Snoring comes with a whole host of problems not only for the person who snores, but for their partners or roommates. Snoring happens when a blockage of the airways in the nasal passages or throat makes it difficult for the air to flow through smoothly. Instead of breathing normally, the air catches due to inflammation, floppy tissue or a loose tongue, and breathing begins to vibrate and make loud sounds.
Snoring may be caused by a variety of problems and some of them can be cured naturally while others may need medical intervention. As snoring may be caused by sleep apnea or another sleeping disorder, then seeking the help of a medical professional is an important step in the process of ruling out a serious health condition.
Can You Use Herbs for Snoring?
If your snoring is mild and due to seasonal allergies, temporary nasal congestion (due to pregnancy or winter cold season), or some other stuffiness factor, then herbal remedies for snoring may be exactly what you need. For instance, if you snore due to smoking but are trying to quit, herbs may help with reducing snoring while you work on the greater issues of smoking. Certain herbs that clear up the nasal passages and open up airways will be particularly useful.
Herbs for snoring may be used in direct herb form, although the easiest and most accurate way to get the most benefits may be to use herbs in the form of essential oils. Essential oils are extracted from the “essence” of the herbs and work more powerfully than simply applying the leaves of a plant. It’s best to talk to your doctor or alternative medicine provider for advice on usage and safe dosage.
Herbal Remedies for Snoring
Several natural, powerful herbs can be used as functional remedies for snoring. This is especially if your snoring is short term or due to a cause that is not medically concerning in other ways.
Try these all-natural herbal options for snoring:
This herb has long been known to clear nasal passages and also works to reduce mucus that can sometimes be the cause of snoring. This herb native to Australia smells rather sweet and pungent. Use a few drops of Eucalyptus essential oil in a steam inhaler before going to bed for best results.
With its anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties, Peppermint helps to open up airways and reduce swelling in the nasal passages or throat. This may be used by gargling with it before bed. Either soak peppermint leaves in a glass of water for a few minutes, or add a few drops of peppermint essential oil to water and gargle with it. This essential oil can also be diffused into the air using a cool mist humidifier. Another option is to dilute with a carrier oil and apply directly to the neck, throat, chest, and shoulders. For an even simpler option try drinking a hot cup of peppermint tea before going to bed.
Similar to the power of peppermint, spearmint is a mentholated herb that also helps to open up the breathing passages in the nose and potentially reduce inflammation. As an added bonus, spearmint may also be useful in helping with digestive issues that can occur during the night which can prevent restorative sleep.
In the same way that your nasal passages tend to open up (runny nose, anyone?!) after eating spicy foods, cayenne pepper may help to reduce the tendency toward snoring. If you have digestive problems that keep you from sleeping well, then this is not a solution for you as spicy food will only worsen symptoms.
The decongestant properties in garlic help to reduce the amount of mucus in the airways to open up the breathing passages and allow for clear breathing instead of rattling snoring. Just adding a bit of garlic to your diet, either cooked or raw, may work. Garlic can also be taken in pill form, available a health food or nutrition shops.
Most effective when used in the form of an essential oil, Marjoram is effective in working against snoring. This herbal remedy allows the airways to be opened up, and may even help to increase the tone of muscles in the throat so that snoring is less likely to occur. Marjoram essential oil may be diffused into the air using a cool mist humidifier at bed time. The moisture from the cool mist humidifier diffusing into the air may also help reduce problems with snoring. Or, even easier, simply take a few sniffs of it straight from the bottle prior to going to sleep. One other option is to dilute Marjoram essential oil into a carrier oil and apply directly to the skin on the neck, shoulders, chest, or even under the nose. The good news about this herb is that the effects continue in the body long after you have been exposed to it. One precaution: Marjoram essential oil is not indicated for use by women who are pregnant.
Another herb often found in your kitchen cabinet may be very useful in the bedroom too. Thyme offers respiratory wellness support which may help with snoring. Some suggest that mixing a drop of Thyme essential oil with a carrier oil and applying it to the bottoms of the big toes before going to bed (referring to the reflexology chart) can help to clear up snoring problems. If you aren’t keen on applying essential oils to your feet, try diffusing Thyme into the air with a cool mist humidifier to promote respiratory health.
Just like with any natural remedy, the response may be different from person to person. It may take a bit of exploring to see what works for you personally and what doesn’t. Don’t give up, though! Using natural substances such as herbs and herbal essential oils to reduce or eliminate snoring is an excellent way for you, your partner, or your roommate to get a much better night’s sleep!