A blocked or stuffy nose can be very irritating. It not only impacts our daily activities but also our quality of life.
A blocked nose can be the reason for our mood swings and can limit us from socializing. In this blog, we will see what is rebound congestion? What causes it, and what is the solution?
Nasal sprays are widely used these days. They are most preferred due to their targeted action. In simpler terms, nasal sprays deliver the medicine directly to the targeted area, like the nose and sinuses. Some of the nasal sprays show quick relief, while some are used for the long term. Nasal decongestants are among the quick-relief nasal sprays and are the most popular.
Nasal decongestants provide quick relief from a blocked nose. It starts to act in a few seconds. They reduce nasal congestion by shrinking the blood vessels lining the nose. When these blood vessels shrink, there is enough space in the nasal passages for easy breathing.
But these sprays can be used only for a short period, say three to five days. Using these sprays for more than a few days may harm the blood vessels because of excessive shrinkage. Using it only for a few days continuously can make you dependent on it. Hence, you might need a larger dose than the previous one to shrink the blood vessels and reduce congestion.
Also, after discontinuing the spray, the blood vessels may swell again, producing more congestion, which may worsen one's condition (congestion). This is known as rebound congestion or Rhinitis Medicamentosa.
Hence, it is always better and advisable to read the product label (or the label of the spray) before using it.
Nature has a solution to everything!
Many herbs are used in Ayurveda due to their medicinal properties and help in managing various disease conditions. Some herbs are known for their decongestant properties. The good part is- these herbs don’t cause any rebound congestion effect.
One such herb that can be used for upper respiratory tract disorders is Tulsi. It is known as "The Incomparable One", "Mother Medicine of Nature", and "The Queen of Herbs" for its medicinal and spiritual properties. It is clinically proven to have anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties. It acts as an antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal agent.
The anti-inflammatory properties of Tulsi are due to the presence of fixed oils and linolenic acid. These constituents act against inflammatory mediators like PGE2, leukotrienes and arachidonic acid. It also acts on allergic mediators in our body such as histamine and leukotrienes.
Adding Tulsi to steam inhalation is more effective in reducing respiratory symptoms than plain steam inhalation.
Xylitol is a natural sugar alcohol found in many plants, fruits and vegetables. It not just imparts sweetness but also has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. It stimulates the immune system to fight against various bacteria, viruses and allergies that cause upper respiratory tract disorders.
Xylitol can starve the bad or harmful bacteria in the nose and sinuses and kill them.
It is taken up by bacteria, but they are unable to metabolize it. It enters the bacteria and forms a complex with the phosphate moiety (group) of the bacteria and thereby inhibiting glycolysis (it is a metabolic pathway in which glucose is converted to simpler molecules for energy generation). Hence, without glycolysis, the bacteria don’t get energy for their survival. Because of this mechanism, xylitol is said to have antibacterial properties.
A study showed that nasal spray containing xylitol is very effective in killing the most common bacteria that cause respiratory infections, like sinusitis.
Xylitol dissolved in water is well-tolerated and can be used for sinonasal irrigation.
Bibo Saline Nasal Spray is not a simple saline nasal spray. Along with saline, it also contains Tulsi and Xylitol, which makes it a more potent saline nasal spray. Apart from cleansing the nasal area, this nasal spray also kills the microbes responsible for upper respiratory infections and builds immunity to fight against future infections.
Keywords: Rebound congestion, Blocked nose, Decongestant nasal sprays, Tulsi, Xylitol.