Thursday, August 25, 2011

Stuffy Noses Stink! Your Guide to Treating Stuffy Noses Naturally

I hate to have a stuffy nose worse than anything else! At least worse than anything else that I can think of at the moment anyway.

I'm all for doing things as naturally as possible, but that's one instance where my patience wears thin. If I can't get my nose to open up by the time I'm ready for bed, even just enough to decently breath while I sleep, I'll opt for OTC meds for sure. Anything to be able to breath! Ahhhh!

Many of you probably feel the same way I do, but here's the deal. We're adults & we can take those meds. What about our kiddos? What are we supposed to do for them? Many drug companies have taken infant's & children's OTC meds off the shelves due to some serious adverse reactions so when you have babies & small children, your best bet is to opt for natural treatment.

Cause of Stuffy Nose
Stuffy noses are caused by inflammation {swelling} of sinus tissues due to irritants. These irritants can be from allergies, viruses {colds}, & pregnancy {hormonal changes} to thyroid problems & medication side effects. Either way, the blood vessels in the sinuses are swelling which leads to a stopped up nose. No fun!

So today I'm gonna share some options that I use on my kids to help relieve those frustrating stuffy noses. I've also put these in the order that I'd use them as well.

First off, you want to treat the cause of the stuffy nose, the inflammation. So it's a good idea to start treatment  a bit before bedtime because these natural treatments take some time to work.

Herbal Steam

An herbal steam helps to loosen up any mucous in your sinuses, let them drain, & decrease inflammation at the same time. This should be done a few times a day. Here's how you do it.

  1. Bring a pot of water to boil on the stove. Once it's boiling remove it & place it on a solid surface.
  2. I take an antibacterial herb like echinachea & an astringent {drawing} herb like plantain & add them to the water. Now you have a tea.
  3. Add in a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil. It helps you breath better, plus it's antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antiseptic, pretty much anti-everything!
  4. Hold your baby & place a towel over both your heads & your pot of herb tea. Inhale the steam so that it gets deep in your lungs.
Now your little one may not like all that hot steam in her face so first off make sure it's not too hot or you're not too close to the pot. If you need to, remove the towel from time to time to get some fresh air, but go back to it for as long as she'll let you. You want the heat to cause her sinuses to open up & drain.

Saline Drops

This is where you put drops of the saline into your kiddos nose to loosen up the mucous before you go to the next step...the "boogy monster"! You can always use the herb tea mixture as well. It will only make it better!

"Boogy Monster"

This is what I've always called that little snot sucker thing that you always get at your baby shower or at the hospital & no it's never scared my kids by calling it a monster! These things either work for you or they don't. Either way, if you do use the saline drops to loosen up those "boogies", this is a good option when it comes to getting them out!

Homemade Vapor Rub

This is very easy & simple to make. You can rub it on your babies chest or right under her nose to help her to breath better. Yes, it's just like Vick's Vapor Rub that you can get at Wal-Mart, but this is more natural & not a bit harmful to you.

All you need to do is go buy some coconut oil {which has antibacterial properties itself} & mix in a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil. Now you've got a great salve! Simple, easy, & healthy!

Essential Oil Vaporizor

I use this on my little guys when they sleep every time they have a cold. I take a regular old steam vaporizer, fill it with water & mix in some eucalyptus essential oils. Then when the vaporizer turns the water into steam, it's got the eucalyptus in it as well.

Now, I have read online that adding essential oils into a steam vaporizer can burn the motor up or damage it in some way. I've never had a problem, but that's just my experience. You can always buy a vaporizer with the medicine cup & put your oil in there.

Okay, so now you have some tips on how to help your little one feel better when they have a stuffy nose & you don't have to worry about side effects or any of that mess because everything you're using is straight from nature itself. Good luck!

**Use caution when using essential oils of any kind with small children. They are very strong & should ALWAYS be diluted in something before being used on your child. And remember, a little goes a long way!**

Have you used any natural treatments for stuffy noses that have worked well for you? If so, let me know about them in the comments below!

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