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Runny Nose, Congestion, or Nosebleeds in the Winter?

posted Jan 4, 2013, 6:59 AM by Susan Bernhardt   [ updated Jan 4, 2013, 6:59 AM ]

Are you waking up in the morning with a runny nose or congestion, but it’s not from a cold or allergies? One possible cause is dry winter air. Dryness can lead your body to overproduce mucus. Do you get nosebleeds when the weather has been cold and dry? Dry air may be the culprit. Here are two suggestions for moistening the nasal passages.

First, run a humidifier in your bedroom at night. This can make a big difference.

Second, lubricate your nasal passages with oil. It’s best to do this on an empty stomach. In the evening, a little while before bed, or before a meal are fine. If you use a neti pot (which, by the way, has its origins as a yoga cleansing practice), it’s especially important to lubricate your nasal passages because the salt water in the neti can by drying.

Warm the oil to body temperature or slightly warmer – be careful not to burn yourself. If your oil is in a small bottle, you can put the bottle in a cup of warm water to heat the oil. Some people put the bottle next to a warm light bulb. You also can put the oil in an eye dropper and hold the dropper under warm water. Put the oil in your nose. You can use your pinky, a cotton swab, or an eye dropper. Start with a couple of drops per side; if you don’t have any problems, you can go to 3 to 5 drops. Tip your head back. One option here is to lie on your bed with your head hanging off. Sniff back a few times and exhale through your mouth. Repeat this a few times. If you taste oil in the back of your throat, that’s normal.

What kind of oil? If you have a lot of inflammation, swelling, or heat in your body, or you get migraines, coconut may be best. Otherwise, sesame oil is good. Either way, you want unrefined, raw, organic oil. Ayurveda offers a number of other options for oil as well. “Nasya” oils incorporate herbs into the oil specifically for use in the nose. There are premade nasya oils available, or an Ayurveda practitioner can customize an oil using particular herbs and oils designed to address your specific needs.