Over the counter (OTC) decongestant nasal sprays work because of chemicals like Xylometazoline, Oxymetazoline, Phenylephrine, Naphrazoline etc that quickly ease the nasal block by shrinking the arteries and veins of the nasal lining. People depend on these OTC nasal sprays as they relieve the nasal congestion caused by sinusitis, allergy or cold quickly within 20-30 minutes of use but actually it may worsen the condition than before which no one is aware of.
These sprays should not be used more than 3 days. If used for longer period it may lead to rebound effect or a condition called Rhinitis Medicamentosa. This condition is often seen after 3-5 days among people who self medicate with such nasal sprays. In this condition called Rebound nasal congestion or Rhinitis Medicamentosa , the nasal tissue gets damaged blocking the nasal passage until surgically removed. Overuse of such sprays may lead to High blood Pressure and pulse Rate, nervousness, trouble sleeping, sneezing, dizziness etc. People suffering from Blood pressure, Diabetes, Heart problems, Kidney or Liver Problems, Thyroid complaints, Prostate problems, Pregnant and Breast feeding ladies should strictly avoid use of these sprays.
There are other effective ways to congestion and blocked nose due to cold, allergy, Sinusitis etc. They are listed below:
Herbal Steam Inhalation
According to Siddha, boiling herbs with water and inhaling its aroma or vapour is right way to treat nasal block.
How to do :
Boil herbs in a wide mouthed vessel and, inhale the vapour coming from the vessel by covering their head. The medicated fumes should enter the mouth and nasal passage. This will help in relieving the congestion and nasal block without any side effect. . In order to keep the water hot allowing vapour for a long time, a piece of red brick can be burnt to red hot and dropped in the steam vessel during inhalation. This treatment can be done once or twice daily, once especially before going to bed.
Herbs used in steam inhalation :
- Whole plant of Thumbai or Leucas aspera is crushed, boiled with water in a wide mouthed vessel steam inhalation may be done.
- Leaves of Tulasi/ Holy Basil/ Oscimum sanctum with ½ spoon of turmeric used for steam inhalation.
- Boil leaves of Notchi (Vitex negundo)
Benefits of Steam Inhalation
- Effective for nasal block,
- No Side effect
- Relieves running nose, opens blocked sinuses.
- Can be done easily till completely cured
Other Siddha means to treat nasal block :
- Rubbing nostrils with warm mustard oil.
- Tuber of Turmeric burnt & its fumes are inhaled.
- Nasiyam with Chukku thailam, Peenisa Thailam, Peenisa kesari thailam etc. Nasiyam according to Siddha is useful to treat allergy, Sinusitis, Nervous disorders, respiratory problems etc. It removes the toxins from the sinuses, neck, eyes, ear, nose and throat. Also provides impurity and strengthens nervous system.
- Internal medicines (Siddha) to treat the root cause of nasal block along with Siddha Medicated Oils for Head bath.
Always stick to natural means. Though quick action but so many negatives of chemicals and preservative containing medication. Remember to consult a doctor before treatment of any problem even a nasal block. Never go for self medication through advertisement. Even for herbal medicines consult a doctor always, this way you can be safe and the treatment will be effective. Though electrical vaporizers are available today, we would recommend to do through the traditional way of Steam because of its efficacy and safety. Take care, Stay fit and Keep healthy.