Drinking a hot cup of tea might sound appealing when you’re all stuffed up, but can it actually help with occasional congestion?
When you know you need a good night of sleep, congestion can really throw a wrench into your plans. Getting comfy after a long day and drinking a hot cup of tea might sound especially appealing when you’re all stuffed up, but can it actually help with occasional congestion?
What Is Congestion?
According to the Mayo Clinic, congestion is caused by “anything that irritates or inflames the nasal tissues.” Infections such as colds, flu, or sinusitis can be the culprits of your congestion. Other causes can include allergies, irritants such as tobacco smoke, or rhinitis – a chronically runny nose condition. That “I can’t breathe” feeling is caused when tissues and blood vessels in your nose become swollen from excess fluid.
Do Hot Drinks Help Congestion?
Whatever the reasons are behind your congestion, feeling stuffed up is no fun. So how do you fix it? According to some studies, hot drinks may be helpful in reducing congestion symptoms.
A small study published in the journal Rhinology, which looked at the effects of hot drinks on nasal airflow and symptoms of the common cold and flu, found “the hot drink provided immediate and sustained relief from symptoms of runny nose, cough, sneezing, sore throat, chilliness and tiredness.” An early study from 1978 also found benefits to drinking hot liquids when it comes to helping to alleviate nasal airflow resistance.
Is Eucalyptus Tea Especially Good At Easing Congestion?
Now that we know hot liquids may be beneficial in easing congestion, what kind of hot liquids should we be brewing?
According to a small study published in Laryngoscope, eucalyptus oil is effective and safe when it comes to treating nonpurulent rhinosinusitis, and the University of Michigan points to another small study where sufferers of acute sinusitis taking cineole, the main ingredient in eucalyptus oil, recovered significantly faster than those taking a placebo.
Both studies are small, and even though nasal congestion can be a symptom of rhinosinusitis and acute sinusitis, there is no direct link between eucalyptus oil and eased nasal congestion. The bottom line: eucalyptus oil may help bring relief from inflamed nasal passages, but there is no straightforward data available. However, hot liquids do have some congestion-relieving research behind them, so brewing yourself a cup of eucalyptus tea may bring some form of relief.
The next time a cold or allergies are causing you occasional nighttime congestion, treat the symptoms naturally with a one-two punch of warm tea and Breathe Right nasal strips. Breathe Right strips are drug-free and clinically proven to instantly relieve nasal congestion, which means you can breathe better, then sleep better, all night long.