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What is Nasal or Postnasal Drip & Herbal Remedies to Get Rid of it

What is Nasal and Postnasal Drip?

Nasal drip, also known as nasal discharge or postnasal drip. Nasal or postnasal drip is most commonly caused by sinusitis or catarrh. Sinusitis and catarrh are inflammatory conditions that result in inflammation of sinuses and nasal mucosa. The inflammation of sinus and nasal mucosa is caused due to cold, allergies, hormonal changes, flu or even food sensitivity.

Continuous mucosal secretion by inflamed mucosal membrane of sinuses and nasal mucosa passes through front and back nasal passage. The secretions in most cases are observed as a nasal discharge or nasal drip when passing through the front nasal passage. The nasal mucosal secretion is not seen when it passes through the back nasal passage and known as postnasal discharged. Postnasal drip causes nasal swallowing problems when thick mucus secretion collects in the throat. Excess of mucus created in the sinuses and the membranes lining the nose causes a condition we call nasal drip or postnasal drip. This condition is also diagnosed as sinusitis or catarrh. The thick mucus traps tiny particles and sticks to the back of throat known as pharynx. The increase volume of mucosal postnasal drip in throat often become difficult to remove by coughing or spitting and interferes with breathing because of partial obstruction of breathing space in throat.

The postnasal drip become thick because of dryness in heated homes and apartments. Difficulties in breathing while suffering with thick nasal drip or secretion from one or two nostril in children generally means there could be partial obstruction in breathing passage. The obstruction is often caused by thick dry postnasal drip sitting in pharyngeal passage which the child is unable to cough out.

What is Nasal and Postnasal Drip?

Herbal Remedies to Get Rid of Nasal or Postnasal Drip:

There are a lot of herbs that help in softening and dissolving mucosal postnasal drip. These herbal remedies also help to reduce the inflammation of the mucosal layer of nose and sinuses. The reduced amount of mucosal secretion which is softer because of herbal medicine now reduces obstruction and become easy to cough out. The treatment helps to breath better by diminishing pesky congestion. Generally, it is safe to take herbs to get rid of postnasal drip caused by nasal inflammation known as rhinitis and sinusitis. However, it is essential to consult with your doctor before using any herbal remedies for any condition. The parents often are not aware of information regarding allergies caused by herbs or FDA recommendations as well as in few cases results of published data regarding particular herbal medical treatment. In this regard parents should consult pediatrician and discuss the pros and cons of herbal treatment for nasal or post nasal drip.

  1. Eucalyptus:

    Eucalyptus helps in loosening the mucus in the nasal and postnasal respiratory system. Several articles published in scientific journals suggests eucalyptus also works as a potential antiseptic and also aids in preventing infection.1 Eucalyptus effectively treats the condition of nasal drip.

    You can prepare eucalyptus tea made with its leaves and can use it as a gargle. Apart from this, you can also place fresh leaves of eucalyptus in a deep pan filled with boiled water and place a towel over your head so as to inhale the steam, which will cause the mucus to be eliminated via the nose and throat.

  2. Fenugreek:

    Fenugreek is a strong astringent that aids in relieving congestion and allows the body to eliminate excess of mucus through expectoration for treating the condition of postnasal drip. Published data suggests Fenugreek has an anti-inflammatory properties.2

  3. Ginger:

    Ginger is known for its tremendous anti-inflammatory benefits.3

    In order to treat the nasal drip, you can take this herbal remedy as an oral supplement or take as ginger tea. Ginger tea is very beneficial herb in treating cold and flu symptoms. In order to prepare ginger tea, grate one teaspoon of fresh ginger root directly in to hot water or green tea and allow the tea to steep for few minutes before you drink it.

  4. Anise Seed:

    One more healing herb is Anise seed which helps in breaking down the collected mucus and functions as an expectorant for nasal drip. Anise seed is also known as antioxidant anti-inflammatory herb often found in organic compound Anethole.4

  5. Echinacea:

    Echinacea is also a useful herbal remedy which helps in enhancing the immune system while treating and eliminating the infection.5 You can use Echinacea for treating nasal or postnasal drip.

  6. Barberry:

    Barberry has an anti-microbial property and contains alkaloids so as to fight against infection and stimulate the immune system. This is one more effective herbal remedy that can be used to get rid of nasal drip.

  7. Goldenseal:

    Goldenseal has similar properties as that of Echinacea and helps in enhancing the immune system and also effectively deals with infection. You can use this herb as a healing remedy for nasal or postnasal drip.

  8. Licorice:

    Licorice is one more healing herbal remedy for nasal and postnasal drip because of its excellent anti-inflammatory property.

  9. Slippery Elm Powder:

    Slippery Elm powder soother the mucus membrane and also acts as an anti-inflammatory. So, you can also use this herb for treating nasal drip.

  10. Butterbur:

    As per the University of Maryland Medical Center, Butterbur is a herb that is found is Europe and Russia. By nature, butterbur is a bitter-tasting green plant. This works as well as some antihistamines in treating symptoms of allergy such as postnasal drip. Moreover, butterbur has no known side effects as long as pyrrolizidine alkaloids are not included in the formulation. It must be noted that pyrrolizidine alkaloids may cause liver damage and should be avoided in herbal remedies.

  11. Stinging Nettle:

    Stinging nettle may be beneficial in treating hay fever symptoms leading to post nasal drip. This actually helps in reducing the sneezing and nasal itching that causes nasal drip. Stinging nettle helps in lowering the histamine levels produced in the body because of allergens.

    Simply take freeze-dried preparation of the herb before the symptoms begin.

  12. Other Healing Herbal Remedies For Nasal or Postnasal Drip:

    There are some additional cures for nasal or postnasal drip which are mentioned below:

    • Combining gentian root, sorrel, primrose flowers, elder flowers, and vervain can be used to drain the sinuses. This mixture can be found in some health food stores as a packaged tea, or else you can prepare it on your own.
    • You can also combine crushed black peppercorns with honey so as to help break up mucus and warm the body, so that there is no more formation of mucus.
    • Horseradish is one more remedy that aids in dissolving mucus. You can either grate fresh horseradish and eat one teaspoonful of it thrice in a day or take a half a teaspoon of the tincture three times in a day so as to help cure nasal drip.

Sometimes herbal remedies can be highly beneficial in treating nasal drip. However, it is always essential for you to consult with your doctor before taking any OTC medicine or herbal remedies.

Also Read:


  1. Biological, medicinal and toxicological significance of Eucalyptus leaf essential oil: a review. Dhakad AK1, Pandey VV2, Beg S3, Rawat JM3. J Sci Food Agric. 2017 Jul 31. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.8600. [Epub ahead of print]

  2. Trigonella seed extract ameliorates inflammation via regulation of the inflammasome adaptor protein, ASC. Sharma N1, Suresh S2, Debnath A3, Jha S4. Front Biosci (Elite Ed). 2017 Mar 1;9:246-257.

  3. Efficacy of ayurvedic medicine in the treatment of uncomplicated chronic sinusitis. Panigrahi HK1., Anc Sci Life. 2006 Jul;26(1-2):6-11.

  4. Anti-inflammatory effects of anethole in lipopolysaccharide-induced acute lung injury in mice. Kang P, Kim KY, Lee HS, Min SS, Seol GH., Life Sci. 2013 Dec 5;93(24):955-61.

  5. Prevention and Treatment of Influenza, Influenza-Like Illness, and Common Cold by Herbal, Complementary, and Natural Therapies. J Evid Based Complementary Altern Med. 2017 Jan;22(1):166-174. Epub 2016 Apr 6.

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:December 7, 2017

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