Try Natural Home Remedies for Noses

The Natural Remedies column shows you how to use natural home remedies for noses to help with allergies, colds, and sinus problems.


| February/March 1997



160-038-01

We can't smell when we have a cold because the infection associated with the cold inflames the mucous membranes of the nasal passages and thereby blocks the movement of air to the center of smell.

PHOTO: MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF

The Natural Remedies column has tips for easier breathing by using natural home remedies for noses to help with nasal problems. 

History has given the nose a bum rap. It seems to be the most unflattering part of the human anatomy. Romantic writers talk about straight noses, slender noses, snug noses, and jolly red noses. Shakespeare described one of his characters as having a nose as sharp as a pen, and in the Bible's book of Song of Solomon the writer tells his beloved that her nose is like the tower of Lebanon. (Don't try that one on yours.) While it can't be proven, the English writer Edward Lear may have started the idea of "nosy" people when one of his characters is reminded to "mind his nose."

Whatever art, literature, and history have done to the image of the nose, it remains a vital part of the anatomy. It is the organ of breathing and smelling and one to which we pay little attention until problems occur. We can't smell when we have a cold because the infection associated with the cold inflames the mucous membranes of the nasal passages and thereby blocks the movement of air to the center of smell. In the highest part of the nasal cavity are olfactory nerves which pick up smell and send its sensations to the olfactory lobe of the brain which records the smell. In this way we can distinguish a rose from a skunk, or a freshly brewed cup of coffee from freshly thrown fertilizer.

In addition to holding our sun glasses in the vicinity of our eyes, our nose enables us to inhale air from the outside and process it along to our lungs. One of the early signs of cold or flu is the stuffy nose or the runny one which is sometimes accompanied by cold sores on the external area of the nose. There are many excellent natural home remedies for noses you can make to deal with these discomforts. For colds and nasal discomfort in general, try these:

Combine half a clove of garlic with a teaspoon of cayenne (hot) pepper, the juice of one lemon, and a teaspoon of honey. Take this mixture three times daily. It's not guaranteed to make you smell like Chanel No. 5, but it will clear up the symptoms in a couple of days. You can also prepare a tea by placing one teaspoon each of cinnamon, sage, and bay leaves in hot water. Add a few squirts of concentrated lemon juice and drink. Another good remedy is made by boiling the leaves and flowers of borage (from your backyard garden or the local health food store) in a pan of water. Allow this to steep for 10 minutes, then strain and drink a cup of the extract three times each day.

An additional effective remedy for colds in general can be made by mixing one tablespoon each of yarrow, catnip, thyme, mint, sage, and verbena. After mixing well, place a teaspoon of the mix in a cup of boiling water for 10 minutes. Strain through cheesecloth and sweeten with a little honey. Drink three or four cups each day. It produces a result not unlike the effect of being pulled over by the local traffic cop—it really makes you sweat. The profuse sweating caused by this remedy is what serves to drive out the cold symptoms.





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