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Health > Postnasal Drip

Postnasal Drip

Postnasal Drip Fact Sheet

This is excess mucus that has lodged itself in the throat instead of disappearing through the nasal passages and out the nose.

What to look for

  • a flow of mucus that runs down the back of your throat, different consistencies and often associated with a sore throat, a cough and.
  • sniffing, snorting, or swallowing of nasal mucus.

Post nasal drip is a consequence of respiratory problems and usually goes once the respiratory condition has cleared up. Mucus is a normal product of the nasal passages, but when too much is produced it lodges itself in the throat.
When the condition becomes chronic, mucus can drip into the bronchial tubes causing extensive coughing and phlegm.


The cause can be related to an allergy especially when the mucus is watery rather than thick and other symptoms are apparent such as itching eyes, nose and palate.
If post nasal drip involves thick mucus along with normal cold and flu symptoms, you probably have a common cold.
Thick yellow or greenish mucus can indicate a bacterial or viral respiratory infection. Sinus can be the problem whenever thick nasal mucus and post nasal drip are accompanied by fever and congestive pain in the face, it is probably.
Women who use hormone replacement therapy or oestrogen-based birth-control drugs are also at risk of this condition.

Traditional Treatment

Your treatment will depend on the cause of the problem. See your doctor who can give you a correct diagnosis.
Over-the-counter medications can often help but only temporarily - always consult your Doctor or Pharmacist.

Alternative/Natural Treatments

These treatments will want to work on the underlying cause and to relieve the symptoms you have.
Aromatherapy - Inhaling steam can help clear nasal passages. Add essential oils of eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus), tea tree (Melaleuca spp.), rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), or peppermint (Mentha piperita) to the water in a humidifier during the day, and use the essential oil of lavender (Lavandula officinalis) in the evening for a better night's sleep. Go To Our Aromatherapy Section for more information on these and other oils.
Chinese Herbs - Chinese medicine relies on mixtures of traditional herbs brewed in water and drunk at prescribed intervals. The Minor Blue Dragon Combination is recommended to reduce nasal drainage. Consult a Professional for the correct amounts of each herb to use for your condition.
Herbal Therapies - Eyebright (Euphrasia officinalis) may help dry up postnasal drip.
Homoeopathy - For postnasal drip associated with symptoms of a common cold, try Nax vomica three or four times a day for two days. For other kinds of postnasal drip, a Homoeopath will prescribe a remedy for your particular symptoms.

Personal Care

  • Drink lots of water
  • Humidify the air around you, especially in winter.

When to seek further professional advice

  • you have treated the condition with an over-the-counter decongestant for more than a week without success

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