A significant proportion of adults and children suffer from nasal congestion. This ailment can range from a mild annoyance to a chronic condition. It can also cause a range of other problems, such as ear and throat infections, respiratory distress in young infants, sleep apnea and snoring, and interference with children's hearing and speech development.

Nasal congestion can be caused by a number of factors, including a reaction to allergens in the environment or in food, or exposure to bacteria and other germs, sparking the body's immune system and causing a defensive reaction that leads to the expansion of the mucosal membranes, which in turn blocks the nasal passages.

There are a range of homemade remedies that may help to cure or relieve your nasal congestion. The following is a small selection of different home remedies for nasal congestion.

Experts believe that burning a teaspoon of cardamom seeds on hot coals and breathing in the resulting smoke is one of the best home remedies for treating nasal congestion. Alternatively, boil water and salt and then use a dropper to place the liquid (wait until it has cooled down) in each nostril. (It helps if you keep your head tilted backwards until you feel the salt water reach your throat.) Then blow your nose. You can also replace the salt in this solution with baking soda. Baking soda is particularly effective in loosening the mucus and other sticky material that is part of nasal congestion.

Inhaling black pepper, or the smoke released by burning five or six black pepper seeds, may spark a bout of sneezing, but it will definitely help relieve some of the discomfort caused by nasal congestion. Likewise, inhaling a few drops of eucalyptus or peppermint oil on a cotton cloth may also provide some relief. Having a hot bath or drinking hot liquids can also provide a reprieve from the discomforts of nasal congestion.

Preventing nasal congestion by eliminating allergens from your diet and environment, and living a healthy and balanced lifestyle that includes sleep, exercise and relaxation will help keep your body healthy and strong, and resistant to the some of the causes of nasal congestion.