  • Infections: The common cold and the flu are conditions that are caused by virus infections. These viruses are passed through the air and in turn, they cause the nasal tissues to inflate. Sinus infection could also cause nasal congestion. A common symptom of a virus infection is the green or yellow coloration of the mucous, which is discharged from the nose.
  • Allergic Reactions: As a response to substances called allergens(for example, pollen, grains, smoke, etc.), your nasal tissues could swell. These allergens release a chemical known as histamine. This histamine could cause the watery (and sometimes, uncontrollable) release of mucous from the nose.
  • Figurative Anomalies: Some structural abnormalities such as a deviated septum (the pigment which divides the right nostril from the left), bent nose, etc. could also cause regular nasal congestion. These deformities could be results of a number of things; childhood injuries, accidents during birth, etc. Another structural anomaly is polyps, which is a tumor in the nose as a result of a viral infection in the sinuses.

Like I said earlier, nasal congestion can really be frustrating. However, there are quick remedies to it. Below are a couple of these remedies that have been tested over time and are safe, quick and efficient:

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Take A Hot Shower and Coffee

If you ever find yourself with a congested nose, Make cofee with best coffee grinder and had a hot shower definitely will help. There’s a science to this: The steam from a hot shower helps reduce the thickness of the mucous in the nose and reduce inflammation. All you need for this immediate relief strategy is to draw yourself a hot bath and you should begin to feel relief immediately. The downside to this method is that it’s a temporary solution. You sure can’t stay in the shower all day and almost immediately you leave the shower, your nose begins to get clogged up again due to the increase in temperature.

Use A Warm Compress

Another immediate solution is to press warm water over some strategic positions on your head. This process helps open up your nasal pathways externally. Simply put some water (as hot as your skin can handle) into a bowl, put a cloth inside it and put the cloth over the bridge of your nose, but male sure they don’t block your nasal pathways. Take a few deep breaths and your nose should start to clear up. You should be cautious of the temperature of the water so as not to cause any burns or bruises on your face or forehead. Repeat this process if you feel the cloth is getting too cold. You might have to repeat this process a few times before you feel 100% relieved. You should relax while this process takes place and try as much as possible not to do anything too physically straining.

For those who prefer prevention to cure, here are also a few habits that could reduce the likelihood of nasal congestion:

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Use Garlic

Garlic contains an anti-bacterial called allicin, which counteracts the effects of any viral infections that may cause nasal congestion. It also has Vitamin C, sulfur and other chemicals that help boost the immune system and fight against the bacteria that inflames the nose. However, to effectively use garlic as an anti-bacterial, the garlic must be eaten raw, so as to allow the allicin to work in its raw state. There isn’t a stereotyped dosage for garlic, but it is advised that you take between 3-5 garlic cloves a day for no less than 10 days (they smell weird, I know, but such is the price you have to pay for a free-flowing nasal pathway). Just peel off the skin of the garlic and continue eating it completely. Continue this process regularly to completely free up your sinuses.
Warning: Don’t try this on an empty stomach.

If you feel that the raw taste of the garlic is too irritating, you could use it as a part of your regular diet. Put it in your soups, pizzas, anything. Just make sure that you consume it regularly.

Keep Yourself Hydrated

The intake of fluids will increase the moisture in your body, which will, in turn, soothe any irritation in your nose. The fluids will also ease the passage of mucous, making it easier to flow out of your nose, reducing the pressure of your sinuses. The lesser the pressure, the lesser the inflammation you feel. The fluids aren’t restricted to water; other drinks such as sports drinks, soups, broths, juice, etc. will work just as well.

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Change Your Sleeping Arrangement

There are some steps you can take to ensure that you still sleep well, even with a clogged nose

  • Make sure your room is cool. This helps you sleep faster. Make it not too cool, though. Your congested nose should still be given consideration
  • Use as many pillows as you can, or sleep in an elevated recliner. Raising your head will prevent the mucous in your head to slip further backward.

Use Herbs To Improve Your Immune System

For a cold nose, Vitamin C and other herbs will definitely be of help. They help your body develop immunities and fight bacteria and viruses that cause nasal inflammation. Although these herbs might not eradicate a blocked nose completely, they can definitely speed up the healing process. Combining herbs and vitamins with other corrective measures should to the trick perfectly.

If eventually, you fall victim of nasal congestion, there a few homemade solutions that you can try. The advantage of these methods is the fact that you don’t have to wait for doctors’ orders. These methods are also very cost-effective:

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Use A Humidifier

A humidifier increases the humidity of any room it is put in. Using this machine will moisturize the air in your room. Inhaling the altered air will reduce the inflammation in the blood vessels and reduce the clogging in your nostrils. The mucus in your nostrils will reduce in thickness, causing the fluids in your nose to flow easily.

Use A Saline Spray

Saline sprays consist simply of salt-water solutions. This method works under the same principle as normal hydration. The spraying of this solution using a bulb syringe increases the moisture in your nostrils. The more the moisture, the easier it is for the nose to expel the mucous. These days, most saline sprays are accompanied by decongestant medications. For these sprays, it is better to get a qualified doctor’s prescriptions. They can have dangerous side effects if used indiscriminately or if used alongside the wrong medications.

Try A Neti Pot

The neti pot is used to flush out the impurities and mucous from your nose. However, it is not advisable to try this process by yourself or if you have the flu (or any other virus-induced nasal congestion). All you need to do is dissolve salt into water and pour the saline solution into a neti pot. Tilt the spout of the pot into your nostril until the water enters your nasal passages. The saline solution will moisturize your nostril and reduce the congestion in your nostrils. Repeat this step a few more times and then change the nostril where the water flows in. For this process to be successful, however, you must make sure that the water flows out of your other nostril.

Take Allergy Pills

If your congested nose is a consequence of an allergic reaction to some substance or the other, you could use the allergy pills (for example, antihistamine). Adding your allergy medicine to a decongestant will further reduce the pressure in your nostrils. Note that these pills should be taken according to your doctor’s prescriptions. Taking them wrongly could greatly exacerbate your condition. You should also know that antihistamine will make you drowsy. Make sure that a short nap follows the intake of such a drug and don’t exert yourself physically.

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Tanvir Zafar

Software Engineer at GCUF

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Last Updated on August 15, 2018

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

Video Summary

Why is it important to train up our core strength?

There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

One Exercise, multiple benefits

There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

What will happen when you start doing planks every day

    1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

    Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

    • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
    • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
    • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
    • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

    2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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      Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

      Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

      3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

        Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

        4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

          Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

          A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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          A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

          On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

          5. You’ll improve overall balance

            Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

            6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

              Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

              7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                How to hold a plank position

                1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                  How to improve your plank time gradually

                  1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                  2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                  3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                  Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                  Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                  You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                  • Prolapse
                  • After prolapse surgery
                  • Pelvic pain conditions
                  • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                  • Previous childbirth
                  • Overweight

                  Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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