The 8 Best Teas For Congestion Plus Home Remedies to Try Today
Having clogged sinuses can feel hellish. Whether your sinus problems are caused by a sinus infection, sinusitis, the common cold, or allergies, the condition can feel debilitating and exhausting. Fortunately, there are home remedies and herbal teas you can use to help ease congestion and feel better fast. The next time you're feeling stuffed up, try these handy tips and the best tea for congestion and feel like yourself again.
The Best Tea For Congestion
Peppermint tea offers a tingling, refreshing flavor that may help to gently open up clogged sinuses. This tea contains a powerful ingredient known as menthol, which offers anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce the swelling of blood vessels in your nose that cause congestion (1). Lab studies also show that peppermint leaves contain ingredients that help to fight off bacteria that may cause you to get sick in the first place (2).
Ginger root tea is a mildly spicy beverage that may help to reduce congestion by reducing inflammation and relaxing muscles in the nasal passages. This tea is also widely known as a natural remedy for treating nausea and upset stomach. Research shows that ginger may help to improve breathing, especially in people who suffer from asthma, by relaxing smooth muscle (3).
Additional research shows that ginger is an effective treatment for sore throat and nasal passage congestion and may shorten the severity and duration of a cold (4). Add a few pieces of thinly sliced ginger to a cup of boiling water. Add a dash of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice and honey for the best results.
Chamomile tea may not directly ease congestion, but research shows that this floral tea can help to boost mood and improve relaxation — something you need when fighting off a cold or flu. In fact, research shows that chamomile works directly on GABA receptors in the nervous system to naturally increase relaxation and reduce stress (5). Drinking this tea while suffering from congestion may offer a soothing, calm feeling so you can focus on your recovery. Best of all, this tea offers a delightful crisp green apple flavor that is suitable for most palates.
During flu season, green tea can be your best friend. This true tea is packed with antioxidants including catechins, polyphenols, and flavonoids that offer a wide range of health benefits. Research shows that regular consumption of green tea may help to decrease the risk of high blood pressure, boost brain function, and accelerate weight loss (6)(7)(8).
This tea may also help to reduce symptoms of a stuffy nose by decreasing inflammation and swelling that causes your nasal passages to feel blocked. Pour yourself a cup of this hot tea and try to inhale the aroma and warm mist to loosen nasal congestion. Drinking tea may also help to treat other cold symptoms such as sore throat and chest congestion. Best of all, it's a delicious way to stay hydrated, which is an important part of the immune response when fighting a cold or flu.
Research published in ISRN Allergy found that an herbal supplement containing nettle and elderberry was effective at reducing symptoms of allergic rhinitis including nasal congestion. Researchers found that the herbs worked as natural decongestants and also featured antimicrobial properties that help the immune system fight off infection (9) (10).
To make this tea, you can use fresh or dried nettle leaves or simply place a nettle tea bag in hot water. Add a dash of cayenne pepper or black pepper to add a spicy touch that can further reduce nasal congestion.
Turmeric is a beloved spice featuring a bright yellow hue and boasting a wide range of potential health benefits. Research published in Annals of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology found that curcumin — the main ingredient in turmeric — boasted anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects that alleviated nasal symptoms including sneezing and sinus congestion in people who suffer from allergies (11).
Eucalyptus tea boasts a strong aroma that may help to alleviate nasal congestion thanks to a powerful ingredient called 1,8-cineole. Studies show that inhaling eucalyptus oil or the scent of eucalyptus tea may help to reduce congestion thanks to anti-inflammatory properties (12). The herb works as a mild expectorant that can help clear phlegm that causes chest congestion. Brew the tea leaves in warm water and make sure to inhale the aroma while enjoying your cup of tea for the best benefits.
Licorice Root Tea
Licorice root tea may help to ease congestion and offers a bold flavor that coffee-drinkers will love. Small studies show that licorice root tea boasts antiviral and antimicrobial properties that can support the immune system and fend off bacteria that cause congestion (13). Since it has an acquired taste, new tea drinkers should add a dash of raw honey or a slice of lemon to balance out the flavor.
Other Home Remedies to Feel Better Fast
Use A Humidifier
Nasal congestion can be caused when the air is too dry. Adding moisture to the air can help to ease the feeling of a stuffy nose. You can also add a few drops of essential oils like clary sage oil, eucalyptus oil, or lavender oil if desired.
Try A Sinus Rinse
A nasal rinse can help to remove phlegm and soothe irritated blood vessels that cause congestion. The most famous of these tools is known as the Neti pot. Simply fill the container with warm, distilled water and tilt your head to one side. Gently squeeze the tea pot in one nostril and let the water flow out the other nostril. It helps to keep your mouth slightly open and tilt your head towards the ceiling. We recommend trying this in the shower for easy cleanup until you get the hang of it.
Supplement With Vitamins
Eating a healthy diet will provide you with the right vitamins and minerals to stay healthy. But even the healthiest people get sick sometimes. If you feel a cold or flu coming on, supplementing with vitamins like vitamin C may help to shorten the duration of the cold or prevent it from taking hold.
Sleep With Your Head Elevated
If you have nasal congestion, symptoms can feel worse at night. Try to sleep with your head elevated above your heart to gently drain your sinuses. Use a couple of pillows to prop yourself up comfortably and make sure to get plenty of fluids and rest to beat the cold fast.
Fight Nasal Congestion the Natural Way
When flu season hits, make sure to have a few of these tasty teas on hand. Not only are they delicious, but they may also help ease the symptoms of the common cold and flu. Try a caffeine-free herbal tea to fight cold symptoms all day and night or opt for green tea if you need a little extra caffeine to get through the day. In addition to the best teas for congestion, you can try these easy home remedies to kick the bug and feel better fast.