Gustatory Rhinitis – Causes and Treatment

Gustatory rhinitis is a very common health problem that most people may have suffered in their life. It is a problem that results from consumption of hot or spicy foods. One most important thing to note is that no virus, bacteria or any allergen is involved. This type of rhinitis affects both children and adults. Smokers and people suffering from allergic rhinitis have higher risks of getting this problem. The health condition occurs because of eating foods or taking drinks that cause irritation of the nerves found in the nasal passage and the Vagus nerve. This makes the mucus membrane become inflamed, making it to secrete more inside the nose as it tries to get rid of the irritants. There are different type of foods that can lead to this problem, and several cures and treatments that can be applied.

Gustatory Rhinitis Causes

Despite spicy and hot foods being the major cause of this form of rhinitis, other types of foods can be responsible as well. Some of these foods include:

  • Alcohol
  • Chocolate
  • Vinegar
  • Coffee and tea
  • Lemons, oranges and other citrus fruits
  • Hot chilli pepper because it contains capsaicin
  • Food colorings and preservatives can at times lead to symptoms


Symptoms of Gustatory Rhinitis

Below are some of the symptoms a person suffering from this problem experiences. Most of these symptoms occur during or even after a few minutes of eating the food or drinks involved. They are usually temporary and will get resolved just after a few hours or minutes after ingesting the triggers.

The major and obvious symptom involved is a runny nose. This symptom is instant because it occurs immediately after one eats or drinks certain kinds of food especially the spicy and hot ones.

There are also instances of postnasal drip, coughing, nasal congestion and sneezing.

Secretion of watery, profuse and thin discharge. This occurs because of dilatation of small blood vessels found in the nasal lining.


There is no special test used to diagnose this health condition. It is only the directly visible symptoms that are sufficient for diagnosis. If a person suffers from this problem after eating a certain type of food or drink, then it can be assumed that one has this health condition. Another important thing that is considered is that rhinorrhea, sneezing and some other symptoms involved might result from environmental allergies. This is why the history of how the problem occurs is very crucial before any form of treatment is recommended.

Gustatory Rhinitis Cure and Treatment

One thing to note is that gustatory rhinitis is a self limiting health condition. This means you might not need to seek professional treatment because the symptoms will most probably heal by themselves. The best way to cure is it to make identification of the foods or drinks that might be a cause. When symptoms start occuring, think about what you have consumed before this. After you have recognized the foods that make you suffer from the problem, you obviously need to avoid them if possible.

In case it is out of your control taking the foods responsibly, you can take anti-histamines an hour before you eat these foods. However, it is also worth noting that the condition does not result from response of the body immune system and there are no histamines involved. Therefore, anti-histamines might not treat it sufficiently. There are homeopathic medications that can help deal with the symptoms including:

  • Drosera
  • Silicea
  • Allium cepa
  • Rumex
  • Pulsatilla

There are also nasal corticosteroid sprays, mucolytic medicines and anticholinergic agents that can help if the symptoms persist. Saline nasal sprays sold over the counter can also be used in treating the condition. The treatment applied varies from one patient to the other depending on the specific cause. These drugs will help get rid of these symptoms with a duration of three to five hours. Those who suffer from the problem often should seek for help from a otolaryngology specialist for the right diagnosis and treatment.

Natural remedies

Just like most health conditions, there are certain natural remedies that can help control the condition. The good thing about using the natural remedies is that they do not have any adverse effects as it might happen with other forms of medications. They might also offer other health benefits to the body in addition to preventing and treating the health condition.

Ginger has gingerols found it in its roots that acts as an anti-inflammatory in human body. It will help reduce inflammation in your sinuses. This makes nasal drip and sneezing easier. You just need to boil the ginger and then drink it as you do with tea with honey.

Mint helps in relieving the intestines lining, prevent vomiting and soothe rhinitis symptoms. You just need to drink it as tea.

Cardamom is a spiced tea that helps treat this health condition fast. It helps prevent rhinorrhea and sneezing. You can take it with tea with milk and honey.

Honey and basil. These perfect herbs enhance your immune system to cure the symptoms involved. Honey in this tea will help in soothing the throat and nose.

Self management and prevention

Self management is crucial in ensuring that you do not suffer from this health condition. Avoiding the foods or drinks that lead to this problem is the best option to make difference. It is advisable to avoid overusing nasal decongestants when you realize that you have congestion. Over using these medications can at times worsen the symptoms involved. The best option you have is to determine the best treatment that helps alleviate the symptoms fast and apply it whenever you have this problem. Your doctor will offer you the best advice at all times, so seek for their help if your treatments fail to work.


This health condition can even affect children. Therefore, it is advisable you be very sharp to determine the specific food causing the problem to your children. It is recommended you avoid giving these foods to your children instead of using drugs to treat the symptoms often. This is necessary because some of the drugs might have negative effects to your children who have a weaker immune system.