Stertor, or snoring, is caused by a narrowing of the airways, either in the nose, mouth or throat. This narrowing can result from allergies, sinus infections, old injuries, such as a broken nose or another anatomical abnormality. It can disrupt sleep and be just as frustrating for a spouse or partner as it is for the individual who snores. Fortunately, there are a few herbal remedies which can reduce swelling of the air passages and alleviate some of the underlying causes of snoring.
Eucalyptus is an herbal decongestant. It helps to clear mucous and open the air passages. Eucalyptus and peppermint essential oils also work well together, and have similar properties. The main chemical constituent of peppermint, menthol, is a powerful decongestant. It helps loosen phlegm and soothe the throat and sinuses. Together, they may address one of the main underlying causes of snoring, swollen sinuses. A few drops can be placed directly on a pillow or into an air diffuser near the bed. Eucalyptus and peppermint essential oils may also be added to a carrier oil, such as almond oil, and rubbed onto the throat and back of the neck.
Fenugreek is another natural decongestant. According to the "Little Herb Encyclopedia," it softens and dissolves hardened accumulated mucus, and helps cleanse the lymphatic system. Fenugreek is used by herbalists to treat a variety of conditions, including respiratory infections, sinus congestion, bronchial catarrh and excess mucous in the body. It can be taken as an herbal tea or in capsule form.
Thyme and marjoram are both culinary herbs that are also used in herbal medicine. Herbalists use thyme especially to help treat a variety of respiratory conditions. Marjoram also helps to relieve coughs, colds, asthma and bronchitis. They are versatile and can be used in one of three ways. First, as essential oils, they can be added to a room diffuser and placed near the bed, about 10 to 15 minutes before retiring. Second, they can be taken as an herbal tea by steeping 2 or 3 oz. of the dried herbs in boiling water for at least five minutes. Third, they may be taken daily in capsule form. For snoring, the first two methods are most effective in opening air passages.
Lavender and chamomile are both used by herbalists to alleviate stress and induce relaxation. They are gentle and effective for a variety of sleep disorders. Chamomile, especially, can help reduce tension and relax the muscles. Together they can encourage a better night's sleep. They can be taken as an herbal tea, just before going to bed. The aromatherapy method recommends added a few drops of each to a room diffuser and placing it near the bed before retiring. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, lavender oil has a calming and sedative effect when inhaled. It can promote relaxation and improve the quality of sleep.
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