A bad cold and cough can be a nightmare to deal with. Especially when you need to go to sleep. You’re up all night blowing your nose, trying to get comfortable and that store bought decongestant just doesn’t seem to work beyond 2 minutes of relief. Instead of fighting this battle, we have an easy solution that will have you fast asleep before you can say “sinus”.
Why Store-Bought Decongestants Don’t Work
Most popular decongestants don’t really have any effective ingredients. Often they have ingredients that do more harm than good. For example:
- Petroleum jelly: This substance can clog your pores which means it makes you prone to acne and blackheads.
- Camphor: This is definitely a toxic substance, especially to children who can be affected by even small amounts of the stuff.1
- Menthol: Menthol doesn’t actually clear your nose. The cooling effect tricks your brain into thinking you’re breathing through a clear nose when you’re really not.2
What Actually Works
This homemade decongestant uses essential oils that don’t pose any health risks and may be much more effective than your store-bought product. Here are the active ingredients in this balm
- Eucalyptus essential oil: This oil contains an ingredient called cineole. Studies show that it can be an effective remedy for congestion. It can also help reduce any headaches you may have.3
- Tea tree oil: Tea tree oil is a strong anti-inflammatory agent. Most colds are caused by an inflammation of the sinus so this oil can help combat these symptoms.4
Note: Both of these oils can cause reactions on sensitive skin. Always dilute them with carrier oils like coconut oil or olive oil. Even when diluted, they may still cause a reaction so always do a patch test before applying this homemade balm to your skin. Apply a small amount to the inside of your elbow or wrist and wait 24 hours. If there is no reaction, you may go ahead with the use.
Recipe For Homemade Decongestant
- 2 drops of tea tree essential oil
- 3 drops of eucalyptus oil
- 1 tbsp of extra virgin coconut oil
- If you live in cold weather, you may need to warm up the coconut oil slightly.
- Do this by placing the tightly closed jar or container of coconut oil in hot water for about a minute
- You should be able to get a tablespoon of liquid coconut oil.
- Before it solidifies pour it into a small container. An old lip balm container will do or something similar sized will do.
- Mix in the essential oils and stir well.
- Label the container and keep aside for when you need it.
Why The Feet?
After doing a patch test, you can apply this to your chest and throat whenever you experience soreness to experience fast relief. However, at night, some people recommend that you apply decongestants to your feet. Although there is no scientific evidence as to why this works, a good number of people swear that it works. Some theorize that the soothing feeling of rubbing your feet combined with the scent of the balm helps you go to sleep. Simply apply the balm to your feet and put on socks before you go to bed.
Although this remedy sounds strange there are enough people who vouch for its effectiveness. Try it out yourself to experience its fast-acting relief.
|↑1||Manoguerra, Anthony S., Andrew R. Erdman, Paul M. Wax, Lewis S. Nelson, E. Martin Caravati, Daniel J. Cobaugh, Peter A. Chyka et al. “Camphor poisoning: an evidence-based practice guideline for out-of-hospital management.” Clinical Toxicology 44, no. 4 (2006): 357-370.|
|↑2||Pereira, Effie J., Lauren Sim, Helen S. Driver, Chris M. Parker, and Michael F. Fitzpatrick. “The effect of inhaled menthol on upper airway resistance in humans: A randomized controlled crossover study.” Canadian respiratory journal 20, no. 1 (2013): e1-e4.|
|↑3||Kehrl, Wolfgang, Uwe Sonnemann, and Uwe Dethlefsen. “Therapy for Acute Nonpurulent Rhinosinusitis With Cineole: Results of a Double‐Blind, Randomized, Placebo‐Controlled Trial.” The Laryngoscope 114, no. 4 (2004): 738-742.|
|↑4||Carson, C. F., K. A. Hammer, and T. V. Riley. “Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil: a review of antimicrobial and other medicinal properties.” Clinical microbiology reviews 19, no. 1 (2006): 50-62.|