Home Remedies for Post-Nasal Drip

Can they help?

Organic ginger root on serving tray
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Under normal circumstances, the glands in your nose and throat produce mucus in order to moisten your nasal membranes and fight off infection. Post-nasal drip occurs when your sinuses produce excess mucus discharge that runs down the back of your throat.

You may feel the discharge and it might cause you to cough, particularly when you're lying down. Or you may experience a tickling, scratchy, or itchy sensation at the back of your throat.

If the mucus irritates your throat, you might get a hoarse voice or sore throat.

Home Remedies for Post-Nasal Drip

Post-nasal drip has many possible causes, such as the common cold, a sinus infection, or allergies. If you're experiencing symptoms regularly, speak with your health care provider to identify the cause and discuss treatment.

Although some remedies may help to reduce your nasal discharge at home, it's important to note that there is a lack of research on the use of any remedy for post-nasal drip. 

1) Drink More Fluids

Thick mucus is more likely to be uncomfortable and disrupt your breathing. Thinning it out can help to reduce blockages, reducing your risk of sinus or ear infections. An easy method to thin your mucus is be sure to drink an adequate amount of fluids each day.

2) Ginger Tea

Although ginger hasn't been studied for its effects on post-nasal drip, the spicy root has been used to help relieve congestion.

The warmth of the liquid can also soothe a sore or irritated throat. Find out more about ginger tea.

3) Use a Humidifier or Vaporizer

Using a humidifier can help to raise the moisture level in the air.

4) Saline Nasal Mist

A saline nasal mist several times a day may help thin out mucus.

5) Gargling With Salt Water

Gargling with warm salt water may help to clear mucus from the back of the throat and soothe a sore throat. Try stirring one teaspoon of salt into 8 fl oz. of lukewarm water.

6) Nasal Irrigation
In some cases, nasal irrigation (a procedure that involves using a specially mixed sterile salt-water rinse to clear the nasal passages) may help reduce post-nasal drip in people with chronic sinusitis.

Related: 8 All-Natural Remedies for a Sore Throat

What Causes Post-Nasal Drip?

Post-nasal drip may be caused by a number of conditions or health issues, including:

  • Allergies
  • Bacterial infections
  • Flu
  • Gastroesophageal reflux (GERD)
  • Head injury
  • Sinusitis
  • ​Use of nasal sprays
  • Viral infections that cause the common cold

The condition can also result from certain foods or spices, pregnancy, hormonal changes, the use of certain medications (such as birth control pills and blood pressure medication), dryness of indoor air, or structural abnormalities (such as a deviated or irregular nasal septum).

What Are The Symptoms of Post-Nasal Drip?

Along with the sensation of liquid dripping from the back of your nose and into your throat, post-nasal drip may be associated with the following symptoms:

  • Cough that tends to worsen at night or when lying down
  • Sore throat
  • Ear pain
  • Sinus pain in the face
  • Swelling of tonsils or other tissues in the throat

The Bottom Line

Home remedies may help provide some relief from the uncomfortable symptoms of post-nasal drip. While post-nasal drip is sometimes temporary, if you experience symptoms regularly, be sure to talk with your doctor to determine the underlying cause. 

Sources:

Forer M, Ananda S. The management of postnasal drip. Aust Fam Physician. 1999 28(3):223-8.

Papsin B, McTavish A. Saline nasal irrigation: Its role as an adjunct treatment. Can Fam Physician. 2003 49:168-73.

Disclaimer: The information contained on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician. It is not meant to cover all possible precautions, drug interactions, circumstances or adverse effects. You should seek prompt medical care for any health issues and consult your doctor before using alternative medicine or making a change to your regimen.

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