Sinus Congestion
Natural Remedies

Quick Sinus Relief: Natural Remedies for Congestion

| Modified on Jan 24, 2024
Sinus Congestion Remedies

Sinus congestion is a common health issue characterized by a stuffy or blocked nose, often accompanied by pressure or pain in the face, and sometimes headaches and mucus buildup. Colds, allergies, sinusitis, or environmental factors can cause it. While various over-the-counter medications are available, many people seek natural remedies for sinus congestion due to their effectiveness and minimal side effects.

Understanding Sinus Congestion

Sinus congestion occurs when the nasal passages and sinuses become inflamed and swollen, obstructing air flow and mucus. This can lead to discomfort and difficulty in breathing. Identifying the cause of your sinus congestion is key to choosing the most effective remedy.

When sinus congestion strikes and you struggle to breathe, immediate relief is a top priority. Thankfully, there are several effective natural remedies that you may already have in your kitchen. These solutions can provide fast relief for sinus congestion.

Instant Relief Remedies

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is known for its fast-acting properties in clearing sinus congestion. Pour some ACV on a paper towel and sniff it. Relief will be instant. Otherwise, you can add 1-2 tablespoons of ACV to a large glass of water and sip. This tonic will thin mucus.

Black Peppercorns

Chew and swallow 4-5 black peppercorns for swift relief. The natural properties of the peppercorns can quickly ease sinus congestion.


Cayenne pepper is a potent remedy. Dip a cotton bud in cayenne pepper and carefully apply it inside the nose. Expect an immediate runny nose, as cayenne is very effective in clearing congestion, despite an initial burning sensation.

Vapor Rub

Applying a menthol salve or vapor rub over your clogged sinuses can provide instant relief. Be careful to avoid contact with the eyes.

Herbal and Food Remedies


Nettle tea or capsules are excellent for sinus congestion, especially if caused by allergies. Its nutritive properties support the immune system and reduce inflammation.


Incorporate garlic into your meals or take a garlic supplement. Garlic fights infection and supports the immune system.


Turmeric, a powerful anti-inflammatory, can be added to milk (preferably non-dairy) or taken in capsule form. It's effective in reducing sinus inflammation and fighting infection.


A small amount of horseradish can quickly clear the sinuses. Its spiciness is effective in providing immediate relief.

Hot Sauce

Adding hot sauce to food, soups, or tea can help open up the sinuses due to its spicy properties.

Tomato Tea

Tomato tea, which incorporates spicy ingredients, is a popular remedy for sinus congestion. The recipe combines the benefits of spicy foods in a soothing tea form.

Lifestyle Remedies for Sinus Congestion


Light exercise like walking or using a rebounder can help relieve sinus congestion and promote overall health.

Wear a Hat

Wearing a warm hat, especially in cold environments, can help retain body heat and alleviate sinus congestion.

Baking Soda Bath

A warm bath with baking soda and eucalyptus oil can be both relaxing and effective in clearing nasal passages.

These natural remedies offer quick and effective ways to alleviate sinus congestion. Whether you choose instant relief options, herbal and food remedies, or lifestyle changes, you can find significant relief from sinus discomfort. If you have a natural remedy for sinus congestion, please share your feedback with us! Continue reading below to learn which natural remedies helped Earth Clinic readers with fast sinus congestion relief!

Related Links:

Find Relief from Sinus Infections Naturally
Ice Cream and Sinus Infections: Artificial Flavorings Link

ACV, Garlic, Oregano Oil, Sea Salt

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by KIM (MARINA DEL REY, CA) on 01/09/2008

Over the holiday I took a bus trip and It seemed that the person on the side, back and front of me was coughing and sneezing. I had a turtle neck and a scarf to cover my mouth and nose but when I returned home I kept feeling like I was going to catch a cold for a week. When it finally manifested it was by way of my sinus cavity and throat with a dry cough. I took an over the counter med. and Motrin and was still miserable. I finally could not take it any more and typed in cures for sinus in my computers search engine and your site was at the top of the list. When I clicked on the site the testimonial page popped up first. In Los Angeles we have a store called that delivers organic groceries. On their website they didn't have the ACV but when I talked to the sales assoc. She checked the shelf and they not only had ACV but it was organic with "mothers veil." It has been 3 days and my cough is completely gone and my sinuses no longer drip. My mixture is:

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 drops oregano essential oil
  • 2 tbs. organic ACV
  • dash sea salt
  • 8oz hot water

Ajwain Seeds

2 User Reviews
5 star (1) 
4 star (1) 

Posted by Mamta (Indiana) on 10/27/2006

i haven't taken any off the counter medicines for colds since 5 yrs !! and my condition was pretty bad when i came to the US. we got Ajwain seeds from an indian store or you will find it in the indian section of a chineses food store . Ajwain is indian oregano but very strong. everytime i get a cold and chest is congested...i take one tsp of ajwain and roast it on a flat pan. once it starts to smoke , quiclky put in a kitchen tissue and take deep inhalations, it makes you sneeze since all the nerve in the nose are raw from the cold....but in 5 minutes it all peaceful, no more colds. and RELIEF...esp. helpful in asthmatic attacks.....also have a strong concaction of ginger,black pepper, clove, basil and cinnamon...boil it in water for 5-10 min and after it cools a bit put a tsp of honey and have it hot. honey should not be heated. according to Ayurveda all these thing reduce phlegm in the body.... enjoy

Replied by Johnathon
(Toronto, Ontario, Canada)

I tried the ajwain seeds a couple of times yesterday and didn't see any results, i followed the instructions to the T, didn't experince any of the sensations that i read from other peoples testamonials, so i then tried the spicy tomato tea and only got minor results. So i made another tea about three hours later and still only minor results, it did however help me sleep better, without having to take my any pills which i normally take to help me sleep.. I woke up without any pressure in my sinuses, and no headache, so this morning a dank another tomato tea, and a couple more througout the day. Along with drinking the tea i decided to steam with apple cyder vinager which really helped loosen up my stuffy sinuses, i added thyme and fenugreek to the cyder, not sure if that helps? im going to try a few more cures from your site, and continue with the tea and steam, and keep searching till i find what works best for me...


1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Shorty (Austin, Tx) on 11/07/2011

Another thing that works for congestion is a spice called "anise", you boil the seeds and drink it with honey & lemon. my mom swore by it when we were younger & I used it for my infant kids since it was hard for them to cough up the mucus.

I need to use it myself for I have been suffering from nasal congestion/mucus & acid indigestion. That combination makes it hard to breathe freely, and sleep.. I wish you a speedy recovery.

Apple Cider Vinegar

119 User Reviews
5 star (107) 
4 star (1) 
3 star (2) 
1 star (9) 

Posted by Nina (Philippines) on 09/08/2020

Hi to all our EC readers from the Philippines!

It's nearly 12 midnight and I can't sleep due to sinusitis and the dreaded headache that accompanies it. So, I went to this site and read through.

I decided, steam inhalation is the best coz it can go to places no one has ever gone before! Hihihi

1/4cup ACV ( braggs wd the mother.)
1cup water

Heated it up in the microwave two min.

Tilted my head over the bowl wd the mixture, got a clean dishtowel n covered my head including the bowl, so the steam will just concentrate on the area I want and not scatter all over the place.( I hope you get the picture) tried my best to breathe through my clogged nose. After a while it slowly cleared. Made sure to breathe deep and while doing that I did those facial sinus massages they do on You Tube.

I did spit a lot of clogged stuff while my sinuses were draining. After about 10 minutes of that, I'd gargle ACV wd warm water n a pinch of cayenne. That got all the mucous in my throat out. What a relief!

Walked a bit to allow gravity to drain away more clogging. I felt my headache just saying goodbye not wanting to come back to me. Good riddance!

I did the whole cycle two times.and after about
30 minutes, my sinuses were drained no headache, happy me!

I can't thank you enough for sharing this!

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Lisa D. (Hartford, SD) on 04/20/2018

Sinus pressure:

A very saturated ACV onto a q-tip and roll inside your nostril sniff back and pressure is gone. Great stuff.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Lakesha (St. Louis, Mo) on 12/03/2017

This remedy worked immediately for me. I've known about it forever but just didn't think to do it. So this site reminded me. I immediately drank 2tblsp of vinegar in 1 cup of filtered water then followed that with snorting 1tsp in 1 cup of warm filtered water. I was so stopped up I couldn't even snort it at first. So I used a small bottle cap to pour it in as I held my head back. That cleared it enough that I could blow it out. And for the first time in a week it was looser and more clear. So I snorted when I could and it keeps coming out loose and clear!!! I can breathe!!! It only took a minute of my time. I wish I had done this a week ago SMH

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Amazed (Rochester, Ny) on 09/12/2017

ACV + Honey + Hot Water for Congestion

WOW. I did NOT believe this would work. Not that I'm against natural cures, but this really, really shocked me. I'm not that sick, just a head cold, but tonight my runny nose turned into a congested one within a matter of hours. So full I had to start mouth breathing. I found the ACV-HONEY-HOT WATER remedy and gave it a try. I also added in a few sprinkles of freshly ground black pepper and cayenne pepper. BAM. Within 30 seconds (NOT KIDDING! ) I was starting to feel open. Within 5 minutes I'm COMPLETELY clear. I went ranting and raving to my husband (who's also sick but with throat stuff not nose-yet). I dont know how long it will last but I will continue drinking it for health. I actually really love the taste of ACV and honey so this will be a treat. TO EVERYONE'S GOOD HEALTH!

*note, the honey and ACV I used were raw/organic.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Ted (Tx) on 06/12/2017

ACV sniff for sinus congestion.

It worked for me as well

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Beagleslways (Lighthouse Point, Fl) on 03/28/2017

Have had sinus congestion for 3 days. Just watched the Earth Clinic video using a paper towel saturated with apple cider vinegar and tried it. Started to feel relief! Then made up the 6 oz of water, 2 tsp apple cider vinegar and honey mixture and am drinking it as I write this. Amazing....... I can breath. I was totally clogged before this. Thank you!!

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by L8wman99 (Orem Utah) on 02/16/2017

I've been congested for two days. NyQuil did not help. Mucinex neither. This actually worked! Hoping to get some sleep tonight.

6 oz. hot water
2 tbsp ACV
1 TBSP honey

Kind of tasted like theraflu to me. Wow!

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Sally (Michigan ) on 01/27/2017

I'm so stuffed up I can't breathe, I've tried the Apple Cider Vinegar and I tried the hot towel for the steam, Nothing works! Any advice, anyone?

Replied by Mama To Many

Dear Sally,

Cayenne pepper on a q-tip up the nostril is a drastic but fast and effective remedy - at least for me. Even just a tiny bit really helps. Be prepared to sneeze and drain and have a burn feeling for a few minutes. Totally worth it IMO.

~Mama to Many~

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Jj (Old Bridge, Nj) on 11/11/2016

Amazing! I tried taking it first and did not feel relieved. I'm so desperate to feel better. So I tried the other suggestion. I heated some of the ACV and then inhaled the fumes. That worked for me! TIP: close your eyes when you inhale the fumes. It stings. So happy I found this website!

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Shulie (London) on 05/16/2016

I used the recipe on your site, 1/4 cup of ACV to 16 oz of water. My nose is already unblocked and I haven't even finished the drink!! Thank you.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Thrilled2pieces (Bella Vista, Ar) on 04/18/2016

I've been adding a splash of ACV and honey (I mix a cup of each, microwaved to blend, in a bottle) in every glass of water I drink. My husband cannot stand the smell, but I absolutely crave it. I almost always have a stuffy nose--one nostril or the other. I was considering going for the balloon sinuplasty since my eyes feel squinty and small all the time because of the congestion. I was reading about ACV as a nasal wash last night---thought it would burn like the dickens! I took one of those saline nasal-wash bottles--used distilled water and about a teaspoon ACV, plus I added a squirt of the coconut oil I keep in a spray bottle. No burn whatsoever---and voila! I can breathe through both nostrils! My eyes feel bright and wide---sounds incredible, but true.

My husband complains of allergies all the time and has had tinitus for 45 years. He is NOT Mr. Natural--what a shame. I gave up dairy, soda pop and alcohol. I just cannot believe how alert I feel. Go ACV!

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Chloespeaks (Nyc) on 11/08/2015

I came home last night with a serious bout of sneezes after walking the dog through windy fall leafy weather. Immediate massive congestion accompanied by runny nose. I neti'ed immediately which helped the sneezing but everything else still present. I even took a Zyrtec, which again, helped but still massively congested after 3 hours.

Drank a warm glass of 8oz water, 2 Tablespoons honey, 2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar and it immediately cleared one nostril. Felt like 50% better but my sense of smell was still gone for about one hour. Then I took another, milder dose, 1 Tablespoon each of honey/ACV. I got less noticeable relief but went to bed and slept soundly (snoring though which only happens with congestion). Woke this morning with one side still congested, but now 2 hours later completely 90% clear with sense of smell back.