I've been using the following natural decongestant for my family for almost two years. I'll note the two main inspiration sites at the bottom, but I've altered it how I saw fit after researching individual ingredients properties, and trial and error.
1/2 c lemon juice
1/2 c apple cider vinegar (ACV)
1/3 c honey (you can NOT substitute sugar)
1 tsp powdered ginger
1/8 tsp tumeric (or up to 1/4 tsp, I usually use the 8th though)
Put the ginger and tumeric in a small pan on low heat then add the lemon juice and ACV. For some reason I find putting the spices in first helps them blend better. You can then turn it to medium heat. Once it is steaming add the honey and let it dissolve.
How long you let it sit will change the strength of the flavor (and likely the strength of the medicinal aspects, but I have not seen a difference as it is strong enough without sitting for very long). I just let it sit till it is all blended and steaming and till the smell smacks me in the face.
Note: Let it smack you in the face, if you are really congested while making this take a sniff of it. It opens you up FAST. But it is a strong blow so don't take a huge whiff, just enough you go WHOA. I normally do this twice.
Strain into a jar or other container with lid for storage. If you do not have cheese cloth, cutting up a pair of pantie hose works, it just takes longer because the holes are so fine. You don't have to get all the settlings, I just prefer to get as much out as I can.
Be careful: Tumeric STAINS horribly.
Shake up before using. Take 1-2 table spoons as needed. My notes say these amounts make 8 ounces. Also, from what I've found, if you store it in a cool dark place it lasts indefinitely. We keep ours in the bathroom on the counter and it never goes to waste. (We also use it a lot!)
A few notes: Honey has healing benefits, but it is also what cuts the bitter taste of this drink. If you are out of honey, wait to make this. I tried granulated sugar as a substitute when I was out of honey once and had to dump the batch.
If you take the decongestant and feel a warm rush, that's normal. It's the ginger, ginger has warming properties, but the flush feeling doesn't last long. (I like it, I am always freezing! Sometimes I take it just because of this lol.)
Do not take on an empty stomach. The ACV tends to upset empty tummies. Otherwise it's harmless, I drank a full cup of this once when I was trying to head off a cold.
Both these sites I'm about to link list reasons for each ingredient, so I won't go into them all. (Though they only list a few reasons, ginger especially has MANY other properties). Also, these were just my baseline for amounts and ideas of what to use. I have no way of linking every site I used for research because there were dozens per ingredient. (I am anally thorough.) I saved these two because I liked them best.
http://everydayroots.com/natural-decongestant - I do not recommend using cayenne in this decongestant. For some reason the decongestant was less potent for myself and my family. (It also tasted worse in this mix.)
http://www.stepin2mygreenworld.com/healthyliving/best-natural-antibiotic/ - I have not used garlic in my decongestant adventures, but I probably will in the future. Garlic is wonderful for fighting cold and flu symptoms. I would guess on using 1/2 tsp if you try it with my measurements. Also, I have tried cinnamon in my decongestant before...saw no medicinal difference but did not appreciate the change to the texture when taking it.
Hmmm Yeah, I think that's everything. I swear by ginger and I swear by the recipe I typed out, in fact I'll be making more of it this week since we used up what we had (again).
Hope you feel better and that this helps!