When mucus runs down the back of your nose to your throat, it's called a postnasal drip. Postnasal drip may make you feel like you constantly want to clear your throat. It is one of the most common causes of a continuous cough. Excess mucus may also give you a sore, scratchy throat. However, a persistent cough or dry throat should always be checked out by your GP. Likewise, let your doctor know straight away if you notice blood in the mucus / sputum.
Allergies (allergic postnasal drip)
Certain medications, including hormonal birth control and blood pressure medications
Changing weather, cold temperatures, or really dry conditions
Certain foods (for example, spicy foods may aggravate the mucosal lining and trigger mucus flow)
Deviated septum, the septum the wall that separates the two nostrils, which may be crooked
Please see our article on respiratory allergies for more info regarding reducing an immune response to common allergens which can cause a build-up of mucus. Read on to find out other possible triggers and what may be a suitable option for you.
Postnasal drip can sometimes be wrongly diagnosed. Swallowing problems can cause a build-up of liquids in the throat, which can feel like a postnasal drip. These problems can sometimes occur in conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GORD), amongst others.
Po-Ho Essential Oil Inhaler Stick: A super powerful combination of essential oils such as Eucalyptus, Caraway and Peppermint for the relief of nasal congestion.
Altitude Oil (10ml): a powerful antibacterial, antiviral and antiseptic oil blend which supports the immune system, and also helps you keep a clear head.
Hot soup or a hot shower can help in acute cases of postnasal drip because the steam can help to thin the mucus and open the airways. It is also a good idea to ensure you are drinking enough water, so that you are not dehydrated, especially in times of illness such as colds and flu. Drinking water can also help to thin out the mucus. In the shower or bath try using a few drops of Eucalyptus oil, famous for its ability to clear congestion.
You can also try propping up your pillows at night so that the mucus doesn't collect in the back of the throat.
If your postnasal drip symptoms are persistent, please first see your GP. You can also see one of our nutritional therapists who may assist you in getting to the source of the problem, which can often be caused by allergies or digestive symptoms. We can also offer tailored product and supplement advice, so please call today.
Dietary allergies are a very common cause of postnasal drip. As mentioned previously, post-nasal drip can often be confused with symptoms of acid reflux. Testing will help to outline immune and/ or gut issues which may be causing symptoms.
[i] Krzyżanowska-Kowalczyk J, Pecio Ł, Mołdoch J, Ludwiczuk A, Kowalczyk M. Novel Phenolic Constituents of Pulmonaria officinalis L. LC-MS/MS Comparison of Spring and Autumn Metabolite Profiles. Molecules. 2018 Sep 6;23(9):2277.
[ii] Ching-Hui Wang, Fu-Yen Chung, Tong-Rong Tsai, Shiu-Ru Lin, Hsueh-Chiao Liu, Development of great burdock essence compounds, Genomic Medicine, Biomarkers, and Health Sciences, Volume 4, Issues 1–2, 2012, Pages 45-47.
Please note that the information contained within this website does not and should not replace medical advice, and is not intended to treat or diagnose. We always recommend you consult with your doctor. Our Nutritional Therapy team is highly trained and we offer one to one Nutritional Therapy Consultations, which are designed to be complementary to any medical treatment from a functional medicine approach, as well as offering a preventative & optimal health focus.