How to Use Garlic for Blocked Sinuses and Congestion


With all this wacky weather--balmy one day, arctic chills the next--you’re bound to wind up with a raging head cold at some point soon. In addition to pounding Nyquil before bed (mmm…sleep), try using garlic for congestion and blocked sinuses with this simple home remedy for clearing your airways.

What you need:

Three to five garlic cloves, a pot of boiling water and a bath towel.

How to Make A Garlic Steam:

  • Step 1: Bring the water to a boil in a pot.
  • Step 2: Crush the garlic cloves with the flat side of a chef’s knife. Remove and discard the skins.
  • Step 3: Add the crushed cloves to the pot of boiling water and turn off the heat.
  • Step 4: Put your head a safe distance over the pot (at least two to four inches) and drape the towel over your head and the pot so the steam doesn’t escape.
  • Step 5: Take long, deep inhales and exhales for a few minutes (or long enough to feel it start to work).

Why it works:

Garlic is naturally antibacterial, and when crushed, it releases a curative component called allicin that helps thin the mucus blocking your nasal passages. It also reduces the inflammation that’s contributing to your clogged airways. Breathe on.

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Lindsay Champion

Freelance Editor

From 2015-2020 Lindsay Champion held the role of Food and Wellness Director. She continues to write for PureWow as a Freelance Editor.
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