Nasal congestion occurs when nasal tissues become swollen with excess fluid. It can be caused by a cold, influenza or allergies. If your Eustachian tube becomes blocked due to cold or infection, ear congestion can result. According to the National Library of Medicine, see a doctor if ear pain and discomfort don't subside within a few hours. Homeopaths treat symptoms by prescribing minute amounts of substances that in larger amounts would cause the same symptoms in a healthy person. Homeopathy is an alternative therapy, not meant to replace medical treatment.
Pulsatilla negricans, distilled from the meadow anemone, is a common homeopathic remedy for nasal congestion. Blue Shield Complementary and Alternative Medicine advises Pulsatilla negricans for colds that feature stuffy noses, especially if thick, yellowish or greenish mucus is produced. If congestion intensifies in the evening, and if the patient feels worse in warm, stuffy rooms and better upon going outside, this is another indication that Pulsatilla negricans might be the correct remedy. Check with a medical health practitioner before taking Pulsatilla negricans.
Kalium muriaticum also goes by Kali muriaticum. It's made from potassium chloride and is one of the 12 homeopathic cell salts, also called tissue salts or biochemic salts. Homeopaths use it to treat colds, especially where there is sinus, nasal, or ear congestion. Elixirs.com says Kalium muriaticum is especially indicated when there is white nasal discharge, a white coating on the tongue, and sinus problems. According to Beneforce.com, Kalium muriaticum is called for when ear congestion or pain is accompanied by a crackling noise, and when symptoms are worsened by cold air and damp weather and improved by relaxation and warmth. Ask your doctor before taking Kalium muriaticum.
Phosphorus is made from calcium phosphate, also called white phosphorus, found in North African volcanic regions. Until the middle of the 18th century, it was used in fireworks and matches, then replaced by the less toxic red phosphorus. Homeopaths use phosphorus to treat respiratory illnesses and congestion. Beneforce,com suggests phosphorus for patients who are outgoing and affectionate, and whose symptoms are worse in the mornings and evenings and improved by fresh air, massage, sleep and eating. Consult your physician before you take homeopathic phosphorus.
Arsenicum album is made from arsenic, but--as with all homeopathic preparations--a minute amount of the substance is successively diluted until only an infinitesimal amount remains. Blue Shield Complementary and Alternative Medicine advises Arsenicum album for nasal congestion in a patient who gets frequent colds, chest problems and sore throats. If the patient sneezes repeatedly, produces white, thick, burning mucus and experiences worsening of symptoms before midnight, it's even more likely that a homeopath will prescribe Arsenicum album. Check with your doctor before taking Arsenicum album.
Rhus toxicodendron is made from poison ivy. The plants are gathered at night; homeopaths and herbalists believe the oils are stronger at that time. Homeopaths prescribe Rhus toxicodendron for nasal congestion, especially when the condition occurs during cool, damp weather or changing weather. Blue Shield Complementary and Alternative Medicine says that if the patient is restless, fidgety and pacing, with both motion and warmth bringing some relief, this is another indication for Rhus toxicodendron. There has not been much conclusive study on the side effects of Rhus toxicodendron, so consult a physician before using it.
Carol Sarao is an entertainment and lifestyle writer whose articles have appeared in Atlantic City Weekly, The Women's Newspaper of Princeton, and New Millennium Writings. She has interviewed and reviewed many national recording acts, among them Everclear, Live, and Alice Cooper, and received her Master of Fine Arts degree in writing from Warren Wilson College.