A runny nose is the most common symptom of cold or flu that happens during cold weather as cold viruses are more infectious are seasonal and occur more frequently during the winters. A runny nose is because of congestion and inflammation of the linings of nasal passages and sinuses which results in the discharge of fluid through nostrils.
Cold is spread through the air or during close contact with the infected person and even indirectly through contact with some allergens (pollen or mold) in the environment.
A runny Nose can be annoying but it’s a good sign as through this mucus is trying to wash away the bugs which can make you sick. Therefore A runny Nose should be considered as a positive symptom as the dripping from the nose actually protects the health.
The moisture protects the mucous membrane in the nose from damage due to dry or cold air, it traps the bacteria and virus and keeps the foreign substances out of the nasal passage. Thus, Runny Nose helps in protecting the delicate air sacs in the lungs from getting damage.
When one experience runny nose without any other symptoms, it is called Rhinorrhea Rhinitis. This happens due to changes in temperature, humidity especially when one is outdoors in cooler temperature. In cold weather, the mucous warms and moisturizes the air taken through the nasal passages.
Prevention and Tips
- The easiest way to prevent a runny Nose in cold weather is to cover the nose and mouth with a scarf while outdoors.
According to Ayurveda
- According to Ayurveda, a runny nose with thin mucous is a Vata condition with toxicity such as a leaky gut or gas. The Vata Dosha is responsible for regulating the immune system so it is very important to balance and strengthen the Vata during fall before winter starts. Kapha dosha in the body is responsible for regulating the respiratory and nasal systems. That should also be taken care of during winters.
- A runny nose can easily be treated at home using some Ayurvedic (at home) remedies. Some of the most common ways to get rid of a runny nose in cold weather are listed below:
10 Ayurvedic Ways to Get Rid of a Runny Nose in Cold Weather
- Turmeric is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory, an antiseptic, antibiotic, anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial herb that regulates the immune system and helps in the digestion. Turmeric when taken with warm milk before bedtime, helps in getting rid of all kind of ailments including a runny nose in winters.
- Turmeric helps in keeping the lungs clear of phlegm and activates the liver. One may also prepare Ginger Turmeric Lemonade and take it once a day to break up mucus and reduce respiratory inflammation.
- Ginger is one of the best home remedies to manage the symptoms of cold including a runny nose. Ginger has the ability to reduce vitiated Kapha dosha which gets imbalanced in cold weather leading to the production of excess mucous.
How to Take
- One should boil ginger in water and inhale its steam for faster recovery. Consuming ginger tea is also beneficial. Chewing ginger also curbs a runny nose.
Tulsi (Basil leaves) tea
- One of the easiest ways to get rid of a runny nose is to consume Tulsi tea in winters.
- It is recommended to increase the intake of Vitamin C during winters to improve body’s immunity to fight against infections. Fruits like oranges, strawberries should be consumed in abundance.
Saline Nasal Sprays
- Using Saline Nasal Sprays helps to rinse and thin the mucous and get rid of irritants in the nose. Cassia roots should be burned and its smoke is inhaled to flush out all mucous discharge and get relief from a runny nose after a while.
- Bishop’s weeds should be tied in a cloth and directly inhaled to clear congestion. Steam is the best way to ease discomfort as it reduces the mucous produced by runny nose. Salt water may be used to flush out the nasal passages make it free from mucous freeing up the mucous.
- Mustard Oil is a very effective remedy to get rid of a running nose. Add 2 spoons of mustard oil in boiling water and inhale the vapors with a long breath. This helps to clear the nose. Capsaicin nasal spray is also effective.
- Spices like Cinnamon, Cumin, Fennels Seeds, Black Pepper, Black cumin, papal, licorice should be included in the diet. These warming spices, when used in the food, helps to rejuvenate the respiratory system. Garlic is also beneficial to get rid of the cold and runny nose.
- Nasya is an Ayurvedic practice of putting herbal oil drops in the nose to lubricate the dry nasal passages which helps in keeping the allergens far from irritating the nasal lining. This also helps in slowing down a runny nose.
- Practicing pranayama or breathing techniques for 30 minutes daily helps in getting rid of a runny nose. Dirgha pranayama or Three-Part Breath is considered as the best pranayama to relieve sneezing and runny nose.
What to Eat and Avoid According to Ayurveda
- Ayurveda recommends eliminating dairy products completely from the diet. It is advised to eat warm, cooked meals preferably, a vegetarian meals. Cooked meals give the digestive fire a chance to rest.
- It is highly recommended to drink lots of water to keep oneself hydrated to keep the sinuses moist and less prone to the infections. Always prefer warm water as it pacifies the dry cold Vata dosha with its hydrating properties.
- One should try to stay in a warm environment as much as possible as cold temperatures will dry and thicken the mucous. Drinking warm milk or hot tea, or sipping on the clear chicken broth helps to thin mucous and allow it to drain faster from the nose.
- Avoid heavy, think, dense foods which are difficult to digest when you are sick. Avoid cold, frozen, raw foods, all sugar laden, bread, and juices.
- Always blow the nose gently using a soft paper tissue and prefer the ones that are infused with essential oils. A gentle massage of the nose and area between eyes and earlobes needs to be done to ease the sinus pressure and slow down a runny nose.
- A warm compress on the nose and forehead helps a lot to reduce the pressure on sinus pressure and congestion. It is advised to take complete body rest as sleep is essential for overall health and faster recovery from any problem