A decongestant is an herb that helps remove excess mucous from the body. It has the specific effect of relieving congestion in the sinuses and the rest of the upper respiratory tract. While decongestants do not cure colds, the flu or allergies, they provide welcome relief from the symptoms of seasonal allergies and upper respiratory infections.
Decongestant herbs relieve swelling of inflamed mucus membranes in the nasal cavity, by contracting the muscular walls of blood vessel. They also have a mild drying effect that helps relieve a runny nose.
Congestion in the nose, sinuses, and chest is caused by expanded, swollen or dilated blood vessels in the membranes of the nose and airways. A decongestant helps shrink blood vessels in the nasal membranes, allowing the air passages to open up.
- Calendula (Calendula officinalis)
- Cayenne Pepper (Capsicum annuum)
- Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea)
- Peppermint (Mentha piperita)
- Rosehip (Rosa canina)
- Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
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- David Hoffmann L. BSc (Hons), MNIMH
- Paula Jo Broadfoot, 2009. Integrating Complementary Medicine into Veterinary Practice.