Post nasal drip can cause discomfort, especially in the form of a sore throat and excess mucus. Treating the underlying cause of post nasal drip can reduce or even eliminate symptoms altogether, but in some cases--like a viral infection--you may have to manage symptoms until it passes. Common causes of post nasal drip include infections, colds, flus and allergies. Natural relief may help in the treatment of post nasal drip, though always talk to your doctor before starting any new therapy.
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Drink plenty of fluids, at least six glasses a day. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, drinking fluids will help keep mucus thin so it can be eliminated from the body more easily. Liquids can also help reduce lost fluids due to infections and colds, which could be underlying causes of post nasal drip.
Chinese medicine generally uses herbs brewed into tea and drunk at regular intervals for the treatment of many ailments. Time Life’s “Medical Advisor” recommends the Minor Blue Dragon Combination to reduce nasal drainage. Note that this herbal combination contains ma-huang, a form of ephedra, which may be dangerous to your health. Check with your doctor before starting any herbal supplements to ensure your safety.
Vitamins and Minerals
Loading up on vitamin C can help boost your immune system to fight off viral causes of post nasal drip. Zinc can also help reduce the duration of a cold or virus. “The Doctor’s Book of Home Remedies” recommends taking 100 to 500 mg daily of vitamin C and no more than 40 mg of zinc daily.
Use saline spray to clear out the nasal passages. Nasal congestion or a runny nose can cause drainage down the back of the throat. Saline spray is a natural alternative to decongestant nasal sprays, which can cause rebound congestion that is worse than the original congestion.
Time Life’s “Medical Advisor” recommends Pulsatilla 12c three or four times daily for two days for thick yellowish-green post nasal drip, or Nux vomica 12c three or four times daily for two days for post nasal drip caused by the common cold. A homeopath can recommend a remedy for your particular cause of post nasal drip.
Aromatherapy and Humidity
Steam from a hot cup of tea, bowl of soup or a humidifier can help clear out nasal passages, reducing post nasal drip. According to Time Life’s “Medical Advisor,” an added aromatherapy combination of eucalyptus, tea tree, rosemary or peppermint oil with water in a humidifier during the day, and the essential oil of lavender at night, can help clear the nasal passages and aid with sleep, respectively.
- "The Medical Advisor"; Time Life; 2000
- "The Doctor's Book of Home Remedies"; Prevention Health; 2002
- MedlinePlus: Nasal Discharge
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Nasal discharge - Treatment